THE DEVELOPMENT OF A SHORT PEER SUPPORT PROGRAM FOR JAPANESE JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
 
Yamanaka, K., Ishikuma, T., Kumagai, K., Oki, I. and Tanaka, T., University of Tsukuba, Japan
 
Recently, there have been various problems for Japanese junior high school students such as school refusal, withdrawal and explosive anger. There is an urgent need for our country to solve such problems immediately. In the past, consultation for teachers regarding students at risk, and school counseling for students has been attempted. However, in addition to the need for school counseling and consultation, faster solutions are necessary, such as peer support groups that allow for listening, personal expression and the release of anguish. Peer support activities in Japan lag far behind those of more advanced countries such as Canada, because there is no time set aside for them in school. For that reason, we developed a short program that can take place after school. The program consists of 7 sessions. The first session is a lecture about the need and significance of peer support. The second and third sessions are to help students recognize and change their own patterns of interpersonal relationships. The fourth session is a lecture including modeling about listening behaviors. The fifth and sixth sessions are practice sessions. The seventh session is a lecture regarding moral as peer supporter that includes a discussion about issues surrounding all of the sessions. Two school counselors and two school nurses conducted the program with voluntary students on the health committee (n=11) . As a result, some scores for SSRS changed significantly after the sessions. The increase in scores for assertion and self-control, and the decrease in scores for hyperactivity suggest that the participants changed, and were more able to act together with, listen, and adjust to others.