A comparative study between South African serial killers and their American counterparts
- Authors: Lemmer, Crystal
- Date: 2009-02-11T08:56:43Z
- Subjects: Serial murderers , Serial murders
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:8137 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/2111
- Description: M.A. , This dissertation explores the similarities and differences between South African serial killers and their American counterparts. Seven male candidates, each having committed their reign of terror within the relevant time period, have been included. The candidates compared well in home environments, number of friendships, emotional maturity, abuse undergone, temperament, and anti-social behaviour. Differences were found in comparing family bonding, wealth and education. This dissertation discusses the comparison of childhood development in South African serial killers and American serial killers.
- Full Text:
Art therapy with stroke patients in a group context
- Authors: Coutinho, Michelle
- Date: 2012-08-14
- Subjects: Cerebrovascular disease -- Patients -- Rehabilitation , Cerebrovascular disease -- Research -- South Africa , Depression, Mental -- Research -- South Africa , Depression, Mental -- Treatment -- South Africa , Art therapy -- Research -- South Africa , Self-perception -- Research -- South Africa
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:9256 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/5702
- Description: M.A. , "Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability in all races in South Africa" (Fritz & Penn, 1992, p 1). It has devastating effects, and may impact on every aspect of the person's functioning. Research shows that depression is common after stroke, becoming more of a problem with time, and having a greater effect on quality of life than the actual disability (Lezak, 1995). Despite such evidence psychologists have played a very limited role in the rehabilitation of this group. Those with communication problems especially have been excluded from research and therapy, which usually require competence with language to be successful. This study attempts to find an alternative method of research and therapy in order to include this group. Following the model of learned helplessness (Seligman, in, Bleiberg, 1986), it was proposed that the unavoidable, inescapable effects of stroke lead to feelings of helplessness, which are also impossible to escape, and the person soon looses the motivation to attempt to control the situation. This then leads to depression. A method of therapy which breaks this cycle, and allows for the person to experience how their actions do have an effect on their lives is needed. In addition to this, an alternative means of self expression for those with communication difficulties needs to be provided. Art therapy was found to address the problems presented by this group (Dailey, 1984). It has proved useful with other populations that have not been able to benefit from traditional psychotherapy. It becomes an alternative means of self expression for those whose communication ability is compromised. It is accessible to most people, as it only requires the ability to make marks on paper. A theme centred, art therapy approach was therefore chosen for the study. The aims of the study were; to create a therapeutic milieu which allowed for self expression, specifically the expression of emotions, which included all the participants; to investigate the effects of introducing an opportunity for self expression on self concept and group process; and to look at the themes which emerge from the art. The participants were members of a pre-existing support group for stroke survivors. A quasiexperimental design was used. The Draw a Person Test, was administered pre and post intervention. Additional information was gathered using the Beck's Depression Inventory and a demographic questionnaire. This study uses a qualitative method, which includes information regarding the researcher's experience, and is interpreted from the researcher's perspective. It was found that art therapy had a positive effect on self concept. It influenced group process, as participants who were previously marginalised became more central. Numerous themes emerged, some which were specific to individuals, but others that were of relevance to the group as a whole. It proved rewarding for the researcher, both as a therapist and in terms of her relationship with her father who is a stroke survivor with aphasia. Art therapy therefore seems to be a useful tool to be used with this group that has traditionally been excluded from therapy and research. It is suggested that further research would be useful, and suggestions regarding future research are discussed.
