The authors are grateful to John Duckitt, Martin Terre Blanche, and Peter Fridjhon for statistical advice and to Keith Nxumalo for assistance with the data collection. This article compares data collected in 1992 with those collected and published in the article entitled “Experiences of violence in the lives of township youth in ‘unrest' and ‘normal' conditions” (Turton et al., 1990). The data collected in 1992 were presented in an Honors dissertation completed by M. Mendelsohn under the supervision of G. Straker.
Violent Political Contexts and the Emotional Concerns of Township Youth
Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
Volume 67, Issue 1, pages 46–54, February 1996
How to Cite
Straker, G., Mendelsohn, M., Moosa, F. and Tudin, P. (1996), Violent Political Contexts and the Emotional Concerns of Township Youth. Child Development, 67: 46–54. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.1996.tb01718.x
- Issue published online: 28 JUN 2008
- Article first published online: 28 JUN 2008
This article presents the findings of a series of studies that examine the perceptions of black South African youth about township life and the civil conflict and violence it encompasses. The studies were conducted with comparable samples of 58–82 youth at 3 points in South Africa's history, all characterized by high levels of violence but differing in terms of their political contexts. These contexts were overt State-community conflict, covert opposition and political repression, and intracommunity violence. The data revealed that in all 3 contexts youth reported a high exposure to violence, but only when violence occurred in the context of intracommunity conflict was it subjectively construed to be the most problematic. Reasons for this may include the real increase in more extreme forms of violence, including deaths, that occurs in intracommunity violence and the blurring of the distinction between political and criminal violence in this context.