The Efficacy of a Holding Community Program—Promoting Social Reflection at School


The authors developed a Holding Community Program to achieve the following objectives: (a) to increase the perspective-taking capacity of adolescents; (b) to promote interpersonal and intergroup harmony; (c) to empower school students to be more (pro)active in their communities and in public life. Apart from the intervention itself, the study comprised a pre-test and a post-test and involved a total of 240 Hungarian high school students (159 female, 66.3%). The students were aged 14–18 (Mage=15.33; SDage=0.88). They were recruited from four high schools. Control groups (N=122) were chosen from the same institution and graded as experimental classes (N=118, 7 classes). Both immediate and long-term effects of the intervention (4–6 months after the intervention) were explored.  Quantitative analysis of the data indicated that the two-day intervention program had significantly increased the students’ perspective-taking capacity (short-term: F(1,238)=6.03, p<0.05, long-term: n.s.) and efficacy beliefs (short-term: F(1,238)= 3.83, p=0.052, long-term: F(1,238)= 3.38, p<0.05). After the training, students were more willing to participate in collective actions (short-term: F(1,238)= 7.32, p<0.01, long-term: F(1,238)= 3.83, p<0.05). These results seem quite promising but the outcome was not significant regarding its effect on prejudice.

Author Biographies

Anna Siegler, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary

Anna Siegler is a psychologist currently doing her PhD at the PTE Doctoral School of Psychology in the field of school prevention and human rights education. She is an active volunteer at the Amnesty International and Power of Humanities Foundation, bringing educational programs to students. She gained knowledge on conflict mediation and emotional intelligence development. Anna participated in the World Anti-Bullying Forum in 2019.

Sára Serdült, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary

Sára Serdült is an assistant lecturer at the Institute of Psychology, University of Pécs. She defended her doctoral dissertation on the subject of identity processes and intergroup relations.

Fanni Csernus, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary

Fanni Csernus is a psychologist and a PhD student at the PTE Doctoral School of Psychology. Her current investigations explore the underlying motivation of collective action and societal change.

Lilla Dézma, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary

Lilla Dézma is a psychologist and a PhD student at the PTE Doctoral School of Psychology in the field of social representation of climate change.

Izabella Ilea, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary

Izabella Ilea is a psychologist and a PhD student at the PTE Doctoral School of Psychology. Her main research interest is the nature of entrepreneurship, leadership within organizational psychology.

Sára Bigazzi, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary

Sára Bigazzi is a social psychologist teaching at the University of Pécs. Her main research interests concern intergroup relations, minority/majority issues, potential conflicts and their resolutions, collective action and Climate Crisis. For more than 20 years she has been involved in field interventions, community building, in which she tries to translate theoretical reflections and research results into practical resolutions.


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How to Cite
Siegler, A., Serdült, S., Csernus, F., Dézma, L., Ilea, I., & Bigazzi, S. (2021). The Efficacy of a Holding Community Program—Promoting Social Reflection at School. Changing Societies & Personalities, 5(3), 422–437. doi:10.15826/csp.2021.5.3.143