Plaasvervangende vaderfigure binne skoolkonteks: 'n Ingrypingstrategie vir seuns in die middelkinderjare wat vaderafwesigheid beleef
The absence of fathers is a veritable problem in South Africa, where 74% of children do not live with their fathers. A link can be drawn between father absenteeism and the disappearance of family structures. Despite the growing number of absent fathers, the role of the involvement of the father in the family with the aim to promote his children's welfare is increasingly emphasised. It seems that the presence of a father figure has a positive effect on child development, while the absence of a father (or father figure) may have a negative impact on the development of children, particularly boys. Boys with an absent father may experience a "hunger for a father". A need for a male person with whom they can identify and who can act as a support base for them may arise in these boys. A substitute father figure or mentor helps shape the identity of boys and build their image of what a man should be and what his role is. The primary purpose of this research was to develop, implement and evaluate an intervention strategy for boys in middle childhood, experiencing father absence, by utilising substitute male teachers who were willing to help in a case study that would take place at a school in the course of a year. Based on this, more appropriate support might be given to fatherless and father-absent learners, which could improve the holistic health and wellbeing of such learners. Through a literature study, the role of the family in child development, as well as the father's role and his influence on family dynamics in both functional and dysfunctional families are highlighted. The preceding concepts are discussed on the basis of the following theoretical perspectives: systems theory, and more specifically Bronfenbrenner's bio-ecosystemic perspective, as well as complexity theory and social cognitive theory. Attention is paid to the development of the boy during middle childhood and his experience of father absence. Possible intervention strategies regarding father absence are also investigated. A predominantly qualitative research approach is followed in the study, and more specifically, in terms of design, a single case study is undertaken from an interpretivist research paradigm. A rural parallel medium primary school is investigated as a case study. The predominantly qualitative approach is strengthened through a mixed research method, more specifically, a cohesive, parallel-mixed method. For the purpose of organising the large amount of data collected, the data are presented in a specific way each time, with the quantitative data first, followed by the descriptive qualitative data. The following findings resulted from the empirical investigation: > Father absence implies the absence of a father as a result of death, being physically absent for a number of reasons, or the so-called present-absent father. > Substitute father figures in a school context who serve as mentors for boys in their middle childhood who experience paternal absence, have a positive influence on the academic performance of the boys concerned, as well as their general behaviour and discipline and their emotional wellbeing. > However, the influence differs from participant to participant, as unique variables play a role in each participant's case. > All male teachers and grade heads indicated that the intervention strategy has been successful or successful to some extent. Based on the data collected, and in accordance with the literature, an intervention strategy is developed. In the absence of intervention strategies in school context to support boys in their middle childhood who experience father absence, this study makes a special contribution.
- Education