Factors contributing to the survival of self-help groups
Wituk, Scott A.
Shepherd, Matthew D.
Meissen, Gregory J.
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Wituk, Scott A., Matthew D. Shepherd, Mary Warren, and Greg Meissen. 2002. "Factors Contributing to the Survival of Self-Help Groups". American Journal of Community Psychology. 30 (3): 349-366.
Despite the growing utilization of self-help groups, there have been only a handful of studies that have examined the factors that contribute to their survival. The purpose of this study was to explore the factors that contribute to self-help group survival by examining their relationship with external sources (i.e., national and local self-help organizations, professionals) and group organizational characteristics (i.e., leadership diversification, recruitment, attendance at group meetings). Representatives from 245 active and 94 recently disbanded self-help groups were included in the analysis. Results indicated that the primary factors that discriminated between active and disbanded groups were the number of new people to attend a meeting, average group meeting attendance, length of existence, leadership diversification, outreach to potential group members, and support from national and local organizations. Results are discussed in terms of what national self-help organizations, self-help clearinghouses, and others who interact with self-help groups can do to empower and support them.
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