Father involvement is a prominent topic in literature and the discourse often refers to the availability and presence of the biological father in the home. Most homes in South Africa are female headed in which fathers are absent and not involved in their children’s lives because of factors such as poverty; cultural expectations of paying for damages and pride price as well as commitment to be part of the child’s life. South Africa has one of the highest rates of non-resident fathers in Africa, with nine million children growing up without fathers. Currently there is insufficient literature on paternity, including father involvement in South Africa, hence this study. It will explore how an African child perceives father involvement, in order to inform professionals when providing interventions. A qualitative exploratory case study design was used to inductively generate themes from five learners relating to their perspective, using semi-structured interviews and a focus group discussion interview. From thematic analysis of the participants’ extractions, three themes emerged as the research question answers: i) Theme 1: Impact of father presence/absence on the child; ii) Theme 2: Father’s contribution towards the family; and ii) Theme 3: Family functioning. The results encapsulate the different aspects of what a South African father’s role represents.
Prinsloo, Christina (Reineth)(Whiting and Birch, 2007)
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