Käyttäytymistieteellinen tiedekunta


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  • Torppa, Ritva (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The cochlear implant (CI) provides a sensation of hearing for deaf-born children. However, many CI children show poor language outcomes, which may be related to the deficiency of CIs in delivering pitch. This thesis studies the development of those neural processes and behavioural skills linked to the perception of pitch which may play a role in language acquisition. We measured with event-related brain potentials (ERPs) the neural discrimination of and attention shift to changes in music, the perception of word and sentence stress and related acoustic cues, and the auditory working memory (forward digit span) in 4̶ 13-year-old normally hearing (NH) and early-implanted children. We studied how the development of these aspects is related to musical activities known to advance brain development and perceptual skills in the NH population, and whether the perception of music is connected to word stress or visuospatial perception in NH adults. With regard to the development of neural responses, we found for the CI children usually well-formed ERP waveforms resembling those found for the NH children. However, some brain responses implied impoverished processing for the CI children, especially for timbre and pitch. The CI children who sang regularly at home were advantaged over the other CI children for the development of attention shift, which was linked to improved auditory working memory, implying better neural discrimination, an advantaged development of neural networks for attention and better updating of auditory working memory for the CI singers. For the CI children perception of word and sentence stress improved with improving discrimination of pitch (f0) and intensity and auditory working memory. Only the CI children participating in supervised musical activities performed and developed similarly to the NH children in these skills. The perception of musical rhythm improved with improving word stress and visuospatial perception for the NH adults. The results indicate that (i) perception of music and speech are connected not only via pitch and timbre, but also via rhythm, and (ii) the combination of singing at home and taking part in supervised musical activities, using also rhythmic exercises and visual cues, might be the best way to optimize pitch-related abilities, underlying cognitive functions, spoken language skills and quality of life for early-implanted children.
  • Waris, Petra (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The onset of schizophrenia before the age of 18 is commonly categorized as early onset schizophrenia. It accounts for less than 4% of all cases of schizophrenia, the prevalence of which is about 1% worldwide. Premorbid abnormalities seem to be very typical, and prognosis is often poor. Besides the negative and positive symptoms, severe neurocognitive deficits also occur. Schizophrenia and pervasive developmental disorders share a common history. From 1970 onwards these disorders have been regarded as separate conditions. These disorders have different ages of onset as well as developmental courses. Nevertheless, the clinical symptoms as well as the results of genetic and neuroimaging studies overlap. The participants in this thesis were adolescent schizophrenia patients (n = 18; 7 males, 11 females). The mean age of the participants at recruitment was 15.6 years (studies I-III) and at the time of psychological assessment 16.2 years (study IV). Study IV also included 15 adolescents with PDD without psychotic disorder (n = 15; 7 males, 8 females). Their mean age at recruitment was 16.1 years. All participants had a primary IQ over 70. Study I of this thesis assessed the possible comorbidity of early onset schizophrenia and pervasive developmental disorders. We found that a total of 44% of adolescents with schizophrenia had some pervasive developmental disorder already in childhood. However, most of the adolescents had a correct comorbid diagnosis until the onset of psychotic symptoms and the diagnosis of schizophrenia. Study II evaluated the number and nature of catatonic features among adolescents with schizophrenia. A further comparison was made of the nature and numbers of those features between adolescents suffering from schizophrenia alone and those schizophrenia patients with comorbid pervasive developmental disorder. All adolescents with schizophrenia presented many lifetime catatonic features. Adolescents with schizophrenia and comorbid pervasive developmental disorder had an earlier onset of catatonic features, more catatonic features and a greater variety of catatonic features compared to schizophrenia patients without comorbidity. Study III aimed to assess the developmental skills of adolescents with schizophrenia. All of the adolescents with schizophrenia exhibited some developmental delays. Adolescents with schizophrenia and comorbid pervasive developmental disorders exhibited more delays in developmental skills than did those schizophrenia adolescents without comorbidity. Study IV investigated neurocognition and social cognition between adolescents suffering from schizophrenia alone, those schizophrenia patients with comorbid pervasive developmental disorder and adolescents with pervasive developmental disorder only. The profiles of the neurocognitive abilities and disabilities between these three groups differed. The adolescents with schizophrenia and comorbid pervasive developmental disorder did not have more severe problems than the other two groups. The comorbid group displayed a combination of the visual strengths those are typical for PDDs and the deficits in processing speed associated with schizophrenia. These study findings showed that among adolescents with early onset schizophrenia is a subgroup of adolescents with comorbid pervasive developmental disorder. The symptoms of these adolescents seem to be more severe, and this subgroup should be taken into account in psychiatric services and rehabilitation.
