Families that live in high risk areas in South Africa are faced with multiple stressors on a daily basis. Published research on family resilience has shown that families have the ability to thrive and adapt positively despite adversity (Walsh, 2012). However, little research has been directed towards understanding the specific role that belief systems play towards fostering resilience in a family that perpetually lives in adversity. This research was aimed at identifying and understanding how belief systems, as a key process of resilience, promote and facilitate positive adaptation in families living in Diepsloot, South Africa. The findings from this study could possibly add on to existing literature pertaining to how beliefs systems foster resilience in families living in poverty stricken communities.
The family resilience framework was used with the main focus being belief systems as a key process of resilience. Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems theory also formed part of the conceptual framework in order to get a holistic picture of the various factors that influence a family’s beliefs system and how all these brought about resilience. The study was not only limited to what theory portrays as resilience but, by taking into consideration the families’ articulations of resilience, more valuable information relating to the nature of belief systems surfaced through group discussions and interviews.
Through using secondary data analysis research design a thematic analysis was conducted on data collected from families that attended the two Positive Parenting Workshops in Shumbashaba conducted in 2016. The findings from the themes answered the questions regarding the value of beliefs systems in families and how these fostered resilience in families living in high-risk areas.