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Masters Degrees (Psychology)

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    Lived experiences of young adults who grew up without their biological fathers.
    (2022) Mulambo, Eunice Boniswa.; Bomoyi, Zininzi Anele.
    This study explored the lived experiences of young adults who grew up with absent fathers. Previous studies had shown that the absence of fathers had an impact on the lived experiences of most children. This study therefore aimed to explore beyond childhood experiences. The theoretical framework for the study was the Attachment theory. Semi-structured open-ended interviews were conducted via Zoom due to COVID-19 regulations on gatherings with six young adults from the Ekurhuleni Municipality in Gauteng, South Africa to explore their lived experiences of growing up without their biological fathers. The interviews were recorded and then analysed using thematic analysis. The findings from the study showed that the absence of the father had both negative and positive impacts on young adults. Also, there were various reasons why their fathers were not present in their lives. The research findings have revealed that the absence of fathers in their children’s lives affects their behavioural and emotional well-being, as well as social aspects not only in childhood, however even in early adulthood. The research concludes that the lived experiences of the young adults were directly and indirectly shaped by their father’s absence.
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    Gender & leadership: the perceptions & experiences of black women in senior leadership.
    (2023) Mkhize, Sizulu.; Isaacs, Dean Lee.
    Women experience the world of work vastly differently than men do. This occurs despite the mandate for equality, empowerment and diversity through various policies and legislation for the advancement of female participation in historically male-dominated occupations. Women continue to be subjected to prejudice and marginalisation in their functioning as leaders in senior roles, occupying positions that have been dominated by the male gender. Literature on gender and leadership has primarily focused on gender differences between men and women’s leadership styles as well as the existence of barriers to the advancement of women. This research has shown that due to these barriers, there is an under-representation of women in leadership positions. This research has been qualitative in nature, focusing on the personal experiences of Black women leaders, as well as their perceptions of gender dynamics within the organisational context. It becomes of interest how some women manage to advance into senior positions, despite research indicating that women continue to be faced with many obstacles in doing so. This study aimed to explore the perceptions and experiences of Black South African female senior managers with regard to gender and leadership roles. The objectives of the study were to explore the perceptions of Black South African women based on gender roles and leadership, their experiences in leadership positions, their home and family lives and notions of gender stereotypes and prejudice. An exploratory qualitative framework and purposive sampling methods were used. Five Black female individuals with at least a year of experience in a leadership position in the private sector who were based in the Kwazulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces of South Africa were part of the study. Face-to-face semi-structured interviews were used in collecting data and an interview guide containing open-ended questions was used in guiding the interview process. Braun and Clarke’s Six Step Method of Thematic Analysis was used and themes that emerged were coordinated and coded accordingly. Participants identified certain characteristics that they believed are attributed to leaders and were also of the opinion that women and men display different types of leadership styles while at the same time sharing how they approached their leadership positions. The participants also identified various socio-cultural and organisational barriers that they viewed as preventing women from advancing to leadership positions. The participants shared anecdotes with regard to work/life balance and the various strategies that they employed in maintaining this. The participants made use of support structures composed of various individuals who provided support. Finally, the participants provided advice and strategies that could be used in advancing women’s careers as well as improving the representation of women in leadership positions.
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    A formative evaluation of a child abuse prevention programme in KwaZulu-Natal.
    (2022) Makhathini, Sinothile Andile Sinegugu.; Frizelle, Kerry Lyn.
