Increasing perceived interpersonal competence with nonprofessionals in a helping role: a primary preventive approach



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The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of an interpersonal communications model as a training procedure for nonprofessionals in a helping role. The theoretical assumptions underlying the training method were based on an interpersonal communications model developed by Ernest Beier. Thirty male dormitory advisors were randomly assigned to an experimental and control group. The experimental group participated in a 12 hour training block, using Beier's model. The 12 hour block was divided into 3 weekly sessions of 4 hours and included: (a) a detailed presentation and discussion of Beier's model, (b) a video taped presentation of various types of communication processes, and (c) various role playing situations concerning typical dorm problems. During the following 2 weeks, the trainees participated in 2 follow up sessions. The control group participated in 3 weekly leadership training sessions of 4 hours each which included: (a) a discussion of various leadership theories, (b) training experiences which exemplified the different approaches, and (c) a lecture and exercises concerning group decision making processes. Following the three sessions, two weekly follow up sessions were conducted. Upon completion of the training, the advisors were administered the Barrett-Lennard Relationship Inventory Scale (RI) as a self perception instrument. Four weeks later, students rated their advisors using the RI scale and the Role Appropriateness Scale. [...]



Helping behavior, Paraprofessionals in social service--Training of