Individual Competence (individual + competence)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Training as a vehicle to empower carers in the community: more than a question of information sharing

MSc (Econ), Nicholas Clarke BSc MSc
Abstract Much confusion still surrounds the concept of empowerment and how it is to be translated into practice within the context of community care for service users and carers. A major limitation has been the tendency to treat empowerment as synonymous with participation in decision-making with little attention given to the ,ecological' model of empowerment where linkages have been found between community participation and measures of psychological empowerment. Training has been suggested as a means through which carers might become empowered, yet to date little empirical evidence has appeared within the literature to support this proposition. This study investigated whether attendance on a training programme to empower carers resulted in improvements in carers' levels of perceived control, self-efficacy and self-esteem as partial measures of psychological empowerment. The findings demonstrated that whereas carers' knowledge of services and participation increased as a result of the programme, no changes were found in measures of carer empowerment. The failure to consider how training needs to be designed in order to achieve changes in individual competence and self-agency are suggested as the most likely explanation for the lack of change observed in carers' psychological empowerment. It is suggested that community care agencies should focus greater energies in determining how the policy objectives of empowerment are to be achieved through training, and in so doing make far more explicit the supposed linkages between training content, design, and its posited impact on individual behaviour or self-agency. [source]

Barriers and Enablers to the Use of Measures to Prevent Pediatric Scalding in Cape Town, South Africa

Ashley Van Niekerk
ABSTRACT Objective: Little attention has been paid to the prevention of pediatric scalding injuries in low-income settings, especially from the standpoint of local stakeholders. This study investigates stakeholder understandings of potential measures to prevent childhood scalding and the related hinders and enablers to such measures. Design and Sample: The study utilized an exploratory qualitative design. Content analysis was applied to the transcriptions of interviews with 13 caregivers and 8 burn prevention research, policy, and practitioner professionals. Measures: The study used semistructured interviews using illustrations to generate data. The 21 individual interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using content analytic steps. Interviews focused on 2 illustrations that depict circumstances that surround the occurrence of pediatric scalding typical for Cape Town. Results: 3 categories of prevention measures were identified: enhancements to the safety of the home environment, changes to practice, and improvements to individual competence. The barriers identified were spatial constraints in homes, hazardous home facilities, and multiple family demands. Conclusions: Caregivers and professionals report a similar range of measures to prevent pediatric scalding. Many of these might not be readily implementable in low-income settings with key barriers that would need to be addressed by policymakers and prevention practitioners. [source]

Individual versus social complexity, with particular reference to ant colonies

ABSTRACT Insect societies , colonies of ants, bees, wasps and termites , vary enormously in their social complexity. Social complexity is a broadly used term that encompasses many individual and colony-level traits and characteristics such as colony size, polymorphism and foraging strategy. A number of earlier studies have considered the relationships among various correlates of social complexity in insect societies; in this review, we build upon those studies by proposing additional correlates and show how all correlates can be integrated in a common explanatory framework. The various correlates are divided among four broad categories (sections). Under ,polyphenism' we consider the differences among individuals, in particular focusing upon ,caste' and specialization of individuals. This is followed by a section on ,totipotency' in which we consider the autonomy and subjugation of individuals. Under this heading we consider various aspects such as intracolony conflict, worker reproductive potential and physiological or morphological restrictions which limit individuals' capacities to perform a range of tasks or functions. A section entitled ,organization of work' considers a variety of aspects, e.g. the ability to tackle group, team or partitioned tasks, foraging strategies and colony reliability and efficiency. A final section,,communication and functional integration', considers how individual activity is coordinated to produce an integrated and adaptive colony. Within each section we use illustrative examples drawn from the social insect literature (mostly from ants, for which there is the best data) to illustrate concepts or trends and make a number of predictions concerning how a particular trait is expected to correlate with other aspects of social complexity. Within each section we also expand the scope of the arguments to consider these relationships in a much broader sense of'sociality' by drawing parallels with other ,social' entities such as multicellular individuals, which can be understood as ,societies' of cells. The aim is to draw out any parallels and common causal relationships among the correlates. Two themes run through the study. The first is the role of colony size as an important factor affecting social complexity. The second is the complexity of individual workers in relation to the complexity of the colony. Consequently, this is an ideal opportunity to test a previously proposed hypothesis that ,individuals of highly social ant species are less complex than individuals from simple ant species' in light of numerous social correlates. Our findings support this hypothesis. In summary, we conclude that, in general, complex societies are characterized by large colony size, worker polymorphism, strong behavioural specialization and loss of totipotency in its workers, low individual complexity, decentralized colony control and high system redundancy, low individual competence, a high degree of worker cooperation when tackling tasks, group foraging strategies, high tempo, multi-chambered tailor-made nests, high functional integration, relatively greater use of cues and modulatory signals to coordinate individuals and heterogeneous patterns of worker-worker interaction. Key words: Ants, insect societies, individual complexity, social complexity, polyphenism, totitpotency, work organization, functional integration, sociality. [source]

Constructing the Deviant Other: Mothering and Fathering at the Workplace

Clarissa Kugelberg
Gender stereotyping is a widely described and documented process that permeates working life in western societies. It is characterized by ascribing greatly simplified attributes to women and men and forging a dualistic view of gender in which women and men are conceptualized as antipodes to each other. Through this ongoing reproduction of simplistic views; contradictions, variations and complexities are concealed, together with the richness of individuals' competence and experiences. Intimately related to this gender stereotyping are assumptions that distinct kinds of jobs and positions fit either men or women. In this article I investigate the constructions of motherhood and fatherhood as important elements in the processes of gender stereotyping. I argue that the production of stereotypes is part of an inter-discursive contest which has a significant impact on gender relations and women's opportunities. My discussion derives from an anthropological study of one workplace. [source]