Susanne Jacobs, Elmari Botha-Verhage


This qualitative paper promotes the phenomenological understanding of how mothers from a low socio economic environment (LSEE) envision, design and implement their future perspective of their relationship with their children. In this single instrumental case study ddata were collected through two consecutive focus group discussions with twelve purposefully selected participants, utilising the World Café Method  and Appreciative Inquiry: 1)  to collect data; 2) as a research method that also facilitates change. Findings revealed difficulties envisioning a future and verbalising concepts such as dream, design and destiny. Findings reveal that boundaries are over or under realistic; dreams are clouded by parenting issues, however strong emotional interactions in relationships and wishes to fulfil children’s needs through open respectful communication and friendship exists. Insight is gained that togetherness influences relationships; the present influences the future, especially relating to how discipline is executed.   Mothers shared future plans for support.  Support needed for possible interventions in building on strengths to promote closeness in their relationships with their children is highlighted.


appreciative inquiry; World Cafe Method; Low socio economoc environment; mothers; relationships

Full Text:



ABDUL, M., AZIZ, Y.A. & RAHMAN, A.A. 2013. Appreciative Inquiry: An alternative research approach for sustainable rural tourism development. Journal of Tourism, Hospitality & Culinary Arts, 5(2):1-18.

AINSWORTH, M.D.S., BLEHAR, M.C., WATERS, E., & WALL, S. 1978. Patterns of attachment: A psychological study of the strange situation. Erlbaum: Hillsdale, N.J.

ASHFORD, G. & PATKAR, S. 2001. The positive path: Using appreciative inquiry in rural Indian communities. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Kromar Printing Ltd.

BERGIN, C.C. & BERGIN, D.A. 2015. Child and adolescent development in your classroom (2nd ed). Connecticut: Cengage Learning.

BESTER, M. 2011. An appreciative inquiry approach to curriculum change. In: BITZER, E. & BOTHA, N. (eds) Curriculum enquiry in South African higher education: Some scholarity affirmations and challenges, pp389-410. Stellenbosch, Cape Town: Sun Media.

BLAIKIE, N. 2010. Designing social research: The logic of anticipation (2nd ed). Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.

BLOOMQUIST, M. 2013. Skills training for struggling kids: Promoting your child’s behavioural, emotional, academic, and social development. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

BOSMANS, G. & KERNS, K.A. 2015. Attachment in middle childhood: Progress and prospects. In Bosmans, G. & Kerns, K.A. (eds) Attachment in middle childhood: Theoretical advances and new directions in an emerging field, 1-14. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

BOTHA, E. 2016. Mothers experiences of their relationship with their children in a low socio-economic environment. Unpublished dissertation. Potchefstroom, SA: North-West University.

BRAUN, V. & CLARKE, V. 2013. Successful qualitative research: A practical guide for beginners. London: SAGE Publications Ltd.

BRIDGER, E. 2015. Employee engagement. London, UK: Kogan Page Limited.

BRISCH, K.H. 2011. Treating attachment disorders: From theory to therapy (2nd ed). New York: The Guilford Press.

BRONFENBRENNER, U. 1979. The ecology of human development: Experiments by nature and design. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

BRONFENBRENNER, U. 1994. Ecological models of human development: Readings on the development of children, 2:37-43.

BRONFENBRENNER, U. & MORRIS, P.A. 1998. The ecology of developmental processes. In: LERNER, R.M. 1998. Theoretical models of human development (5th ed). New York: Wiley.

BRONFENBRENNER, U. & EVANS, G.W. 2000. Developmental science in the 21st century: Emerging theoretical models, research designs, and empirical findings. Social Development, 9:115–125.

BRONFENBRENNER, U. & MORRIS, P.A. 2006. The bio-ecological model of human development. In: DAMON, W. (Series ed) & LEARNER, R.M. (Vol. ed) Handbook of Child Psychology: Theoretical models of human development, pp 793-2828. New York: Wiley.

BROWN, J. 2005. The World Café: Shaping our futures through conversations that matter. California: Berret-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

BROWN, J., HOMER, K. & ISAACS, D. 2009. The World Café. In: HOLMAN, P., DEVANE, T. & STEVEN, C. (eds) The change handbook: The definitive resource on today’s best methods for engaging whole systems (2nd ed). San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler.

