Author Topic: Positive Peer Culture  (Read 2101 times)

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Offline Anonymous

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Positive Peer Culture
« on: July 06, 2007, 02:20:41 PM »
Positive Peer Culture-  

Another marketing tool.  Does this really mean the program is different than those who use Behavior Modification?  Is this just a change in language they use in the brochures?  I am interested in hearing from survivors who have attended a program that marketed with the "positive peer culture" theraputic approach.
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Offline Karass

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Positive Peer Culture
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2007, 07:09:25 PM »
"Positive peer culture" is usually a euphemism for upper level inmates dishing out 'consequences' to lower level inmates. It's not something that's done instead of behavior mod -- it's part of the BM program -- and it helps guarantee that there's no 'us vs. them.' It helps ensure a feeling that I'm totally alone in here, I can't trust anybody but myself, and maybe not even myself.

Positive peer culture is extra fuel for feelings of total hopelessness and desperation.

You don't have to be a survivor to learn the program ways and the program lingo and to see through the Marketing b.s.
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Offline Anonymous

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Positive Peer Culture
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2007, 08:34:26 PM »
Quote from: ""70sPunkRebel""
"Positive peer culture" is usually a euphemism for upper level inmates dishing out 'consequences' to lower level inmates. It's not something that's done instead of behavior mod -- it's part of the BM program -- and it helps guarantee that there's no 'us vs. them.' It helps ensure a feeling that I'm totally alone in here, I can't trust anybody but myself, and maybe not even myself.

Positive peer culture is extra fuel for feelings of total hopelessness and desperation.

You don't have to be a survivor to learn the program ways and the program lingo and to see through the Marketing b.s.


Thank you, I am finding many programs are using this positive peer culture... as a "alternative" to behavior modification.  Marketing it as a "safer and less abusive" format.
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Offline Bunnie

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Thanks
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2007, 01:01:30 AM »
Thanks for posting that, I have wondered what it meant.
I had the same Idea of what it is but was unsure. So just more marketing bs.   :roll:
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Offline nimdA

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Positive Peer Culture
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2007, 01:43:45 AM »
Positive Peer Culture:

The idea on paper isn't at all bad. However, it is when it is put into practice where it breaks down quickly. PPC strives to empower the group to affect change in each other rather than having the adults facilitate the change.

It seems like a genuine idea that could work. However, what breaks it down is the type of clients, the facility, and the counselor.

PPC can't accommodate the following:

Kids who don't give a damn what happens to the group when the act out. The group suffering on account of their actions isn't a problem for them. These kids will put their group through all sorts of hell just because it pleases them to do so.

Facilities who insist on providing substandard living conditions, food, and low quality educational opportunities automatically cripple the morale of the group. Why would they even bother to try to better themselves when they live in a total shithole? Further, the facilities own standards and rules can work against the group by forcing it to comply with unreasonable expectations.

Counselors rarely are able to sit back and let the group sort out its own problems. They are required to abide by certain policies and procedures. Some of these might not work in the best interest of the group.  Some of these include requiring the counselor to have the group participate in activities that are highly unpopular. I'm not talking about activities like going to school. More so activities that are punishment oriented in nature.

Also the counselors often tend to have to push a stage system onto the group. The stage system thrives on the kids who snitch. Once you breed a culture of snitches into a group no trust will ever be had for each other. So if they don't trust each other the entire purpose of PPC is completely pointless.

In the end PPC comes across as Behavioral modification dressed up in a nice suit and tie. Instead of just the counselors doling out consequences you have the kids doing it as well. Well excuse me but what the hell is the point of PPC if you have consequences?  PPC is supposed to be free of consequences unless they are natural and logical. Meaning the group decides to go for a walk without its rain jackets and they get rained on its natural.

Not if the group decides to go without their rain jackets they get marched up and down a hill for 2 hours while being yelled at for being druggies while a counselor marches time with a swagger stick.

ANY facility that advertises PPC is an automatic RED flag. Though you would think just being a program would be red flag enough.
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Offline Anonymous

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Positive Peer Culture
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2007, 01:13:30 PM »
You're right.  This looks really good on paper.  You can go to Red Rock Canyon School's site and they outline exactly what this is, for those who don't know, and there is also a book out there, can't remember the name, I think you'll find it in RR's site as well.  This is just for informational purposes, I am not pushing the school.
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Offline Anonymous

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Positive Peer Culture
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2007, 03:26:36 PM »
It is a very ironic euphemism, one of many in this industry. I know many programs like one I went to was based on level system, or a hierarchy of students. This creates the exact opposite of positive peer culture. Imagine living in your family with siblings but your parents deemed half the children "Special" and the other half "less than" and really taught these beliefs to the kids. The special kids would get good meals and love and freedom, the less than kids would scrub the floors with toothbrushes as the special kids laughed and poor grease on the floor as they clean. This isn't a positive peer culture. This idea is sold to parents as such. But go back to your childhood memories and try to think what if your parents 100% wholeheartedly supported a special/less than social dynamic in a house with several siblings and that is a microcosm of the sort of peer on peer mistreatment that occurs.  

