Title page for ETD etd-07292010-173132

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Greyling, Susan
URN etd-07292010-173132
Document Title Connecting emotional awareness with resilience in a young child affected by HIV/AIDS
Degree MEd
Department Educational Psychology
Advisor Name Title
Mrs M Finestone Co-Supervisor
Prof I Eloff Co-Supervisor
Dr R Ferreira Supervisor
  • early childhood development
  • emotional awareness
  • emotional development
  • intervention
  • young children affected by HIV/AIDS
  • Kgolo-Mmogo project
  • resilience
Date 2010-04-29
Availability unrestricted

The purpose of this study was to explore the potential connection between emotional awareness and resilience in a young child affected by HIV/AIDS. The study forms part of a broad research project, the Kgolo-Mmogo project, involving a multidisciplinary team of researchers from the University of Pretoria, South Africa and Yale University in the United States of America. The Kgolo-Mmogo project aims to investigate the adaptive functioning of children affected by HIV/AIDS, whilst potentially enhancing resilience. The project involves an assessment of the participating children, which is followed by a structured intervention and post assessment.

The conceptual framework for my study was based on existing literature relating to early childhood development, emotional development, as well as children affected by HIV/AIDS and resilience. I followed a qualitative approach, anchored in the interpretivist paradigm. I utilised an instrumental case study research design and conveniently selected the participants, who were involved in the broader Kgolo- Mmogo project at the onset of my study. One five year old girl, her mother and the care workers who facilitated the intervention, participated in my study. I observed eleven intervention sessions, as well as the pre- and post assessment. In addition to observation, documented in the form of field notes, photographs and a research journal, I employed conversational interviews with the care workers, for data collection and member-checking purposes. I also conducted two semi-structured interviews with the mother of the participant.

Three main themes emerged subsequent to thematic data analysis. The first theme relates to developmentally appropriate skills that remained constant throughout my study, with the sub-themes associated with the cognitive, emotional and social domain of development. The second theme concerns accelerated emotional functioning in certain areas of development, with the sub-themes being an increased frequency in referring to feelings, and an increased differentiation when referring to feelings and desires. The last theme entails the enhancement of social skills, with the sub-themes relating to the formation of trusting relationships and enhanced communication about experiences. Based on the findings I obtained, I can conclude that the Kgolo-Mmogo intervention seemingly provided some learning opportunities to foster emotional resilience in a young, vulnerable child.

Copyright 2009, 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:

Greyling, S 2009, Connecting emotional awareness with resilience in a young child affected by HIV/AIDS, MEd dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-07292010-173132/ >

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