Political ideology, helping mechanisms and empowerment of mental health self-help/mutual aid groups

Hatzidimitriadou, Eleni (2002) Political ideology, helping mechanisms and empowerment of mental health self-help/mutual aid groups. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 12 (4). pp. 271-285. ISSN 1052-9284. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/casp.681

Abstract

Self-help/mutual aid groups share common attributes such as they are peer-led, address a common problem or condition, have a voluntary character and little or no connection with professionals. However, these groups may vary according to their political ideology and focus on personal or/and societal change. This study examines the role of political ideology of self-help/mutual aid groups and differences in psychosocial characteristics of group members. Fourteen mental health self-help/mutual aid groups in England were studied. On the basis of stated aims and principles and following semi-structured interviews with group leaders (facilitators/chairpersons), these were classified according to Emerick's typology as conservative (eight groups), combined (three groups), and radical (three groups). Group members (n = 67) completed questionnaires to assess personal empowerment, mental wellbeing, social networks and support, group identification and helping processes in the groups. Findings suggested that all self-help group members experienced a large number of naturally occurring helping process and felt empowered whilst they shared limited social networks and support and marginal mental wellbeing. Different ideological types of self-help groups may be related to specific helping processes and particular aspects of personal empowerment. Specifically, members of conservative and combined groups reported more expressive group processes like sharing of feelings and self-disclosure, while radical group members reported more optimism/control over their lives. Furthermore, group identification was associated with specific helping processes and aspects of personal empowerment in the three group categories. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: self-help groups; political ideology; empowerment; helping group processes
Subjects: H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Migration and Social Care (RAE)
Depositing User: Samantha Osborne
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2007 18:24
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2014 10:18
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/655 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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