Thursday, 26 October 2017

Keats grant supports cross-cultural research on university student adjustment.

Relationships and Psychological Health Lab (RAPHLab)

School of Psychology PhD candidate Jichun (Jessy) Hao and her supervisors, A/Prof Ross Wilkinson and A/Prof Mark Rubin, were fortunate enough to be awarded a grant from the John and Daphne Keats Endowment Research Fund in 2017 to contribute towards research examining university student adjustment in Australia and China. University students experience high rates of mental ill-health that threaten academic engagement, performance and completion. This project, ‘Psychological health in Chinese and Australian university students: A longitudinal study of attachment, mindfulness, social integration, and collectivism-individualism’, seeks to examine the interaction of selected intrapersonal, interpersonal, social, and exogenous factors that may affect psychological health in both Australian and Chinese university students in the first two years of study.  Jessy, with the assistance of international collaborators Prof Raymond Chan (Chinese Academy of Sciences) and A/Prof Binsheng Tian (Yunnan University), collected two-waves of data via online surveys involving more than 1000 students from the University of Newcastle, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing), and Yunnan University (Kunming). This research aims to advance our understanding of factors influencing student psychological health, particularly with respect to cultural differences. The Keats grant supported Jessy and Ross to travel to China in July to assist with data collection at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing), and to meet with Prof Chan and his lab team to discuss project related issues. This visit was highly successful in sharing knowledge and collaboration with Prof Chan for the project write-up and for future projects, publications, and presentations. Jessy also visited Yunnan University to gain further insight into student life and how research is conducted in the Chinese academic environment. Jessy and the team are now in the final stage of second wave data collection, and preparing publications with their international collaborators, with the aim of increasing our understanding of university adjustment and helping inform policy and strategies with respect to factors influencing domestic and international student welfare and retention.

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