The self-concept of street children compared to that of placement children.
There has been a lot of research highlighting the plight of street children throughout the world in the past few years. A review of the literature on street children reveals that the problem is worse in developing countries. The number of street children can be expected to increase in South Africa as a result of rapid urbanisation and development. This will certainly pose a problem for the government and other organisations concerned with the welfare of street children. In order to combat the proliferation of the number of children in the streets, concerned parties need to know more about street children before intervention and effective policies can be designed. This study was initiated to serve that purpose: to provide information on how street children perceive themselves. The information gathered and results of the study can be used by service providers to design effective intervention programmes. Twenty street children from the Pietermaritzburg central business district and the comparison group of twenty children from a "place of safety" in Pietermaritzburg were interviewed and assessed. Children from the "place of safety" were chosen as a comparison group because their familial histories have many factors which are common to street children as well. Assessment ofthe two groups of children entailed measuring the children's self-concepts by using the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale. Human Figure Drawings were used to identify signs and levels of emotional distress using the Koppitz Emotional Indicators procedure. Furthermore, an unstructured interview was conducted with each child. The data was analysed quantitatively using statistical sub-programs of the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). The following statistical tests were computed: means to measure central tendency, independent t-tests to determine the statistical significance of the difference between the two groups' self-concept scores and emotional indicators. Quatro Pro and Harvard Graphics software packages were used to analyse the data qualitatively and present it graphically . Statistical analyses of the results reveal no significant differences between the self-concept of street children and that of the comparison group of placed children. Both groups' scores on the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale are within the average range. This means that street and placed children's perceptions of themselves, as measured by the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale, are similar to those of other children in the general population. Signs and levels of emotional distress as measured by Koppitz' list of Emotional Indicators are within the non-pathological range for both groups. This indicates that street and placed children's levels of emotional distress are similar to those found in other children in the normal population. It is therefore concluded that despite being exposed to hazardous situations and having lived in deprived and abusive situations, street children do not display significant levels of measured emotional distress. Street children are found not to be as disturbed as previously assumed by journalists and fiction writers who tend to romanticise or politicise their plight. Placed children, who also share some of the predicaments that street children have endured in terms of turbulent childhoods, do not seem to show deficits in their self-concepts and emotional functioning either. Recommendations on how to plan intervention programmes for street children are also offered. Moreover, the standardisation of the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale on local populations is recommended.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
The development and evaluation of a community-based programme offering psychosocial support to vulnerable children affected by HIV/AIDS, poverty and violence. Killian, Beverley Janet. (2004)This research programme endeavours to develop, implement and evaluate an effective method of offering psychosocial support to vulnerable children. Vulnerability is defined by trained community members as including children ...
Nutrient intakes, dietary diversity, hunger perceptions and anthropometry of children aged 1-3 years in households producing crops and livestock in South Africa : a secondary analysis of national food consumption survey of 1999. Bolaane, Lenkwetse. (2006)Children less than five years of age are at a risk of growth failure worldwide. The South African National Food Consumption Survey (NFCS) of 1999 showed that 25.5% of children aged 1 - 3 years were stunted. Poor growth ...
The protection of the rights of children affected by HIV/AIDS in South Africa and Botswana : a critical analysis of the legal and policy responses. Sarumi, Rofiah Ololade. (2013)Abstract not available.