English summaries

English Summaries (04/2018)

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Salla Kaikkonen, Viola Saukkoriipi & Juha Holma

Gender talk in the interviews of men who have stalked their ex-partners

Stalking is not a new phenomenon despite its fairly recent criminalization in Finland. Our study is part of VIOLA – Väkivallasta vapaaksi ry and Oulun ensi- ja turvakoti ry’s Varjo Project, which took place in the years 2012–2017. The project aimed to develop preventive and rehabilitation services for those whose lives are touched by this crime. We studied gender talk in five interviews of men who had stalked their ex-partners. Data was collected from recordings of interviews that employees of VIOLA ry had conducted in prisons. Our research method is data-driven discourse analysis. Thus we were open to all gender-related talk which emerged in the interviews, and we transcribed gender talk in their respective contexts. The construction of gender in the speech was analyzed through positionings, categories and power positions. The interviewed men produced gender talk about women, men and their interactions diversely. Women were constructed e.g. as mothers, cheaters, supportive and protective figures in relationship, separation and conflict discourses. Men were constructed through humiliation, work, stereotypes and roles in jealousy, cheating and relationship discourses. The interaction between the genders was constructed as e.g. stalking in the discourse of love and hate, and jealousy and power relations in the discourse of relationships. The results were compatible to some extent with theories and earlier results of stalking and gender studies but the gender talk of the men in this study was notably diverse with both positive and negative descriptions of gender and relationships. The field of study of stalking in Finland is still relatively untouched, so further studies are needed for a better understanding and prevention of stalking.

Keywords: stalking, gender, discourse, construction of gender

Maisa Anttila & Sari Lindblom

Does success in student selection correlate with work motivation and commitment? Studying the student selection for the basic course for Border Guards

The purpose of this study is to find out if success in the student selection for the basic course for border guards is connected to the success of student selection from the perspective of motivation, commitment, values and self-trust. Studying which variables are connected to the border guards’ motivation and commitment was a part of the research. A structured questionnaire measuring performance at work was sent to border guards who graduated in 2014–2016 (N = 103). A total of 52 participants gave permission to combine their answers with their student selection data and grades from the basic course. The quantitative data was analyzed by statistical methods. Correlation and tests for means were the most common methods used. A positive correlation between suitability assessment (psychological test and interview) and the border guards’ motivation and suitability was found. In addition to the suitability assessment, easiness of the decision to apply, time from graduation, ability to work, duties at work, the work unit, amount of previous work experience and gender are connected to experiences of motivation and commitment. Study success of the basic course measured with written exams or overall success in student selection do not affect the border guards’ motivation or fit for the job.

Keywords: student selection, career selection, study success, quantitative study, qualitative study, motivation, self-trust, trust, values 

Tuomo Virtanen, Kaisa Haverinen & Markku Leskinen

Structural equation modeling: Some methodological, theoretical and conceptual starting points for research in behavioral sciences

Interest in structural equation modeling has increased in the behavioral sciences. Structural equation modeling allows a researcher to connect theoretical concepts beyond direct observations to the data by specifying a theory-based statistical model and testing whether the model fits the data. Exploratory analyses can also be conducted. For example, the researcher can model the unobserved heterogeneity by identifying latent groups in the data. Structural equation modeling is flexible in that confirmatory and exploratory analyses can be conducted in the variable, or person-centered, contexts or a combination of these. With the increase in popularity of structural equation modeling, an obvious need to understand how theoretical concepts are linked with the model has occurred. The aim of the current article is to present, first, some methodological starting points for structural equation modeling, and second, a conceptual model that highlights the relationship between a theoretical concept (i.e., phenomenon), data, statistical model and substantive theory. The conceptual model is rooted in scientific realism, which posits that the reality consists of both directly observed and indirectly inferred phenomena – both of which are possible and meaningful to investigate scientifically. We end the article by describing an empirical study where researcher-made explorative decisions are linked with the conceptual model.

Keywords: structural equation modeling, scientific realism, phenomenon, data, statistical model, substantive theory