Assessment of the Volunteers
An additional aspect of the present research concerns the individuals recruited to work with the juvenile delinquents. The use of volunteers, or nonprofessionals, in community interventions has been promoted in the field of community psychology for the last two decades (Rappaport, 1977; Sobey, 1970; Zax & Specter, 1974). The emphasis on using nonprofessionals, either as volunteers or as paid staff, arose from two main criticisms of traditional psychological intervention. First, the limited pool of professional psychologists substantially restricted their availability to the large numbers of people potentially needing psychological services (Albee, 1959; Pearl & Riessman, 1965). Second, the effectiveness of traditional psychological therapies came under serious scrutiny at about the same time that the positive qualities of nonprofessionals were recognized (Heller & Monahan, 1977). These two perspectives resulted in the increased use of nonprofessionals as service providers. The movement toward the use of nonprofessionals was also encouraged by the notion that nonprofessionals, as well as their clients, benefitted from the experience. This notion has been termed the helper therapy principle (Riessman, 1969).
KeywordsControl Volunteer Juvenile Justice System Volunteer Group Control Student Juvenile Delinquent
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