  • Kärki, Ilari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This study examined the values of education and the teaching aims of the education policy concerning Finnish basic education. In Finland, political decision-makers and civil servants are responsible for education policy. The most important documents governing basic education are the Basic Education Act, the Basic Education Decree, the Government Decree on the General National Objectives and Distribution of Lesson Hours in Basic Education, the National Core Curriculum for Basic Education, the Government Programme, and the Development Plan for Education and Research. These documents, formulated during the research time period, composed one part of the research data. Many national and international actors strive to influence the objectives and definitions of education policy. In Finland, the most influential actors are the Confederation of Finnish Industries EK (earlier the Union of Industries and Employers TT), the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAK, the Finnish Confederation of Salaried Employees STTK, the Trade Union of Education in Finland OAJ, and the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities. The political target programmes and reports of these actors concerning basic education were included in the research data. One of the most influential international actors is the European Union, whose political target programmes concerning basic education, as well as reports of the administration of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland concerning basic education, were also included in the research data. The research method used was content analysis. With this method, all education and teaching aims concerning basic education presented in the research data were classified according to the value types of the value theory of Shalom Schwartz (1992). On the basis of the analysis, models were designed describing the relations of the values. These models enabled examining how the objectives were divided between different value types and value dimensions. The values in the data were illustrated with specific value maps that enabled comparing values and observing changes in them. Furthermore, the values in the data were compared with the values in different periods of society and education policy, and with the values prevalent among Finnish people. Over the long term values have shifted in Finnish society towards the strengthening of individualistic values and the weakening of collectivistic values. The ideological basis for this shift has been liberalism. Neoliberalism, which strongly emphasizes individualistic values and targets a market-led society, has been seen to have achieved a firm foothold in education policy and in society as a whole, determining their goals and methods. One of the objectives of this study was to examine how the values in the research data correlate with the values of neoliberalism, which emphasizes individualistic values, and with the values of communitarianism, Christianity and Christian ethics, which emphasize collectivistic values. The majority of the analyzed political documents, target programmes and reports exemplified more collectivistic than individualistic values in their objectives. The collectivistic values were emphasized most strongly in the reports of the administration of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. Correspondingly, the individualistic values were emphasized most strongly in the target programmes and reports of the Confederation of Finnish Industries EK and its predecessor, the Union of Industries and Employers TT, as well as of the European Union. The study results do not support the views presented in research literature that values typical of neoliberalism are emphasized in Finnish education policy. On the other hand, by focusing on the original national core curriculums for basic education 1994 and 2004 before insertions and modifications to the latter document, values typical of neoliberalism are seen to have been emphasized in the education policy concerning basic education. However, the results of this study reveal a trend of changes in values in the documents governing basic education, with the emphasis shifting from individualistic values towards more collectivistic values. Keywords: values, education policy, neoliberalism, basic education, education and teaching aims, Christian values, communitarianism
  • Kosonen, Kari (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Over the past decades the sense making of learners by means of various external models and representations has received educational researchers heightened attention (Ainsworth, 2006; Hay and Kinchin, 2006; Furberg et al., 2013). Similarly, the particular function of domain-specific concepts in the transformation of learners thinking and understanding remains an issue repeatedly approached from the perspective of various theoretical frameworks and empirical findings (Land, Rattray et al., 2014; Meyer and Land, 2005). The present doctoral thesis sheds light on how the learners that aim to understand multifaceted conceptual objects can be supported by the instructional tools sensitive to the specific conceptual organization of these phenomena. The thesis includes four studies. Studies I-III focused on the development and testing of an instructional meta-model based on frequent expository text structures with blind readers. Study IV explored the use of modeling language based on this model in a domain-specific pedagogical setting in higher education. Studies I-III aimed to develop and explore the use of a conceptual meta-model in guiding the young blind participants to process such complex conceptual objects as expository texts in reading for understanding. The context of Study IV remarkably differed from the contexts of Studies I-III due to the specific conceptual dimensions of the topic of the investigated seminar, which were qualitative and mixed methods. While the pedagogical challenges of