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An exploratory study of suicide amongst adolescents in Umzimkulu district high schools.

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High school adolescent's suicidal behaviour caused a concern to the Umzimkulu community and the multi - disciplinary team in the local Psychiatric institution during the years 1997 - 1999 . The purpose the study was to identify and describe the charactics of adolescents who committed suicide. Rutter's (1995) model of risk. resilience and recovery has been used as a theoretical frame work for the study. A descriptive, exploratory case study design is most suitable for the incidence of suicide at Umzimkulu District .The case study approach was best suited as it assists in an indepth study focussing on contemporary phenomena with sum real life contexts . The distinctive need for the case study design arises out the desire to understand complex psycho-social phenomena of adolescent suicide (Yin, 1989).Each adolescent who committed suicide over the last two years in Umzimkulu District will form a case . All data about the particular person will be the case description Adolescents who committed suicide were identified from the records at the police intelligence office of Umzimkulu Police Station. Parents, identified friends, teachers and health workers who had known the adolescents. Semi structured interviews with open ended questions were used. Interview schedules for teachers, parents and close friends differed slightly. A tape recorder for later transcription was utilised. To analyse the data, Ruttter's model was utilised to do cross case analysis. Results according to Rutter's model, were that, due to inconstant support received by the adolescents, high levels of stress in early child hood, had left them insuffiently resilient to with stand the problems they encountered during adolescence.


Thesis (M.Cur.)-University of Natal, Durban, 2001.


Teenagers--South Africa--Suicidal behaviour., High school students--South Africa--Suicidal behaviour., Theses--Nursing.