Exploring early adolescents' strengths after the suicide of a parent
Pienaar, Johanna Wilhelmina
MetadataShow full item record
This study focuses on the strengths of early adolescents after losing a parent to suicide. Strengths is a global phenomenon and yet little research has been undertaken in South Africa pertaining to strengths in early adolescence. The goal of the study was to determine how the early adolescent experiences the suicidal death of a parent while simultaneously going through puberty, and what strengths were present to help them make meaning out of what happened in their lives. The research was conducted through a phenomenological design and followed a qualitative research approach within an interpretivist paradigm. The research design and approach allowed the participants to give meaning to the construct by sharing their own experiences. A total of 6 early adolescent girls from the ages of twelve to sixteen years were purposefully selected from the East Rand area, Gauteng. Five of the girls were Afrikaans speaking and one was English speaking. Three of the girls lost a mother to suicide and three of the girls lost a father to suicide. The qualitative data was collected in the form of individual in-depth interviews with the early adolescents. The interviews were voice recorded, transcribed and typed out by online transcribers. The raw data was checked by the researcher for accuracy and categorised to ascertain certain emerging themes. Thematic data analysis was used to transform the transcribed data into meaningful information. Principles and strategies to increase the trustworthiness of the data were done through a process of crystallisation. The researcher's objective was to understand and interpret the meanings the participants gave to their own experiences, to identify the strengths that emerged and make findings available to professionals and parents. The findings of the study revealed that early adolescents do present with certain strengths of an intrapersonal nature that assisted and support them through the grief and bereavement process after the suicide of a parent.
- Humanities