Original Research

Psychological well-being of adolescents with physical disabilities in Zimbabwean inclusive community settings: An exploratory study

Jabulani Mpofu, Maximus M. Sefotho, Jacobus G. Maree
African Journal of Disability | Vol 6 | a325 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v6i0.325 | © 2017 Jabulani Mpofu, Maximus M. Sefotho, Jacobus G. Maree | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 October 2016 | Published: 26 October 2017

About the author(s)

Jabulani Mpofu, Department of Disability Studies and Special Needs Education, Zimbabwe Open University, Zimbabwe
Maximus M. Sefotho, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Jacobus G. Maree, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: The purpose of this study was to explore the psychological well-being of adolescents with physical disabilities living in inclusive community settings of Makonde Urban in Zimbabwe. An inclusive community is one that aims to remove exclusionary practices within the community and promote community systems that accept all people irrespective of their difference. Inclusive communities on their own are not uniquely designed for people with disabilities, but most developing countries have adopted them as a basic strategy to influence and enhance psychological well-being of people with disabilities.
Methods: A constructivist lived experience perspective underpinned this research, in which multiple case studies were used to interact with the participants on inclusion and psychological well-being of adolescents with physical disabilities. Purposive sampling was used to select 14 participants (9 males and 5 females). Data were collected through face-to-face interviews and transcribed verbatim. Four themes emerged from the thematic analysis of data sources.
Results: It was found that participants who were adolescents with physical disabilities living in inclusive community settings of Makonde Urban in Zimbabwe were having high levels of autonomy and choice, purpose in life, positive relations with others and good personal growth and self-acceptance.
Conclusion: The findings of this study should enable inclusive communities’ policy-makers and researchers to better understand the psychological well-being of adolescents with physical disabilities living in inclusive communities.

Keywords

Inclusion; Inclusive communities; adolescents; physical disabilities; psychological wellbeing

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