Divide and conquer. Without the help of the special kids, the adults in control could never maintain such a tight grip of authority, and probably no control at all in such a large group of kids. They have their own kid goon squad, and they live the high life, plenty of candy, video games and phone calls home while the rest suffer. Unity would destroy this sadistic construct. That is why brainwashing is so essential. Most kids will not sell out their brethren to a bunch of wackos for no reason. The use a stick and carrot approach. They punish kids who do not progress up levels, and reward them with relatively small amounts of increased living standard. Then of course there are those rare few who need no or little convincing to sell out their peers. Fuck them.
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Offline Anonymous

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Positive Peer Culture
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2007, 05:17:54 PM »
Good post.

Yes, that seems to be what a lot of the programs use (ratting out other students) to keep the kids in the program longer, and require that technique in order for students to progress to upper levels.  Nothing like dissension in the ranks!
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Offline Anonymous

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Offline Ursus

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Re: Positive Peer Culture
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2008, 01:14:02 PM »
Quote from: "Guest"
http://www.amazon.com/Positive-Culture- ... 0202360385
Positive Peer Culture (Modern Applications of Social Work) by Harry H. Vorrath & Larry K. Brendtro (noted in the link just above) is a 2nd edition (1985) of a "classic" originally put out in the mid 1970's.

This concept of "positive peer culture" has been bandied about and altered so much that many people might think of it as merely catchy words that function quite nicely in the marketing of a program. But once upon a time, PPC was actually a distinct concept and had specific uses and definitions.

GUIDED GROUP INTERACTIONS appears to have evolved out of the THERAPEUTIC COMMUNITIES first used during World War II (in getting soldiers in a military psych hospital back onto the battlefield; Tavistock Institute). Guided Group Interactions was allegedly first used in this country in the late 1940s for dealing with military offenders. The methodology was subsequently further adjusted for the treatment of delinquent adolescent males at the Highfields program in New Jersey in the 1950s.

POSITIVE PEER CULTURE was a variation or spin-off of Guided Group Interactions which also included non-delinquents, the rational being that "good leadership" could provide more moral direction.
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Offline Ursus

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Re: Positive Peer Culture
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2008, 02:11:57 PM »
Here's the first page of an article that came out in the journal Child Care Quarterly, Vol. 5(2), Summer 1976, p. 109. The provided link will bring you to SpringerLink's page, where you have the option of downloading the first page free (as I did), or of purchasing the whole article (about $30+, if I recall correctly). CCQ appears to be now known as Child and Youth Care Forum, according to specs on this page.

Blue color emphasis mine.

Quote
Guided Group Interaction: Positive Peer Culture*
Curtis D. Harstadt**  
    John Howard Association  
    Chicago, Illinois
    [/list]
    The use of any specific treatment method in a group care facility for young people is generally based on the value judgments of the child care workers, administrators, and board members of that facility. To my knowledge, there is no conclusive evidence which shows that any one method of treatment is successful with all troubled children or even that any one method works with all children who have been labeled with a specific disorder. There does seem to be, however, a trend toward associating some general treatment approaches that appear to be effective with certain types of problems. The guided group interaction model is one of those treatment approaches.

    The guided group interaction approach has been around for some time. It was originally developed by Lloyd McCorkle in the late 1940s in the treatment of military offenders. Its first application to young people was used by Lloyd McCorkle and F. Lowell Bixby at Highfields, New Jersey, in a program for delinquent boys (McCorkle, Elias, & Bixby, 1958). Since that time, it has been used at a number of institutions throughout the United States and Canada (see Empey & Rabow, 1961; Flackett & Flackett, 1970; Keller & Alper, 1970; Larsen, 1970; Pilnick, 1967; Stephenson & Scarpetti, 1974; Vorrath &  Brendtro, 1974) with varying degrees of effectiveness which will be discussed later. There have also been many variations to the basic Highfield's approach. (Variations have been called "positive peer culture," "positive group culture," "reality-based group therapy," and  "reality therapy.") Because of these variations, I would like to pre-. . .

    ====================

    *Additional presentations on positive peer culture were by Margie and Darrell Shaw, Route #1, Box 326A, Bristol, Wisconsin 53104; and Daniel Cybyske, Father Flanagan's Boys Home, Boys Town, Nebraska 68010.

