Vol. 11, Issue 2, November 2019

  1. Fostering students’ emotion regulation during learning: Design and effects of a computer-based video training
    Petra Engelmann and Maria Bannert
    pp 3 - 16
    Emotions have an essential impact on students’ learning outcome. Empirical findings show negative correlations between negative emotions and learning outcome. Negative emotions during learning are quite common and become more frequent over the course of an academic career. Thus, regulating these emotions is important. Existing studies indicate that university students lack the ability to successfully regulate their emotions during learning. However, interventions to foster university students’ inherent emotion regulation during learning are missing. In an attempt to identify interventions, this study investigates the effect of a video-based emotion regulation training for university students on emotion regulation strategies, emotions, and learning outcome. One hundred and sixteen university students either received training in emotion regulation (n = 60) or in workplace design (n = 56) before learning in a computer-based learning environment about probability theory. The emotion regulation training lead to improved emotion regulation (more cognitive reappraisal, less suppression) and less frustration and anxiety, but did not affect learning outcome. The results confirm that university students experience significant emotion regulation difficulties and suggest that they need intensive training in emotional regulation.

  2. Improving Emotion Perception and Emotion Regulation Through a Web-Based Emotional Intelligence Training (WEIT) Program for Future Leaders
    Christina Köppe, Marco Jürgen Held and Astrid Schütz
    pp 17 - 32
    We evaluated a Web-Based Emotional Intelligence Training (WEIT) program that was based on the four-branch model of emotional intelligence (EI) and which aimed at improving emotion perception (EP) and emotion regulation (ER) in future leaders. Using a controlled experimental design, we evaluated the short-term (directly after the WEIT program) and long-term (6 weeks later) effects in a sample of 134 (59 training group [TG], 75 wait list control group [CG]) business students, and additionally tested whether WEIT helped to reduce perceived stress. For EP, WEIT led to a significant increase in the TG directly after training (whereas the wait list CG showed no change). Changes remained stable after 6 weeks in the TG, but there were no significant differences between the TG and CG at follow-up. By contrast, ER did not show an increase directly after WEIT, but 6 weeks later, the TG had larger improvements than the CG. The results mostly confirmed that emotional abilities can be increased through web-based training. Participants’ perceived stress did not decrease after the training program. Further refinement and validation of WEIT is needed.

  3. The effect of engagement in a kindness intervention on adolescents’ well-being: A randomized controlled trial
    John-Tyler Binfet and Jenna Whitehead
    pp 33 - 49
    A current trend in kindness research is to assess the effect of being kind on participants’ well-being. To do this, participants are asked to complete a series of kind acts and the corresponding impact on their well-being is measured.  As participation in school-based interventions can vary, the aim of the current study was to assess the extent of adolescents’ engagement in a kindness intervention and the resultant effect on their well-being.  An intervention study was conducted in which 383 sixth through eighth graders planned and completed three kind acts per week for four weeks, with pre- and post-test assessments of well-being administered. Adolescents’ acts of kindness reflected the themes of helping with chores, being respectful, complimenting/ encouraging others, and giving objects or money.  No significant differences between control and intervention groups at post-test on any well-being measures were found, after controlling for pre-test scores. However, upon analysis of participants’ engagement in the intervention (intervention uptake), it was determined that half of the participants (n=87) implemented less than 60% of their kindness intervention. Participants were thus clustered into three groups: zero, low, and high implementers.  ANCOVAs revealed that high implementers had the lowest self-reported negative affect and highest self-reported kindness to others. Implications for adolescent prosocial development are discussed.

  4. ‘I really enjoy it’: Emotional Engagement of University Peer Mentors.
    Susan Beltman, Kerstin Helker and Sarina Fischer
    pp 50 - 70
    Peer mentoring programs are commonly used to facilitate the transition of new students into higher education settings. Peer mentors’ experiences and emotions during mentoring are important but under-researched. We report exploratory work to address this gap in a two-phase study using a grounded theory approach. In Phase 1 mentors in an Australian university responded to online (n=35) or face-to-face (n=10) questions about their emotions during a peer mentor program. Emotions were found to be primarily positive, mentors varied in the extent to which they express emotions, and emotions relating to different time points were evident. In Phase 2, we examined temporal dimensions of emotions in more depth with peer mentors in a German university and added anticipated future emotions to existing categories. Connections between mentors’ emotions and their own early experiences at university were explored, with another category of recalled prior emotions being added. Our findings are consistent with previous research regarding the positive and negative emotional aspects of being a peer mentor and further contribute to the understanding of the complexity of emotions in mentoring, specifically peer mentoring in higher education settings.

  5. A review of heterogeneous interpretations of Emotional Reactivity
    Saima Eman, Ansab Khalid and Roderick I. Nicolson
    pp 71 - 90
    ‘Emotional reactivity’ (ER) is an important construct in the analysis of individual temperamental differences, and has accounted for significant variance in studies with respect to its definition. Between 1920 and 2015, the meaning of ER has varied from physiology of emotional reactions, to stress, depression, and as a sub-type of empathy. This paper highlights the confusion in the literature about the meaning of ER and raises questions about the current use of the term ER as a valid construct. It clarifies heterogeneity within ER through the creation of a framework to explain different subtypes of ER and suggests new labels designed to help researchers specify the constructs underpinning the term ER.

  6. Winding down the stressed out: Social and emotional learning as a stress coping strategy with Norwegian upper secondary students
    Kjersti Balle Tharaldsen
    pp 91 - 105
    A universal school-based intervention was developed to enhance coping with school-related stress by building students’ social and emotional competence. The intervention was carried out in six classes in three upper secondary schools in southwestern Norway, and covered mindfulness, self-regulated learning, and social competence. Three focus groups were conducted with a stratified selection of general education students (n=24) and one focus group with primary school teachers (n=6). Summative content analysis was conducted using NVivo Software. Findings indicate that the students perceived the core themes useful, and believed that the intervention increased their coping with school-related stress and to some extent improved their learning environment. Teachers’ perceptions supported these findings to some degree. Future directions for universal school-based interventions to build social and emotional competencies are suggested.

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