Drug Abuse Amongst Adolescent Learners in Townships

Mabatho Sedibe, Nellie Gloria Patricia Hendricks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The study explored the experiences of adolescent learners regarding drug abuse in previously disadvantaged townships in South Africa. A phenomenological research paradigm was employed, and an inductive research approach was implemented. The study followed a qualitative research design focusing on interviews and document analysis as data collection methods. Purposive sampling was done and one-on-one interviews with Life Orientation (LO) teachers in two Gauteng secondary schools were conducted as well as three Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) and Non-Profit Organisations (NPO’s) from different organisations. Focus group interviews were conducted with adolescent learners in two Gauteng secondary schools. I further utilised an inductive content analysis using open coding and axial coding to decipher information gathered from interviews conducted with participants.The study leaned on two theoretical frameworks which include Bronfenbrenner’s Nested System and Erikson’s Eight Stages of Psychosocial Development. The findings indicated that adolescent learners get involved in the use of drugs due to their lack of identity formation and the need to belong. It was also discovered that adolescent learners did not master the adolescence stage successfully, hence getting involved in the use of drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-39
Number of pages23
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Adolescence
  • Adolescent learners
  • Drug abuse
  • Previously disadvantaged
  • Secondary schools
  • Townships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • General Social Sciences
  • Law


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