Public's Perception of the Phenomenon of Street Children: A Qualitative Study of Students and Shopkeepers in Accra, Ghana
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- Institutt for psykologi 
Drawing on recorded interviews and focus group discussions with shopkeepers, and junior and senior high school children respectively in Accra Central, this study explores the public's perceptions of the phenomenon of street children in Accra, Ghana. A semi-structured interview guide was used. Qualitative analyses of the data indicated that both shopkeepers and school children who participated in this study generally have positive and supportive perception of street children. However, the school children tend to be more empathetic to street children; as they (school children) identify more with the street children‟s situation. Informants‟ helping behaviours towards street children were found to be influenced by religious beliefs and media pronouncements and portrayals about street children. The phenomenon was attributed to causative factors beyond the individual street child (e.g., family dysfunctions and parenting deficits, poverty, dysfunctional laws and cultural practices). On preventive and remedial measures, informants suggested cultural, ideological and structural changes in families and the society at large.