n Child Abuse Research in South Africa - Adolescents at risk of dropping out in a high-risk community secondary school

Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1562-1383



A qualitative research methodology and case-study design was used in this investigation of the subjective experiences of adolescent learners at risk of dropping out of school during the post-compulsory phase of their education at a specific school in the Western Cape. Results that emerged from this study indicated that the participants experienced several barriers to learning embedded within interconnected systems, which placed them at risk of dropping out of school. These barriers included the following: single-parent families, family conflict, lack of parental support, emotional challenges due to unfavourable home circumstances and substance (ab)use. The practical implications of the results are that, in order to support at-risk adolescents in a high-risk environment and to prevent them from dropping out of school, the focus should be on systemic protective factors.

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