BROWN, J., ISAACS, D. & THE WORLD CAFÉ COMMUNITY. 2005. The World Café: Shaping our futures through conversations that matter. California: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

BUDD, K.S., CLARK, J. & CONNELL, M.A. 2011. Evaluation of parenting capacity in child protection. Auckland: Oxford University Press.

BUNKER, B.B. & ALBAN, B.T. 2006. The handbook of large group methods: Creating systematic change in organizations and communities. California: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

CAMP, R. 2014. How vulnerable populations are affected by disasters. In: GOPP, A. (ed) Help and Hope: Disaster prepareness and response tools for congretations. Danvers, MA: Charlice Press.

COOPERRIDER D.L., WHITNEY, D. & STAVROS, J.M. 2008. Appreciative Inquiry handbook: For leaders of change (2nd ed). Belmont, California: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

COOPERRIDER, D.L. & SRIVASTVA, S. 1987. Appreciative inquiry in organizational life. Research in organizational change and development, 1(1):129-169.

COURNOYER, B.R. 2016. The social work skills workbook. Cengage Learning.

DELPORT, C.S.L., FOUCHÉ, C.B. & SCHURINK, W. 2011. Theory and literature in qualitative research. In: DE VOS, A.S., STRYDOM, H., FOUCHÉ, C.B. & DELPORT, C.S.L. Research at grass roots: For the social sciences and human service professionals (4th ed). Pretoria, SA: Van Schaik Publishers.

DENZIN, N.K. & LINCOLN, Y.S. 2005. The SAGE handbook of qualitative research. London: SAGE.

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA 2015. Ethics in health research: Principles, processes and structures (2nd ed). South Africa: Department of Health.

EDELMAN, C.L., KUDZMA, E.C. & MANDLE, C.L. 2014. Health promotion throughout the life span (8th ed). St. Louis, Missouri: Elsevier Inc.

FAHLBERG, M.D. 2012. A child’s journey through placement. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

FIESE, B.H., & WINTER, M.A. 2008. Family context in early childhood development. In: HAITH, M. & BENSON, J. (eds) Encyclopaedia of infant and early child development. Oxford: Elsevier.

FOUCHÉ, C.B. & SCHURINK, W. 2011. Qualitative research designs. In: DE VOS, A.S., STRYDOM, H., FOUCHÉ, C.B. & DELPORT, C.S.L. Research at Grass Roots for the sciences and service professions (4th ed). Pretoria, South Africa: Van Schaik Publishers.

GREEFF, M. 2015. Ethics in Health Research: Principles, processes and structures. Department of Health 2015, Chapter 1 to 6. [Power point notes]. South Africa: North West University.

GREEN, H., MCGINNITY, A., MELTZER, H., FORD, T. & GOODMAN, R. 2005. Mental health of children and young people in Great Britain. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

GUTMAN, L. & MCLOYD, V. 2005. Financial strain, neighbourhood stress, parenting behaviours, and adolescent adjustment in Urban African American Families. Journal of Customer Service, 15:425-49.

HAMMOND, S.A. 2013. The thin book of appreciative inquiry (3rd ed). Thin Book.

HIRSCHY, S.T. & WILKINSON, E. 2010. Understanding and preventing abuse and neglect in early childhood. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

HESSE-BIBER, S.N. & LEAVY, P. 2011. The practice of qualitative research. California, Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, Inc.

KOEN, M.P., DU PLESSIS, E. & KOEN, V. 2015. Data analysis: The World Café. In De Chesnay, M. (ed) Research using data analysis: Qualitative designs and methods in nursing, 181-196. New York: Springer Publishing Company, LLC.

KUNG, S., GILES, D. & HAGAN, B. 2013. Applying an appreciative inquiry process to a course evaluation in higher education. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 25(1):29-37.

LEWIS, S. 2011. Positive psychology at work: How positive leadership and appreciative inquiry creates inspiring organizations. West Sussex, UK: John Willey and Sons Ltd.

