Title page for ETD etd-06102011-133859

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Rossi, Lucia Livia
URN etd-06102011-133859
Document Title The social experiences of a young adult growing up as an only-child
Degree MEd
Department Educational Psychology
Advisor Name Title
Dr C Lubbe-De Beer Co-Supervisor
Dr K Mohangi Supervisor
  • social relations
  • social identity
  • socialisation
  • young adult
  • siblings
  • only-child
  • social learning
Date 2011-04-12
Availability unrestricted

In this study, the social experiences of a young adult growing up as an only-child were explored. A single case study with a female only-child, 23 years of age was used to elicit the themes related to these social experiences. The conceptual framework utilised for this study included the concepts of social identity, social relations and social learning, which incorporated the various social agents and contexts explored in this study. Data was generated through multiple sessions, which consisted of the participantís life story, people and places maps, as well as unstructured and semi-structured interviews. In addition, field notes and observations were recorded in a reflective journal. The data was analysed and interpreted through thematic analysis, which involved an in-depth selection of themes evident in the participantís written and verbal expressions. The results of the study were presented in the form of themes, subthemes and categories depicting the social experiences of the participant. The primary themes that seemed to have influenced the social experiences of the participant were her relationships (specifically that with her primary caregivers) and her experiences (attached to these relationships). This study yielded an additional category, which can be seen as contributing to the literature on the social experiences of only-children. This category focused on the cultural influences of the participantsí family, which seemed to be significant in shaping her identity.

© 2010, 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:

Rossi, LL 2010, The social experiences of a young adult growing up as an only-child, MEd dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-06102011-133859/ >


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