The influence of household and family structure on children in the Chatsworth area with special reference to primary school learners (Thesis, 2010)
A study into the influence of household and family structure on children in the
Chatsworth area with special reference to primary school learners was undertaken. The
main objective of the study was to understand the prevailing household/family structure
in the Chatsworth area in view of the increasing divorce rate and the HIV/AIDS
pandemic and to assess the relationship between household/family structure and
outcomes which included access to healthcare, education, shelter, food and adult
The participants consisted of 335 grade 7 learners from 11 primary schools who were
selected using stratified random sampling and simple random sampling. The majority of
the learners were Indian (67.7%), followed by Black learners (30.7%), Coloured learners
(1.2%) and White learners (0.3%). A quantitative research method was implemented
involving the administration of questionnaires to the sample of grade 7 learners from
schools in the Chatsworth area. The research strategy employed was descriptiveexplanatory.
The main finding of the study was that for 63.8% of the participants the
household structure was that of children residing with both parents-these results support
the findings of other research in that South Africa may not yet have felt the full impact of
the HIV/AIDS Pandemic in respect of orphan-hood and child-headed households- there
should be further research in respect of identifying households affected by HIV/AIDS. Of
great concern is that the findings revealed that over one-third of the participants are
without adult supervision after school. There is a need for intervention in respect of care
and protection of these children as the lack of adequate supervision places these children
at risk of abuse and other forms of exploitation.
The findings of this study as presented here will contribute towards developing
intervention strategies to assist children and families at risk and to more effectively
understand and meet the needs of children and families in this community as well
researched information is critical in ensuring that responses are effective and adequate.
Further studies should be undertaken on a larger scale to determine the prevalent
household structure in this community and more extensively on a national scale given the
national concerns about the impact of HIV/AIDS on family and households.