The purpose of this study is to explore the processes of family resilience
within a grandmother-headed household, caring for orphaned grandchildren,
in a low socio-economic South African community. To do so, the researcher
posed questions relating to the existing family processes, resources and how
those are utilised to grow from adverse situations.
A qualitative methodological design was followed to allow the accounts of the
sample to emerge. A single grandmother-headed household was chosen to
take part in a focus group. The transcriptions from the focus group was
analysed using an in-depth inductive thematic analyses in order to induce
themes that emerged from their experiences. These themes were then
analysed in relation to the current literature on family resilience in
grandmother-headed households. This study forms part of a larger
longitudinal project headed by Dr R. Mampane, namely: Building resilience in
families: The role of care workers in mitigating family risk factors.
The themes that emerged as a result of the inductive thematic analysis were:
spirituality; family resilience processes (communication, problem solving, roles
and role reversal, emotional attachment, involvement, managing behaviour,
and knowledge and respect of the individual); resources (inter-familial
resources and external resources); the family’s perceptions (definition of the
family and definition of adversity); and finally adversities (males, physical
impairments, and inter- and intra-familial conflict, amongst others less
pronounced). These findings answered questions regarding the process and
support structures utilised by a grandmother-headed household to overcome
and grow from their adversities.
A conceptual model for family resilience was suggested. A better
understanding of how a grandmother-headed household engages in resilient
processes could assist various professionals and community healthcare workers identify processes of strength and the lack thereof in grandmotherheaded
household who look after their orphaned grandchildren.
Mini-dissertation (MEd)--University of Pretoria, 2014.