What are the similarities and differences between growth, educational, self help, support and socialization groups?

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gsenviro | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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All the groups (whether growth, educational, self help, support or socialization) are created for helping oneself and each other. The group provides a sense of community and belonging. The idea behind groups is that by sharing pertinent details of life (past events, desires, etc.) with each other, people will find solutions to their problems and overcome their difficulties. Typically groups are kept small in size and meet regularly. 

Depending on what problem the group intends to solve, groups may be classified into different categories. A growth group is typically used in relation to church groups, where a small group of people meets regularly to study the word of god in more of a spiritual setting. An educational group is a group of people (typically students) who study together and help each other overcome weakness in a particular topic or subject. Self-help groups generally focus on ridding the members of some negative aspect, which may be anger, drug abuse, etc. Support groups deal with people suffering from a disease or who have a particular social identity (e.g., AIDS patients) or burdensome characteristic. Socialization groups are created to improve the social skills of people (typically kids) and help the members in making friends, getting along, improving self-confidence, coping with frustration and learning cooperation.

In general, all the groups have similar characteristics, however their goals maybe different and hence the activities may differ.

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