The Perceived Role of Risk And Resilience Factors Regarding Children in Middle Childhood’s Psycho-Social Well-Being in a South African Rural High-Risk Community

  •  Tebogo Mosang    
  •  Izanette Van Schalkwyk    


INTRODUCTION: Middle childhood can be a period of significant challenges for many children as they may struggle to adapt to the demands of this life phase and their external environment. The external environment of the child is central for positive development and quality of life. However, the situation is even worse for children who live in a South African rural high-risk community, and are faced with numerous contextual vulnerabilities and multiple stressors related to poverty.

METHOD: This qualitative study used a qualitative descriptive research design and data were collected via individual interviews (parent participants) and focus group discussions (teacher participants). Thematic and content analysis were used allowing for an inductive process.

FINDINGS: Findings displayed a mostly deficit mentality regarding children in middle childhood’s psycho-social well-being. The first theme referred to the negative influences of the disempowering high-risk setting for the psycho-social well-being of children in middle childhood. The second theme indicated the possible dangers for family functioning. The third theme elucidated the role of the different stakeholders to lessen these environmental stressors and obstacles to ensure safety, stability, and children’s well-being. Finally, specific components were given to intentionally protect and promote the psycho-social well-being of children in middle childhood in this community.

LIMITATION: Individual interviews with parent participants were mainly conducted with female participants; data obtained from male participants could add even richer information.

RECOMMENDATION: It is recommended that future research investigate the encouragement of the psycho-social well-being of children in middle childhood in this rural community by strengthening families’ resilience.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.