Improving the well-being of teen mothers through resilience-focused interventions in rural schools

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Van Schalkwyk, Johan Harold Dirk
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University of the Free State
The well-being and resilience of teen mothers (TM) is adversely affected after the sudden transition into motherhood, due to lack of sufficient support in their social environment, such as the family, church, and the school, leading to an increase in school "drop-outs". This study used the Social Ecology of Resilience model as its building block and theoretical framework. The interpretivist paradigm used in qualitative research was used to conduct this research in rural secondary schools in QwaQwa, where the researcher aimed to explore and articulate the feasibility of resilience-focused intervention programmes for teen mothers in rural schools as a way of improving their well-being. The researcher used the amended semi-structured interviews and the draw-and-write technique, as an arts-based method, to generate data. These data gathering methods explain the factors that could either enable or constrain resilience-focused interventions for teen mothers whose well-being needs to be improved in rural schools. The selection of the teen mothers was based on their demographics and location. Five teen mothers from five different rural schools were purposefully selected to participate in the current study. This study used thematic analysis to analyse text with conferred and demonstrated results. The main aim of this study was to investigate how enhancing the well-being of teen mothers through resilience-focused interventions in rural schools can effectively enhance their learning and personal development. The findings of the study were multi-faceted. The study proposed intervention strategies which involve a support package for teen mothers that entails unified, interconnected, and inclusive community structures, such as local health institutions, FBOs, neighbourhoods, inter alia. The draw-and-write technique, as an arts-based method of investigation, was an alternative form of communication other than words which was used by teen mothers to recreate and share their life experiences. One of the teen mothers explained that drawing pictures and sharing her story was also therapeutic. Lastly, the schools should play a critical role in implementing effective, resilience-focused interventions to support and empower teen mothers to cope with early parenthood, academic responsibilities and psycho-social demands.
Dissertation (M.Ed (Psychology of Education))--University of the Free State, 2021, Improving, resilience-focused intervention, rural schools, teen mothers, well-being