This paper examines the role of peer educators within Peer Health Education programs, specifically focusing on their susceptibility to emotional contagion. As various studies have identified the potential effect of emotional contagion within positions similar to PHE (ie. counseling, therapy, etc..), the susceptibility of peer educators to this contagion must be analyzed. The present study seeks to draw connections between PHE and emotional contagion, building our understanding of both topics and how they connect. Peer educators from across the country were contacted and asked to complete an online survey, which examined their general and PHE specific demographics, susceptibility to emotional contagion in a general and PHE specific setting, resilience, and potential lingering effects of emotional contagion. Through multiple types of analysis, including correlations, regressions, and univariate one-way ANOVA's, results regarding the susceptibility of peer educators to emotional contagion, resilience, and the lingering effects of emotional contagion were inconclusive. However, this study elevates essential information regarding peer educators within PHE. Despite a review of literature suggesting the potential applicability of emotional contagion among peer educators, participant responses were varied. Further, responses to resilience varied as well. An examination is aimed at why peer educators do not reliably respond to emotional contagion and resilience scales. Further, this study provides insight into the theoretical mechanisms within Peer Health Education, ultimately advancing our understanding of the program as a whole.
Date of Degree
Master of Arts (MA)
Arts and Humanities
Youngvorst, L. J. (2014). Is Peer Health Education Healthy: Examining the Susceptibility of Peer Educators to Emotional Contagion [Master’s thesis, Minnesota State University, Mankato]. Cornerstone: A Collection of Scholarly and Creative Works for Minnesota State University, Mankato. https://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/etds/325/
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