- Full Text:
Cognitive-behavioural programme for children with attention hyperactivity disorder
- Authors: Hirschowitz, Larry David
- Date: 2012-08-15
- Subjects: Behavior therapy for children - Research - South Africa , Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder - Treatment - Research - South Africa , Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder - Research - South Africa , Cognitive therapy - Research - South Africa , Behavior therapy - Research - South Africa
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:9290 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/5733
- Description: M.A. , Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects between 1% and 20% of school-aged children. Many aspects of the disorder remain largely speculative including the treatment of it, and often these children experience significant learning, social and emotional difficulties from their childhood years through to adulthood. Pharmacological treatment of the disorder has gained wide acceptance and it has achieved much success in bringing about positive short-term changes in the behaviours of such children. However the long-term efficacy of medication still remains questionable and many children do not respond well to or do not tolerate such treatment. The use of psychological interventions for this condition has not received as much support as that of medication. While research shows that some psychological approaches have virtually no effect others have shown limited benefits. Taking into account the previous research conducted into the benefits of the psychological treatment of ADHD and through examining the limitations of these approaches, the present research aims to establish an effective psychological intervention in the treatment of this condition. This intervention follows the format of a Parent-training based Cognitive-Behavioural programme making use of Barkley's theory that Behavioural Inhibition is the central impairment in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Therefore the hypotheses of this research are twofold. Firstly, that psychological interventions can make a positive contribution to the treatment of this condition and secondly, that this parent-training based cognitive-behavioural progra
- Full Text:
Cognitive-behavioural treatment of aggressive boys in children's homes
- Authors: Turner, Candice
- Date: 2012-09-11
- Subjects: Aggressiveness in children - Treatment - Research - South Africa , Anger in children - Treatment - Research - South Africa , Teenage boys - Psychology - Research - South Africa , Behavior disorders in children - Treatment - Research - South Africa , Cognitive therapy - Research - South Africa , Behavior therapy - Research - South Africa , Boys - Psychology - Research - South Africa
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:10046 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/7435
- Description: M.A. , Aggression is multi-dimensional and can be defined as "any form of behaviour directed toward the goal of harming or injuring another living being who is motivated to avoid such treatment". (Baron & Richardson, 1994, p. 7). In addition, aggressive behaviour tends to be influenced, in either form or direction, by various determinants. These determinants refer to social, environmental, situational, individual and biological aspects of aggression (Van der Schyff, 1995). The researcher was motivated to examine aggression and disruptive behaviour in boys in children's homes. The goal of the present study was to see whether one can formulate a relatively simple programme, that childcare workers in children's homes can use to assist children with aggressive behaviour. The researcher also hoped to provide the children, who participated in the experiment, with the skills to curb aggressive and disruptive behaviour. Firstly, aggression and disruptive behaviour was monitored by means of behavioural observation, the Conners questionnaire and the Child Personality Questionnaire (CPQ). The environment of the children's home was then examined. Finally, interventions for aggression were discussed with particular emphasis on a cognitive-behavioural intervention programme consisting of modelling through thought-stopping, attribution training, and self-instructional training was implemented. This programme continued for six weeks and thereafter a one week follow-up and three month follow-up were conducted. The data was statistically analysed by means of descriptive statistics, correlations and the Mann-Whitney U test. The results indicated that there were no statistically significant differences in aggression once the cognitive-behavioural intervention programme had been implemented. The results are interpreted against a background of methodological and sampling problems and the incomplete conceptualisation of aggression and the related terms (e.g. hostility, passive aggressiveness, verbal aggression etc.) and the ambivalence of the success of cognitive-behavioural intervention. In terms of methodological problems, it is recommended that a more precise measuring instrument be used to assess aggression as opposed to the CPQ which measures other facets of personality besides aggression. A bigger sample may yield more effective results as well. Observation is also difficult to quantify, a substitute is recommended. Aggression should be clearly defined. A multi-modal intervention programme that is adaptable and flexible is also suggested.
