"I’ve learned so much": Befrienders’ experiences of befriending minority ethnic young people

Chris McVittie, Karen Goodall, Yvette Barr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Befriending is commonly regarded as a purposive form of relationship designed to benefit the befriendee. Little research has examined experiences of befrienders. We report findings from a study of the experiences of volunteer befrienders to children and young people from minority ethnic backgrounds. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 volunteers. Participants described benefits of the relationships, acceptance by befriendees’ families, and social links and cultural factors relevant to the relationships. Befriending relationships should be viewed as more reciprocal than is often assumed. The mutual construction of meanings, and reciprocal outcomes, suggests that such relationships can engender positive intergroup relations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Intercultural Communication
Volume21
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009

Keywords

  • befriending
  • cross-cultural
  • young people
  • relationships
  • friendship

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