Teenage mothers and their peers: a research challenge.
Recent reports have highlighted the adverse health experience of teenage mothers. The question of how these mothers' perceptions of their own health status and social networks differ from those of their nulliparous peers is explored in this pilot study, which highlights some practical problems associated with research in this important field. (+info)
Loud, sad or bad: young people's perceptions of peer groups and smoking.
This paper suggests that most 13 year olds and many 11 year olds have a clear and detailed grasp of their own social map, recognize the pecking order which is established amongst their peers and are aware of the different levels of risk-taking behaviour, including smoking, adopted by different peer groups in their school year. Thirty six 11 year olds and 40 13 year olds took part in the study. Their remarkably consistent views about which pupils adopt or reject smoking are closely related to their perceptions of their social map. Their accounts differentiate top girls, top boys, middle pupils, low-status pupils, trouble-makers and loners, associating smoking behaviour consistently with three of the five groups--the top girls, the low-status pupils and the trouble makers. Top boys, although sharing many of the characteristics of top girls, have an added protection factor--their keen interest in football and physical fitness. From their descriptions, it is apparent that different groups of pupils smoke for different reasons which are related to pecking order and group membership. The implications of these young people's views for health education programmes to prevent smoking and other risk-taking behaviours are far reaching. (+info)
Planning with PRA: HIV and STD in a Nepalese mountain community.
The application of Participatory Rural Appraisal methods (PRA) to the topic of sexual health enabled us to explore key factors concerning local people's perceptions regarding HIV/AIDS and STDs and to plan collectively to address the emerging issues. Conducting the process in a gender sensitive way enabled people to feel safe enough to express their own opinions, and having gained confidence in their peer groups, to share ideas later with the whole community in a joint planning exercise. Nevertheless one group was identified as difficult to reach and whose needs could not be met in a group for reasons of confidentiality. While the methodology itself clearly has great potential in planning around specific health issues, there are, nevertheless, limitations. Although the approach and the tools used are simple and accessible, the skills needed to analyze the information are more complex and demanding. The training given did not manage to equip facilitators adequately with these analytical skills and in the future will be more experience based and geared towards developing analysis and the ability to formulate questions. In addition, since the project is not permanently resident in the area, intensive support within the District is necessary to increase the chances of sustainability. (+info)
Is peer tutoring beneficial in the context of school resuscitation training?
First year pupils at a Cardiff comprehensive school were trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, 106 by the teacher only and 137 by the teacher assisted by older pupils (peer tutoring). Scores in a multiple choice theory test and in practical skill assessment showed no significant difference between instruction methods, but boys taught by the teacher assisted by older pupils expressed less willingness to resuscitate in an emergency than girls instructed by either method (P < 0.01). Girls had higher scores in the multiple choice paper (P < 0.025) and in the skills assessment (P < 0.01). Those pupils who reported some prior knowledge of resuscitation techniques performed better during skill assessment than novice trainees (P < 0.025). (+info)
The relation between behavior problems and peer preference in different classroom contexts. Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group.
This study tested two alternative hypotheses regarding the relations between child behavior and peer preference. The first hypothesis is generated from the person-group similarity model, which predicts that the acceptability of social behaviors will vary as a function of peer group norms. The second hypothesis is generated by the social skill model, which predicts that behavioral skill deficiencies reduce and behavioral competencies enhance peer preference. A total of 2895 children in 134 regular first-grade classrooms participated in the study. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to compare four different behaviors as predictors of peer preference in the context of classrooms with varying levels of these behavior problems. The results of the study supported both predictive models, with the acceptability of aggression and withdrawal varying across classrooms (following a person-group similarity model) and the effects of inattentive/hyperactive behavior (in a negative direction) and prosocial behavior (in a positive direction) following a social skill model and remaining constant in their associations with peer preference across classrooms. Gender differences also emerged, with aggression following the person-group similarity model for boys more strongly than for girls. The effects of both child behaviors and the peer group context on peer preference and on the trajectory of social development are discussed. (+info)
Behavioural intervention trials for HIV/STD prevention in schools: are they feasible?
OBJECTIVE: To assess the feasibility of conducting a large randomised controlled trial (RCT) of peer led intervention in schools to reduce the risk of HIV/STD and promote sexual health. METHODS: Four secondary schools in Greater London were randomly assigned to receive peer led intervention (two experimental schools) or to act as control schools. In the experimental schools, trained volunteers aged 16-17 years (year 12) delivered the peer led intervention to 13-14 year old pupils (year 9). In the control schools, year 9 pupils received the usual teacher led sex education. Questionnaire data collected from year 9 pupils at baseline included views on the quality of sex education/intervention received, and knowledge and attitudes about HIV/AIDS and other sexual matters. Focus groups were also conducted with peer educators and year 9 pupils. Data on the process of delivering sex education/intervention and on attitudes to the RCT were collected for each of the schools. Analysis focused on the acceptability of a randomised trial to schools, parents, and pupils. RESULTS: Nearly 500 parents were informed about the research and invited to examine the study questionnaire; only nine raised questions and only one pupil was withdrawn from the study. Questionnaire completion rates were around 90% in all schools. At baseline, the majority of year 9 pupils wanted more information about a wide range of sexual matters. Focus group work indicated considerable enthusiasm for peer led education, among peer educators and year 9 pupils. Class discipline was the most frequently noted problem with the delivery of the peer led intervention. CONCLUSION: Evaluation of a peer led behavioural intervention through an RCT can be acceptable to schools, pupils, and parents and is feasible in practice. In general, pupils who received the peer led intervention responded more positively than those in control schools. A large RCT of the long term (5-7 year) effects of this novel intervention on sexual health outcomes is now under way. (+info)
An expansion of the peer-tutoring paradigm: cross-age peer tutoring of social skills among socially rejected boys.
We examined the effects of a cross-age peer-tutoring program on the social skills of 2 sixth-grade and 2 kindergarten socially rejected and isolated boys. Peer tutoring consisted of the older boys conducting social skills training with their younger tutees. The frequency of positive social interactions increased for all 4 boys, with maintenance of treatment gains following a 5-week interval. (+info)
Practical approaches to reduce the impact of bullying.
Bullying has serious long term consequences for all concerned. The cost of ignoring bullying is great, and it is no longer acceptable to view bullying as a normal part of everyday life that children have to learn to tolerate. Effective strategies exist to reduce the frequency of bullying and to make this type of aggressive behaviour less likely to occur. (+info)