n Commonwealth Youth and Development - The challenges and coping resources of youth heading households in South Africa

Volume 12, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1727-7140



There is a large number of youth-headed households in South Africa. This is linked to the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the country. Various studies have been undertaken on child-headed households, but there is a lack of research on the personal experiences of youth heading households. The assumption has been made that youth are older and able to cope with their situation. Youth heading households have not been defined as a separate group, but have been included in Orphans, Vulnerable Children and Youth (OVCY). The aim of this study is to gain an in-depth understanding of the challenges and coping resources of youth heading households. A qualitative approach and a descriptive and contextual design were used. It is important that governments and NGOs clearly define a youth-headed household and include youth heading households in research evaluating current services to OVCY, and that they plan services focusing specifically on the needs of this group.

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