Health Care Professionals and Family Perspectives of Youth’s Trauma: Suggestions for Coaching and Self-Leadership

Karien Jooste*, 1, Jeanette Maritz2
1 School of Nursing, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, Cape Town, 7353, South Africa
2 Department of Health Studies, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa

© 2015 Jooste and Maritz

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distributin, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the School of Nursing, Private Bag x17 Bellville University of the Western Cape, Bellville, Cape Town, 7353, South Africa; Tel: 27(21)9592274; E-mail:


Family forms the first and most important social institution in every society. Although traumatised families may be the root of much personal and social turmoil, a healthy community and family is the most vital way to deal with social change and challenges. In the light of increasing violence and trauma in South Africa, youths adverse exposures to violence and trauma have been identified as a distressing health care problem globally and for our communities and families at large. This study sought to explore and describe community and family perspectives of youth’s trauma in order to propose a holistic support approach. A qualitative approach was followed and participants (health care professionals and parents) were purposefully selected. Data were gathered through interviews, a focus group and field notes. Data were analysed thematically. Health care professionals and parents shared similar experiences and concerns relating to their perceptions of youths’ experiences of trauma. Parents however had a more negative regard of the youth and their capabilities to deal with trauma. The trauma experience was seldom contained to the individual but had a traumatising ripple effect on the parents, and community. This often left the entire system feeling helpless and depleted of resources to cope.

Keywords: Coaching, health care professionals, parents, primary health care, self-leadership, trauma.