    Background Abuse against children has been a concerning social phenomena in South Africa for many years, yet there are only a few child abuse prevention programmes that have been developed and designed to try and address this issue. Such prevention programmes aim to create awareness, educate children and families, assist with reporting cases, and provide trauma counselling and safe houses. Formative evaluations are important an important part of tracking the success in offering and managing prevention interventions. Aim: The aim of the study was to conduct a formative evaluation of a child abuse prevention programme at the Open Door Crisis Care Centre (ODCCC). To do so this study explored, from the perspective of social workers responsible for running the programme, the roles the social workers play in the organisation, the design of the child abuse prevention programme, the facilitators’ experiences in facilitating the child abuse prevention programme, the challenges faced in the implementation of the child abuse prevention programme, how those challenges can be overcome, and the areas that the child abuse prevention programme can be improved on. high workload, (3) political interference, (4) lack of funding, and (5) the lack of volunteers. These challenges are further exacerbated by the COVID 19 pandemic. Conclusion: The ODCCC child abuse prevention programme has been instrumental in helping the victims of child abuse by offering a range of services including counselling, shelter, support groups and awareness campaigns in the surrounding communities and schools. Recommendation: The social workers in the current study recommend the Department of Social Development to prioritise child abuse prevention programmes in South Africa and avail funding to these programmes across the country. As demonstrated in the current study, the child abuse prevention programme faces huge challenges, and a lack of funding is a major obstacle in the implementation of this programme. Methodology: The study adopted a qualitative design. The researcher conducted semi -structured interviews with four social workers to collect data and used thematic analysis to interpret and analyse the data collected. Findings: The findings show the ODCCC child abuse preventive programme, from the social workers perspective, provides essential services such as counselling, safe shelter, support groups and awareness campaigns for those affected by child abuse in the surrounding community. The social workers employed at ODCCC view their roles as improving the general well-being of abused children and their families by assisting them in meeting their fundamental needs which include reporting of abuse to the police, referral to a doctor to gather evidence, and preparation for court. The creating awareness has been a powerful tool because children are more cautious and aware of grooming. The findings further highlight that the ODCCC child abuse prevention programme is facing many challenges, these challenges are; (1) shortage of social workers, (2)
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    An exploration of graduate trainee’s perceptions of their psychological contract in a South African organisation.
    (2022) Makhoba, Celukuthula.
    While research on the Psychological Contract has received much attention in aiding a better understanding of employment arrangements, few empirical studies have sought to understand how Graduate employees in their first year of employment create their psychological contract using Schema Theory as the Theoretical Framework particularly in the context of South Africa. To address this, the aim of the present study sought to understand the pre-entry expectations that Graduate Trainees held about employer-employee obligations and the extent to which these expectations informed how they experienced their psychological contract within the first year of joining the Nestlé Future Talent (NFT) Graduate Development Programme in a South African-based organisation (Nestlé South Africa). In doing so, the study adopted a qualitative research approach, rooted within an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) paradigm. Six Graduate Trainees were purposively sampled from the company’s Graduate Development Programme and in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with each participant. These interviews were individually audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using the six stages of IPA. From the research findings the following five themes emerged: (1) Graduate Trainee’s pre-entry expectation of employers, (2) Graduate Trainees’ perceptions of anticipated Employer’s expectations of them, (3) Graduate Trainees’ post-entry experiences in Nestlé South Africa, (4) Graduate Trainees’ socialisation processes and sources of information and (5) Graduate Trainee’s perceptions of unmet expectations. Findings revealed that Graduates Trainees held a rudimentary anticipatory psychological contract shaped by social and professional norms before being hired into the company’s graduate development programme. The findings also suggest that pre-entry encounters with the organisation in the form of campus recruitment initiatives seem to shape organisation-specific expectations in which some graduates note how information gleaned from these initiatives seemed to be inconsistent when compared with their experiences of employment since joining the organisation. Another finding, spoke to Graduate Trainees early encounters with Senior Graduates in the business and revealed the complex cognitive process of sense-making in which they sought information to better understand themselves as novice employees hired in the same graduate development programme.
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    A qualitative exploration of lecturers’ experiences in teaching and assessment of students with disabilities at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
    (2023) Leahy, Kelly Louise.; Makhaba, Vukani Luvuyo.
