SES, Narratives and resilience in orphans' adjustments to emotional and psychosocial challenges following the death of parents in some selected Townships of Lusaka Urban District

Thumbnail Image
Nkhoma, John Aaron
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Losing parents and other significant adults can render children vulnerable including increased risk of experiencing negative outcomes such as stress, loss of self-esteem, depression, anxiety etc. Some children develop capacities to rebound from such challenges while others don’t. Children who rebound from challenges are called resilient children. Fiese et al, (1999), found that family narratives which are telling of positive stories can be considered as a way of instilling hope, encouragement, and resilience in children. Zambia has a growing number of orphans, for example in 2004, it was estimated that the number of orphans was 1,147,614 and it was expected that the total number would increase by about 16 percent to 1,328,000 in 2010 (NAC, 2007). Identifying factors that strengthen resilience in children assist families, care givers and child service professionals in addressing unacceptable behaviour such as substance abuse, delinquency, early pregnancies etc among children. The purpose of this study was to investigate how Socio-Economic Status (SES) of the adoptive homes and Family Narratives to Orphans including, the content, context and tone of the caregivers supported resilience. The sample of the study comprised 110 orphans drawn from Chaisa, Chipata and Garden compounds and their 110 primary caregivers in Lusaka district. The ages of the participating Orphans ranged from 07 to 11 years and they were all males. Child Behaviour Check List (CBCL) and a pre structured interview questionnaire on family narratives were used to collect information. The findings of the study did not support our hypotheses as expected. Descriptive means differences revealed that families whose orphans lived on an average expenditure of less than K900, 000 on food per month exhibited more withdrawal, thought problem, attention, and delinquency and aggression behavior problems compared to those whose expenditure was of more than K1, 200,000. When the means were subjected to ANOVA the results were not statistically significant. The results on family narratives did not supported Fiese, et al, (1999) and Taylor, Aspinwall, Giulian, & Dakof, (1993) findings of family narratives. Future researchers should spend more time on family visits in order to elicit quality family narratives and the measure of socio-economic status should be broadened to capture more information.
Emotional Deprivation , Emotions in Children , Infant Psychology , Grief in Children , Loss(Psychology) in Children