Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Research Publications

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    Chinese international students' conceptualizations of wellbeing: A prototype analysis
    Huang, L ; Kern, MLL ; Oades, LGG (FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2022-08-24)
    Wellbeing can mean different things to different people, even in the same culture with the same language. People living at the intersection of two languages and cultures, such as Chinese students studying in an English-speaking nation, not only speak a different language than their host country, but also may have different conceptualizations of wellbeing itself. This study investigated Chinese international students' (aged 18-39, N = 123) conceptualizations of wellbeing using a modified prototype analysis, which provided insights on people's underlying structure of the construct as revealed through language. Chinese international students' conceptualizations of wellbeing were prototypically structured; key components of wellbeing included positive relationships, security, positivity/optimism, physical health, and self-strength. The findings broaden the understanding of layperson wellbeing conceptualizations, provide insights into the wellbeing related concepts and language that are most used by international Chinese students, and inform strategies that tertiary education institutions might adopt to effectively support Chinese international students' wellbeing.
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    Wellbeing literacy and early childhood education
    Baker, LM ; Oades, LG ; Raban, B (Childforum Research Network, 2021)
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    The VIVA Sustainable Work Engagement Model: A Conceptual Introduction and Preliminary Test Over Three Years
    Ignjatovic, C ; Kern, ML ; Oades, LG (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022-08)
    Abstract Vital engagement has been described as a focused, meaningful, and active relationship with work across one’s lifetime (Nakamura, 2001, 2014). Theoretically, vital engagement goes beyond short-term interest and engagement in one’s work, representing instead an ongoing, homeostatic sense of engagement that sustainably occurs across years and decades. However, it is unclear how vital engagement manifests in the modern workplace. In the footsteps of Nakamura (2014), we present the VIVA model, which conceptualizes sustainable work engagement as comprised of four mutually reinforcing elements: virtue, involvement, vitality, and acceptance. We first describe the rationale and conceptual underpinnings of the model. Then, we provide a preliminary empirical test of the model using archival data collected from a panel of school staff (N = 327) assessed five times over a three year period. Based on available data, the VIVA domains were operationalized as strengths use, work-related flow experiences, subjective vitality, and a sense of meaning in life. Using structural equation modelling, results provided preliminary support for the hypothesized model, which was relatively stable over time despite changes and challenges occurring in the school. The construct was strongly correlated with but distinct from other wellbeing measures. Although additional testing with measures that specifically align with the four theoretical dimensions is needed, the results support the relevance of the VIVA model in defining specific domains that can be supported in the workplace to help employees sustainably thrive.
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    "A New Hope" for Positive Psychology: A Dynamic Systems Reconceptualization of Hope Theory
    Colla, R ; Williams, P ; Oades, LG ; Camacho-Morles, J (FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2022-02-23)
    In this review of the central tenets of hope theory, we examine the meta-theoretical, theoretical, and methodological foundations of the literature base. Our analysis moves from a broad examination of the research landscape in hope theory across disciplines, to a deeper investigation of the empirical literature in university students. This review highlights the significant impact of this body of research in advancing our understanding of aspects of thriving characterized by hope. However, we also evidence several limitations that may impede the advancement of the next wave of growth in this field. To address these limitations, we argue for an interdisciplinary approach to expanding the meta-theoretical, theoretical, and methodological horizons, enabling a more dynamic systems approach to the study of hope. Drawing on the intersection of positive psychology with systems thinking, we describe a methodological approach that enables a deeper examination of the processes and interactions through which hope emerges, using an analysis of the lived experience of young people. It is proposed that this research agenda will bring to life an alternate story about the resourcefulness of our youth through their own voice, enabling us to leverage this in the design of more effective strategies to facilitate hope in the future. This research agenda provides a roadmap that will provide alternative methodologies that address the current limitations in the field of hope research and, importantly, can provide fuel to spur on the acceleration of the next wave of research and practice in the field of positive psychology more broadly.
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    Toward a Unified Framework for Positive Psychology Interventions: Evidence-Based Processes of Change in Coaching, Prevention, and Training
    Ciarrochi, J ; Hayes, SC ; Oades, LG ; Hofmann, SG (FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2022-02-10)
    Since 2000, research within positive psychology has exploded, as reflected in dozens of meta-analyses of different interventions and targeted processes, including strength spotting, positive affect, meaning in life, mindfulness, gratitude, hope, and passion. Frequently, researchers treat positive psychology processes of change as distinct from each other and unrelated to processes in clinical psychology. This paper presents a comprehensive framework for positive psychology processes that crosses theoretical orientation, links coherently to clinical psychology and its more dominantly "negative" processes, and supports practitioners in their efforts to personalize positive psychological interventions. We argue that a multi-dimensional and multi-level extended evolutionary approach can organize effective processes of change in psychosocial interventions, by focusing interventions on context-appropriate variation, selection, and retention of processes, arranged in terms of key biopsychosocial dimensions across psychological, biophysiological, and sociocultural levels of analysis. We review widely studied positive psychology constructs and programs and show how this evolutionary approach can readily accommodate them and provide a common language and framework for improving human and community flourishing. We conclude that Interventions should start with the person, not the protocol.
