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Title: The nature of peer support through Japanese children's perspectives on the experiences of being peer supporters
Author: Kato, Hideo
ISNI:       0000 0004 5991 8967
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis explores the nature of peer support activities in Japan through the experiences of young Japanese peer supporters in a secondary school. Peer support is an approach that builds on the helpfulness and altruism characteristic of friendship by extending it beyond friendship to the wider peer group. Although moral and citizenship education has been carried out for over one hundred years in Japanese schools, the concept of peer support programmes in the educational system is relatively new in Japan. Peer support approaches have been developing in Western countries for over 20 years but it is only in the past 10 years that there has been a growing interest in these methods in Japan. In this research, qualitative methods had been used to gather more in-depth information about a phenomenon. Participants, aged 13 to 14 years, were drawn from a secondary school in Osaka, Japan. Semi-structured interviews were conducted, and data were analysed using Thematic Analysis, aiming to explore their lived experiences of being peer supporters. Four main themes emerged from the peer supporters’ lived experiences; 1) Disconnection between training and practice, 2) Perceived generation gap, 3) Self-improvement, and 4) Cultural mismatch. These specific themes greatly assisted to explore the unrevealed children’s views, some critical issues of peer support practices in Japan and some confirmed the findings of quantitative studies (prior studies). A number of the findings were novel and also these results will provide opportunity to explore further children’s understandings of peer support programmes in school. In conclusion, some practical recommendations (e.g. “reform of the peer support training session” and “new classification for Japanese style peer support”) for the peer support activities are suggested in terms of the findings. Key words: peer support, bullying, counselling skills, social skills, Japanese style peer support.
Supervisor: Cooke, D. ; Cowie, H. ; Courtenay, M. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available