Title page for ETD etd-05152007-091121

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Louw, Lynette
Email lynette.louw@social.mpu.gov.za
URN etd-05152007-091121
Document Title The experiences of adolescents orphaned by HIV/AIDS related conditions
Degree MA (Social Work)
Department Social Work and Criminology
Advisor Name Title
Dr J M C Joubert
  • adolescent developmental tasks
  • poverty
  • changed social roles
  • grief
  • adolescent orphans
  • adolescence
  • phychosocial development
  • loneliness
  • anger
Date 2006-03-22
Availability unrestricted
The goal of this study was to explore the experiences of adolescents who were orphaned by HIV/AIDS related conditions, thereby improving the knowledge base and insight of social workers that will enable them to render more effective services.

The objectives of this study was:

-- To build a knowledge base of existing literature on the impact of HIV/AIDS related circumstances on orphaned adolescents.

-- To conduct an empirical study of the experiences of adolescents on the following terrains, namely Belonging, Mastery, Independence and Generosity.

-- To make recommendations about the experiences of adolescents orphaned by HIV/AIDS related conditions to be considered during formulation of intervention plans by social workers.

This qualitative study endeavoured to answer the following research question: “What are the experiences of adolescents orphaned by HIV/AIDS related conditions in the Gert Sibande region of Mpumalanga?”

The researcher aimed to document these experiences to improve the helping professions’ understanding of the phenomenon. This may lead to more successful intervention strategies for these adolescents.

The study was feasible, as it was within the financial and practical means of the researcher. She had access to the target group and she had permission from the Department of Health and Social Services to conduct the study, using their resources, clients and data.

Three themes emerged from data analysis, namely:

-- THEME ONE: Sources of support, hurt and anger

-- THEME TWO: My life changed after I became an orphan

-- THEME THREE: Parents’ illness and death

From the research findings, recommendations were made on a micro, macro and meso level. On a micro-level, this included improved foster parent screening, life skills camps, improved awareness campaigns and the establishment of support groups.

On macro-level, the researcher is of the opinion that the strengthening of Home Based Care Groups, After-school centres and Children’s Homes should receive attention.

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