Proceedings of The 6th International Conference on Advanced Research in Teaching and Education
Encounter Groups of Mothers with Mentally Disabled Children
Andrea Hajkova, Julius Sekera, Stefan Grinvalsky
The paper reports on an experiment with a group of 10 mothers of children with intellectual disabilities. The aim of the experiment is to test the positive possibilities of the influence of group meetings on its members. Specifically, on: 1) emotional unification of the group (cohesion), 2) perceptions of the stress they are exposed to in the daily care of their children. Other areas of research are: 3) detection of the main difficulties in overcoming life difficulties and personal development opportunities of female participants, 4) possibilities of pedagogical and psychotherapeutic work in overcoming them. The methodology is based on the work of a psychotherapist with an encounter group. Based on the concept of C. Rogers: Carl Rogers on Encounter Groups (1970) – see other relevant literature. Group cohesion is captured by a sociometric test. Stress processing patterns are measured by a standardized test Stress coping strategy. Both instruments are applied at the beginning and at the end of the group’s existence. The results will be used in the teaching of the subject Personality Preparation in the Bachelor’s degree in Social Pedagogy and possibly in the teaching of the Master’s degree of the same study. We believe that the results can also be used in social program aimed at these groups of mothers functioning in difficult life situations.
Keywords: experiment, group meetings, sociometric test, stress, standardized test.