Child Abuse Research in South Africa - Volume 15, Issue 2, 2014
Volume 15, Issue 2, 2014
Author Corene De WetSource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 15, pp 1 –12 (2014)More Less
The scarcity of research on the educator-on-learner bullying (ELB), as well as the legal, moral, psychological and educational imperatives necessitated this study. It has been established by contemporary studies that educators are bullying their learners under the guise of ignorance and/or abusive disciplinary practices. The aim of this study is to add to the limited body of knowledge on ELB. The participants comprised 18 educators from the Free State Province, South Africa. Data on bullying were collected by means of questionnaires in which a number of open-ended questions were asked. Inductive content analysis was used to analyse the data. The main findings of the study are: (1) ELB is educators' relentless, pitiless verbal, emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse of power which aims to distress and publicly humiliate disempowered, vulnerable learners. (2) Abusive disciplinary strategies; a lack of classroom management, teaching skills and subject knowledge, as well as personality traits, such as a lust for power and a lack of empathy were identified as educator related reasons for ELB. Learners' behaviour, intellectual abilities and personality traits were also identified as risk factors for ELB. (3) The creation of awareness of ELB and the will to act against perpetrators, whether punitive or restorative, are fundamental to addressing ELB.
Source: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 15, pp 13 –25 (2014)More Less
This article explores the prevalence of cyber bullying as a relatively new phenomenon impacting on the lives of many secondary school learners in South Africa. More specifically, the article investigates the nature and extent of cyber bullying and the emotional impact experienced by the victims of cyber bullies. The research conducted among a representative sample of 13-to-18-year-old secondary school learners in Gauteng and the Western Cape reveals that male learners (especially 15-16-year-olds) are more prone to physical bullying while female learners are more susceptible to emotional (especially 15-16-year-olds) and cyber bullying (especially 17-18-year-olds). In general, the study reveals statistically significant gender and age differences between traditional and cyber bullying victimisation. In this regard, younger males (age 13-14 years) tend to be easier victims of traditional bullies while relatively older females (15+ years) tend to be easier victims of cyber bullies. However, when analysing cyber bullying in isolation, the study reveals that neither gender nor age of secondary school leaners are significant predictors of cyber bullying victimisation. This finding suggests that cyber bullies have no signifiant gender or age preferences regarding victims. Upsetting messages, rumours and gossip (mostly female learners) and name calling (mostly male learners) are the most common types of cyber bullying experienced by learners. Regarding the most common type of cyber bullying and communication device used by cyber bullies, the study reveals that upsetting and threatening messages are mostly received by learners via SMS messaging. Whereas nine in every 10 learners receive upsetting messages, one in every five female learners experience name calling via cellular phones on a daily basis. The study also discloses that sadness, depression and degradation are the most common emotional effects experienced by victims of cyber bullying. In order to cope with the negative consequences of cyber bullying, secondary school learners are deliberately developing coping mechanism such as avoiding chatrooms and mobile social networks. Overall, the study shows substantial resemblance to comparable international studies; contributes to basic and exploratory knowledge regarding the nature, extent and impact of cyber bullying in South Africa; and recommends remedial strategies to assist learners to cope with the negative consequences of cyber bullying.
Source: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 15, pp 26 –34 (2014)More Less
Children are often the victims of an aggressive society and parents are often the perpetrators or may place the child at-risk for abuse or neglect. The aim of the study was to examine the perceptions of parental practices, which could place children at risk for abuse and neglect. In this study, a cross-sectional comparative design was used to examine and compare parental practices of parents whose children were victims of abuse or neglect. These comparisons were explored across gender, marital status and socioeconomic positions. The sample contained 163 participants (87 mothers and 76 fathers) who were either single or married. Their socio-economic status varied from the lower to the higher income group. The participants completed the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI). The results proposed that there are no significant differences between parents based on socio-economic status and marital status. However, there were significant differences between mothers' and fathers' care and overprotection. Furthermore, mothers were identified as being affectionless controlling in their parenting practices (low care and high overprotection) and fathers as affectionately constraining in their parenting practices (high care and high protection). Implications focus on parents being able to identify their roles and possible risk and protective factors that influence outcomes for children at risk for abuse and neglect. Moreover, when children experience a degree of rejection this may have implications for the child's sense of connectedness. This, in turn, can affect academic, emotional, social and psychological functioning of the child.
