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This study investigated how teachers who support children with learning difficulties utilise psychologists’ reports in their teaching practice. Previous research has examined teachers’ preferences for how reports should be written, rather than how they might be used. Semi-structured, qualitative interviews with 12 teachers (seven primary, four high school and one preschool teacher) were undertaken and followed up with member checks and interrater reliability. Findings suggested that while the teachers valued the recommendations section of the report, they were also interested in other sections, particularly information about the student's background. Simultaneously, teachers used information from reports selectively in relation to their own professional knowledge and in collaboration with other stakeholders. Implications for practice and further research are discussed.
Over the past decade, researchers have called for a reconceptualisation of school connectedness. A review of literature between 1990 and 2016 was completed to define school connectedness and identified four factors: attending, belonging, engaging, and flow. The review of the published literature from 1990 to 2016 that related to the four factors was undertaken to define each of these terms and their relevance to school connectedness.
Subsequently, based on the four factors, a sequential, four-level model of school connectedness was proposed. The model suggests a progression from minimal connection to a deep level of acculturation and shared meaning relevant for adolescents between 12 and 18 years of age. It is argued that the four factors form the foundation for engagement and suggests the possibility of an experience of flow as a result of a student's connectedness with school. The literature on which the model is based draws together social, emotional, behavioural, and cognitive terms central to learning. The purpose of the review is to move beyond individual factors to propose an explanation for the sequence of graduated connection. Practically, the model provides a template for establishing the student's current experience of school to facilitate interventions to optimise connectedness with school.
Schools are increasingly being identified as ideal settings for early intervention for anxiety and other mental health challenges; however, questions remain about whether individuals who require the most assistance will receive it in more universally applied intervention programs. This study compared targeted and universal delivery approaches of a social and emotional learning intervention for anxiety, using a mixed-methods approach. 66 upper primary aged children (50.9% male) completed a brief mindfulness-based group program, with 46 students in the universal group. The remaining participants (n = 20) were part of the targeted group, selected because they were deemed ‘at risk’ of social and emotional maladjustment. Significant improvements in mean anxiety scores were found for the targeted group and a subset of the universal group, who reported elevated anxiety pre-program, but not for the universal group as a whole. Thematic analysis of semistructured interviews indicated positive experiences from both methods of delivery. These results indicate that a universal delivery is appropriate for social and emotional learning programs, providing opportunities for the greatest number of students, while also supporting those students who were experiencing more significant levels of anxiety.
Online counselling is increasingly being used as an alternative to face-to-face student counselling. Using an exploratory mixed methods design, this project investigated the practice by examining the types of therapeutic goals that 11- to 25-year-olds identify online in routine practice. These goals were then compared to goals identified in equivalent school and community-based counselling services; 1,137 online goals (expressed by 504 young people) and 221 face-to-face goals (expressed by 220 young people) were analysed for key themes using grounded theory techniques. This analysis identified three core categories: (1) Intrapersonal Goals, (2) Interpersonal Goals, and (3) Intrapersonal Goals Directly Related to Others. Further statistical analysis of these themes indicated that online and face-to-face services appear to be used in different ways by students. These differences are discussed alongside the implications for professionals working in educational settings.
While poor parental bonding has been linked with psychological distress, few studies have assessed bonding with mothers and fathers separately among adolescents and whether there are gender differences in the relationships between bonding and psychological distress. Additionally, low self-esteem has been shown to predict psychological distress, but low self-esteem may develop as a result of poor bonding with parental figures. We explored the relationships between (a) perceived maternal and paternal bonding factors and (b) psychological distress, and examined whether self-esteem mediated these relationships in a non-clinical sample of 337 adolescents (aged 13–17 years, M = 14.17, 50.6% female) in Canberra, Australia. Relative to males, females reported lower levels of self-esteem and higher levels of psychological distress. For females, low self-esteem and perceived maternal or paternal rejection predicted higher levels of psychological distress, whereas low self-esteem predicted psychological distress for males. Implications for future research and further considerations are discussed.
Suicide-related behaviours are relatively common among school-aged young people, and schools are an appropriate setting for activities that aim to prevent and assist recovery after suicide. headspace School Support is a specialist service that assists Australian secondary schools to be prepared for and recover from suicide. Through the responses of secondary school personnel to two surveys, this study explored awareness of and need for such services (n = 214), and satisfaction with and impacts of the service (n = 359). Findings indicate that most schools are aware of headspace School Support and regard specialised suicide support as needed. Most respondents indicated that the service increased their perceived knowledge, skills, and capacity in managing suicide issues, and reported satisfaction was high. Continued availability of suicide support to secondary schools is warranted.
We examined the paradigmatic position of school counsellors as it relates to their practice. A survey and interviews were conducted with counsellors, counsellor educators, and teachers. Findings demonstrated that counsellors lacked skills regarding theoretical orientation and applications, counselling practices remained arbitrary and less effective due to the confusion experienced in the adaptation and application of counselling approaches, and the confusion in paradigms stemmed from problems in the identification of local needs, direct transfer of Eurocentric paradigms, training, and professional roles.
This research aimed to reveal the relationship between self-harm behaviour, body image, and self-esteem, and examined whether there was a difference between the body image and self-esteem of the adolescents who exhibited self-harm behaviour and those who did not. The study was conducted with the participation of 263 high school students — 143 females (54.3%) and 120 males (45.6%) — who studied in various high schools in the Trabzon province, Turkey. The students’ ages ranged from 15 to 18; the mean age was 17.02 (SD = 1.59). The research was conducted using the Inventory of Statements about Self-Injury, the Body Perception Scale, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, and a personal information form. The research concluded that there was a significant relationship between body image and self-esteem of the adolescents, and that body image and self-esteem were the significant regressors of self-harm behaviour.
The limited number of programs of tested efficacy in the literature such as cognitive-behavioural therapy and family-based prevention of internet addiction is striking. The aim of this study was to analyse the effect of reality therapy-based group counselling on college students’ problematic internet use and life satisfaction. In order to determine who would participate in the counselling program, screening tests were administered to 418 students. Twenty students who met the inclusion criteria eventually took part. The Online Cognition Scale and Life Satisfaction Scale were used pre- and posttests in order to evaluate the counselling program. Results show that reality therapy-based group counselling significantly reduces the level of problematic internet use among college students and increases their life satisfaction levels.
The importance of working memory to classroom functioning and academic outcomes has led to the development of many interventions designed to enhance students’ working memory. In this article we briefly review the evidence for the relative effectiveness of classroom and computerised working memory interventions in bringing about measurable and sustainable benefits to students’ working memory, classroom engagement, and academic performance. Although there is considerable evidence that working memory is significantly linked to academic achievement, virtually no research has been undertaken within the classroom context, nor has the research had an intervention focus, nor has any research involved students themselves. Although there is a large amount of research on computerised working memory training programs, the evidence confirms that such programs rarely provide transferable or sustainable benefits to students’ working memory, classroom functioning, or academic performance. Positive evidence is provided for one classroom intervention specifically designed for personal and independent use by students, with their teachers’ support. Recommendations for classroom practice and directions for further research combining classrooms and computer interventions are discussed.