A study investigating the impact of peer mentoring on pupils transitioning into secondary school who may be at risk of behavioural, emotional and social difficulties

Perry, Elaine (2011) A study investigating the impact of peer mentoring on pupils transitioning into secondary school who may be at risk of behavioural, emotional and social difficulties. DAppEdPsy thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

Transition to secondary school is almost always a significant period of worry and anxiety. Research has linked it to a number of negative outcomes for young people including lower self-esteem and self-concept and lower academic achievement. Previous literature suggests that peer mentoring can combat negative effects associated with transition.

The study explored the use of peer mentoring to support pupils who may be at risk of developing social, emotional and behavioural difficulties following transition to secondary school. A pre-test post-test two-group randomised controlled trial investigated the impact on the Year 7 pupils. To examine the impact on Year 9 peer mentors, a pre-test post-test single group design was applied. The quantitative data from Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaires (SDQ), Resiliency Scales and school attendance was analysed using ANOVAs and t-tests. A questionnaire was used to explore pupil views of the scheme and analysed using thematic analysis.

No significant impact was found from the quantitative measures for either mentees or peer mentors. Whilst pupils largely enjoyed the experience, this did not translate into a significant measurable impact. Both the control and intervention group significantly improved on a number of SDQ subscales suggesting pupils may naturally improve following transition. The main themes regarding the things most liked about peer mentoring included having someone to talk to and supporting others. Areas proposed which could improve future schemes included a better environment and more frequent sessions.

The study had some methodological limitations including a relatively small sample size, limiting the generalisability of the results; however, results coincide with previous research and the researcher questions future use of peer mentoring without more thorough investigation. This thesis highlights the lack of and need for well-conducted research into interventions before they are widely implemented.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (DAppEdPsy)
Supervisors: Gulliford, A.
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary education. High schools
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Psychology
Item ID: 13517
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2013 10:06
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2016 00:15
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/13517

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