    Since the advent of democracy in South Africa, an inclusive education policy was implemented in the education system to address barriers to learning. Although this has increased the enrolment percentage of students with disabilities in higher education institutions (HEIs), a disjunction between policy and practice remains in HEIs in South Africa. Challenges in implementing inclusive education may stem from teaching practices and assessment methods which have not been adjusted appropriately in response to the inclusion of a diverse student body. While the experiences of students with disabilities in HEIs have received considerable research interest, the experiences of lecturers appear to be an understudied research area, particularly within the South African context. This research study drew on the theoretical framework of Differentiated Instruction and qualitatively explored the lived experiences of lecturers in teaching and assessing students with physical disabilities within a South African HEI. Data for the study was collected through individual semi-structured interviews with eight lecturers within the College of Humanities at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Howard College campus, and analysed using Braun and Clarke’s thematic analysis. The findings suggested an emphasis on deficit thinking among lecturers in higher education. In addition, the study revealed that both challenging and positive experiences with these students emerged during teaching and assessment which may hinder or promote the inclusion of students with physical disabilities, respectively. Conclusively, the findings suggested that further progress is required in the institution to support lecturers and their students. Recommendations to enhance inclusivity in the institution may include the incorporation of, and access to inclusive pedagogy, greater awareness and sensitisation, a reduction in attitudinal and physical accessibility barriers, and the promotion of shared responsibility and collaborative effort among relevant stakeholders.
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    A socio-ecological analysis of postgraduate students lived experiences while at university.
    (2022) Khoza , Sisanda Natalie.; Hlengwa, Wellington Mthokozisi.
    The study explored the experiences of postgraduate students at a South African tertiary institution. The intention was to understand the challenges that entwined postgraduate studies and the coping mechanisms employed by students during their postgraduate studies. In this qualitative study, the participants were interviewed utilizing a semi-structured interview schedule: with the consent of the participants the interviews were recorded using an audio-recorder. The data obtained was thematically analyzed, which gave rise to various themes. The following themes emerged: students’ motivation to enroll in postgraduate studies: the graduate unemployment problem, implications of lack of funding at postgraduate level, non-monetary challenges at postgraduate level: mental health issues, postgraduate workload, online learning challenges, coping mechanisms, social relationships, and support during postgraduate studies. The findings of this research study indicated that financial, academic, and psycho-social support positively impact postgraduate students’ experiences at university. Nonetheless, that lack of financial aid, mental health issues, postgraduate workload and online learning challenges negatively impact postgraduate student experiences.
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    Remote work and work–life balance for mothers working in a local government institution during the Covid-19 restrictions in South Africa.
    (2023) Biyela, Mthunzi Sanele Thando.; Bobat, Shaida.; Reuben, Shanya.
    The social and economic transformations across developing industrial economies have resulted in concerns about how working mothers manage their lives across the spheres of work and life, whilst still achieving a balance between work and life roles. This research focuses on understanding the work-life balance experiences of nine working mothers who hold full-time positions and were working remotely during the COVID-19 lockdown in a Local Government Institution in South Africa. The study employs a qualitative research approach, specifically the Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) paradigm. It utilises thematic analysis and incorporates the theoretical frameworks of spillover theory and intersectionality to address the research questions. The findings reveal that working mothers faced challenges in mediating the demands of work and private life during the lockdown. The boundaries between work and home became blurred, leading to inter-role conflict and emotional stress. Working mothers also employed coping mechanisms such as self-care practices and time-management techniques. Socio-economic disparities, gender norms, and cultural expectations were found to shape the experience of the mothers. This study concludes by recommending support for working mothers, including affordable childcare, parental leave regulations, and adaptable work schedules.
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    Epistemic trust and its utility in the psychotherapeutic context: a scoping review.
    (2022) Amar, Francesca Katja Ray.; Cartwright, Duncan James.
    Epistemic Trust (ET) refers to one’s willingness to acquire new social knowledge from another human as trustworthy, generalizable, and relevant to one’s self. As an emergent term commonly related to mentalization and the work of Fonagy and colleagues, ET has largely been foregrounded as a developmental concept with less focus on its application to treatment and psychotherapeutic concepts. A scoping review was conducted to identify and synthesize emerging evidence from the literature pertaining to the constituent elements of ET, its conceptual understanding, use, validation, and contemporary application within the psychotherapeutic context. Arksey and O'Malley’s (2005) scoping review framework informed the protocol and Rayyan AI software was used to assist with data management and analysis. The initial search yielded 591 sources. After steps of screening and additional searches, a total of 73 sources were included for analysis. Results clarify the conceptual uses of ET relating to the creation of valid measurement tools, as well as theories of psychotherapy and psychopathology. The application of ET in the psychotherapeutic context is reported and discussed in terms of the therapeutic alliance, and as a possible psycho-marker for treatment outcomes. Structural, environmental, theoretical, and therapist-related challenges to the implementation of ET in the psychotherapeutic context are explored in conjunction with gaps in the literature that may serve as springboard for future studies, given that research regarding the use of ET in applied settings is still in its infancy.