- Full Text:
Developmental stages of an African child and their psychological implications: a comparative study
- Authors: Ramokgopa, Isaac Mashakgene
- Date: 2008-11-12T07:03:52Z
- Subjects: Child psychology , Child development , Black children , Erik H. Erikson
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:14650 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/1614
- Description: D. Phil. , Human development is a universal phenomenon, characterized by various stages. These stages differ from one culture to the other. Furthermore, each developmental stage tends to bring about expectations that are in accordance with a particular culture. In addition, in each culture there exist problems that are specific to a given stage as well as to the manner in which these problems are resolved. Erikson=s stages of human development are generally regarded as universal. The universal acceptance of Erikson=s stages seems to be based on a study he conducted, involving a variety of cultures. A question that needed to be addressed was whether Erikson=s developmental stages are similar to those which an African child goes through. This study is an attempt to investigate developmental stages of Africans and compare them to those outlined by Erikson. To investigate the developmental stages of an African child and to establish the relationship between Erikson=s stages of development and those of Africans, an exploratory study was conducted among the people of the Bolobedu community in the Limpopo Province, South Africa. The Balobedu people were regarded as an ideal study sample because of their relatively unchanged lifestyle which still resembles the traditional African way of life. Subjects were interviewed individually, by using an open-ended questionnaire. The results were then interpreted and analyzed. The results show that children among the Balubedu also go through various stages of development which have distinct names. Furthermore, like in many other cultural groups, these stages are accompanied by various problems and expectations. In addition, these people use different methods to address problems experienced during each of the stages identified. The study further reveals that although the developmental stages among the Balobedu have much in common with those of Erikson, there exist differences between the two approaches. These differences are identified. Of the most significant differences is that developmental stages are not defined by age alone, but by other factors such as readiness and ability to perform certain tasks as well. In addition, the study did not indicate the presence of psychological problems that are caused by the developmental process, when these stages among the target group were compared to those identified by Erikson. In conclusion, this study illuminates that there are both similarities and differences between the two approaches. One such difference is that whereas Erikson=s theory describes stages in terms of age associated with some psycho-social problems, the results of the investigation revealed that among Africans, developmental stages are described in terms of the child=s readiness, and that no indication of the presence of psycho- social problems was found. This, it would seem, does not necessarily mean that traditional African children do not experience psychological problems. Instead, it suggests that there are other methods of dealing with these psychological problems, which this study did not reveal. This raises the need to explore the developmental stages and their psychological effects among African children by using a larger sample than the one used in this study. Another distinction is that the definition of various stages is based on cultural values. While Erikson emphasizes the importance of concepts such as competition, independence and egoism, Africans tend to put more emphasis on cooperation, inter-dependence and altruism respectively. Lastly, among Africans, each stage is characterized by rituals and ceremonies. These are meant to mark the beginning or the end of a particular stage or phase, thereby psychologically preparing the individual to adjust to the new position. Erikson=s stages of development seem to have ignored the importance of rituals in the various developmental stages. Therefore, his theory can not be said to be universally applicable.
- Full Text:
Exploring the healing process of female adult survivors of childhood abuse
- Authors: Reichert, Lelani
- Date: 2008-11-12T07:05:26Z
- Subjects: Adult child sexual abuse victims , Sexually abused children , Child sexual abuse , Child abuse
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:14659 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/1622
- Description: M.A. , The incidence of child abuse in southern Africa is problematic to such an extent that it is described by Machel (as cited in Richter, Dawes & Higson-Smith, 2004. p. ix) as "an assault, a war upon our children". The numbers and estimates surrounding, not only sexual abuse, but also physical abuse seem to be rising exponentially. This leads to the obvious deduction that adult survivors are also rising exponentially, and as such need focus and care, since the aftermath of abuse is far reaching, impacting every sphere of their lives. Destructive behaviour and thought patterns characterise all aspects of their interaction with the self and others, which paints a bleak and painful picture for their futures. To compound the aftermath, very few studies have focused on aspects beyond the aftermath, few have gone on to explain and focus attention on whether healing can take place, and if so, how it can be brought about. This important source of hope for the survivors has been neglected for far too long, leaving the survivors struggling with the question of whether positive change is at all possible? This study aims to address that question and to focus on the experience of the process of healing. The participants were members of a support group for survivors. A qualitative approach was followed with the focus on conceptual analysis. Two open-ended questionnaires were constructed. The first questionnaire was administered pre-intervention and the second questionnaire post-intervention. As a qualitative study, information is included regarding the researcher's experience, and is interpreted from the researcher's perspective. It was found that growth and change is indeed possible. Participants showed more insight into their behaviour and actions and were mostly able to cease destructive behaviours, achieve positive goals set for themselves, or were at least in the process of changing some aspects they felt needed attention. Due to analysis taking place on a group, as well as, individual level, individual differences became very visible. In this study, those aspects participants still found problematic were also highlighted. It is suggested that those aspects be scrutinised in future studies. A reflection on the healing process also occurred and is viewed as a platform for future studies to build on.
- Full Text:
The interaction between psychosocial factors and immune functioning of AIDS patients
- Authors: Nel, Lynette.
- Date: 2012-09-12
- Subjects: AIDS (Disease) - Patients - Research - South Africa. , AIDS (Disease) - South Africa - Psychological aspects. , Immunologic diseases - South Africa - Psychological aspects. , Stress (Psychology) - Research - South Africa. , Depression, Mental - Research - South Africa.
