Challenges encountered during the recruitment process

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CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH DESIGN

Introduction

This chapter offers a description of how the current research has been conducted within the requirements of GTM. The focus of this account is specifically on the first aim of the study, to explore the main concern regarding youths who have committed physical assault and to generate a grounded theory explaining how this main concern is being addressed by the responding adolescents/youths.

The substantive area and the research question

The substantive area for the current study comprises late adolescents (youths aged 15 to 18 years) in South Africa who have committed physical assault, and who were referred to a diversion programme by a court. Late adolescents are the focus of this study as they are included in the age range defined as youth, and are in a developmental phase during which youth develop the skill of critical thinking (Nielsen, 1996). The researcher believed that this could contribute towards rich discussions during the research interviews. In line with the aims of the current study the research question to be answered is: What is the main concern of youths who have committed physical assault and how is the main concern resolved?

Literature review

The researcher’s journey towards identifying GTM as a suitable methodology for the current research study inevitably included a literature review related to the substantive area, namely violence and youth violence. She focussed specifically on the risk and protective factors in the development of youth violence but was of the opinion that this pre-existing knowledge did not rule out the use of classical GTM. The researcher believed that the literature read would not necessarily be related to the concepts and categories that would have emerged during the interviews. This assumption was made based on the warning that a premature literature review may result in time spent on engaging with material that is unrelated to the emergent theory.However, the literature review should be guided by the emergent theory, which can only be done after the theory has emerged (Glaser, 1998). For most of the theory that has emerged during this research study, this assumption is true, as Chapters 4 to 7 indicate. In addition, the aim of the study is to identify underlying processes or mechanisms involved in the occurrence of youth violence which were not covered by the literature that had been read by the researcher.One may even argue that this literature review increased the researcher’s understanding of the importance and possible uses of a theory related to the non-shared environments of violent youths. With reference to the notion that in GTM a specific problem should not be identified beforehand (Glaser, 1992; 1998), it should be mentioned that a research problem was indeed identified in advance. This was that the psychological processes (mechanisms) forming part of the non-shared environment in the development of youth violence should be investigated in order to generate a theory that could contribute to explaining the occurrence of these events.Classical GTM was identified as the most appropriate approach for the study; the researcher decided to continue with the study while ensuring that any theory would not be imposed but that the data would guide the emergent theory.

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CHAPTER 1  INTRODUCTION 
1.1 Background
1.2 Violence 
1.2.1 Youth violence
1.2.2 Prevention of youth violence
1.3 Interventions and programme theory
1.4 Research problem
1.5 Aims of the study
1.6 Research questions and design
1.7 Theoretical framework
1.8 Significance of the study
1.9 Limitations of the study 
1.10 Definition of terms
1.11 Summary and overview of chapters
CHAPTER 2  THE PHILOSOPHIC CONTEXT OF THE STUDY AND GROUNDED THEORY METHODOLOGY
2.1 Introduction
2.2 The philosophic context: Critical realism
2.3 Critical realism and the current study 
2.3 Grounded Theory Methodology (GTM)
2.3.1 Overview of classical GTM
2.3.2 The research question
2.3.3 Literature review
2.3.4 Sampling
2.3.5 Data gathering
2.3.6 Data analysis
2.4 Writing the emerging theory
2.5 Criteria for judging grounded theory 
2.6 Summary
CHAPTER 3  RESEARCH DESIGN
3.1 Introduction
3.2 The substantive area and the research question 
3.3 Literature review
3.4 Sampling 
3.4.1 Convenience sampling
3.4.2 Purposive sampling
3.4.3 Theoretical sampling
3.4.4 Challenges encountered during the recruitment process
3.5 Data collection 
3.6 Data analysis
3.7 Finalising the emerging theory
3.8 Ethical considerations
3.8.1 General principles
3.8.2 Ethical clearance and approval of research
3.9 Summary
CHAPTER 4  THE EMERGING THEORY 
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Overview of participants
4.3 Main concern: A thwarted sense of belonging
4.3.1 Adverse experiences
4.3.1.1 Being part of a broken family system
4.3.1.2 Lacking support and guidance
4.3.1.3 Being bullied
4.4 Core category: Negotiating belongingness
4.4.1 Managing reality
4.4.1.1 Avoiding reality
4.4.1.2 Dealing with reality
4.4.2 Setting boundaries
4.4.3 Weighing the self
4.5 Dealing with failed negotiations
4.5.1 Acting
4.5.1.1 Reacting violently
4.5.1.2 Moving back-and-forth
4.5.2 Changing
4.5.2.1 Improving the self
4.5.3 Saturation of dealing with failed negotiations
4.6 Categories of note not included in the theory 
4.6.1 Finding pseudo-families
4.6.2 Abusing substances
4.6.3 The influence of the environment
4.7 Summary
CHAPTER 5  A THWARTED SENSE OF BELONGING
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Belongingness
5.2.1 Belongingness defined
5.2.2 Belongingness as human motivation (behavioural)
5.2.3 Belongingness and well-being
5.2.4 Failed belongingness
5.3 Adverse experiences 
5.3.1 Broken family systems and lack of support and guidance
5.3.2 Being bullied
5.4 Summary
CHAPTER 6  NEGOTIATING A SENSE OF BELONGING
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Negotiation through managing reality 
6.2.1 Avoiding reality
6.2.2 Dealing with reality
6.2.3 Summarising managing reality
6.3 Negotiation through the setting of boundaries
6.3.1 Boundaries reflected in the literature
6.3.2 Boundary contexts, processes and functions
6.3.3 Boundaries and the theory of thwarted belongingness
6.4 Negotiation through weighing the self
6.4.1 Self-worth and self-esteem
6.4.2 Self-evaluation in the theory
6.4.3 Self-worth
6.4.4 Contextualising self-worth during adolescence
6.4.5 Conclusive thoughts
6.5 Summary
CHAPTER 7  DEALING WITH FAILED NEGOTIATIONS
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Acting.
7.2.1 Reacting violently
7.2.1.1 South African literature on youth violence
7.2.1.2 Risk factors, protective factors and the environment
7.2.1.3 Violence as a functionality
7.2.1.3.1 Violence as a healing process
7.2.1.3.2 General strain theory (GST) as an explanation of crime by Robert Agnew
7.2.1.3.3 The Germ Theory as an explanation of violent behaviour by James Gilligan
7.2.1.3.4 Reflection
7.2.2 Moving back-and-forth
7.3 Changing
7.3.1 Improving the self
7.4 Summary
CHAPTER 8  THE THEORY OF THWARTED BELONGING AND INTERVENTIONS
8.1 Introduction
8.2 The theory of thwarted belongingness
8.3 A violence prevention intervention
8.3.1 The intervention: A parenting programme
8.3.2 Programme theory
8.3.3 The intervention
8.4 Judging the grounded theory
8.5 The strengths of the study
8.6 The limitations of the study 
8.7 Future research
8.8 Summary
References
Appendix 1: Ethical clearance obtained from Unisa’s Ethical Committee
Appendix 2: Approval obtained from the Gauteng Department of Social Development
Appendix 3: Consent and assent form for participants who are minors
Appendix 4: Information for parents/legal guardian of participants who are minors
Appendix 5: Consent form for professional participants

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