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Do Social Support, Self-efficacy and Resilience Influence the Experience of Stress in Ghanaian Orphans? An Exploratory Study

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Much of the literature suggests that the availability of certain protective factors can help to buffer the adverse effects of negative life events such as parental loss and the negative experiences surrounding placement in orphanages. Following on from this perspective, the present study explores the influence of perceived social support, self-efficacy and resilience on the stress experience (as measured by the symptoms of depression and anxiety) of 200 children in Accra, Ghana. The sample comprised 100 orphans placed in orphanages and 100 non-orphans – all aged between seven and 17 years. The children completed the Children's Depression Inventory, the Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale, the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, the General Self-efficacy Scale and the 14-item Resilience Scale. The results revealed that orphans had significantly stronger perceptions of social support from friends than non-orphans, whereas non-orphans had significantly stronger perceptions of support from families than orphans. However, both the orphans and non-orphans reported high levels of self-efficacy and resilience. Regression analyses also revealed that self-efficacy emerged as a significant positive predictor of resilience for the orphaned children, whereas self-efficacy and perceived social support emerged as significant positive predictors of resilience for the non-orphans. Implications of the findings are discussed.
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Keywords: Orphanage; Orphans; Resilience; Self-efficacy; Social Support; Stress

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 3, 2015

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