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ItemThe responsibility of knowledge: Identifying and reporting students with evidence of psychological distress in large-scale school-based studiesKern, ML ; Cahill, H ; Morrish, L ; Farrelly, A ; Shlezinger, K ; Jach, H (SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC, 2021-04-01)The use of psychometric tools to investigate the impact of school-based wellbeing programs raises a number of ethical issues around students’ rights, confidentiality and protection. Researchers have explicit ethical obligations to protect participants from potential psychological harms, but guidance is needed for effectively navigating disclosure of identifiable confidential information that indicates signs of psychological distress. Drawing on a large-scale study examining student, school, and system-based factors that impact the implementation of a school-based social and emotional learning program, we describe patterns of distress attained from quantitative and qualitative questions and describe the process that we evolved to monitor and disclose sensitive mental health information, providing one example of how researchers might effectively address the responsibilities that emerge when collecting sensitive information from students within an education system. The patterns and processes that emerged illustrate that the inclusion of mental distress information can elicit important insights, but also brings responsibilities for minimising risks and maximising benefits.
ItemContemplative Interventions and Employee Distress: A Meta‐AnalysisSlemp, G ; Jach, H ; Chia, A ; Loton, D ; Kern, M (Wiley, 2019)Mindfulness, meditation, and other practices that form contemplative interventions are increasingly offered in workplaces to support employee mental health. Studies have reported benefits across various populations, yet researchers have expressed concerns that adoption of such interventions has outpaced scientific evidence. We reappraise the extant literature by meta‐analytically testing the efficacy of contemplative interventions in reducing psychological distress in employees (meta‐analyzed set: k = 119; N = 6,044). Complementing other reviews, we also examine a range of moderators and the impact of biases that could artificially inflate effect sizes. Results suggested interventions were generally effective in reducing employee distress, yielding small to moderate effects that were sustained at last follow‐up. Effects were moderated by the type of contemplative intervention offered and the type of control group utilized. We also found evidence of publication bias, which is likely inflating estimated effects. Uncontrolled single sample studies were more affected by bias than large or randomized controlled trial studies. Adjustments for publication bias lowered overall effects. Overall, our review supports the effectiveness of contemplative interventions in reducing employee distress, but there is a need for proactive strategies to mitigate artificially inflated effect sizes and thus avoid the misapplication of contemplative interventions in work settings.