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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 159412 Find in a Library
Title: Case for Peers
Author(s): B Benard
Corporate Author: Western Regional Ctr for Drug-Free Schools and Communities
United States of America
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency:
Portland, OR 97204
Sale Source: Western Regional Ctr for Drug-Free Schools and Communities
101 SW Main Street
Suite 500
Portland, OR 97204
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper identifies and discusses rationales for peer resource programming.
Abstract: "Peer resource" is used to refer to any program that uses children and youth to work with and help other children and youth. Included in this definition are programs such as youth service, cooperative learning, peer tutoring, cross-age tutoring, peer helping, peer mediation, peer leadership, and youth involvement. Peer resource programming is important in youth development because peer relationships are important in social development, social support is important for positive outcomes, adult society often fails to provide social capital for youth, youth are given the opportunity to help, and peer interaction in constructive endeavors satisfies basic human psychological needs. Peer resource programming also provides the opportunity for youth to develop collaboration/conflict-resolution skills, promotes acceptance and respect for diversity, promotes academic achievement, and reduces alcohol and drug use among youth. Critical ingredients of peer programs are positive interdependence, face-to-face interaction, individual accountability, training in social skills, time for group processing, heterogeneous composition, an opportunity for each child to become a helper, adequate program duration, and youth involvement in program implementation. The adoption of peer resource programs requires a paradigm change, whereby youth who are traditionally viewed as "consumers" of help become "producers" of help. 80 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency prevention
Index Term(s): Peer influences on behavior; Positive peer culture; Youth community involvement
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