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ERIC Number: ED142904
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1976
Reference Count: N/A
The Use of Older Volunteers as Peer-Counselors.
Becker, Francoise M.; Zarit, Steven H.
While research usually emphasizes the decrements of older persons, increases in human relations skills may be among the observable gains of aging. The present study, conducted in the Counseling Center of the Andrus Gerontology Center, evaluates the potential of using older volunteers as peer counselors. Subjects were 11 persons from a larger pool of older adult volunteers who were enrolled in a counselor training program. A control group of 11 other volunteers was chosen randomly from the remaining group. The experimental group received 10 training sessions in counseling skills based on Carkhuff's developmental model, with modifications to include information on the aging process. All Ss were evaluated prior to and following the training course in a mock interview. Responses were rated on the dimensions of empathy, genuineness and non-possessive warmth, which have been found to be related to effective counseling. Results show that older adults can be trained in the kind of interpersonal skills needed for counseling, extending the previous data in the training of lay counselors into the training of older persons. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A