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Joining in: Find out how groups work in your life, as you explore the core strength of affiliation. (Life Skills).

Affiliation is the capacity to work with others in groups. This strength springs from our abilities to form attachments and self-regulate (see Special, 1/1/02). Affiliation is the glue for healthy human functioning. It allows us to start and maintain relationships with others to create something stronger than the individual.

Humans are social creatures. We live, play, grow, and work in groups. Our families are the first group all of us know. As we grow, we choose to join other groups, such as teams and clubs.

Affiliation helps us feel included, connected, and valued. Learning about the different ways in which we become part of a group is important. We need to make good decisions about when to join in and when to stay away from groups with a negative influence.

Healthy Attachments

There are many different kinds of groups. Some--like the Girl Scouts or the school band--are formal and have rules we must follow. Others are informal, such as a classroom clique or neighborhood kids who skateboard together. We may join in and become "one of the gang" without even realizing it. Think of different groups in your life. How did you become part of them?

To learn more about the ways those groups affect you, discuss the questions below. You may wish to role-play to develop strategies for "joining in" in healthy ways.
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Author:Perry, Bruce D.
Publication:Junior Scholastic
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 25, 2002
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