Author: Wong, Shuk-yee
Title: An exploratory study on the needs, problems and coping of male abandoned adolescents from a psychosocial theoretical orientation
Degree: M.A.
Year: 2001
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Teenage boys -- China -- Hong Kong -- Family relationships
Teenage boys -- China -- Hong Kong -- Social conditions
Abandoned children -- China -- Hong Kong -- Psychology
Desertion and non-support -- China -- Hong Kong -- Case studies
Department: Department of Applied Social Sciences
Pages: vi, 128 leaves ; 30 cm
Language: English
Abstract: This is an exploratory study of the needs, problems and coping of abandoned adolescents. A psychosocial perspective derived from Erik Erikson is adopted in this study. The focus will be put to explore the informants' problems and coping towards their development tasks in the early adolescent stage. Their achievement of four major developmental tasks, namely: the development of autonomy, intimacy, sexuality and identity, will be examined through in-depth interviews. Four abandoned adolescents who were detained in Pui Chi Boys' Home were invited to join this exploratory study. The research findings revealed that the parental abandonment did have an adverse effect towards the psychosocial development of the adolescents but the impacts varied. To a larger extent, the experience of being abandoned by parents and the experience in institutional settings have contributed much to low self-esteem. The informants were lack of self-confidence in planning for their future. Some of them held pessimistic attitude. They did not have any long-term plan. Besides, the parental abandonment affected the informants' development of intimacy and sexuality. It was difficult for them to develop trustful relationships with their supervising officers as well as hostel staff. Some kept distant relationships with others or even adopted defensive attitudes for protecting themselves The abandonment also added obstacles for the informants to learn the gender roles. They expressed hatred to be abandoned and failed to learn proper social roles from their parents. They showed no confidence in performing the fathers' role in future. Some even said they decided to be single instead of getting married. Lastly, it was also found that the parental bandonment adversely affected the development of identity among the informants. Especially under Chinese culture, we care about others' comments on ourselves. We learn who we are from significant others. However, the frequent changes of the residential staff or the residential placements had an adverse effect towards the informants. They had difficulties in developing a long-term, stable and trustful relationship with others. It was also difficult for them to secure a sense of worth and positive self-identities. Although the abandoned adolescents faced a lot of obstacles in achieving their development tasks, it was found that we could help to enhance their coping abilities if the external and interpersonal resources were available for them. The support systems from siblings and relatives are very important towards the abandoned adolescents. Not only he could learn the gender roles from the siblings, but also help him in developing a trustful relationship with others. Therefore, it is important to maintain connection and motivate the relatives to render support to the abandoned adolescents if this support system is available. Moreover, our participation and interaction during the helping process contribute much to the achievement of developmental tasks of the abandoned adolescents. We offer them good models which facilitate such development. Sincere attitude and genuine concern during the intervention facilitate the overcoming of obstacles and hence better achievement of psychosocial developmental tasks. On the contrary, some of the informants commented that some of the staff's attitude as being insincere, unhelpful and task-oriented. In order to improve our service quality and handle clients' needs and problems effectively, we always have to be reflective and open-minded. The adolescents will have positive growth and benefit from our intervention only if we treat them whole-heartedly and sincerely.
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