    **Requests for reprints should be sent to Curtis Harstad, Hennepin County Home School, Minnetonka, Minnesota 55343.
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    Offline Antigen

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    Re: Positive Peer Culture
    « Reply #11 on: November 07, 2008, 10:05:41 PM »
    Check back in 48 hrs and see if they've published my reviw. Regardless, here's what I said.

    Quote
    Virginia R. Warbis* "If Jesus is the answer, what was the question?" (Into my head)
    (REAL NAME)
    Contributions
    Reviews (1) Images (1)
    Helpful votes received on contributions:
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    1.0 out of 5 stars Peer Pressure is the primary method of change used in Korean thought reform camps, November 7, 2008
    By    Virginia R. Warbis "If Jesus is the answer, w... (Into my head) - See all my reviews
    (REAL NAME)  
    The methods described in this book are nothing new and certainly were not invented or developed by therapists!

    In 1974 the US Senate conducted a study of what was ostensibly a drug treatment program called The Seed in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. This commission concluded that The Seed used methods similar to the "brainwashing" methods employed by North Koreans against American servicemen during the Korean War. That report can be seen here:
    http://thestraights.com/images/seed-Ervin-brainwash.gif

    Since The Seed was being funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, under NIH, which was then directed by Dr. Robert L. DuPont, Jr., the White House's second Drug Czar, Senator Sam Ervin, the chairman of the Senate investigating committee, directed Dr. DuPont and NIDA to require The Seed to issue NIDA human consent forms to Seed participants and to their parents acknowledging that they were participating in human experimentation as required by NIDA's own regulations. It was because of this stipulation, in large part, that Seed expansion programs like the one in Saint Petersburg shut down in the first place. Mel and Betty Sembler had a son in that Seed. When it closed Mel, Betty and some other Seed parents formed their own Seed which they called Straight. A half dozen directors left the new Seed in the first 18 months, one of them publicly comparing Straight to The Seed had inferred that Straight was worse than The Seed!

    Having been affiliated with The Seed through family for roughly a dozen years and then been interred in it's follow-on program, Straight Inc., for the last two years of my legal minority, I can tell you that these methods are very, very effective! They are also extremely harmful. Unfortunately, the desired effects are short lived while the harmful effects tend to follow the sufferer for life. Once your faith in your own perceptions and very identity have been forcibly torn away for you, you never get them back. Once you understand from firsthand experience how easily that can happen to anyone, you will never look at this world or any soul in it the same way again. And you will likely never ever again know the peace and safety of trusting another human being ever again.

    God help us if these methods become any more widespread in our culture. Be mindful, reader. There is nothing new under the Sun and if a thing appears to be too good to be true it's probably not true.

    Your Tags: troubled teen industry child abuse brainwashing thought reform cults

    * I had to use an old account cause I haven't purchased anything from Amazon since I started the new one   
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    Offline Ursus

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    Re: Positive Peer Culture
    « Reply #12 on: November 11, 2008, 02:12:42 AM »
    Re. the TC-based programs Positive Peer Culture and its predecessor, Guided Group Interaction... Here's some more material, colored emphasis mine:

    From "Chapter 11: Social Support Networks in Delinquency Prevention and Treatment" by J. David Hawkins and Mark W. Fraser, in: Social Support Networks: Informal Helping in the Human Services edited by James K. Whittaker, James Garbarino.
      Published by Aldine Transaction, 1983
      ISBN 0202360326, 9780202360324
      479 pages
      pp. 345-347

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    CREATING PEER SUPPORT GROUPS IN INSTITUTIONS: GUIDED GROUP INTERACTION

    A more structured approach to changing attitudes, values, and behaviors of delinquent youths through the peer group is the Guided Group Interaction approach. Guided Group Interaction was one of the first intervention approaches to specifically and explicitly focus on peer supports in delinquency control. First implemented by Bixby and McCorkle with institutionalized delinquents in New Jersey shortly after World War II (Weis et al., 1981), the approach has been used in both residential (McCorkle, 1952; McCorkle, Elias, & Bixby, 1958; Weeks, 1958) and nonresidential settings (Empey & Rabow, 1961; Empey & Erickson, 1972) across the country. Typically, Guided Group Interaction brings together a group of approximately 10 delinquents for daily meetings with an adult facilitator. The goal of the meetings is to create a new and compelling set of peer influences away from delinquency among the members of the group. In contrast to the efforts of detached gang workers, Guided Group Interaction uses a relatively structured approach. Members begin participation by "telling their story" of delinquent involvements and behaviors. These stories then become the basis for arriving at subsequent group decisions about the individual who will be the focus of each meeting. At each meeting, after a consensus is reached on the focus, the targeted individual is confronted by group members who question and discuss his behavior. They seek to eliminate any rationalizations for delinquency and to encourage him  to adopt the group's interpretation of delinquent behavior and its causes. The hope is that, over time, groups will move from loosely structured aggregations whose members are reticent participants to cohesive bodies whose members share a common bond, a sense of responsibility for themselves and their peers, and a set of internalized anticriminal norms (see Weis et al., 1981).

