African Journal of AIDS Research | 2019
The feasibility of the draw-and-write technique in exploring the resilience of children orphaned by AIDS
Worldwide, researchers routinely study children indirectly through adults who act as proxies for such children. The call for researchers to rather study children directly and adopt less intrusive child-friendly methodologies has become louder. The draw-and-write technique is regarded as a less intrusive child-friendly method of collecting data that can be used for this purpose. This paper reports the findings of a qualitative study that sought to establish the feasibility of the draw-and-write technique in exploring the resilience of children orphaned by AIDS. This study involved a convenience sample of 23 IsiXhosa-speaking orphaned children aged from 13 to 17. The participants were in grades 6 to 10 and they resided in two child and youth care centres in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. As part of the draw-and-write technique the participants were asked to make drawings of what enabled them to cope with their lives and to write short narratives in which they explained their drawings. Inductive content analysis was used to analyse the data and this process yielded two main themes, namely: personal protective resources and socio-ecological protective resources. The findings show that complex combinations of personal and socio-ecological resilience resources enabled the resilience of the orphaned children. The findings challenge researchers not to be oblivious to alternative child-friendly methods of research such as the draw-and-write technique when young people are the unit of analysis. The findings of this study have implications for research as well as practice in the field of education and psychology.