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    A social science perspective on literature relating to medically prescribed stimulants: a systematic review.
    (2022) Bo, Rode.; Collings, Steven John.
    Introduction: Ritalin, Concerta and Adderall are well-known medical drugs used to treat and manage attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Over the past couple of decades, there has been an increase in the medical prescriptions, consumption, and research of medically prescribed stimulants (MPS). A review of the literature indicated that common areas of enquiry were the use and wrongful use of MPS and suggested a great emphasis on academics and educational settings. The research indicated an ever-increasing presence of MPS and reinforced the need for a consolidated overview of the available literature so that there is a deeper understanding and a guide for future research. Method: A systematic review was conducted; this was guided by the Cochrane Framework. A predetermined inclusion and exclusion were utilised, and various journal databases were searched using the JBI Reviewers Manual three-phase search strategy. The articles were analysed for eligibility for the study and then underwent coding. SPSS was used to analyse the data and measures of frequency and measures of central tendency were used. Results: This review included 167 research articles. Of that, 67.1% of them were from the USA and 89.8% of them emerged from first-world countries. Questionnaires and surveys were the most common data collection method, with 59.9% of the reviewed articles using them, and statistical analysis was the most common data analysis method, recording 46.1% of articles with this analysis method. Adults (over 18s) were the most common sample group, recording 67.1% of articles and 66.5% of the articles focused and investigated student populations. The top emerging themes associated with MPS use were academics (46.1%), prescriptions (13.8%), socioeconomic/demographic factors (12%) and attitudes and perceptions (7.2%). The top emerging themes associated with MPS wrongful use were academics (46.7%), attitudes and perceptions (12%), socioeconomic/demographic factors (8.4%) and prescriptions (6%). The majority of the data collection took place in a tertiary education setting (57.5%). Conclusion: This review recorded an abundance of MPS literature focusing on academics or an academic setting, suggesting these are frequently linked in the literature. There is an uneven representation in the literature, with minimal amounts of research emerging from developing/third-world countries. It also indicated the high concern over the wrongful use of MPS and the need for further investigations into different settings to form a comprehensive understanding of MPS.
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    Exploring the psychosocial and socioeconomic experiences of single-female parent eMbumbulu.
    (2023) Shezi, Philile Sinegugu.; Hlengwa, Wellington Mthokozisi.
    The study explored social and economic experiences of single mothers in Umbumbulu, which followed a qualitative methodology enquiry. Results of the study show that single mothers in uMbumbulu are faced with the daunting task of providing for their children, which therefore, carries psycho-social and economic experiences which they have to overcome. Financial challenges as well as community stereotyping coupled with difficulties in balancing social life and providing for the family are some of the challenges‘ single mothers in uMbumbulu face. This study therefore recommends that Single-parents must participate in support groups led by social workers and support one another in light of their shared circumstances. There is also need for increased social workers in uMbumbulu to conduct programs which help single mothers with information and space to freely express themselves so as to become better and cope with responsibilities of providing for their children.
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    Exploring educators’ perceptions of the challenges facing second-language learners within the Foundation Phase at ex-Model C schools in Pietermaritzburg.
    (2016) Padayachee, Mayure.; Mayaba, Phindile Lungile.