Studies I-III were related to the participants blindness and their problems in cognitive functioning and with the structures of the processed text, the conceptual complexity of the topic of the investigated seminar on qualitative and mixed methods, in turn, constituted the main pedagogical challenge in Study IV. The meta-model was used as a generic conceptual frame in designing the context-specific modeling language to highlight some crucial concepts and conceptual relations suggested to be used in digital concept mapping. To circumvent the limitations of the conventional hierarchical structure of concept maps the modeling language used was endowed with specific elements, language codes. These codes were meant to afford the processing of both static conceptual relations and various practice related and functional dependencies in the domain when the participants created concept maps on qualitative and mixed methods. In all four studies the participants activities investigated were theoretically conceptualized and operationalized as various forms of orienting activity mediated by cultural tools. This theoretical focus of the present dissertation study is based on the Cultural Historical Theory founded by Vygotsky and psychological activity theory-framework. However this framework is integratively implemented capitalizing on some contemporary theoretical perspectives and practical approaches in pedagogical design and developmental psychology. Consequently, learners activity and instructional discussion are explored as joint orienting activity shaped by cultural tools. This activity is considered to organize various relations and properties underlying the phenomenon being concerned with a point of view that constitutes the perspectival understanding of this phenomenon. The case-study research strategy implemented in the research made it possible to analytically generate a large body of findings that inform practitioners about the potentially applicable ways of using the approach investigated in pedagogical settings. In Study I the participant was found to have internalized the elements of the meta-model as a thinking tool in processing and reflecting on a wide variety of conceptual topics. The findings from both Studies II and III shed light on how the use of the elements of the meta-model allowed the intervener to adjust his guidance to the current form of the blind participants thinking. In Study II the participant s elaborative questions in processing expository texts were found to have transformed in respect to their analyticity and predicted better than previously the content of the texts processed. In Study III the participant was found to gradually incorporate some of the elements of the meta-model as part of his text-structuring actions, which increasingly drew his attention to the frequent expository text-structures that he was previously prone to ignore or misinterpret. In Study IV the participants were found to repeatedly implement some of the contextualized and digitalized elements of the meta-model in elaborating on various dimensions of the field of qualitative and mixed methods as well as the related practices. This repeated use of selected codes supported the maintenance of some conceptual stability of the informational content of the elaborations in the participants concept maps. The teacher of the investigated seminar was found to repeatedly lean on these elaborations in guiding the participants in how to further deepen their knowledge on qualitative and mixed methods.
  • Nevanen, Saila (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This research focuses on one arts education project which was carried out in Helsinki in early childhood education centres and schools. This study is an evaluation research which concentrates on art education s connections to learning, wellbeing and communality; it views kindergarten and school as arts learning environments and at arts education as a multiprofessional col-laboration between teachers and artists. The arts education project, which was started in Helsinki in 2000, was offered to children who were under school age (3 6 years old) and at ele-mentary school age (7 9 years old). The data consists of interviews of the teachers, artists and principals of the kindergartens (N=23), the narratives of the closing report (N=9) and the follow-up materials of the project. The method of the research was multidimensional evaluation. The research includes five independent articles and a summary that con-nects the entirety of the research. Each theme is included in one independ-ent article, each of which was published in international peer-reviewed journals. Article I analyses the multiprofessional collaboration between teachers and artists. Article II focuses on the possibilities of arts education in developing learning abilities. Article III explores kindergarten and school as learning environments of arts education. Article IV highlights the evalua-tion of the arts education project through a multidimensional evaluation method. The last article, number V, analyses the long-term impacts of the arts education project in kindergartens and schools. The results show that well-executed, long-lasting arts education projects may support and promote children s wellbeing and their learning abilities. It was easy to motivate and direct the children in activities that connected target-oriented work with natural play. Arts education can also be used to strengthen the unity of the community between early childhood education centres, schools and neighbourhoods. The multiprofessional collaboration between the teachers and artists con-nected their skills and professional abilities, but successful cooperation also required the ability to handle additional interests and tensions. The long-term impact evaluation showed that five out of ten participating kindergartens still continue the developmental work started in the project. The project work was also seen as an excellent way to continue or update training.