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:10178 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/7555
- Description: M.A. , HIV and AIDS are a growing problem with multiple implications on various fields in our society. It looks as if we are conscious only of the tip of the iceberg. This study commits itself to suggest alternatives other than medical support to ensure longevity in HIV and AIDS persons. From within a psychological framework certain psychological and social factors are identified that could possibly have an influence on immunology in the form of CD4 and CD8 counts. The results suggest that definite links exists between certain psychological factors and physical markers of immunology (CD4 and CD8 counts). A Factor analysis show that Social factors (measured with the FES scale) possibly lead to emotions that resort under psychological factors (Conflict, Course of illness and Independence). These factors unleash the need of self- expression. If this need to selfexpression are not relieved it leads to psychological factors (Anger, Depression and Tension). These factors have a marked short-term effect on CD4 count as well as a long-term effect on CD8 count. The result is a circular response comprising of psychological factors (Anger, Depression and Tension) that lead to feelings of avoidance and fatalism. In turn these factors lead to feelings of hopelessness resulting in a strengthening effect on another set of psychological factors (Conflict, Course of illness and Independence). OptimismNigor repeatedly played a leading role in the Course of illness, influencing the cognitive attitude of respondents. Initially 71 respondents took part in the study but comprehensive data over the sixmonth period could only be obtained for 40 respondents. The results suggest that a specific dynamic are concealed in the process between mind, body and illness and needs to be explored through further research. .
- Full Text:
The role of ictal and subictal phenomena in affective disorder - a clinical survey
- Authors: Hartman, Lee-Ann Betty
- Date: 2011-12-06
- Subjects: Affective disorders , Epilepsy , Temporal lobe epilepsy , Electroencephalography
- Type: Thesis
- Identifier: uj:1778 , http://hdl.handle.net/10210/4143
- Description: M.A. , Himmehoch (1984, 1987) in discussion of major mood disorders related to epilepsy, describes an affective condition termed subictal mood disorder. Patients with subictal mood disorder are divided into manic-depressive and dysthymic subtypes, the former resembling an atypical, usually rapid-cycling bipolar mood disorder. The latter dysthymic group, are characterised by a baseline dysthymia, severe recurrent depressive episodes, and transient euphorias. In addition, these dysthymic patients are described as being especially prone to impulsive suicide attempts, extreme irritability, rage outbursts and deliberate self-harm. Himmelhoch (1984, 1987) postulates temporolimbic dysfunction with both ictal and subictal (subclinical) changes as the underlying aetiology. Temporolimbic phenomena such as anamnesic, dissociative and perceptive distortions are important aspects of neuropsychiatric phenomenology. Clinical evidence, however, suggests that these occurrences are not routinely sought for or uncovered during the clinical evaluation of patients and their relevance for atypical affective presentations not clearly understood. The aim of this clinical survey was to evaluate the presence and nature of both temporolimbic dysfunction and subictal mood disorder among a subpopulation of private psychiatric patients. Furthermore in order to explicate a possible association between the above, the electroencephalographic records of these patients were examined. Records of 761 patients who attended a private practice over a two-year period were retrospectively reviewed. 546 patients had been questioned in sufficient detail and were deemed reliable in their responses. Of the 546 patients reviewed 128 (23,4%) were found to have experienced significant temporolimbic phenomena. The most common features were dissociative states, deja vu, premonitions, jamais vu and tactile hallucinations. 150 (27,5%) patients met Himmelhoch's criteria for the presence of subictal mood disorder. Of those 150, 100 (66,7%) demonstrated significant temporolimbic phenomena. EEG results, with the exclusion of 16 patients (the appropriate records not being available), highlighted 64 iY (76,2%) ofthe probands as having met the criteria for significant temporolimbic phenomena and subictal mood disorder and demonstrating unequivocal abnormality onEEG. Taking into account the sample bias of this particular private practice, and the obvious flaws of a retrospective, naturalistic survey of this nature, the concept of sub ictal mood disorder is discussed. Case vignettes are used to illustrate the phenomenological presentation ofthese patients and the potential benefits of the addition of anticonvulsants in their management.
- Full Text: