ERIC Number: ED315698
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Informal Social Support: A Close Look at a Community-Based Volunteer Aftercare Program for the Emotionally Disturbed.
Carbone, Dominic J.
Due to the high cost of professional services for the emotionally disturbed it is often the case that community-based aftercare programs for this population rely heavily on the use of volunteers to provide direct supportive functions. This study used a structured interview to attempt to describe the perceptions of volunteers of the informal helping relationship in a community-based aftercare program for the emotionally disturbed. The participants were 18 volunteer informal helpers. The results of the interview were in accordance with expectations, and are almost identical to prescriptions of the helping role found in the social support literature. The majority of the volunteers were in the program from between 4 months to 1 year; there was not, therefore, much difference between the participants based on length of time in the program. All of the volunteers found out about the program through a radio or newspaper ad that appealed to them personally. For the most part the volunteers perceived their role in a way that was consistent with the expectations that society, the service delivery system, and their helpees would hold for them. All of the participants described themselves as having one of the following traits: empathy, warmness, sensitivity, or helpfulness. More elaborate descriptive findings are needed regarding the helping relationship. (Author/ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHHS), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (97th, New Orleans, LA, August 11-15, 1989).