Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 1738
Systematic Review of Adolescent Conceptions of Success: Implications for Wellbeing and Positive Education
(SPRINGER/PLENUM PUBLISHERS, 2021-04-01)
Identifying different conceptions of success and how these relate to wellbeing is an important area of research. These insights would be especially beneficial for young people who can be guided through school education to reflect on core values, life goals, and indices of success to promote aspirations that will be conducive to wellbeing. Through a systematic review of the empirical and grey literature, we identify and review 17 studies investigating secondary-school students’ (12–18 years) success conceptions and their association with various components of wellbeing. Results indicate that this area of research has received scant attention in the literature. Nevertheless, there is preliminary evidence to suggest that adolescents value intrinsic success such as self-actualisation, personal satisfaction, and connection and that particular patterns of success beliefs associated with personal development and goal striving relate positively to wellbeing. This is consistent with fulfilling the basic psychological needs of autonomy, relatedness, and competency that are associated with internalised motivation and enhanced wellbeing. These insights can guide the content of education programmes focused on identifying life values and aspirations whilst concurrently fostering wellbeing. In addition, gender and developmental stage should be taken into consideration when developing success and wellbeing educational initiatives.
Learning environments' influence on students' learning experience in an Australian Faculty of Business and Economics.
(Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2021-03-29)
We investigated how learning environments-involving their physical, pedagogical, and psychosocial dimensions-influence students learning experiences in an Australian Faculty of Business and Economics. Qualitative data collection involved observations of eight classrooms over a semester, four focus groups with 21 students and interviews with six educators. The study provided deeper understanding of the dynamic and complex intrinsic interrelations of learning environment dimensions over time, addressing previous gaps in research. It identified and analysed spaces and practices, educational activities, and students' subjective experiences in different learning environments to illustrate how these multiple elements intersect and influence on the students' experience. The mixed methods used in the research helped to uncover a broader view of the learning environment and its interdependent influences over time on students' learning experiences. One practical implication is that any strategies to support a more holistic student learning experience through more effective use of learning environments should be developed at an institutional level.
GamblingLess: A Randomised Trial Comparing Guided and Unguided Internet-Based Gambling Interventions
There is little evidence relating to the effects of adding guidance to internet-based gambling interventions. The primary aim was to compare the effectiveness of an online self-directed cognitive-behavioural gambling program (GamblingLess) with and without therapist-delivered guidance. It was hypothesised that, compared to the unguided intervention, the guided intervention would result in superior improvements in gambling symptom severity, urges, frequency, expenditure, psychological distress, quality of life and help-seeking. A two-arm, parallel-group, randomised trial with pragmatic features and three post-baseline evaluations (8 weeks, 12 weeks, 24 months) was conducted with 206 gamblers (106 unguided; 101 guided). Participants in both conditions reported significant improvements in gambling symptom severity, urges, frequency, expenditure, and psychological distress across the evaluation period, even after using intention-to-treat analyses and controlling for other low- and high-intensity help-seeking, as well as clinically significant changes in gambling symptom severity (69% recovered/improved). The guided intervention resulted in additional improvements to urges and frequency, within-group change in quality of life, and somewhat higher rates of clinically significant change (77% cf. 61%). These findings, which support the delivery of this intervention, suggest that guidance may offer some advantages but further research is required to establish when and for whom human support adds value.
Stress-Related Growth in Adolescents Returning to School After COVID-19 School Closure
(FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2021-05-20)
The move to remote learning during COVID-19 has impacted billions of students. While research shows that school closure, and the pandemic more generally, has led to student distress, the possibility that these disruptions can also prompt growth in is a worthwhile question to investigate. The current study examined stress-related growth (SRG) in a sample of students returning to campus after a period of COVID-19 remote learning (n = 404, age = 13-18). The degree to which well-being skills were taught at school (i.e., positive education) before the COVID-19 outbreak and student levels of SRG upon returning to campus was tested via structural equation modeling. Positive reappraisal, emotional processing, and strengths use in students were examined as mediators. The model provided a good fit [χ 2 = 5.37, df = 3, p = 0.146, RMSEA = 0.044 (90% CI = 0.00-0.10), SRMR = 0.012, CFI = 99, TLI = 0.99] with 56% of the variance in SRG explained. Positive education explained 15% of the variance in cognitive reappraisal, 7% in emotional processing, and 16% in student strengths use during remote learning. The results are discussed using a positive education paradigm with implications for teaching well-being skills at school to foster growth through adversity and assist in times of crisis.
