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An exploratory study of factors influencing mass hysteria in teenagers at high schools in the uThukela District

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dc.contributor.advisor Thwala, J.D.
dc.contributor.advisor Edwards, S.D.
dc.contributor.author Mthembu, Shole Absolom
dc.date.accessioned 2013-08-12T07:40:39Z
dc.date.available 2013-08-12T07:40:39Z
dc.date.issued 2012
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10530/1209
dc.description Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Community Psychology at the University of Zululand, South Africa, 2012. en_US
dc.description.abstract The aim of this study was to explore factors which could influence the development of mass hysteria in the high schools within the UThukela District in Kwa Zulu Natal. Being exploratory in nature, the study generated or relied on hypotheses on the possible etiological factors that could lead to the development of mass hysteria. Quantitative research, in the form of subjective psychological well – being questionnaires (AFM, SWL & Fortitude scales) were used to collect data in order to determine whether or not mass hysteria was related or influenced by them. A total number of seven hundred and nineteen (719) participants – all high school teenagers of all races - answered questionnaires in the English language. Their age range was between 16 and 19 years. The smaller qualitative research section consisted of ten (10) randomly selected teenagers from the school community. The emphasis on qualitative research was placed on asking participants about their own experiences and/or meaning of mass hysteria and actions they took to heal or recover. The main findings were that there are statistically significant differences in the way different religious groups; gender and race contribute to the incidence of mass hysteria. The results of the subjective scales demonstrated a high level of psychological well – being of a large number of participants. In the literature review it was apparent that mass hysteria is a universal phenomenon, probably arising psycho dynamically from the mind/body interface without organic etiological factors. It is a symbolic relation between the pathological phenomenon and the precipitating psychical childhood traumas. Observations from mass hysteria victims are in keeping with various theories (for discussion), therefore the confirmatory hypotheses testing is not to be seen as an efficient means of unearthing a web of belief system in various communities. There are potential relationships among various theoretical dimensions of mass hysteria. Symptoms presented by victims of (mass) hysteria are almost similar, but are expressed differently by race, gender and religion. This research has tried to give some tentative answers to the question of mass hysteria. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship University of Zululand en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher University of Zululand en_US
dc.subject Mass hysteria -- schools -- KwaZulu-Natal en_US
dc.subject Mind-body inter-phase en_US
dc.subject Psycho dynamic neurobiology en_US
dc.title An exploratory study of factors influencing mass hysteria in teenagers at high schools in the uThukela District en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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