Psychosocial behaviour of adolescent learners from divorced families in Newlands West, Durban.
The primary purpose of the research was to explore and describe the effects of divorce on the psychosocial behaviour of adolescent learners from Newlands West. The secondary purpose, based on this research, was to formulate guidelines to improve the quality of interventions by educators in schools which will assist adolescents to cope with the challenges associated with divorce. The sample consisted of twenty participants between 12 and 18 years. Adolescents were selected for this study because they were mature enough to articulate their awareness and experiences of the divorce situation and family issues. They were from grades eight to twelve from New West Secondary School in Newlands West. The methodology used for this research was based on a qualitative paradigm. This ensured that data was rich and diverse in nature, especially since a small sample was used and it allowed each participant to provide indepth information regarding their experiences of their parents' divorce. The narrative interview was used and measures were applied to ensure trustworthiness. Interviews were tape recorded to ensure that the data was accurate. The researcher had access to this information and could continuously refer to it. It also allowed the researcher to listen attententively to the participants, without disrupting their flow of thought by writing or summarizing their responses. The researcher explained to the participants the purpose of the study and the same question was given to all participants, namely: "Could you tell me how the divorce of your parents has affected you?" The audio-taped interviews were transcribed and analysed. A descriptive analysis technique was used and central themes were identified. The themes which emerged were: ~ Adolescent learners' views on why their parents are getting divorced ~ Effect of the divorce on the adolescent learners ~ Sources of support for adolescent learners to cope with the divorce ~ Adolescent learners' views on parent reconciliation ~ Relationship of adolescent learners with non-custodial parent(s) The study concluded that divorce had a debilitating impact on the psychosocial behaviour of adolescents in this school and that there was a need for appropriate structures to be established to effectively address the issue in school.