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Exploring the impact of group work and mentoring for multiple heritage children's self-esteem, well-being and behaviour

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Findings are reported from a study of an innovative Multiple Heritage Service in Sheffield (UK) which provides, inter alia, individual mentoring for young people and school-based group sessions on cultural heritage, dealing with racism and enhancing well-being. Group work, undertaken between November 2005 and December 2006, was evaluated by a before/after design with 43 children aged from 8 to 15 attending five different groups (response rate 77%), using three well-established and validated measures. There were improvements on the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale from 31.4 to 33.0 (P = 0.005) with more improvement among younger children and boys (P = 0.004 and P = 0.001); and well-being as measured by the GHQ12 improved from 1.5 to 0.8 (P = 0.111) with more improvement among older children (P = 0.026). On the third measure of problem behaviour (the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire), there was an improvement from 12.4 to 12.1 (P = 0.716), but there was no improvement at all for girls. Mentoring was evaluated by telephone interviews between June and October 2006 with 14 mothers whose children had just completed, or were nearing completion of, mentoring (response rate 70%). Overall, the mothers’ evaluations were highly positive: two-thirds commended the service on the positive impact on their children's well-being and happiness (including all the mothers of daughters); a half reported positive impacts on identity; mothers commended the positive role model effect same-sex mentors had on their children's behaviour; but only a third said mentoring had boosted their children's self-esteem.
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Keywords: GHQ; mixed heritage; mixed race; multiple heritage; self esteem

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield, 2: Sheffield Care Trust, 3: Department of Psychology, University of Sheffield and 4: Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK

Publication date: May 1, 2008

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