Most contemporary adolescents communicate with their friends by using kyara, which is a shortened form of the Japanese pronunciation of the English word “character”. The purpose of the present study was to clarify relations between acceptance of kyara in friendship and psychological adjustment by comparing junior high and university students. Junior high school students (n=396) and university students (n=244) completed a questionnaire. The results suggested that the university students had a higher percentage than the junior high school students of use of kyara in friendship, and higher scores on sense of self-usefulness, compared to those who did not have a kyara. Factor analysis identified 4 factors in acceptance of kyara: active acceptance, rejection, indifference, and passive acceptance. The results of comparisons of scores and paths revealed differences correlated to educational level. The junior high school students tended not to accept their kyara, and performing with their kyara was related negatively to psychological adjustment. On the other hand, the university students’ performing with their kyara was not significantly related to any of the measures, and passive acceptance of kyara was related positively to the students’ sense of interpersonal rootedness.
The aim of the present study was to examine the construct of math beliefs and to explore factors that may explain individual differences in those beliefs. Math beliefs are defined as a person’s perspective on the nature of mathematics. A Math Beliefs Questionnaire was developed; first-year undergraduates (N=762) completed the questionnaire. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were conducted on the results. The results revealed that math beliefs are constructed of 4 factors: usefulness, thinking process, fixedness, and difficulty. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was conducted on the models with those 4 factors as dependent variables, and gender, math experience (major, math exam experience, and experience with high-level math), and academic attainment (university entry difficulty, confidence in math) as independent variables. The results revealed that the variables related to academic attainment and math experience affected math beliefs. Higher confidence was positively related to usefulness and thinking process, whereas it was negatively related to fixedness and difficulty. University entry difficulty, math exam experience, and experience with high-level math were positively related to thinking process and negatively related to fixedness. Major also positively affected thinking process. No significant path was found between gender and math beliefs.
The purpose of the present longitudinal study was to examine the following: (a) effects of generalized and career decision-making self-efficacy of university junior year undergraduates on job hunting and satisfaction with the workplace, (b) effects of job hunting and satisfaction with the workplace on generalized self-efficacy during the students’ senior year. Questionnaires were completed by 113 undergraduates (57 males, 56 females) twice: at the beginning of the second semester of their junior year, and at the beginning of the second semester of their senior year. In their senior year, all the participants had received informal promises of employment. Structural equation modeling indicated the following: (a) generalized self-efficacy as a junior enhanced career decision-making self-efficacy as a junior and had positive effects on job hunting, (b) generalized self-efficacy as a junior also indirectly influenced job hunting and satisfaction with the workplace through career decision-making self-efficacy as a junior, and c between the first and the second measurements, generalized self-efficacy was highly stable. These results suggest that although generalized self-efficacy can change during the process of job hunting, high generalized self-efficacy as a junior appears to be a key success factor in job hunting.
The goal of the present study was to examine individual differences in the learning process among clinical psychology graduate students. Students (N=19) who were within 3 months of completing their master’s degree were interviewed. The results, analyzed using a modified grounded theory approach and case matrix, indicated that the learning process among these students progressed while alternating among the following 4 categories: (a) uncertainty as to what to focus on, (b) lack of confidence in one’s judgment as an inexperienced expert, c utilization and trust in one’s judgment under current conditions, and (d) acquisition of connected viewpoints of individual awareness and learning. On the basis of these results, the participants were classified into 4 groups. The discussion draws attention to the importance of: (a) support for individual sense and thought, (b) taking note of the various winding paths in the learning process, c support for graduate students in their proactive utilization of trial and error, and (d) taking care in the selection and restriction of learning subjects.
In the present study, the Proactive-Reactive Aggressiveness Scales for High School Students (SPRAS-H), a self-report scale, was developed, and relationships between proactive-reactive aggressiveness and physical and relational aggression were investigated, as were subtypes of proactive-reactive aggressiveness and their psychological features. High school students (N=2,010) completed a questionnaire. Exploratory factor analysis of their responses revealed that SPRAS-H had the exact same 6-factor structure as the Proactive-Reactive Aggressiveness Scales for Junior High School Students (SPRAS-J). Additional confirmatory factor analysis indicated high goodness-of-fit indices for the oblique 2-factor model of proactive and reactive aggressiveness. All subscales of the SPRAS-H showed sufficient reliability and concurrent validity. Multiple regression analysis revealed that 40% of the variance in physical aggression and 30% of the variance in relational aggression could be explained by gender and proactive-reactive aggressiveness. Cluster analysis indicated that there were 2 types of highly aggressive subgroups. The extremely aggressive subgroup had high scores on both the proactive and reactive aggressiveness subscales, whereas the reactively aggressive subgroup had high scores only on the reactive aggressiveness subscale. These results provide support for Crapanzano’s severity model (Crapanzano, Frick, & Terranova, 2010).