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    Workplace bullying and absenteeism: The mediating roles of poor health and work engagement
    Magee, C ; Gordon, R ; Robinson, L ; Caputi, P ; Oades, L (WILEY, 2017-07-01)
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    Wellbeing Literacy: The Necessary Ingredient in Positive Education
    Oades, L ; Johnston, A (Uniper Publishers, 2017)
    Wellbeing can be viewed as a resource for life, resulting in individual skills and community assets. It is not surprising therefore, to see developing research presenting the benefits of integrating learning about wellbeing within educational contexts, with the potential outcome of building sustainable wellbeing literacy. Developing wellbeing knowledge is key to building core wellbeing literacy skills. This in turn can significantly impact employability post education, and therefore, life trajectory. Building and sustaining wellbeing through learning about wellbeing within educational contexts can provide timely, personalised, system-wide opportunities to build capacity in initiating, developing, contributing to and sustaining decision-making toward achieving successful wellbeing and life outcomes.
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    Development and Assessment of the Personal Emotional Capital Questionnaire for Adults
    Khazaei, M ; Holder, MD ; Sirois, FM ; Oades, LG ; Gendron, B (MDPI, 2021-02-01)
    (1) Background: The present study developed and evaluated a personal emotional capital questionnaire (PECQ) for adults that assessed 10 domains of personal emotional capital. (2) Method: Initially, 100 items were created and then administered to students attending Semnan University and Semnan University of Medical Sciences in Iran. Of the 700 questionnaires distributed, 527 were completed in full. Students were sampledusing the multi-stage random cluster method. Exploratory factor analyses, Cronbach's alpha, and test-retest reliability were used to evaluate the scale. (3) Results: The ten components ofthe PECQ were confirmed. Test-retest correlations after 30 days were high, as was Cronbach's alpha (0.94). Thecomponents highly correlatedwith overall emotional capital. The PECQ displayed convergent validity as it positively correlated with the Keyes's Mental Health Continuum-Short Form and students'GPAs. The PECQ displayed divergent validity as it negatively correlated with measures of depression, anxiety and stress (Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS21)). Differences in overall PECQ scores and its components were examined for several variables including gender, age, marital and employment status, academic program, and field of study. PECQ scores were not sensitive to the order of administering questionnaires. (4) Conclusion: The results suggest that the PECQ is a valid and reliable measure of personal emotional capital and supports its use in adults.
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    Wellbeing Literacy: A Capability Model for Wellbeing Science and Practice
    Oades, LG ; Jarden, A ; Hou, H ; Ozturk, C ; Williams, P ; R. Slemp, G ; Huang, L (MDPI, 2021-01-01)
    Wellbeing science is the scientific investigation of wellbeing, its' antecedents and consequences. Alongside growth of wellbeing science is significant interest in wellbeing interventions at individual, organizational and population levels, including measurement of national accounts of wellbeing. In this concept paper, we propose the capability model of wellbeing literacy as a new model for wellbeing science and practice. Wellbeing literacy is defined as a capability to comprehend and compose wellbeing language, across contexts, with the intention of using such language to maintain or improve the wellbeing of oneself, others or the world. Wellbeing literacy is underpinned by a capability model (i.e., what someone is able to be and do), and is based on constructivist (i.e., language shapes reality) and contextualist (i.e., words have different meanings in different contexts) epistemologies. The proposed capability model of wellbeing literacy adds to wellbeing science by providing a tangible way to assess mechanisms learned from wellbeing interventions. Moreover, it provides a framework for practitioners to understand and plan wellbeing communications. Workplaces and families as examples are discussed as relevant contexts for application of wellbeing literacy, and future directions for wellbeing literacy research are outlined.
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    Wellbeing Literacy: Conceptualization, Measurement, and Preliminary Empirical Findings from Students, Parents and School Staff
    Hou, H ; Chin, T-C ; Slemp, GR ; Oades, LG (MDPI, 2021-02-01)
    AIMS: Wellbeing literacy is the intentional use of wellbeing relevant vocabulary, knowledge and language skills to maintain or improve the wellbeing of oneself, others and the world. In this study, we operationalize the human aspects of the concept of wellbeing literacy and empirically test its relationship with wellbeing and illbeing. We also assess its incremental variance in wellbeing and illbeing, after controlling for existing and well-established predictors of these constructs within education settings. METHODS: We developed and empirically tested the Wellbeing literacy 6-item (Well-Lit 6) scale to assess the concept of wellbeing literacy in the education context. The scale was developed based on a working definition of wellbeing literacy, in combination with the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA)'s definition of literacy. The Well-Lit 6 was administered via a cross-sectional survey to three Australian samples that comprise different elements of Australian education systems: students (N = 1392), parents (N = 584) and school staff (N = 317). RESULTS: Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) suggested the six items of the Well-Lit 6 form an independent construct, empirically distinguishable from other wellbeing-related constructs (e.g., general wellbeing, resilience, and emotion regulation). Convergent analyses showed wellbeing literacy was positively related to wellbeing and negatively related to illbeing. Incremental validity analyses showed wellbeing literacy predicted variance in wellbeing and illbeing after controlling for participant demographics, resilience, and emotion regulation, showing initial evidence of incremental validity. CONCLUSIONS: Our results provide preliminary evidence that wellbeing literacy is a distinct construct from wellbeing and illbeing, and it also demonstrates significant unique variance in these constructs over and above resilience and emotion regulation. The Well-Lit 6 is a useful provisional measure of wellbeing literacy, although we suggest a fruitful avenue for future research is to develop a more comprehensive scale of wellbeing literacy that denotes specific facets of communication, allowing a fuller exploration wellbeing literacy, its components, and their antecedents and consequences. We offer further recommendations for future research and discuss limitations with our approach.