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Developing a peer helping program and testing its effectiveness

Aladağ, Mine
The main purpose of this three-phase study was to develop a peer helping program. The purpose of the first phase was to plan a peer helping program with its goal and content. The purpose of the second phase was to develop a peer helping training program and to investigate its effectiveness on improving the helping skills and self-growth of the peer helpers. The purpose of the third phase was to understand the peer helpers̕ and helpees̕ evaluations of the peer helping program. In the first phase of the study, a need assessment study was carried out with a sample of 316 (168 females, 148 males) students from Faculty of Education of Ege University. Results indicated that students preferred peer helpers among other helping agents; they preferred both non-directive helping styles (empathic responses) and directive helping styles (instrumental responses); they seemed to believe the helpfulness of the program; they tended to apply to the program; and they wanted the program to concentrate on their career, academic, and interpersonal relationships concerns. In the second phase of the study, in order to investigate the effect of peer helping training program on improving peer helpers̕ helping skills and the self-growth, a pre-test post-test control group experimental design study was carried out with a sample of 31 participants (15 experimental group and 16 control group). The participants were also administered six-month follow-up test. The data were gathered by administering five instruments: Communication Skills Evaluation Scale (CSES), Empathic Skill Scale-B Form (ESS-B), Reflection Skills Evaluation Form (RSEF), Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSS) and Self-Acceptance Inventory (SAI). After testing the equivalence of the pre-test scores of CSES, ESS-B, RSS, and SAI of the experimental and the control group participants, a series of 2 (experimental-control groups) X 3