Vulnerable young adults’ retrospective perceptions of school-based psychosocial support

Ann Lindsey Nortje, Jace Pillay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In this article we describe the retrospective perceptions of vulnerable young adults on the psychosocial support they had been exposed to when they were in school. Qualitative data were collected through individual interviews, collages and a focus group discussion with 5 young adults (2 females and 3 males aged from 20 to 23) who resided at a foster home in Johannesburg. Thematic data analysis identified distinct psychological and social experiences which impacted on their ability to function independently as adults. The psychological experiences highlighted their sense of vulnerability, a lack of identity, emotional pain, and the need for career and guidance counselling. Their social experiences were characterised by social isolation and a lack of social skills. Adopting Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development, we discuss what psychosocial support should be provided at schools so that vulnerable children could have a better life.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1994
JournalSouth African Journal of Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Independent
  • Perceptions
  • Psycho-social preparation
  • Retrospective
  • Skills acquisition
  • Transition
  • Vulnerable
  • Young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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