Fostering resilience in primary educators: resilient women and their ability to endure, recover and grow through trauma


Date: May 28, 2012
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Trauma can be described as the emotional shock response to a physical or emotional injury that is overwhelming and has a lasting effect on a person. Based on this definition, trauma can be considered an integral part of life in South Africa. The consequences and effects of trauma are severe, both on individual and society levels. Nobody escapes the effects of trauma, but women and children are particularly vulnerable. Unfortunately the vast majority of South Africans have little or no access to mental health services. Some people, however, seem to be resilient in response to trauma and hardship. Although various definitions of resilience can be found in the literature, resilience is defined in this thesis as the ability and characteristics that enable a person to endure, recover from, and be strengthened to grow personally, regardless of exposure to traumatic life events. Women are generally the primary educators of children in the South African society, whether it be their own children, grandchildren or others. If South African women were equipped with skills that could enable them to deal more effectively with trauma, they would – as primary educators – naturally transfer their skills and knowledge to the children in their care. There exists a need for preventative interventions that may equip women to cope effectively with trauma. Certain educational interventions may provide avenues through which this may be achieved.


Publisher: University of Johannesburg
Year of Publication: 2011

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