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Students' counseling: studying a group intervention's effects

Background

Counseling of young students is a very demanding area and during the two last decades the Greek Universities have started to be interested in. The final stage of adolescence and the first years of youth are especially stressful, because young people must take decisions and act as mature individuals, often separated to their family of origin.

Materials and methods

The present study was realised in a sample of thirty-two persons, who were students in the School of Health in T.E.I. (Technological Educational Institute) of Patras. The aim of the study was to investigate the degree to which an intevention may influence psychological maturity of the participating subjects and their consequent coping strategies.

Assessment was based on a combination of qualitative and quantitative measures. The Johnson's Scale for the psychological maturity was used in order to estimate the psychological maturity's level of the control group and that of the twelve subjects'group, who participated in the intervention, which took place during a whole academic year. In addition, the 'Echelle Toulousaine de Coping' was used to measure the coping strategies of the two groups before and after the intervention.

Results

The results of the study show that the intervention ameliorated the psychological maturity's level of the experimental group. The assessment pointed out a statistically significant difference (0.3 points). However, there is not enough evidence that the coping strategies of the participating subjects were ameliorated.

Discussion

Finally, the qualitative data show that the coping strategies used after the intervention may be more functional and flexible. It appears that the participants "learned through experience" that the support offered by the group is one of the most important and functional coping strategies.

References

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    Folkman S, Lazarus RS: Coping and Emotion. Stress and Coping: An Anthology. Edited by: Monat A, Lazarus RS. 1991, New York: Columbia University Press

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    Forman S: Coping Skills Interventions for Children and Adolescents. 1993, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers

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    Filstead W: Qualitative method: a needed perspective in evaluation research. Qualitative and quantitative Methods in Evaluation Research. Edited by: Cook T, Reinchardt C. 1979, Beverly Hills: Sage Publications

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    Kerr M: The Extension of Bowen Theory to Nonfamily Groups. The Emotional Side of Organisations. Edited by: Comella PA et al. 1996, Washington; DC, Georgetown

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Author information

Correspondence to Maria Mpekou Theodoratou.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Keywords

  • Public Health
  • Group Intervention
  • Young People
  • Coping Strategy
  • Quantitative Measure