The present study inquired into elementary school 4th graders’ personal stories as told in diaries that they had written as a homework assignment, focusing on the children’s selves in relation to others described in the stories and the reader of the diaries. On the basis of the children’s style of writing and answers to a questionnaire asking the children about their beliefs about diary writing, diaries of 3 fourth-grade students (1 boy, 2 girls) were selected. Out of 537 diary entries written by these 3 students over 12 months, mainly describing their experiences in their homes and neighborhoods, 14 were chosen for analysis. A qualitative analysis suggested how others work to clarify children’s selves in several types of expression that make the perspective of the child writing the diary more distinctive. These expressions included the children focusing on fine details of their experiences, describing conversations or their inner reflections in direct speech style, and criticizing others. The discussion deals with how these writings clarify the children’s positions to their teacher who will read their diaries.
Peer tutoring may promote not only deeper comprehension of subjects, but also everyday use of more effective learning strategies. The purpose of the present study was to develop a peer-tutoring program and evaluate its effects on the quality of peer-tutoring interactions and students’ learning strategy use. A preliminary program was implemented in 1 high school during the 2010 academic year. Although it was emphasized that the goal of peer tutoring is to deepen the understanding of both the tutor and the tutee, and instructions were provided on skills needed for peer tutoring, the student participants’ questions and explanations tended to be superficial, and the tutors rarely checked their tutees’ understanding of the tutors’ explanations. It is possible that these problems were caused by the students’ “instruction-learning schema”, which could have portrayed the view that “tutors teach fragments of knowledge or procedural solutions through one-way instruction”. On the basis of that hypothesis, a new program was developed that aimed to change students’ schema into “tutors teach the relations between knowledge components interactively with their tutees”. During the 2012 academic year, 8 classes of public high school students (n=320) participated in the new program, which consisted of 6 one-hour sessions of lectures and peer tutoring. Analysis of the students’ interactions revealed that the students asked and explained the relationships between knowledge components, and their comprehension test scores improved. In addition, the students’ daily use of effective learning strategies, such as an explanation strategy, increased after they experienced the program.
Worldwide, scientific inquiry is a highly valued outcome in science education. Asking questions is the leading element of scientific inquiry; however, it is not easy for students to generate scientific questions, especially questions inspired by a theory’s predictions. The present study examines an instructional intervention that aimed to enhance elementary school students’ generation of theory-inspired questions. The topic of the curricular unit was combustion. Two studies were done, both using a pre-, mid-, post-design. In Study 1, 3 classes of sixth-grade students (N=115) collaboratively engaged in inquiry-based learning in order to promote scientific thinking; they repeatedly explored and explained specific combustion phenomena, using theory. In Study 2, 3 classes of sixth-grade students (N=117) engaged in inquiry-based learning with question-centered instruction. The results from written assessment tasks indicated that the level of student-generated questions improved from pre- to post-test in both studies, and that the students in Study 2 showed greater improvement than did those in Study 1. These results suggest that interventions including inquiry-based learning with question-centered instruction may effectively promote elementary school sixth graders to ask theory-inspired questions.
In the present study, university undergraduates were given skills training to develop their teamwork competency, and effectiveness of the training was evaluated using scales that assessed individuals’ competency for teamwork. The skills training program was intended to improve listening, persuasion, and leadership skills. The scales used at pre- and post-training to assess general social skills and competency at teamwork measured communication, team orientation, back-up, monitoring, and leadership. Participants were university seniors (n=29; 2 men, 27 women). A control group (n=20; 5 men, 15 women) who did not receive the training also completed the same scales. The results indicated that the self-reported scores of the students who had participated in the training showed improvements in social skills and in many of the sub-elements of teamwork competency, compared to the students who did not participate in the training. It was concluded that the training appeared to be effective for improving teamwork competency.
Follow-up methods for improving and maintaining effects of off-the-job training for railroad workers were investigated in the present study. A training program was designed to produce an active transformation of attitudes about making announcements regarding problems in the transport system, using goal-directed behavior instead of conventional behavior. A quasi-experimental, non-equivalent, pre-post test design with 4 groups was used. The participants (N=543) were employees of a railroad company in a metropolitan area. During training, a DVD was used to show them the teaching material. Then, the participants were presented with 1 of the following 4 conditions: (a) goal setting (GS): the participants were required to set a goal just after watching the DVD, (b) feedback (FB): 3 months after they watched the DVD, the participants were shown data on changes in the consciousness and behavior of colleagues between the pre- and post-DVD presentations, c a combination of goal setting and feedback, and (d) a control condition with no follow-up. Using a questionnaire that was administered multiple times, the following psychological variables were assessed: attitudes toward goal-directed behavior, subjective norms, and behavioral intentions, as well as the execution of goal-directed behavior. The analysis compared the data from pre-training and 6 months post-training. The results indicated that (a) scores on the psychological variables increased significantly in both the goal setting and feedback groups, compared to the control group, (b) the rate of executing goal behavior increased more in the feedback group than in the other conditions, regardless of whether or not the goal behavior had been decided before the training. The results of the present study suggest that feedback is more effective for promoting learning in railroad employees at psychological and behavioral levels. Therefore, the discussion recommends that educational methods for improving the effects of feedback should be promoted.
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