Psychological and Social Issues Affecting Orphans and Vulnerable Children

Psychological and Social Issues Affecting Orphans and Vulnerable Children

Zoleka Ntshuntshe (University of Fort Hare, South Africa) and Simon G. Taukeni (University of Namibia, Namibia)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0319-5.ch002

Abstract

Orphan-hood is a natural occurrence event of life and not a personal choice. It is a natural life event of losing a parent or a primary caregiver in the life of an orphan child. This chapter focuses on the psychological and social issues that orphans and other vulnerable children experience when their parents are no longer alive. Using literature as a source, most psychosocial issues affecting orphans and other vulnerable children are categorized and justified. Possible solutions and recommendations are clearly illustrated for possible intervention and prevention strategies. Lastly, the chapter ushers future research directions regarding psychosocial issues affecting orphans and other vulnerable children.
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Introduction

This chapter makes a contribution towards a subject matter called psychosocial issues affecting orphans and other vulnerable children. It seeks to expand the debate and create further awareness on the plight of the orphans and vulnerable children globally. By so doing, more intervention and prevention strategies would be devised in order to address the plight of orphans and other vulnerable children. The chapter highlighted the most critical psychological and social issues with the support of evidence as provided in the current literature.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Social Issues: These are external needs such as food, shelter, clothing, education, medical care, security, love, and a sense of belonging, which are basic needs for human survival and development.

Loneliness: An unpleasant emotional response that is felt by a child because he or she does not have anyone to talk to like a friend or any significant person.

Child Labor: The exploitation of children under the age of 18 years through any form of work that deprives children to have a normal childhood development resulting in affecting them negatively; physically, psychologically, mentally, emotionally, morally, spiritually, and socially.

Orphans and Vulnerable Children: A child under the age of 18 whose mother, father or both parents and or a primary caregiver has died and who is in need of care and protection.

Well-Being: State of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.

Suicidal Thoughts: The act of intentionally thinking to end one’s life, due to overwhelming feelings of hopeless, useless, unwanted, or unneeded by others.

Child Abuse: When a caregiver or teacher causes bodily harm or injury or death to a child of under 18 years of age. Forms of abuse are neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation, and emotional abuse.

Psychological Issues: These are internal needs that include feelings, thoughts, emotions, understanding and perceptions, and decision making.

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