The use of drugs by children are increasing in all communities and children who are using drugs for the first time are getting younger. This contributes to the fact that the use of drugs by primary school children in the pre-adolescent developing phase is increasing. During this developmental phase, the family of the child in which he/she grows up, plays an important role in the socialization of the child. Early exposure of the child to dysfunctional patterns within the family may contribute to the possible experimentation with drugs as a way for the child to compensate for the loss of emotional security. Due to the increasing reports of the pre-adolescent who uses drugs, the researcher was motivated to explore the factors that probably maintain this phenomenon. A research question to guide this research was formulated as follow: To what extent can the family's dynamics and functioning contribute to the experimentation and upkeep of drug abuse by the child in the primary school? A qualitative research design was used in order to explore the research question. Findings showed that the quality of the family system and the way in which the family functions, may contribute to the drug use of the child who is in the pre-adolescent developmental phase.
Dissertation (MSD (Research))--University of Pretoria, 2008.