    Evaluations of Guided Group Interaction programs have produced mixed results (see McCorkle, Elias, & Bixby, 1958; Weeks, 1958; Scarpitti and Stephenson, 1966; Empey and Lubeck, 1971; Stephenson and Scarpitti, 1974). Youths who completed Guided Group Interaction in institutions had lower recidivism rates than delinquent youths released from more traditional reformatories, but youths in Guided Group Interaction programs fared no better than similar youths placed on probation.

    Although a number of explanations for these results are possible, perhaps the most telling from the perspective of peer support is the finding that Guided Group Interaction does not seem to change participants' self-concepts, attitudes towards conventional activities, or feelings of responsibility in the predicted directions (Weeks, 1958). The artificially created groups of delinquent youths do not appear to be successful at developing and promoting nondelinquent norms and attitudes that can be internalized and maintained by their members. Two possible reasons for this failure are the compositions of the groups (delinquent youths and a facilitator) and the lack of community follow-up to ensure integration of group members into conventional support systems that could reinforce nondelinquent behavior. These possible weaknesses have been addressed, at least partially, by Positive Peer Culture, a school-based approach to preventing delinquency which has borrowed heavily from the methods of guided group interaction.


    POSITIVE PEER CULTURE

    Positive Peer Culture (Malcolm & Young, 1978) and similar school-based, peer-oriented prevention programs such as peer dynamics (Sheda & Winger, 1978) and peer culture development (Boehm & Larson, 1978) seek to create heterogeneous groups of "natural leaders" who represent a number of cliques or groups in a school. Rather than recruiting only delinquent youths for group membership as in Guided Group Interaction, these approaches strive for a balance between youths who exhibit behavioral problems and academically successful, prosocial youths. The goal is to harness "the natural power of the peer group . . . to provide an impetus for behavioral and attitudinal change" (Weis et al., 1981, p. 31). Youths identified as influential leaders (whether positive or negative) by teachers and students are recruited to participate in voluntary "leadership groups." Group meetings follow a series of steps: (1) members report on problems and issues not previously discussed; (2) a focal problem or individual is selected by group consensus; (3) the group discusses the problem and the individual, confronting rationalizations and denials of responsibility and offering suggestions for resolution; (4) an adult facilitator summarizes the meeting. It is hoped that through repetition of this process, members will develop an influential network of peers who support "appropriate" behaviors and who do not reinforce undesired behaviors. It is also hoped that by involving student leaders from various groups, nondelinquent attitudes and behaviors will be transmitted throughout the peer networks of the school.

    Evaluations of this school-based approach to creating peer supports have reported improvements in participants' attitudes toward school (Malcolm & Young, 1978), increases in participants' feelings of individual responsibility (Peterson, Meriwether, & Buell, 1976), reductions in school absences and disciplinary referrals (Boehm & Larson, 1978), and decreases in participants' official and self-reported delinquency (Boehm & Larson, 1978). Unfortunately, the research designs used in these studies do not allow the elimination of alternative explanations for the findings. It cannot be asserted confidently that participation in these peer support programs caused the observed change in participants.

    Recent Research on the Positive Peer Culture program in Omaha, Nebraska, by Weis et al. (1981) has revealed apparent decreases in self-reported delinquent behavior among participants when compared with a nonequivalent group of students from the general school population. Moreover, these improvements are most obvious in the behavior of "high-risk" students, suggesting the promise of this peer support strategy. It should be noted, however, that the approach has not been shown to have school-wide influence on peer norms and student behaviors. In additions, some programs seem to have had difficulty in recruiting balanced groups of leaders of both positive and negative cliques in schools. When offered on a voluntary basis, positive peer culture programs are generally more successful in recruiting  academically successful and conventional youths than youths with behavior problems (Weis et al., 1981).
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    Offline Ursus

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    Re: Positive Peer Culture
    « Reply #13 on: December 31, 2010, 01:29:15 AM »
    There's also an older thread of the exact same title and forum as this one which contains a few interesting posts. Unfortunately, some of it has been chopped up a bit due to one or more registered users leaving fornits, and choosing to have all their posts deleted in the aftermath. Fwiw:

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