Mental Health Consequences of Adversity in Australia: National Bushfires Associated With Increased Depressive Symptoms, While COVID-19 Pandemic Associated With Increased Symptoms of Anxiety
(FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2021-05-19)
High quality monitoring of mental health and well-being over an extended period is essential to understand how communities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and how to best tailor interventions. Multiple community threats may also have cumulative impact on mental health, so examination across several contexts is important. The objective of this study is to report on changes in mental health and well-being in response to the Australian bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic. This study utilized an Experience-Sampling-Method (ESM), using the smartphone-based mood monitoring application, MoodPrism. Participants were prompted once a day to complete a brief survey inquiring about symptoms of depression and anxiety, and several well-being indices, including arousal, emotional valence, self-esteem, motivation, social connectedness, meaning and purpose, and control. Participants were N = 755 Australians (aged 13 years and above) who downloaded and used MoodPrism, between 2018 and 2020. Results showed that anxiety symptoms significantly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, but not during the bushfires. This may be explained by concurrent feelings of social connectedness maintained during the bushfires but not during the pandemic. In contrast, depressive symptoms increased significantly during the bushfires, which maintained during the pandemic. Most indices of well-being decreased significantly during the bushfires, and further again during the pandemic. Study findings highlight the unique responses to the bushfire and COVID-19 crises, revealing specific areas of resilience and vulnerability. Such information can help inform the development of public health interventions or individual clinical treatment, to improve treatment approaches and preparedness for potential future community disasters.
'All things are in flux': China in global science
Since 1990, a large and dynamic global science system has evolved, based on grass roots collaboration, and resting on the resources, infrastructure and personnel housed by national science systems. Euro-American science systems have become intensively networked in a global duopoly; and many other countries have built national science systems, including a group of large- and middle-sized countries that follow semi-autonomous trajectories based on state investment, intensive national network building, and international engagement, without integrating tightly into the global duopoly. The dual global/national approach pursued by these systems, including China, South Korea, Iran and India, is not always fully understood in papers on science. Nevertheless, China is now the number two science country in the world, the largest producer of papers and number one in parts of STEM physical sciences. The paper investigates the remarkable evolution of China's science funding, output, discipline balance, internationalisation strategy and national and global networking. China has combined global activity and the local/national building of science in positive sum manner, on the ground of the nationally nested science system. The paper also discusses limits of the achievement, noting that while China-US relations have been instrumental in building science, a partial decoupling is occurring and the future is unclear.
Conceptions of Happiness Mediate the Relationship Between the Dark Triad and Well-Being.
(Frontiers Media SA, 2021)
This study explored the associations between the Dark Triad traits (i.e., Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and narcissism) and mental well-being in a Korean adult sample (N = 1,177). The role of the conceptions of happiness as mediators of these associations was also investigated. Eight conceptions of happiness (e.g., fragility of happiness and eudaimonism), 3 dimensions of hedonic well-being (e.g., life satisfaction), and 2 dimensions of eudaimonic well-being (e.g., psychological well-being) were included in the study. The results showed that Machiavellianism and psychopathy were negatively and narcissism was positively associated with well-being. The pattern of associations between the dark triad and conceptions of happiness showed that Machiavellianism and psychopathy were associated with valuing personal happiness but also considering it to be out of one's control, and to have negative consequences when achieved. People high on narcissism endorsed generally positive notions of happiness. Results showed that conceptions of happiness functioned as partial mediators in the relationships between the dark triad and well-being. Hence, it seems that the dark triad traits provide a context for the formation of certain beliefs surrounding the nature and value of well-being, which per se influence experienced levels of well-being.
Early Childhood Educators' Wellbeing During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The importance of Early Childhood (EC) educators' wellbeing has been brought into sharp focus during the COVID-19 pandemic, as educators have navigated numerous additional stressors while providing education and care services for some children and ongoing support for many others learning at home. This study aimed to explore the impact of the pandemic on EC educators' wellbeing and educator-child relationships, as growing evidence shows the influence of these factors on children's developmental outcomes. In July 2020, members of a Research Network of EC Professionals-who previously identified educator wellbeing as a priority issue-were invited to participate in an online survey. The survey included two published, validated scales: the Early Childhood Professional Wellbeing scale (ECPW) and the Student-Teacher Relationship Scale (modified). Survey items about educators' experiences during the pandemic were also included. Two hundred and thirty-two EC educators from across Australia completed the survey, mostly from Victoria where lockdowns were most severe. Linear regression analysis demonstrated stronger professional wellbeing was associated with less conflict in educator-child relationships and lower risk of staff turnover. This was more likely to be experienced by senior or more experienced staff. Although a negative impact of COVID-19 was reported, ECPW scores were relatively high, and organizational structures supporting professional wellbeing were most strongly associated with lower risk of turnover (r = 0.63, p < 0.001). Findings highlight that supporting EC educators' wellbeing is essential for workforce retention, and for promoting quality educator-child relationships which are central to young children's learning and development.
