Journaling your challenges: mechanisms of resilience journals to support German first‑semester business students during their transition to university

Lohner, Max ; Aprea, Carmela

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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-663453
Document Type: Article
Year of publication: 2023
The title of a journal, publication series: Discover Psychology
Volume: 3
Issue number: Article 44
Page range: 44
Place of publication: Cham
Publishing house: Springer Nature
Publication language: English
Institution: Business School > Wirtschaftspädagogik, Design and Evaluation instruktionaler Systeme (Aprea 2018-)
Pre-existing license: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Subject: 150 Psychology
Keywords (English): Resilience, Journal intervention, First-semester students, Study satisfaction, Life satisfaction, Study satisfaction, Challenges, Broaden-and-build theory
Abstract: Transition to university can be challenging, but writing interventions can be a helpful way of supporting first-semester students. Why these interventions are effective is still not fully understood, however. To explore the underlying mechanisms, two versions of a resilience journal were used in this study. They were designed to either broaden attention toward all challenges or to prime students’ attention to successfully mastered challenges. It was hypothesized that priming toward mastery is more effective but that both versions would increase students’ resilience and satisfaction. Hypotheses were tested in a pre-post design with 62 first-semester students randomly filling out one of the two versions for 6 weeks. The outcomes were compared to students without an intervention, and journal entries were analyzed for challenges and coping strategies. A content analysis of the journal entries revealed that most challenges were directly related to university. Problem-focused coping strategies were most often used to address challenges. Both intervention groups showed a decrease in life satisfaction during the first 6 weeks of university, but the intervention designed to broaden attention was more effective in mitigating this decrease. The same intervention was also more advantageous in promoting students’ resilience. The results highlight the vulnerability of students during their transition to university and the potential of writing interventions that include reflection on all challenges.
Additional information: Verfasser hier: Lohner, Max S.

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