Original Articles

The Experience of Psychosocial Stressors Amongst Adolescent Learners

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 21, issue 4, 2011 , pages: 521–526
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2011.10820492
Author(s): Ancel GeorgeUniversity of the Free State, South Africa, Henriëtte van den BergUniversity of the Free State, South Africa


This study sought to identify and describe the psychosocial factors that adolescents experience as stressful. Data were collected from 556 respondents (Grade 10 to 12; 250 males and 306 females; mean age = 17.3 yrs; SD = 1.66) who completed open-ended questions concerning factors that caused them distress. Using thematic content analysis, data were processed and categorised into various themes. Results indicate that adolescents experience family relations and friendships as their most compelling stressors. Negative daily social interactions appeared to exacerbate experiences of poor self perception and self-worth. Interpersonal, emotional and social skills could empower adolescents to engage their environments more positively.

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