    The South African inclusive education system seems to present with significant challenges. More specifically it appears to require interventions that are often beyond the speciality of educators and the capacity of schools. This study investigated educators’ perceptions of the challenges facing second-language learners in the Foundation Phase of ex-Model C schools. Moreover it employed a qualitative research design, using a semi-structured interview schedule, to explore this topic. Six Foundation Phase educators, who were female and of varied age and race, were recruited from selected ex-Model C schools in the Pietermaritzburg area. The findings of their individual interviews were analysed using thematic analysis and were presented alongside six central themes that emerged. The research findings highlighted concepts such as the post-apartheid development of ex-Model C schools, the significance of multiculturalism in English medium schools, language as a barrier to teaching and learning, teaching and assessment amongst linguistically diverse learners and the commonly implemented learner support strategies in ex-Model C schools in Pietermaritzburg. This study promotes the need to develop a multicultural model of education within ex-Model C schools. More specifically it recommends that future policy development and practice must provide educators with the appropriate training for the multicultural context, to ensure that they are adequately equipped to address issues of diversity; particularly in relation to culture and language. In addition, this study encourages the implementation of onsite learner support services and the development of an inter-disciplinary approach to education, particularly in ex-Model C schools. Lastly this study emphasises the need for schools to provide the opportunity for early intervention and appropriate support for all learners, including second-language learners who may experience language barriers to learning.
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    A social science perspective on literature relating to medically prescribed stimulants: a systematic review.
    (2022) Rode, Bo Staci.; Collings, Steven John.
    Introduction: Ritalin, Concerta and Adderall are well-known medical drugs used to treat and manage attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Over the past couple of decades, there has been an increase in the medical prescriptions, consumption, and research of medically prescribed stimulants (MPS). A review of the literature indicated that common areas of enquiry were the use and wrongful use of MPS and suggested a great emphasis on academics and educational settings. The research indicated an ever-increasing presence of MPS and reinforced the need for a consolidated overview of the available literature so that there is a deeper understanding and a guide for future research. Method: A systematic review was conducted; this was guided by the Cochrane Framework. A predetermined inclusion and exclusion were utilised, and various journal databases were searched using the JBI Reviewers Manual three-phase search strategy. The articles were analysed for eligibility for the study and then underwent coding. SPSS was used to analyse the data and measures of frequency and measures of central tendency were used. Results: This review included 167 research articles. Of that, 67.1% of them were from the USA and 89.8% of them emerged from first-world countries. Questionnaires and surveys were the most common data collection method, with 59.9% of the reviewed articles using them, and statistical analysis was the most common data analysis method, recording 46.1% of articles with this analysis method. Adults (over 18s) were the most common sample group, recording 67.1% of articles and 66.5% of the articles focused and investigated student populations. The top emerging themes associated with MPS use were academics (46.1%), prescriptions (13.8%), socioeconomic/demographic factors (12%) and attitudes and perceptions (7.2%). The top emerging themes associated with MPS wrongful use were academics (46.7%), attitudes and perceptions (12%), socioeconomic/demographic factors (8.4%) and prescriptions (6%). The majority of the data collection took place in a tertiary education setting (57.5%). Conclusion: This review recorded an abundance of MPS literature focusing on academics or an academic setting, suggesting these are frequently linked in the literature. There is an uneven representation in the literature, with minimal amounts of research emerging from developing/third-world countries. It also indicated the high concern over the wrongful use of MPS and the need for further investigations into different settings to form a comprehensive understanding of MPS.
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    An investigation into the factors that lead to organisational inertia within a South African organisation.
    (2020) Chikosi, Basarashe.; Buitendach, Johanna Hendrina.
