The Psychosocial and Educational Problems of Children Who Head Families in Mekelle City

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Addis Ababa University


The main purpose of this study was to investigate the psychosocial and educational problems of children heading families in Mekelle. Data were collectedfromfour children who head families, four immediate neighbors of these children and six teachers who taught the children. In-depth interviews were held with the four children who head families and their neighbors using interview guides. Observation was also employed in home and school of the children who head families. The data were organized and analyzed in the form of independent case studies. Cross case analysis was also done to develop a greater insight into the general theme investigated into. Results of the study showed that children who head families faced different psychosocial and educational problems. Socially, they experienced various problems like low social relations, lack of friends, discrimination and stigmatization by their neighbors and village friends. Psychologically, they suffer from the feelings of hopelessness, loneliness, depression, fear, worries, conjilsion, stress, anger, discomfort and a lack self corifidence and low self esteem. The educational problems include reaching late to school, missing class, inability to complete homework and involve in group home aSSignments. The children who head families, in order to deal with their psychosocial and educational problems request different supports such as financial, tutorial and vocational training. They used religion, telling to friend, playing, engaging in work, joining school, partiCipating in different social activities, enjoying with their siblings, perseverance and patience, as the major coping strategies to cope with their problems. The study concluded that the children who head families face various psychosocial and educational problems which require different support to deal with their problems. Keeping in view the very nature and consequences of the psychosocial and educational problems of children headingfamilies, the study recommends afew remedial measures with an objective of enriching the lives of children heading families



children ;heading; families