From the Perspectives of Experiential Peers: The Working Elements of Experiential Peer Support for Adolescents Whom Desist From Crime
MetadataShow full item record
Experiential peers (EP’s) are increasingly involved in the development of interventions for adolescents with a delinquent background. However, little is known about the effects on desistance, or the mechanisms that clarify these mechanisms. Therefore, the current study examined seven proposed mechanisms (empathy & acceptance, narrative & identity formation, social learning, social control, social bonding, hope & perspective and translation & connection) that might play a role in the effects. Semi-structured interviews led to a variety of outcomes of 11 EP’s. Because of their own experiences with criminal behavior, incarceration and formal care, EP’s believed they had an advantage in social bonding with their clients, as opposed to other professionals, which led to a development of the other six mechanisms. Additionally, the respondents suggested numerous prerequisites for EP’s: incarceration, crime free, able to reflect and vulnerability. Lastly, several respondents emphasized the importance of educational programs for EP’s because it helped them to leave the past behind and gave them tools to support others. However, the majority received positive reactions of other professionals, they sometimes still feel they were treated as ‘outsiders’ and experienced difficulties with their position.