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An exploratory study of quality of life and coping strategies of orphans living in child-headed households in the high HIV/AIDS prevalent city of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

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dc.contributor.advisor Cornwell, L. en
dc.contributor.author Germann, Stefan Erich en
dc.date.accessioned 2009-08-25T11:03:06Z
dc.date.available 2009-08-25T11:03:06Z
dc.date.issued 2009-08-25T11:03:06Z
dc.date.submitted 2005-06-30 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10500/2395
dc.description.abstract A distressing consequence of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and of the increasing numbers of orphans and decreasing numbers of caregivers is the emergence in ever larger numbers of child-headed households (CHHs). The complexity of issues affecting CHHs and the lack of research on this subject means that CHHs are not well understood. This sometimes prompts support agencies to provide emotionally driven recommendations suggesting that it is better for a child to be in an orphanage than to live in a CHH. This exploratory study, involving heads of 105 CHHs over a 12 month period and 142 participants in various focus group discussions (FGD) and interviews, suggests the need for a change in perspective. It addresses the question of CHH quality of life, coping strategies and household functioning and attempts to bring this into a productive dialogue with community child care activities, NGO and statutory support and child care and protection policies. Research data suggests that the key determining factor contributing towards the creation of a CHH is `pre-parental illness' family conflict. Another contributing factor is that siblings want to stay together after parental death. Quality of life assessments indicate that despite significant adversities, over 69% of CHHs reported a 'medium' to 'satisfactory' quality of life and demonstrate high levels of resilience. As regards vulnerability to abuse, it is found that while CHH members are more vulnerable to external abuse, they experience little within their household. Contrary to public perceptions about CHHs lacking moral values, CHH behaviour might actually be more responsible than non-CHH peer behaviour as their negative experiences appear to galvanize them into adopting responsible behaviour. Community care and neighbourhood support in older townships are better established compared with newer suburbs. Sufficient community care capacity enables CHHs to function, thus avoiding a situation where households disintegrate and household members end up as street children. CHH coping responses seem to be mainly influenced by individual and community factors, and by social, spiritual and material support. The interplay between these and the CHH's ability to engage in the required coping task impacts on the coping outcome at household level. National and international government and non-governmental child service providers in Southern Africa need to recognize that an adequately supported CHH is an acceptable alternative care arrangement for certain children in communities with high adult AIDS mortality and where adult HIV-prevalence exceeds 10%. en
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (467 p.)
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject HIV/AIDS en
dc.subject Children en
dc.subject Orphans en
dc.subject Child-headed households en
dc.subject Quality of life en
dc.subject Coping strategies en
dc.subject Vulnerable children en
dc.subject Children affected by AIDS en
dc.subject Children's rights en
dc.subject Child protection en
dc.subject Child welfare policy en
dc.subject Community child care capacity en
dc.subject Psychosocial support en
dc.subject Social safety nets en
dc.subject Social policy en
dc.subject.ddc 306.85096891
dc.subject.lcsh Heads of households -- Zimbabwe -- Bulawayo
dc.subject.lcsh Orphans -- Zimbabwe -- Bulawayo
dc.subject.lcsh Adjustment (Psychology) in children -- Zimbabwe -- Bulawayo
dc.subject.lcsh Children of AIDS patients -- Zimbabwe -- Bulawayo
dc.subject.lcsh Quality of life -- Zimbabwe -- Bulawayo
dc.subject.lcsh Child caregivers -- Zimbabwe -- Bulawayo
dc.subject.lcsh AIDS (Disease) -- Social aspects -- Zimbabwe -- Bulawayo
dc.subject.lcsh Community health services for children -- Zimbabwe
dc.subject.lcsh Bulawayo (Zimbabwe) -- Social conditions
dc.title An exploratory study of quality of life and coping strategies of orphans living in child-headed households in the high HIV/AIDS prevalent city of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe en
dc.type Thesis en
dc.description.department Development Studies en
dc.description.degree D. Ltt. et Phil. (Development Studies) en


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