|dc.contributor.advisor||Killian, Beverley Janet.||
|dc.contributor.advisor||Mkhize, Nhlanhla Jerome.||
|dc.creator||Rapholo, Jabhile Grace.||
|dc.description||Thesis (M.Soc.Sci.)-University of Natal, Pietermartizburg, 1996||en
|dc.description.abstract||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
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.||en
|dc.subject||Self-perception in children.||en
|dc.subject||Street children--South Africa.||en
|dc.subject||Children--Institutional care--South Africa.||en
|dc.subject||Homeless children--South Africa.||en
|dc.title||The self-concept of street children compared to that of placement children.||en