n Child Abuse Research in South Africa - Stressors, social resources and coping skills among double Aids-orphaned adolescents

Volume 13, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-1383



The underlying aim of this study was to determine to what extent double AIDS orphans (high school learners in the eastern part of the Free State Province) are victims of societal abuse. Three measuring instruments were employed. First, the Life Stressors and Social Resources Inventory (LISRES-Y) was used to investigate the stressors and resources in the participants' environment. Second, the Brief COPE Scale was administered to ascertain the nature of their coping skills. Third, a self-compiled biographical questionnaire provided information on demographic variables. A mixed-method design was used to gather demographic data. The study confirms that double AIDS orphans are exposed to significant social stressors which would meet the definition of societal abuse. There were a number of statistically significant correlations between the LISRES-Y and coping strategies. The conclusion reached was that the nature of stressors confronting participants and the resources available to them determined the coping strategies that were likely to be used. The qualitative data revealed that the coping strategies include both positive (turning to religion and relatives) and negative (prostitution and drug smuggling elements. Shortcomings of the research are discussed and recommendations made.

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