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Virtual implementation of "social skills training" as an example of digital youth work

Majda Rančigaj (2022) Virtual implementation of "social skills training" as an example of digital youth work. MSc thesis.

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    In my master's thesis, I explored the experiences of participants and youth workers with digital youth work, which started to develop more rapidly in Slovenia during the COVID-19 epidemic. In the theoretical part, I explored the field of mental health, especially youth mental health, which was most exposed during the COVID-19 epidemic. I was interested in the risk and protective factors in promoting and maintaining mental health. I have focused on the role of youth organisations and youth workers, which can play a significant role in prevention to improv and maintain young people's mental health in Slovenia. One of the key tasks of youth organisations is to offer opportunities for personal and social development through leisure activities. In a period of strict measures to contain the spread of infections, youth organisations developed digital programmes to stay in touch with young people. I concluded the theoretical part with a presentation of digital youth work, which was already developing abroad before 2020, but only developed more rapidly in our country during COVID-19 epidemic. In the empirical part of the thesis, I was interested in how the digitalisation of the programme “Training of social skills (TSS)”, implemented by Youth Aid Centre Association, was received by participants and digital youth work practitioners. I compared the responses collected on evaluation questionnaires filled in by participants of non-virtual and virtual TSS. Through this comparison I evaluated the success of the virtual implementation of TSS. At the same time, I was also interested in what challenges the digital youth work practitioners faced, what competences they strengthened while planning and implementing digital youth work, and what are the opportunities and needs for further development of this field of work in youth organisations. The results have shown that there are differences in the participants' evaluation of the programme. The non-virtual TSS participants evaluate the programme higher. However, the ratings of the participants of the virtual TSS are relatively high. The results showed that it was very important for youth organisations to offer their programmes and activities in a virtual format during a period of strict measures to contain the spread of infections. Digital youth work practitioners say, that they were only somewhat in favour of digital youth work in the future (e.g. using different applications between non-virtual programmes) or in circumstances where face-to-face socialising and contact are restricted, not allowed. The research provided me with pros and cons of digital youth work and how to support digital youth work practitioners to ensure that digital youth work can continue to develop in the future.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: youth mental health, non-formal education, youth work, digital youth work, training of social skills
    Number of Pages: 54
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Jana Rapuš PavelMentor
    Link to COBISS: https://plus.si.cobiss.net/opac7/bib/peflj/114737923
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 7282
    Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2022 12:13
    Last Modified: 08 Jul 2022 12:13
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/7282

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