  • Eränpalo, Tommi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Abstract This dissertation deals with young people s civic skills and how these competences can be developed particularly in civics education at school by means of gamification. The dissertation consists of four sub-studies written in article form as well as a summary. The articles examine young people s civic behaviour from the perspective of conceptions of democracy, civic competence and civic identity. The current generation of youth and young adults seems to be shunning the traditional structures of civic participation and political decision making. Young people are re-evaluating their own roles in civic discussion and are often choosing methods that are outside the official channels. To further develop civic activism, this state of affairs should be changed, since our future decision makers will ultimately emerge from this group of people. The role of the school is seen as essential in scientific debate on the subject. The dissertation commences with the question of how deceptive the suggestion is that young people are passive, and how civic education didactics need new ways to recognise students involvement in civic matters. This query is addressed by means of finding new methods for civics education, using, for example, gamification and dialogue education. The intention of the dissertation is to answer the following questions: a) What aspects of young people s civic skills can be detected in the deliberation resulting from game playing? b) How should civics education at school be developed to strengthen young people s inclusion in civic affairs? The Grounded theory method is applied in the study. Each dissertation article introduces a new perspective on the research phenomenon, and the analysis of the research material proceeds in stages revealing new information on young people s civic competence. The theoretical conclusions of the study are presented in the summary. The first article focuses on the public image of young people s civic competence, which has been marked by pessimism in the early 21st century. This negative image has been publicly debated in conjunction with international surveys indicating young people s passive behaviour in civic orientation (CIVED 1999 and ICCS 2009). The article looks for a new perspective by ques-tioning the pessimistic interpretations of these surveys. It also presents new research evidence of a more active youth culture. The second and third articles venture deeper into the world of young people s civic competence. The image of young people being passive is often maintained by the conventional discussion culture in schools, one that avoids open ideological and political debate and does not particularly encourage deliberation on civic matters. The articles raise issues concerning the atmosphere in the classroom as well as the role of the student in education and society as a whole. It also presents the Act now! game, developed by the author and the author s students. The game aims to provide a framework for dealing with civic issues by means of deliberation. The fourth article introduces the concept of dialogue in education, and a comparative Scandinavian example of it. The Act now! game was played in Finland, Sweden and Norway. The article focuses on dialogue education as part of young people s civics education, and examines the features that emerge from analysing civic identity among Scandinavian youth. The summary presents the results in a way that is typical to the Grounded theory method. It then provides a summarizing analysis of them. The results justify claiming that teaching methods involving deliberation in civic education stimulate and strengthen young people s participatory civic orientation as well as their civic competence. The summary also speculates on the possibilities of increasing young people s motivation to participate in civic issues. The competences that arise from young people s deliberation indicate how the young are capable of responding to civic responsibility. The results also high-light the democratic-political need to create a forum in which young people may engage in civic deliberation. The ongoing curricular reform in Finnish primary and secondary schools will emphasise student involvement as well as creating a new and more active role for students. Accordingly, the results of this study can be implemented in civics teaching. They also suggest that deliberation instruments such as the Act Now! game could be used as a solution to didactic needs on a wider scale. A game-like method offers an example of dialogical teaching that enables a path to deliberation. Keywords: Civic competence, deliberation, gamification, inclusion
  • Pyyry, Noora (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    In this thesis, the key themes of 1) knowing and 2) participation are examined in relation to creative and meaningful practical engagement with one's everyday surroundings, i.e. 'dwelling with' the world. These themes are explored both within the research process and in the context of young people's, and particularly teenage girls' hanging out. This research is inspired by the Situationist practice of dérive, and draws from participatory research tradition, posthuman feminist thinking and non-representational theorization. 