Exploring early adolescents' experiences of their challenging behaviour in a Child and Youth Care Centre
A qualitative descriptive design was used to explore early adolescents' experiences of their challenging behaviour in a Child and Youth Care Centre (CYCC). Twelve adolescent participants between the ages of 10-14 years old, were purposively selected from a CYCC in the Cape Flats area. Data were collected via individual collages which took place in a group format and participants made collages of their understanding of appropriate and inappropriate behaviour. Each participant participated in an individual interview during which there was a discussion and they also completed the Tree of Life activity, which was used as a narrative technique. The strength-based approach was the theoretical framework which guided the study, as well as Bronfenbrenner's Bio-ecological model. Findings indicate that participants' experiences of their family histories together with living at the CYCC are significant factors contributing to challenging behaviour. Participants' relational functioning, particularly their sense of attachment to family and CYCC staff is noteworthy. They however also experience a poor sense of belonging at the CYCC and a lack of trust. The role of past experiences, present environment and difficulty associated with their emotional functioning during adolescence are important factors in the exhibiting of challenging behaviour. The impact of trauma as well as the CYCC environment has an impact on the participants' behaviour. The CYCC is perceived to be a harsh environment with a lack of empathy between the children. It is evident that participants long to be with their families and as a result to do not experience a sense of belonging at the CYCC.
- Health Sciences