LEWIS, S., PASSMORE, J. & CANTORE, S. 2011. Appreciative inquiry for change management: Using AI to facilitate organizational development. London, UK: Kogan Page.

LÖTTER, H. 2011. Poverty, Ethics and Justice. Brigantine Place, Cardiff: University of Wales Press.

LEON-GUERRERO, A. 2013. Social problems: community, policy and social action (4th ed). Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, Ltd.

MEJA, A., CALAM, R. & SANDERS M. 2012. A Review of Parenting Programs in Developing Countries: Opportunities and Challenges for Preventing Emotional and Behavioral Difficulties in Children. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, Vol 15, Issue 2 (June 2012):163–175.

MERRIAM, S.B. 2014. Qualitative research: A guide to design and implementation, revised and expanded from qualitative research and case study applications in education. San Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass.

MSALL, M.E. 2009. Children at risk: Social disadvantage and neuro-developmental functioning. In: MARIA, B.L. (ed) Current management in child neurology (4th ed): 300-306. Shelton, CT: People’s Medical Publishing House.

OKAFOR, P.C. 2012. Alternate route to school effectiveness and student achievement: Circumventing socio-economic status. Indiana: IUniverse.

PETERSON, C. 2013. A primer in positive psychology. New York: Oxford University Press.

PUNCH, K.F. 2013. Introduction to social research: Quantitative and qualitative approaches (3rd ed). London: Sage.

ROSA, E.M. & TUDGE, J. 2013. Urie Bronfenbrenner's theory of human development: Its evolution from ecology to bioecology. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 5(4):243-258.

SCHEIN, V.E. 2012. Women, work and poverty: Reflections on research for social change. In: CARR, S.C., MACLACHLAN, M. & FURNHAM, A. 2012. Humanitarian work psychology. London: Palgrave MacMillan.

SELIGMAN, M.E.P. & CSIKSZENTMIHALYI, M. 2000. Positive psychology: An introduction. American Psychologist, 55:5–14.

SHAFFER, D.R. & KIPP, K. 2010. Developmental psychology: Childhood and adolescence (8th ed). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

SIEBER, J.E. & TOLICH, M.B. 2013. Planning ethically responsible research. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications Ltd.

SIGELMAN, C.K., & RIDER, E.A. 2015. Lifespan human development (8th ed). Belmont, California: Wadsworth.

SOMMERS-FLANAGAN, J. & SOMMERS-FLANAGAN, R. 2015. Counseling and psychotherapy theories in context and practice: Skills, strategies and techniques (5th ed). New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

STATISTICS SOUTH AFRICA, 2014. Poverty trends in South Africa: An examination of absolute poverty between 2006 and 2011. Pretoria: Statistics South Africa.

STAVROS, J.M. & TORRES, C.B., 2005. Dynamic relationships: Unleashing the power of appreciative inquiry in daily living. Chagrin Falls, Ohio: Taos Institute Publications.

STRATTON-BERKESSEL, R. 2010. Appreciative Inquiry for collaborative solutions: 21 Strength-based workshops. CA: San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

THERON, F.D., DAVIDS, F. & MAPHUYE, K.J. (eds) 2005. Participatory development in South Africa: A development management perspective. Pretoria, South Africa: Van Schaik.

UDDIN, Q.N. 2011. The other side. Bloomington, Indiana: Author House.

VAN TIEM, D. & ROSENZWEIG, J. 2006. Appreciative Inquiry: Organisation development. Alexandria, Virginia: ASTD Press.

WHITNEY, D. & TROSTEN-BLOOM, A. 2010. The power of Appreciative Inquiry: A practical guide to positive change (2nd ed). San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

WILMSHURST, L. 2011. Child and adolescent psychopathology: A casebook. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, Inc.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 2312-7198  (online) ; ISSN 0037-8054 (print)

Powered by OJS and hosted by Stellenbosch University Library and Information Service since 2014.


This journal is hosted by the SU LIS on request of the journal owner/editor. The SU LIS takes no responsibility for the content published within this journal, and disclaim all liability arising out of the use of or inability to use the information contained herein. We assume no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any breaches of agreement with other publishers/hosts.

SUNJournals Help