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ERIC Number: ED025736
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969
Pages: 4
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Informal Helping Relationships Among Adults.
Macdonald; Mairi St. John
An exploratory study examined the informal helping relationship between adults seeking assistance with problems and the persons they selected as helpers. Fifteen men and 15 women were interviewed with an open ended questionnaire listing 50 possible reasons for selecting a helper and 35 possible ways in which a helper assisted with the problems. Among problem areas were careers, marital difficulties, alcoholism, bereavement, moving, family conflicts, and feelings of inadequacy. Problems had persisted for periods of time varying from six months to more than three years. Respondents selected helpers who were older, married, friends or relatives, same nationality or sex, and of similar educational level and religion. Men tended to choose helpers who were perceived as warm, friendly, and sincerely interested in them, while women selected helpers who took them seriously, listened, and kept confidences. Natural helpers appeared to share similarities to professionally trained persons described in counseling literature. Objective findings suggest that natural helpers may be identified through the testimony of those whom they have assisted, and subjective findings suggest that natural helpers may be identified by self disclosures in an interview. (author/pt)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the National Seminar on Adult Education Research (Toronto, February 9-11, 1969), based on author's doctoral dissertation, University of Toronto, 1968.