Outcasts and saboteurs: Intervention strategies to reduce the negative effects of social exclusion on team outcomes.
(Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2021)
The experience of social exclusion in the workplace adversely impacts employees' well-being, job satisfaction, and productivity, and no one quite knows what to do about it. In this report, we describe the development and testing of three ostracism interventions, designed to help people cope with the negative effects of being excluded by one's team. Across five studies, participants were assigned to a virtual ball toss game where they were either included or excluded by their teammates. Afterwards, they were given a task where they could earn money for themselves, for their entire team, or for an unrelated group (charity). Excluded participants worked less hard for their teams (even when this meant sacrificing their own earnings). This sabotage effect was specific, meaning that excluded individuals worked less hard on behalf of their teams, but not when they worked for themselves or for charity. We devised three intervention strategies-perspective, mentorship, and empowerment-to combat the negative effects of ostracism on people's willingness to work for their teams. These interventions were successful; each increased people's persistence in a team-based reward task, and in some cases, even raised the outcomes of excluded teammates to levels observed in included teammates. The effectiveness of these interventions also replicated successfully, using preregistered hypotheses, methods, and analyses. These studies add novel insights to a variety of fields that have examined the consequences of social exclusion, including social psychology, organizational behavior, and management science.
Ecological Momentary Assessment of the Relationship between Positive Outcome Expectancies and Gambling Behaviour
Relapse prevention models suggest that positive outcome expectancies can constitute situational determinants of relapse episodes that interact with other factors to determine the likelihood of relapse. The primary aims were to examine reciprocal relationships between situational positive gambling outcome expectancies and gambling behaviour and moderators of these relationships. An online survey and a 28 day Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) were administered to 109 past-month gamblers (84% with gambling problems). EMA measures included outcome expectancies (enjoyment/arousal, self-enhancement, money), self-efficacy, craving, negative emotional state, interpersonal conflict, social pressure, positive emotional state, financial pressures, and gambling behaviour (episodes, expenditure). Pre-EMA measures included problem gambling severity, motives, psychological distress, coping strategies, and outcome expectancies. No reciprocal relationships between EMA outcome expectancies and gambling behaviour (episodes, expenditure) were identified. Moderations predicting gambling episodes revealed: (1) cravings and problem gambling exacerbated effects of enjoyment/arousal expectancies; (2) positive emotional state and positive reframing coping exacerbated effects of self-enhancement expectancies; and (3) instrumental social support buffered effects of money expectancies. Positive outcome expectancies therefore constitute situational determinants of gambling behaviour, but only when they interact with other factors. All pre-EMA expectancies predicted problem gambling severity (OR = 1.61-3.25). Real-time interventions addressing gambling outcome expectancies tailored to vulnerable gamblers are required.
Adult Gambling Problems and Histories of Mental Health and Substance Use: Findings from a Prospective Multi-Wave Australian Cohort Study
Little is known about the cumulative effect of adolescent and young adult mental health difficulties and substance use problems on gambling behaviour in adulthood. We use data from one of Australia's longest running studies of social and emotional development to examine the extent to which: (1) mental health symptoms (depressive and anxiety symptoms) and substance use (weekly binge drinking, tobacco, and cannabis use) from adolescence (13-18 years) into young adulthood (19-28 years) predict gambling problems in adulthood (31-32 years); and (2) risk relationships differ by sex. Analyses were based on responses from 1365 adolescent and young adult participants, spanning seven waves of data collection (1998-2014). Persistent adolescent to young adult binge drinking, tobacco use and cannabis use predicted gambling at age 31-32 years (OR = 2.30-3.42). Binge drinking and tobacco use in young adulthood also predicted gambling at age 31-32 years (OR = 2.04-2.54). Prior mental health symptoms were not associated with gambling and no risk relationships differed by sex. Findings suggest that gambling problems in adulthood may be related to the earlier development of other addictive behaviours, and that interventions targeting substance use from adolescence to young adulthood may confer additional gains in preventing later gambling behaviours.