The effect of service–use on resilience in at–risk youth : a South African study
Van Rensburg, Angelique Christina
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Literature shows that serious concerns are being raised about the wellbeing of young people in South Africa, however somehow youth manage to sustain their health and wellbeing despite the risks they face. This phenomenon is called resilience; youth are coping well in the face of adversity, nevertheless little is known about the relationship between resilience and service usage. Resources such as empathy, religious leaders and personal faith, supportive family relationships and bonding with a parent empower youth against risks they might face, which might counteract various risks which impair youth from becoming resilient. This study focuses on the correlation between services and resilience through a quantitative cross-sectional survey of the Pathways to Resilience Youth Measure (PRYM). 1209 participants between the ages of 12 and 19, from QwaQwa and Bethlehem in the Free State, South Africa were involved. Statistical analysis found that been questioned by the Police, not as a witness (-0.203), foster home (-0.200), gone to court, not as a witness (-0.190), been put into jail (-0.227), been on probation (-0.222) and substance abuse or addiction services (-0.222) scored statistically practically significantly. These results might indicate that participants in this study do not necessarily use services which are identified in the PRYM; moreover low resilience youth use services due to their involvement in activities which might get them into trouble or have them witness such activities. Findings might also indicate that those at-risk youth whose family cannot care for them sufficiently might have low resilience levels and have to make use of services such as placements in Foster homes. Finally the limited use of services by high resilience youth might correspond with reports that youth make positive meaning of live events and circumstances.
- Education