Role models and values of school-going black adolescents.
Thabethe, Jabulisiwe Nomakhosi Eunice Victoria.
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Adolescent development and adjustment are matters of serious concern not only for parents but also to those involved in education and in the welfare of young people as well as in the progress of our society. Youth represent the energy of the present and hope for the future. However, very little is known about the needs, attitudes, interests and growth potentials of black adolescents in South Africa due to the scarcity of research done in this field. The broad aim of the present study, was to identify and gain understanding of the social sources of influence on adolescent cognitive development as reflected in their value system, their reported role models and anti-models; and. their sources of information about these models. The sample consisted of 409 std 9 female (N = 218) and male (N = 196) pupils selected from two High Schools in Umlazi (N = 203), one High School in KwaMashu (N = 88) and two high schools in KwaNgwanase (N = 118). Subjects from Umlazi and KwaMashu constituted the urban sample (N = 291) and subjects from KwaNgwanase constituted the rural sample (N = 118). Subjects responses to a questionaire were content analysed and the following prominent values were discernible : Educational, Occupational, Altruistic and to a lesser extent Material. The most salient models and antimodels reported were people between the ages of 26 to 35 years, non-relatives, who were known to subjects though Personal Contact. Models were admired mostly for their Social Attributes. The anti-models were rejected because of their negative Social Characteristics. Admired models belonged mostly to the category of Service or Other professions. Antimodels belonged mostly to the category of the unemployed. Sex differences in subjects' responses were observed. Minor differences in the responses of subjects from different geographical, parental educational and occupational backgrounds also appeared to exist. The work presented in this study represents the present researcher's original input.However, quotations and other theoretical information from literature have been used and acknowledged to highlight and clarify major concepts persued by the researcher.