A 3-month peer counselor training program was provided to 32 inner-city adolescents, 14 to 17 years of age, 18 of whom were chronically ill. Participants completed pretests and posttests of ego development and pqychiatric symptoms and were evaluated for counseling skills by their trainer. A comparison sample (n = 28) was tested after an equivalent time periodi Mean scores on the two psychological measures did not change significantly for the comparison group or for two subgroups of graduates: (a) those who were judged adequate in counseling skills but who declined to take counseling jobs and (b) those who were not invited to become counselors after training. Only the subgroup of 14 trainees who accepted jobs exhibited improved mental health following the training experience. Chronic illness was not related to mental health outcomes for any group. Results suggested that a factor of psychological readiness may determine which adolescents can enhance their psychological maturity through participation in a counselor training intervention.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science