Title page for ETD etd-03082012-225801

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Grobler, Adri
URN etd-03082012-225801
Document Title The utility of a Düss fable for cross-cultural measurement of resilience in young children
Degree MEd
Department Educational Psychology
Advisor Name Title
Ms M Finestone Co-Supervisor
Prof I Eloff Co-Supervisor
Prof L Ebersohn Supervisor
  • child behaviour checklist
  • cross-cultural assessment and measures
  • cross-cultural psychology
  • indigenization
  • Düss fable
  • resilience
  • young children
  • HIV/AIDS in the South African context
Date 2012-04-18
Availability unrestricted
There is limited research on the utility of specific assessment measures for cross-cultural psychological and research measurement within the South-African context. In addition limited knowledge exists on cross-cultural measurement of resilience in young children. This study analyses purposefully selected (existing) data from the Kgolo Mmogo project (which investigated psychological resilience in South African mothers and children affected by HIV/AIDS) with the aim of exploring the utility of a Düss fable as projective story-telling technique to measure resilience in young children. The primary research question that guided this study was: ‘What is the utility of a Düss fable as cross-cultural measure of resilience in young children?’ Using the ecological and social cross-cultural model as theoretical framework, the concurrent mixed method study compares inductively derived themes from the Düss fables (qualitative: content analysis) with quantitative scores obtained from secondary analysis of Child Behavior Checklist scores.

Subsequent to the data analysis themes of resilience and non-resilience emerged from the Düss fables as well as from the CBCL. The themes of both resilience (protective resources) and non-resilience (risk factors) emerged and where significantly situated within the children’s environments. The core themes of resilience as expressed by the child-participants related to their coping strategies, their sense of belonging, the availability of material resources and their ability to navigate towards positive institutions. The most prominent themes of non-resilience that emerged from the participants’ Düss fables related to their coping strategies (maladaptive coping), their awareness of chronic risk, adversity and death. The CBCL was included in the study to provide insight into the perspective of the participants’ mothers with regards to their children’s functioning. Predominantly the mothers mostly perceived their children as well adjusted. The risk-related behaviours mostly reported by the mothers were externalising problems that manifested as rule-breaking and aggressive behaviour.

The Düss fables provided meaningful insights into the life experiences of the children. There were instances where the participants’ responses were rich and detailed. The majority of the participants’ stories were age-appropriate and informative, while in some instances the participants gave limited responses. Nonetheless, the Düss fable provided valuable insights into the child-participants’ thoughts, emotions and life-experiences.

© 2011 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Grobler, A 2011, The utility of a Düss fable for cross-cultural measurement of resilience in young children, MEd mini-dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-03082012-225801 / >


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