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

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois, United States
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.

18 Reads
  • Source
    • " , 2013 ; Pagano , Zeltner , Jaber , et al . , 2009 ) . Given the large literature in psychology and sociology on the benefits from providing and receiving social support , the lack of studies that have compared these two modes of exchange is unfortunate . To understand thera - peutic mechanisms better within mutual - help ( self - help ) groups , Roberts et al . ( 1999 ) studied the helping transactions occurring in group meetings . Hypothesized links between giving and receiving help and psychosocial adjustment were examined in a mutual - help group for individuals with seri - ous mental illness . Results indicated that giving help to others predicted improvements in psychosocial adjustment , though "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Because addiction is a socially isolating disease, social support for recovery is an important element of treatment planning. This study examines the relationship between social isolation, giving and receiving social support in Alcoholics Anonymous during treatment, and post-treatment outcomes among juvenile offenders court-referred to addiction treatment. Adolescents (N = 195) aged 14 to 18 years were prospectively assessed at treatment admission, treatment discharge, 6 months, and 12 months after treatment discharge. The influence of social isolation variables on relapse and severe criminal activity in the 12-months post-treatment was examined using negative binomial logistic regressions and event history methods. Juveniles entering treatment with social estrangement were significantly more likely to relapse, be incarcerated, and commit a violent crime in the 12-months post-treatment. Giving help to others in Alcoholics Anonymous during treatment significantly reduced the risk of relapse, incarceration, and violent crime in the 12-months post-treatment whereas receiving help did not.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Youth & Society
  • 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.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · American Journal of Community Psychology
  • 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.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · International journal of mental health nursing
Show more