Giving and Receiving Help: Interpersonal Transactions in Mutual-Help Meetings and Psychosocial Adjustment of Members

University of Wisconsin/Madison, Child and Family Studies, USA.
American Journal of Community Psychology (Impact Factor: 1.74). 01/2000; 27(6):841-68. DOI: 10.1023/A:1022214710054
Source: PubMed


The helping transactions that occur in group meetings have been theorized to be important therapeutic mechanisms within mutual-help (or self-help) groups. Hypothesized links between giving and receiving help and psychosocial adjustment were examined in a mutual-help group for individuals with serious mental illness (GROW). Participants' adjustment was assessed at two time points and helping behaviors were measured with observational coding of weekly group interactions during the period between assessments. Frequencies of helping behaviors were used to predict Time 2 adjustment after controlling for initial adjustment. Consistent with the helper therapy principle, giving help to others predicted improvements in psychosocial adjustment; giving advice was a unique predictor. Total amount of help received was not associated with adjustment, but receiving help that provided cognitive reframing was associated with better social adjustment. A predicted interaction suggested that receiving help was related to better functioning when members experienced high levels of group integration.

14 Reads
  • Source
    • "As a departure from professionally-driven solutions to social problems, community psychologists have long recognized and sought to understand how community members engage in numerous forms of mutual assistance that can promote individual and broader community wellbeing (Levine 1988; Roberts et al. 1999). Articles in this special issue provide network-based insights into the ways that mutual aid and community-driven health promotion can unfold across various community settings. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In this article, we assert that relationships and networks are of paramount importance for understanding and improving settings, neighborhoods, communities, and larger social systems. Despite previous acknowledgements of their relevance, relational and social network perspectives and analyses remain underrepresented in community psychological research and action. Here, we claim that network and relational perspectives can provide conceptual and empirical 'links' between levels of analysis, more fully reflecting a transactional view. We also describe some of the sophisticated methodologies that can be employed in empirical studies drawing on these perspectives. Additionally, we contend that core concepts in community psychology such as health promotion, empowerment, coalition building, and dissemination and implementation can be better understood when employing relational and network perspectives. As an introduction to this special issue of American Journal of Community Psychology, we draw out themes and key points from the articles in the issue, and offer recommendations for future advancement of these perspectives in the field.
    American Journal of Community Psychology 04/2014; 53(3-4). DOI:10.1007/s10464-014-9654-2 · 1.74 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "In an examination of helping transactions in the mental health support group, GROW, giving help to others was the greatest predictor of improvements in psychosocial adjustment over time (Roberts et al. 1999). The study found that total help received was not associated with adjustment, but help that assisted in providing cognitive reframing was associated with better adjustment. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There is considerable interest in the various ethical problems associated with undertaking health and social science research. Participants in such research are often considered vulnerable because of their health status, social position, or dependence on others for health and welfare services. Researchers and ethics committees pay scrupulous attention to the identification and amelioration of risks to participants. Rarely are the benefits to participants of engaging in research highlighted or drawn to the attention of potential participants. Such potential benefits need to be considered by researchers and reviewers when considering the balance of benefits and harms associated with research projects. In this paper, we particularly consider the psychotherapeutic benefits of participation in research.
    International journal of mental health nursing 08/2012; 22(1). DOI:10.1111/j.1447-0349.2012.00842.x · 1.95 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Another key feature of self-help, consists in the enhancement of knowledge of experience, constructed from the personal experience of each one in addressing the shared problem. This knowledge is shared within the self-help meetings and is used as an intervention strategy to resolve the problems of the members of the group (Roberts et al., 1999). The sharing of personal experiences within the group allows knowledge validation and enables the learning of new ways to see, interpret and deal with the problems and the personal and collective situations associated. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract The “social” importance of the debate concerning the phenomenon of intimate partner violence and the possible forms of intervention feasible in its regard is now well established within various scientific disciplines, including the psychological one. The specific contribution that psychology can give, as well as the understanding of the phenomenon, is specifically linked to the area of intervention, both at the individual and group level. In this regard, an interesting methodology, still relatively little explored in its implications in relation to situations of violence in an intimate relationship, is that of self-help. The self-help groups, putting the people living certain difficult existential situations as protagonists, allow the assumption of an active role with respect to the proper condition of discomfort. The assumption of this active role is the precondition of any process of empowerment. The present contribution, reporting an experience developed in an anti-violence service centre in the city of Rome, aims to discuss some aspects specific to self-help groups with women victims of intimate partner violence. It will also aim to promote a reflection about critical issues, resources and transformative possibilities inherent to this specific type of groups
Show more