Adolescents in the city: material and social living conditions in Johannesburg-Soweto, South Africa

SOURCE: Urban Forum
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2009
TITLE AUTHOR(S): L.M.Richter, S.Panday, T.M.Swart, S.A.Norris
KEYWORDS: ADOLESCENTS, JOHANNESBURG, SOWETO
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Development (HSD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 5946

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Abstract

Urban populations are growing rapidly in developing countries. As a result, challenges to the well-being of adolescents are increasing in priority. This paper describes the material and social living conditions of 5,367 young adolescents, in Johannesburg-Soweto, South Africa in 2002-2003. The majority of children in South Africa's urban hub have adequate access to basic services. However, social conditions are a key concern lack of financial support by parents; defaulting caregiver roles to grandparents; minimal or no contact with fathers; and poor school performance. Weakened levels of family support in urban environments may negatively impact on adolescent development. In the long term, family systems as well as other social networks and institutions need to be strengthened to improve adolescent outcomes.