HEY BABY (Helping Empower Youth Brought up in Adversity with their Babies and Young children) aims to assess pathways to resilience amongst adolescent parent families living in adversity, including young parents living in resource-constrained, HIV-affected communities. This is an incredible opportunity to understand what social, health and economic supports can improve outcomes for adolescent parent-child dyads living in severe adversity. This research will guide policy and programming in HIV and adolescent health.
This study uses innovative methodologies to map out a theory-grounded framework of resilience. First, we will build a longitudinal cohort of over 1,000 parent-child dyads living in severe adversity in South Africa. Through this, we can examine protective socio-economic, education and healthcare pathways. Second, we will create a six-country pooled dataset of parenting program studies, and test effectiveness across 8,000 participants regionally. Both of these stages will integrate citizen social science: participatory research with young families in adversity. This component will investigate adolescents’ perspective on building resilience in adversity, adding a qualitative dimension based on in-depth, participatory and visual engagement.
This study is a collaborative effort between the South African national Departments of Health, Social Development and Basic Education, UNICEF, and the Universities of Cape Town (Dr Elona Toska) and Oxford (Prof Lucie Cluver), University College London (Prof Lorraine Sherr) and Fort Hare University (Sr Ntuthu Bungane).