An exploration of the family resilience needs of a rural community in South Africa: a sequential explanatory mixed methodological study design

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Peer-Reviewed Research


The aim of the study is to identify and explore family resilience needs in a rural community in the West Coast region of South Africa. An explanatory mixed methodological sequential design was implemented. Firstly, Sixbey’s (2005) Family Resilience Assessment Scale, was employed to conduct the quantitative assessment via a door-to-door sample of convenience identified with the assistance of a local nongovernmental organisation. Of the 656 participants, 39.8% were male and 60.2% were female, with an average age of 37.90 years (standard deviation 13.92). Secondly, four focus groups involving 27 community participants provided qualitative data. Results from the quantitative assessment show that family connectedness and utilising social and economic resources were the lowest scoring, and belief systems the highest scoring, dimensions in family resilience. Based on the quantitative findings and the discussions, three thematic categories emerged: community and family challenges; community belief systems; and current family functioning and organisational patterns. A number of families and groups within the community were able to provide feedback, recommendations and work collaboratively in this study. This contributed to the argument we make for the transformative mixed methods paradigm that is discussed. This study provides further insight into the theory of family resilience.