The literature reveals a vast gap in the functionality of South African families due to the absence of fathers. This study intended to identify adolescents’ perception of family resilience, which may help them to overcome being part of an absent-father family.
The current study used an interpretivist paradigm and qualitative research methodology. A case study research design was adopted as it helped to explore the phenomenon of family resilience as seen from the perspective of four male adolescents living in an absent-father family. The participants were selected purposively from a partner organisation in Mamelodi East, called Stanza Bopape Community Development Centre. Data collection involved two separate visits wherein four individual interviews, visual data, and a reflective journal were used. A third visit to the site included a group session, which included member checking.
Following the thematic analysis of data, the participants revealed that they strongly relied on grandparents for financial, social, cultural, and moral support, which contributed to their perception of family resilience. This study also indicates that grandparents, more often than not, took responsibility for raising the participants. The participants also indicated the school and surrounding community as being contributors to family resilience due to positive teacher influence, friendships at school, extramural activities, and other male figures. Furthermore, some fathers also seemed to further family resilience, even though they were removed from the participants’ family.
Based on the findings of the study, I can determine that family resilience in and around adolescents’ family will have a positive effect on their development amidst the adversity of being in an absent-father family.