Peer based approaches can reframe negative perceptions and experiences

Peer programs also serve a corrective role for at risk youth who may have a distorted perception of what is ‘normal’ as a result of unsupportive relationships, negative peer influences, years of negative conditioning, as victims of violence and/or abuse.

Peer programs may offer more positive emotional experiences for young people. Some examples may include:

  • giving young people exposure to positive role models;
  • encouraging positive peer group influences;
  • increasing feelings of self-worth by listening to young people;
  • giving them access to new experiences and opportunities;
  • promoting appreciation of diversity; and
  • offering positive coping strategies e.g. instead of self harm.1,2


  1. Olsson, C, Boyce, M, Toumbourou, J & Sawyer, S 2005, ‘The Role of Peer Support in Facilitating Psychosocial Adjustment to Chronic Illness in Adolescence’, Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 78-87.
  2. Visser, MJ 2004, Implementig Peer Support in Schools: Using a Theoretical Framework in Actin Research. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 14(6): 436-454.