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Title: Being a peer health promoter - a beneficial experience?
Author: Braidwood, Eve
Awarding Body: London South Bank University
Current Institution: London South Bank University
Date of Award: 2010
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Rationale: It is widely reported that young people engaged in promoting the health of their peers benefit from the experience and this has been used as a justification for recruiting young people into the role of peer health promoter (PHP). Empirical data, however, is lacking and little systematic research has been carried out to determine the extent to which young people benefit or otherwise from becoming PHPs. Aim: This thesis explores and tests the contention that peer health promoters (PHPs) benefit from the experience. Methods: A mixed method research design was adopted and the research was carried out in two phases. A multiple holistic case study was used to explore the nature of the peer work experience. The principal data collection method was unstructured interviews. PHPs (110) were interviewed in groups and individually and 16 coordinators were interviewed individually. This was followed by a longitudinal postal survey of PHPs and young people from the same school or youth centre, who had not elected to become PHPs. Uniquely coded questionnaires in individual envelopes were distributed via coordinators at the beginning, midway through and at the end of a project year. Baseline data was collected from 430 PHPs and 271 non-PHPs, interim data from 160 PHPs and 133 non-PHPs and from the 103 PHPs and 76 non-PHPs who returned the final questionnaire. Findings: For young people, becoming a PHP is empowering, health-promoting, educational, developmental, rewarding and enjoyable. Young people who have experienced disadvantage and who lack confidence and self-belief benefit most from the experience. For some young people the experience is life-changing. These benefits are predicated on PHPs‟ commitment to the role and the support they receive from each other and the coordinator. Conclusion: This thesis provides new insights into peer health promotion and its contribution to health promotion strategies and has implications for the future development of strategies aiming to promote the health and wellbeing of young people.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available