    A study was undertaken at the University of Johannesburg in Gauteng South Africa to investigate the phenomenon of organisational inertia. Staff members that worked at the institution were asked to complete a Likert Scale that had organisational inertia constructs. The University of Johannesburg was chosen as the organisation of study because of its unique formative nature. The institution was birthed from a merger of Rand Afrikaans University (RAU), Technikon Witwatersrand (TWR) and Vista University (Soweto and East Rand) campuses. Traditionally and culturally these three were diverse institutions formed in apartheid South Africa. After the 1994 elections, the need for an all-inclusive tertiary education sector became necessary. The result was that these three institutions were previously traditionally and racially diametric merged and this gave birth to the challenge of bringing synergy, uniformity and ultimately creating one identity out of these formerly very different institutions. Organisational change theory and literature was also dissected in order to fully understand the phenomenon of organisational inertia. The study found during the merger, the four factors found to promote organisational change and to assist in dealing with organisational inertia at the University were Change in Leadership, Change management practices, Change related systems and Work unit change orientation as shown below: • Organisational culture and support (associations between the variables and all components) • Institutional composition (associations with the variables and eight out of nine components). • Change management practices (associations with the variables and 11 out of 15 components). • Change related systems (associations between the variables and all components). • Work unit change orientation (associations between the variables and all components). • Motivation for change (associations between the variables and five out of six components), and • Emotional impact (associations with the variables and eight out of nine components). Emotional impact was also linked to motivation in that an employee’s ability to control emotions within the organisational change process may be influenced by how motivated they are on the job. Further, it was found that motivation for change also played a significant part in the organisational change process. The study realized that gender, age, position in the institution, the highest level of education, and years in service all influence the emotional impact of the change process on employees. While the study found that Position in Institution influences most constructs at the University, it is recommended that future studies look at detailing the variable further to reveal the effect of the constituents of the variable on the constructs. This further analysis allows management practitioners to acknowledge that their beliefs must change, for example their beliefs about organisational culture and support. Development of an organisational culture must be a shared responsibility of professionals and other staff. An organisation that allows this to happen stands a better change of culture acceptance by every employee and avoids a situation where professionals go to external service providers for training while other staff are trained inhouse. This scenario generates the ‘them and us’ syndrome that underlies change resistance and helps instill organisational inertia. The splitting of the various components of a variable as opposed to using its combined attribute helped to realise significant associations at the item level. Had all components been combined per variable, most such inferences would have been lost.
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    Interventions and strategies for addressing behavioural effects of adverse childhood experiences: a scoping review.
    (2023) Cramer, Athenea Faye.; Valjee, Sachet Rabindranath.
    The long-term psychological and physiological effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACE) have been widely researched. Interventions that treat ACE have been less researched, but there are interventions that have shown efficacy in reducing the harmful effects of ACE. Objective: This study aims to explore the availability of evidence-based interventions for addressing the behavioural effects of adverse childhood experiences (ACE) and provides recommendations for applying them in the South African context. Methods and Analysis: A scoping review was conducted to synthesise available literature on evidence-based interventions that treat ACE. The data was charted according to author, year, study title, interventions and strategies utilised, and results. The data were screened through a PRISMA-ScR flow diagram according to the inclusion and exclusion criteria and a total of 12 studies were eligible for inclusion. Results and Discussion: Demonstrated themes were identified thematically to provide a narrative interpretation of the included literature. The interventions were reviewed according to their approach, including family, school-based, institution-led, and individual-focused. School-based interventions, parenting programmes and individual psychotherapy interventions show various levels of success as is discussed here. Gaps in the literature highlight limited research on interventions designed or tested for the South African population. Conclusion and Recommendations: Evidence-based interventions that treat the behavioural effects of ACE show efficacy in various settings and have proven to reduce the harmful effects of ACE. More interventions should be researched in the South African context as the diverse cultures, and high exposure to trauma and violence could impact the efficacy of interventions.
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    An analysis of experiences and meanings that community members have attached to the South African government’s neoliberal and privatisation policies in historically disadvantaged suburbs.
    (2022) Mashalane, Nkgere Sharon.; Isaacs, Dean Lee.; Bobat, Shaida.; Reuben, Shanya.
    This research aimed to explore the experiences and meanings that community members have attached to the South African government’s neoliberal and privatisation policies in historically disadvantaged suburbs. This study sought to understand how community members of Wentworth make sense of neoliberal and privatisation tactics. Using a qualitative research design, the study further sought to understand how the privatisation of basic services makes community members feel. Participants were community members of Wentworth, a suburb of the city of Durban, who have been residents in the community for more than ten years. Participants were selected using snowball sampling, and the researcher used semi-structured interviews to solicit points of view from the participants on their experiences of the privatisation of basic services in their area. Data was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The analysis produced the following themes: unemployment, unsafe communities, poverty-stricken homes, government shortcomings, not having a place to call home, and dissatisfaction with life. The research revealed that the residents’ understanding of these changes were strongly influenced by the injustices of the past, which now manifest as class instead of race. Recommendations for practical implications and future research were made.
