English summaries

English Summaries (04/2021)

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Anniina Virtanen, Jessica de Bloom & Ulla Kinnunen

The relationship between recovery experiences and cognitive failures among Finnish teachers

The aim of this study was to investigate how recovery experiences during off-job time (i.e., detachment from work, relaxation, control, mastery, meaning, and affiliation) are related to self-reported cognitive failures among Finnish teachers. Cognitive failures in memory, perception and action reflect lapses in cognitive control. In addition, we examined how age, gender, workload and sleep problems are related to cognitive failures. Data were based on a large questionnaire study conducted in May 2017 (= 909) among Finnish teachers and school principals. The majority of participants (93%) worked in comprehensive schools. Their mean age was 51 years and 78 percent were women. The main statistical analysis strategy was hierarchical regression analysis. The results showed that relaxation and control during off-job time, being younger, being female, as well as having a high workload and sleeping problems were related to reporting more frequent cognitive failures. Of these contributors, sleeping problems were strongest. Our results expand the existing literature by suggesting that especially recovery experiences of relaxation and control during off-job time are related to lower levels of cognitive failures. This knowledge may add to our understanding of the role of recovery in real-life cognitive processes. 

Keywords: recovery from work, recovery experiences, cognitive failures, teachers

Inka Vaalamo

Embodied trauma in psychotherapy

Bodily reactions should be considered an integral part of the psychotherapy of a traumatized person. During recent years various techniques for trauma therapy have been emphasized, with psychoanalytic theory being secondary. However, psychoanalytic understanding can help shed light on obscure and difficult-to-express phenomena, which relate to trauma and the body. The purpose of this review article is, using psychoanalytic theory, to find grounds for how to approach trauma and bodily reactions during the psychotherapeutic process. In addition, the meaning of different techniques for trauma is examined from the psychoanalytic point of view. In psychoanalytic theory trauma is considered to be an event where one is left alone even from oneself by an overwhelming experience. Consequently, bodily reactions can be viewed as one's desperate attempt to save oneself from a life-threatening distress. Trauma easily dissociates the conscious mind from bodily sensations. In psychotherapy, bodily reactions offer the possibility to find a connection to one’s self and to reality, which is the foundation of all psychotherapeutic work. At best, theories and techniques can help the therapist to reach the patient authentically and thus enhance integration; at worst they can work as an intellectual defence and worsen separation. 

Keywords: trauma, body, dissociation, containment, psychoanalytic, psychotherapy, stabilization, mindfulness

Elina Naamanka, Johanna Nukari, Kati Peltonen & Erja Poutiainen

Online upper secondary school students’ challenges with psychological wellbeing and learning

Challenges with psychological wellbeing and learning difficulties have various unfavorable educational consequences. Yet, current research on these issues among online students is quite scarce. This study examines online students’ self-reported problems with mental wellbeing and learning. The group under study (= 146) consists of adult students studying at an online upper secondary school and replied to the online questionnaire. The present study indicates that well over half of participants reported mental health problems and loneliness, as well as experiences of being bullied at comprehensive school. Further, mental health problems were the main reason to choose online studies. When compared to the Youth Barometer consisting of upper secondary school students, online students reported more loneliness and experiences of being bullied. Difficulties with attention and executive functioning were reported relatively often and these difficulties were also associated with mental health problems.

Keywords: challenges with psychological wellbeing, learning difficulties, online learning, upper secondary school for adults

Virpi Ruohomäki, Pia Sirola & Marjaana Lahtinen

Work performance, environmental satisfaction and well-being in an activity-based office

Digitalization and changes in knowledge work are reforming the use of workspaces, and research on the functionality of new space solutions for different types of work is needed. This study investigates an expert organization’s (= 179) move from a room-office to an activity-based office (ABO). Work performance, environmental satisfaction and well-being of the staff were studied with a questionnaire (response rate 68%) and interviews (= 9) about one year after the relocation. The ABO supported teamwork, collaboration and interaction well, but was less supportive for independent individual tasks and concentration. The results showed that environmental satisfaction was related to job content. Tasks that involved planning, coordination and continuous interaction explained environmental satisfaction the most, while tasks that required problem solving, decision-making and complete concentration explained dissatisfaction with the work environment. Employee satisfaction with the work environment was positively related to job satisfaction, well-being at work and work performance. Employees evaluated that their interaction improved, but opportunities to work in peace and quiet decreased. The results showed that the work environment plays an important role in work performance, satisfaction and well-being. This study provides a work and organizational psychological perspective on workplace research and development.

Keywords: activity-based office, knowledge work, satisfaction, well-being