oa Journal of Psychology in Africa - Stress and coping strategies among street children in Lusaka



The author presents findings from a recent study of the main life stressors of street children in Lusaka, Zambia: The sample consisted of 70 male and 30 female street children betweel1 the ages of nine and 18. Most of the children lived at home with b9th parents, but a sizable minority lived on the streets with peers. The most common stressor was hick of proper homes, lack of employment by parent(s), lack of education, violence, and hunger. The author concludes that the stressors originate from the changing national economy, growing urbanization, and broken families. Street children cope with their problems either by cognitive restructuring of their circumstances, adapting practical solutions to their problems, and by the maladaptive approach of avoidance. The author calls for more professional intervention strategies to help the children to learn positive coping skills.


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