The current study formed part of the NRF-funded UP/Fordham collaboration and was undertaken as part of the broader research project, focused on a health promotion intervention for 330 Grades 1 to 3 learners in two at-risk school communities. The purpose of the study was to explore and describe the perceptions of learners in two conveniently selected at-risk school communities, regarding factors that influence their psychosocial well-being.
A deeper understanding of the topic was enabled by considering learners_ perceptions of the protective factors that promote their psychosocial well-being as well as the risk factors that they identified as inhibiting their psychosocial well-being. Furthermore, a qualitative research approach was employed with Phenomenology as the epistemological paradigm and Social Ecological Model as the theoretical framework. A previously collected PRA-based data set was analysed after conducting an ethically sound inductive qualitative thematic analysis. I identified emerging themes and the analysis mostly concurred with the literature reviewed in this study.
Learners_ psychosocial well-being was influenced by various levels of the Social Ecological Model, which have an impact on learners_ development. Some of the findings included learners_ negative descriptions of themselves; the supporting role of relationships; nutrition and learning opportunities provided at the school as well as learners_ strong identification with the media. The need for psychoeducational programs that offer guidelines and practical skills in areas such as self-acceptance, skills development, healthy attachment to others, learning styles, play, self-regulation and screen time, is emphasised.