Original Research

Experiences of parents of an adolescent with intellectual disability in Giyani, Limpopo province, South Africa

Tsakani Chauke, Marie Poggenpoel, Chris P.H. Myburgh, Nompumelelo Ntshingila
Health SA Gesondheid | Vol 26 | a1538 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v26i0.1538 | © 2021 Nompumelelo Ntshingila | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 September 2020 | Published: 15 April 2021

About the author(s)

Tsakani Chauke, Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Marie Poggenpoel, Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Chris P.H. Myburgh, Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Nompumelelo Ntshingila, Department of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Parents of adolescents with intellectual disability experienced stress caused by challenges that come from having such adolescents. Those challenges affected the parents physically and emotionally, depending on the severity of the adolescent’s intellectual disability. Having an adolescent with an intellectual disability becomes a burden if the challenges were not resolved.

Aim: This study aimed to explore and describe the experiences of parents of adolescents with intellectual disability in Giyani.

Setting: This study was conducted at the participants’ homes in Giyani, Limpopo province, South Africa.

Methods: A qualitative, exploratory, descriptive and contextual design was utilised. The main question was ‘How is it to have an adolescent with intellectual disability?’ Eight purposively sampled parents participated, and data were collected through in-depth interviews, observations and field notes. Data were analysed by means of thematic coding and an independent coder was consulted.

Results: Four themes were identified. The study revealed that parents of adolescents with intellectual disability experienced negative emotional responses. Most parents reported a lack of support from family members and the community. They also reported caring challenges, yet some showed positive coping mechanisms.

Conclusion: Parents of adolescents with intellectual disability experienced various challenges in caring for these children. A collaborative approach from relevant stakeholders could have a positive impact in supporting the parents of adolescents with intellectual disabilities.


Keywords

adolescent; experiences; intellectual disability; parents; South Africa

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