Contributory factors to child on child sexual abuse : perceptions of diverted female youth sex offendersSource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 15, pp 35 –50 (2014)More Less
The purpose of this article is to focus on the contributory factors to child on child sexual abuse with specific emphasis on the perceptions of diverted female youth sex offenders regarding the factors that contributed to their offending. A comprehensive literature review indicated that there is a dearth of research focusing on female youth sex offenders and even less is known about the perceptions of female youth sex offenders regarding the factors that contributed to their offending. The empirical findings of a recent study conducted by Da Costa (2014) confirmed that female youth sex offenders are of the opinion that certain problems within their families possibly contributed to their offending behaviour. Some of these characteristics include factors such as divorce, poor parenting skills, domestic violence, substance abuse and lack of basic care and safety, just to mention a few. In order to curb female youth sex offending, one would need to address these factors in a multidisciplinary and holistic manner.
Author Velani MtshaliSource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 15, pp 51 –61 (2014)More Less
In South Africa forced child marriage is practised by the Zulu and the Bapedi. In Zulu it is called "ukuganisela" and in Sepedi it is called "go thiba difate". These concepts appear to be culturally acceptable because in customary marriages the family groups of the prospective parties (to their marriage) give consent to their daughters' marriages to men without necessarily informing them. The two terms will be treated under one word "ukuganisela" - the Zulu practice of forced child marriage. The aim of this article is to explore the concept of forced child marriage because the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act 120 of 1998 does not give enough protection to girl children who cannot give consent if their parents act on their behalf. Forced child marriage is discussed in terms of its nature, the extent to which it is practiced, its incidence, consequences and current measures in place for its prevention in the South African context. The conclusion is that "ukuganisela" is a form of forced marriage that robs girls of their human rights, including education. It further violates specifications of the following South African legal instruments: the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Children's Act of 2005 and the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act 120 of 1998 in 2000. The implications are that empirical research should be done and more campaigns should be launched to educate the public about girl children dropping out of school due to being forced by their parents to get married before they have developed into full adults.
Source: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 15, pp 62 –71 (2014)More Less
Bullying is a world-wide phenomenon that occurs within homes, schools and the community at large. To the victims, bullying can be seriously destructive element in the relationships of children of all ages with both the peers and the individuals. The overall goal of this study was to assess the adolescent girls' experiences of being bullied in a secondary school environment. The researcher used a qualitative, explorative, descriptive and contextual design. Semi-structured interviews, a reflective journal, field notes and observations were used to collect data. After the data was analysed. Two themes with subthemes were identified. The findings of this research study revealed that bullying lowers the academic potential of the adolescent girls as their concentration is mostly focused on what the bully will do next. The victims of bullying experienced negative emotions such as humiliation, anger, fear, anxiety, sadness and depression. They also experienced symptoms of mental discomfort which included low self-esteem, feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness and inferiority, lack of confidence and isolation and self-conscientiousness which could lead to suicide. Family-based problems tended to exacerbate the adolescent girls' experiences of being bullied. In conclusion, bullying has a detrimental effect on the mental health of the adolescent girls. Recommendations included creating awareness for the teachers and parents with regards to bullying behaviour amongst teenagers. An intervention in the form of a programme may be required to assist adolescent girls to cope with bullying behaviour.
The mist that they declared to be over is still around : xenophobic experiences of refugee children living at a community centre in South AfricaAuthor Lawrence MedaSource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 15, pp 72 –82 (2014)More Less
There is a general misconception that xenophobia does not exist in South Africa anymore. This assertion is based on the views that the May 2008 brutal xenophobic attacks were concluded, and threats made against foreign nationals to leave or die in South Africa after the 2010 soccer world cup, did not materialise. The xenophobic assertion completely contrasts with views of abused refugee children living at a refugee centre in South Africa. This paper is a presentation of xenophobic related abuse of unaccompanied refugee children living at a community centre in South Africa. The study employed Bronfenbrenner's Social Ecological Model as its overarching theoretical framework. The study adopted a qualitative approach, case study design, and the interpretivist paradigm. Twelve unaccompanied refugee children were selected using purposive sampling and snowball sampling. Data collection tools used were semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions. Data was analysed using content analysis. The study found that there is a wide-spread trend of xenophobic related abuse of refugee children living in designated refugee facilities in South Africa. It was concluded that there is a huge disruption of the social ecological systems when they are run along the full gamut of refugee children's experiences.
The experiences of families affected by child sexual abuse as expressed in a family play therapy contextAuthor Arina FourieSource: Child Abuse Research in South Africa 15, pp 83 –95 (2014)More Less
This article focuses on the experiences of four families who were engaged in a family play therapy process as part of intervention research within a qualitative framework. After thematic analysis themes emerged: Theme 1: Reactions of caregivers to child sexual abuse; Theme 2: Other traumas: Vulnerability factors in the community; Theme 3: Change in family dynamics; and Theme 4: Experiences of pending court process. The research findings in this study will inform the Design phase of an intervention research process, which will lead to the early development and the refinement of an integrative family play therapy model.