Title page for ETD etd-09302008-093355

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Temba, Vuyo Noluthando
URN etd-09302008-093355
Document Title A phenomenological study of the experiences of pregnant, black adolescent girls living with HIV/AIDS
Degree Master of Arts
Department Psychology
Advisor Name Title
Ms A C Prinsloo Supervisor
  • HIV
  • adolescent pregnancy
  • black adolescent girls
  • AIDS
Date 2008-04-14
Availability unrestricted
Even though it has always been widely believed that HIV affects mainly the underprivileged and unemployed, the scourge is fastest growing in the educated and employed. Despite this, it is still the unemployed and underprivileged that are still of concern. According to the UNAIDS (2004) South Africa has the fastest growing HIV/AIDS epidemic in the world and this situation poses a great threat to the country’s economic, political and even social development. Within the socio-economic landscape of South Africa, the most adversely affected is the youth, women and those in poverty. It is this vulnerable social group (the underprivileged youth and women) who is of concern to this study.

Adolescent pregnancy also seems to be increasing in South Africa - a trend that seems to be influenced by various personal and socio-cultural factors. Not only do some adolescent girls find themselves faced with a presumable adult challenge for some of these girls also seem at greater risk for sexual transmitted diseases, particularly HIV and AIDS. Dealing with the reality of adolescent pregnancy and HIV/AIDS could be challenging as the adolescents try to take care of themselves and their children in an environment often filled with stigma, uncertainty, and limited access to information and health care. This situation calls for those in the field of research to understand teenage pregnancy in the context of HIV and sociological and psychological pressures that these girls find themselves in as they manoeuvre through this challenge. Perhaps by understanding their personal experiences, society can best devise ways to assist these girls.

Even though a lot of research has been conducted in South Africa on HIV/AIDS, a considerable amount of it has focused on males and pregnant women in general. In situations where adolescents are studied, a lot of focus and emphasis is put on their sexual behaviour and the causes of their pregnancy. The purpose for this study therefore was to get an in depth view of the experiences of three pregnant, black adolescent girls living with HIV/AIDS.

A qualitative phenomenological approach with in depth interviews was conducted. The method of analysis used was Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Four themes or categories of meaning units were derived from the analysis of the interview material. These themes are extrapolated and described and representative quotations from the raw data are included. In exploring these themes and making sense of the data, Erikson’s psychosocial theory of development was used as a frame of reference to contextualise the themes derived from the study in the light of the relevant development stage.

© University of Pretoria 2007


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