Persuasion in a self-help group: Processes and Consequences

Nancy Jurik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This research utilizes observational and interview data to examine the techniques of persuasion utilized m a self-help organization for persons with mental problems. Successful affiliation with the group is conceptualized as a type of conversion process. The interplay between recruit background and group interactional dynamics convinces recruits to accept the group's ideology and define its method as a necessary treatment for their mental problems. A member's conversion has important long-run implications. In particular, although acceptance of the organizational ideology may facilitate the “recovery” of the individual, it simultaneously reinforces an understanding of mental problems as caused by individual inadequacies. The social structural context of such individual problems is then largely ignored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)368-397
Number of pages30
JournalSmall Group Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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