Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology

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Volume 6 Issue 5 (December 1996), Pages fmi-fmi, i-i, 311-414

Community‐based Peer Groups: an Intervention Programme for Teenage Mothers (pages 373-381)

Abstract

This paper assesses the use of community‐based peer groups as an intervention strategy to provide teenage mothers with an opportunity to share common experiences, receive social support and identify links between personal and social problems. The method utilized in a recent community project on teenage pregnancy is outlined. Over a period of 8 weeks a group of 10 teenage mothers met weekly to share their experiences of pregnancy and motherhood. The facilitators used various games and audio‐visual aids to build rapport and to enhance willingness to discuss sensitive topics. The final session comprised a 1‐day training workshop to enable the participants to act as co‐facilitators for similar groups in the future. The evaluation indicated that the participants felt empowered by the opportunity to discuss common experiences and to have their perceptions affirmed by their peers. The potential value of this programme within the broader mental health context of South Africa is briefly discussed, and also the possibility of adding a consciousness‐raising element to such groups.

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