Children and adolescents’ decision-making processes are often thought to be associated with parenting.
But to what extent?
In a first PhD in child and family studies, UWC department of social work student Eugene Davids examined the relationship between parenting and decision-making styles on healthy lifestyle behaviour in rural Western Cape areas.
Davids, 26, focused his study in the Overberg region where people have limited access to professional health care, especially in the psychological field.
The areas covered include Grabouw, Caledon and Hermanus.
He found the way in which parents raise their child plays a significant role in adolescent decision-making and lifestyle behaviours.
“What I found to be very interesting is that maternal figures played a role in how adolescents made decisions.
“What I found to be even more interesting is that paternal parent figures played an important role in both how adolescents’ made decisions and healthy lifestyle choices.
“Fathers actually have a huge role in determining the nutritional and spiritual choices children make,” Davids said.
David, from Mitchells Plain and currently living in Athlone, was inspired to choose the topic after he worked as an intern at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology as a student counsellor.
“Students would come to me with a host of issues and I decided I wanted to find out the root cause of some of their issues.
“I became focused on a future-oriented perspective, which is more positive,” Davids said.
Davids is currently doing his post-doctorate.
Before completing his PhD, Davids compared the goals and aspirations of children coming from single-headed households and those who lived with both parents.
He found the aspirations of children coming from single-headed households to be intrinsic – that they had a desire for self and psychological well-being.
Those who came from households where both their parents were married desired more wealth and fame.
Also graduating this week is Nasraldin Omer, who, in an effort to address the needs of struggling SMMEs, wrote his doctoral thesis on the moderating effect of microfinance on the financial constraints to SMME growth in South Africa.
The study concludes that microfinance provides a work-around strategy to reduce the effect of constraints on SMME growth, and thus contributes to an enhanced understanding of the relationship between such impediments and growth.
Another highlight of the graduating ceremony is Zimbabwean nursing student Kuda Majada, who is graduating summa cum laude.
She has been the top nursing student for the past four years and is likely to be continuing with her studies towards her Master’s degree next year.