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    A qualitative study exploring the experiences of unemployed youth in Chatsworth, South Africa.
    (2023) Husain, Mahomed Shuaib.; Mntambo, Ntokozo.
    Unemployment among the youth is a common occurrence in today’s times. Most places of occupation seek employees with at least three years of experience. As a result, fresh graduates find themselves in a position of despair and hopelessness. In an attempt to help the youth to find suitable jobs, the government must provide the youth with viable job opportunities. This study aimed to investigate how unemployment affects the lives of the youth. This research report has been compiled based on six unemployed youth living in the Chatsworth area in South Africa. The research study was conducted using a qualitative approach through structured interviews. The results revealed that most unemployed youth had been miserable and felt as if they had no purpose in life due to being unemployed. The implications of the findings of this study are important and helpful to both job seekers and prospective employers.
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    Exploration of students perceptions and experiences of online learning at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Howard college)
    (2023) Xulu, Thulile.; Hlengwa, Wellington Mthokozisi.
    Corona-virus pandemic commonly known as covid-19 had an impact on higher education system globally as a result emergency learning (Online learning) was introduced to avoid the disruption of academic lessons. Online learning required students and lecturers to carry out the teaching and learning process through online platforms such as zoom and other learning sites. Therefore, this study aimed at understanding how university of KwaZulu-Natal (Howard college campus) students perceived and experienced online learning. This study was a qualitative study and thematic analysis was used as form of data analysis. The study used eight participants who were university of KwaZulu-Natal students, and they were doing their first, second and third years across three colleges: College of Humanities, college of Law and management studies and college of agriculture engineering and science that are found within Howard college campus (UKZN). The results indicated that students had different perceptions and different experiences of online learning, as some students indicated that they had positive experience and perception of online learning whereas some perceived and experienced online learning negatively. Online learning offers flexibility, but it also presents various constraints such as Network issues, Lack of technological devices, Loss of human interaction. Some students were less motivated to participate in online learning as they prefer face to face interactions. In conclusion the key factors in conducting online learning are the availability supporting tools, stability of internet connection and access, and applications of online learning must be easy to access and use, they must also be motivating and in the form of combination among several online learning media to provide the best way in delivering and accepting the material during teaching learning process.
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    Experiences of adults who had a traumatic brain injury.
    (2023) Ismail , Hallima.; Mfene, Xoli Precious.
    A traumatic brain injury is a sudden, unprecedented injury that causes damage to the brain. Impacting an average sixty-nine million people a year, the incidence of traumatic brain injury may be described as a silent epidemic. Therefore, the objectives of this research study were to: investigate the experiences of adults who had a traumatic brain injury, to determine what changes were experienced by adults who suffered a traumatic brain injury and to explore the long-term and short-term challenges of adults who experienced a traumatic brain injury. The study utilised a qualitative research approach, with an interpretive paradigm. Additionally, an exploratory research design was implemented. Purposive sampling was employed to select eight participants for the study. Reflexive Thematic analysis was used to analyze data. The findings of the study indicated that all eight participants experienced negative alterations due to their traumatic brain injuries. The degree of negative experiences varied, and some participants indicated an interleaving of positive impacts post-injury. All participants highlighted a lack of overall awareness and understanding by the general population of their experiences and their plight. Furthermore, the findings of the study highlighted that the traumatic nature of the recovery process was especially challenging for participants, and that some turned to negative coping mechanisms to counterbalance the trauma experienced. An emergent finding of the study revealed gender differences between the seeking of emotional assistance post-injury and indicated that male traumatic brain injury survivors may likely be less inclined to seek assistance, due to the associated stigma. Further research is recommended to assess gender differences in coping with TBI and help seeking.