In general, adolescence is regarded as a period of growth between childhood and maturity. Children in this phase undergo a so-called developmental stage of the human life cycle. Consequently, family circumstances are of great importance. Adolescents in South African remarried families go through diverse and dynamic experiences with regard to forms of family or family types: biological families, single parent families, and remarried families. In social discourse, a biological family is widely believed to be the optimal set of circumstances for children, whereas a single parent family and a remarried family lack proper support for children. Is this true? Are the circumstances of adolescents in a remarried family an obstacle to their growth? The main purpose of this research was not to gather data about adolescents in remarried families and to add such data, but to understand adolescents’ stories in greater depth. With this in-depth understanding, this research attempts to bring together the outcomes of their told stories (local knowledge) and their community and the academic world. To do this, two main characters from remarried families joined the research project and the voices of two schoolteachers were included. In order to obviate probable biases on the part of the researcher, the two teachers took on the role of a reflection team. In unstructured conversational interviews, the researcher adopted a pastoral narrative approach, in accordance with a social constructionist perspective.
Thesis (PhD (Practical Theology))--University of Pretoria, 2008.