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Research Articles

Social Support, Resilience and Subjective Well-being in College Students

Murat Yıldırım, Fatma Çelik Tanrıverdi

Journal of Positive School Psychology , , 5 September 2017,

Social support has been linked to numerous adaptive psychosocial health outcomes. The Brief Perceived Social Support Questionnaire (BPSSQ) is a newly developed measure of general social support. This study aimed to test the psychometric properties and dimensionality of the BPSSQ in Turkish language and tested the mediating effect of resilience in the relationship between social support and satisfaction with life. Participants included 202 college students (69.3% females), with a mean age of 22.58 years (SD=1.26) who completed online measures of social support, resilience, and satisfaction with life. As expected, the BPSSQ provided a one-factor structure with a satisfactory internal consistency. Social support significantly predicted resilience and satisfaction with life. Resilience also predicted satisfaction with life. Furthermore, the results supported the hypothesis of mediating role of resilience in the relationship between social support and satisfaction with life. These results are important in terms of providing evidence of the underlying mechanism between social support and satisfaction with life. Future intervention efforts aimed at increasing social support and satisfaction with life may benefit from resilience.

Well-being is a multi-faceted construct that encompasses all aspects of healthy and successful human functioning across multiple domains. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the predictive power of student subjective wellbeing on several specific adolescent school and psychological adjustment indicators: school achievement, academic satisfaction, prosocial behavior, and internalizing and externalizing problems. Participants included 223 adolescents, comprising of 54.9% girls, ranging in age from 13 to 18 years (M= 15.67, SD= 1.21). Findings from the LVPA indicated that student subjective wellbeing was significantly associated with youth school functioning and adjustment outcomes, ranging from small-to-large effect size (R2 range = .05 to .42). Student subjective wellbeing had the strongest predictive effect on prosocial behavior, followed by academic satisfaction, psychological health problems, and school achievement. With regard to the first-order models, school connectedness and joy of learning significantly predicted student academic satisfaction, prosocial behavior, and psychological adjustment problems. However, the predictive effect of these variables on student school achievement was non–significant. Educational purpose and academic efficacy were significant predictors of all adolescent outcomes. Taken together, these results suggest that student subjective wellbeing is an essential resource for improving youth academic functioning and psychological health.

Significant research has confirmed the necessity to better comprehend psychological constructs that are essential in predicting and influencing human performance, in particular, assessing expressive flexibility and resilience. However, limited research has investigated the relationships that exist between these two constructs that are critical protective factors in facilitating the mental health and the well-being of individuals. Through a number of structural equation modeling (SEM) techniques, the current endeavor evaluates this gap to assess the relationship between these two constructs. Utilizing a military student sample from a private U.S. military university (N = 107), participants completed the Resilience Scale for Adults (RSA) and the Flexible Regulation of Emotional Expression (FREE) scale. Correlations matrixes reported positive relationships between expressive flexibility and resilience. Confirmatory factor analyses (CFAs) revealed a bi-factor models of expressive flexibility and resilience. Additional CFAs revealed a two-factor model structure between expressive flexibility and resilience. Implications for future work are offered.

Meaningful Work Protects Teachers’ Self-Rated Health under Stressors

Jaana Minkkinen, Elina Auvinen, Saija Mauno

Journal of Positive School Psychology , , 5 September 2017, Page 1-12

A sense of meaningfulness is one of the most sought?after work characteristics which has been associated with employees’ well-being. This study explored whether meaningful work enhances self-rated health in challenging work context, under the stressors of distractions, unnecessary tasks, and unreasonable tasks. Data was collected from Finnish teachers (N = 1,658) and structural equation modelling was employed with the latent interaction terms. Results showed that meaningful work was associated with better self-rated health and the stressors were associated with poorer self-rated health. Protective potential of meaningful work against stressors was also discovered, as meaningful work mitigated the harm of stressors on self-rated health. These findings indicate that meaningful work acts as an important resource for employees’ self-rated health and helps them to better cope with stressful work conditions, enhancing well-being. The protective quality of meaningful work means that even challenging work context may have less harm for employees’ well-being, if they have a strong sense of meaning in work. The practical implications of the findings for teachers and organizations are discussed.

The Gratitude visit: Student reflections on a positive psychology experiential learning exercise

Jackelyn Payne, Huma Babar, Elizabeth Tse, Anne Moyer

Journal of Positive School Psychology , , 5 September 2017, Page 1-11

This study aimed to examine students' subjective experiences and insights in response to engaging in a positive psychology exercise focused on gratefulness that was part of a college course. We conducted a qualitative content analysis of 97 reflection assignments submitted as part of undergraduate and graduate level positive psychology courses at a large public university. A grounded theory approach to qualitative research guided the analytic process. Six major themes emerged, including students’ thoughts about the interventions and difficulties with the experience, how the gratitude visit impacted their interpersonal relationships, reflections on the construct of gratitude, the effect of the intervention on their mood and stress levels, and beliefs about how the experience had and would continue to affect their lives beyond the course. Our findings support prior research suggesting the beneficial impact of experiential learning and imply that such experiential exercises are feasible in multiple levels of psychology courses.

Review Articles

A Meta-Analytic Investigation of the Relationship between Basic Psychological Need Satisfaction and Affect

Peter J. Stanley, Nicola, Wendy

Journal of Positive School Psychology , , 5 September 2017, Page 1-16

Self Determination Theory proposes that psychological needs satisfaction is associated with high positive affect and low negative affect. The present study consolidated effect sizes from previous research on the relationship of satisfaction of autonomy, competence and relatedness needs with positive affect and negative affect, and identified moderators of the relationships. The basic need satisfaction and positive affect meta-analyses included 16 samples for autonomy, 16 for competence, and 16 for relatedness, with 7335, 6832, and 6710 participants, respectively. Across studies, higher positive affect was significantly associated with greater autonomy satisfaction (r=.39), competence satisfaction (r=.45), and relatedness satisfaction (r=.39). The basic need satisfaction and negative affect meta-analyses included 11 samples for autonomy, 13 for competence, and 11 for relatedness, with 5114 participants, 5481 participants, and 5114 participants, respectively. Across studies, lower negative affect was significantly associated with greater autonomy satisfaction (r=-.30), competence satisfaction (r=-.33), and relatedness satisfaction (r=-.30). Moderator analyses found that gender composition, sample type, and basic need satisfaction measure were related to the strength of associations.