Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology

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Volume 15 Issue 5 (September/October 2005), Pages 319-423

When multi‐problem poor individuals' values meet practitioners' values! (pages 353-367)


Every intervention process can be thought of as a journey of partnership between people, as well as an intellectual journey of ideas and an emotional journey of relationships. This exploratory study aims at reaching a better understanding of three questions: (i) What values do individual heads of multi‐problem poor households and practitioners show regarding their relationship? (ii) How might those values inform the interaction between them, in positive and/or negative ways? (iii) What might the value system which organizes the interaction between the participants be?

This study was carried out using a critical incidents technique and was based on a sample comprising two sub‐groups: 100 heads of multi‐problem poor families and 97 professionals. Findings reveal the following individual values: heads of multi‐problem poor families value instrumental support, relationships and effectiveness; while professionals' appreciate relationships, obedience to their own instructions and (in)effectiveness. These value systems seem to frame the interaction in games of responsibility avoidance that lead to the individuals' disempowerment, disguised in an aura of ‘adequate impotence’. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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