'Dwelling with' is approached with an acknowledgement of the capacity of the material world to produce effects in human bodies: things and spaces thus take part in the - seemingly trivial, but often highly affectual - everyday encounters that make dwelling with possible. Ergo, also 'data' is approached in a new way. The power of words and other representations is not ignored, but they are taken as 'doings': they are performative. Representations are thus not evidence of a separate reality that lies behind them. In the thesis, attention is placed on the creative potential of experimentation. Fieldwork for this thesis happened in three phases. The first phase in 2011 was a pilot study conducted in Helsinki in connection to a 9th grade geography course (participants were 15 to 16 years). The second phase took place in San Francisco in 2012 and was conducted via school, but separately from schoolwork. The participants in this study we 7th graders (12 to 13 years). The third phase in 2013 took place in Helsinki, again as part of a 9th grade geography course (participants were 15 to 16 years). First, the thesis explores how participatory methods can be used to support young people's role as co-researchers, foster their engagement in the research process and carve space for alternative knowledges. Together with the playful topic of hanging out, these methods can cultivate a relaxed atmosphere in the research situations. This is especially important when working in the school context. The methods also help balance power relations and address topics that could otherwise be left unnoticed. Second, the thesis shows how photography can be used as a method for multisensory 'thinking with' the world. This creative method is connected to movement in photo-walks. This practice is argued to foster young people's engagement with their everyday surroundings, and the research process, by linking action and understanding. This engagement opens up possibilities for spatial-embodied reflection. Later, the photographs serve as fieldnotes that take part in the thinking process and inspire action in the form of reflection in photo-talks. In this thesis, photographs are not considered as data of 'what was there' , rather they are understood to have productive power in the research process. Third, the thesis introduces the concept of hanging out -knowing. This knowing becomes possible through dwelling with: it takes place in everyday encounters. Hanging out -knowing is non-instrumental multisensory reflection about one's place in the world. Because hanging out is playful and wonderfully purposeless, space is cleared for the inspiring experience of enchantment. In these moments of being moved by something, new reflection can emerge. The moment of enchantment is always accidental, but it can be cultivated by artistic methods, such as photo-walking. Finally, the thesis argues that by hanging out at a shopping mall teenage girls participate in the world. Because hanging out lacks rigid plans, moments of enchantment become possible. This openness towards the world fosters dwelling with one's surroundings, in this case the shopping mall. By hanging out, girls disturb the rhythm of consumption. Improvisation with things and spaces produces a micro-atmosphere of play that interferes with the atmosphere of consumption at the mall. Through participation by being and by actively marking and claiming spaces as theirs, girls create momentary 'hangout homes' for themselves. Hanging out produces alternative modes of engagement with the city. Creative experimentation cultivates lively and mixed-use public spaces, and adds to making urban life vibrant and thought-provoking.
  • Litmanen, Topi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This dissertation explores how higher education students experience their studies. Experiences were studied at three interconnected levels: cognitive, motivational and emotional; they were defined respectively as the student s perceptions of the learning environment, study-related personal goals and emotional experiences in the learning situation. The general research questions were: 1) What are the components of successful and unsuccessful engagement with the learning environment? 2) How do students experience different kinds of learning environments, and what kinds of roles do experiences and emotions have in the learning process? 3) To what extent are experiences of the learning environment related to the features of the faculty and student qualities? Four empirical studies were conducted to address these questions. Studies I, II and IV were quantitative and applied self-report questionnaires, and Study I also had a follow-up setting. Study III was also a follow-up study, in which experience sampling conducted with mobile phones was accompanied with qualitative interview data. Study I explored what kinds of study-related goals students have at the beginning of their studies and how they relate to their study progress. The participants (N=133) were theology students, who at the beginning of their studies were asked to complete a questionnaire about their personal goals. Study success was followed for the first three years of their studies. The results showed that students whose study-related goals were important and stressful, and who reported progress in achieving them, advanced more rapidly in their studies. Study II focused on how students experiences of their learning environment are related to their well-being and academic self-concept. The participants were 610 medical students. Structural equation modelling was used to investigate the relationships between the variables under study. Experiences about the learning environment were related to how interested the students were in their studies or how exhausted they had become as a result of them. In turn, interest and exhaustion were related to higher levels of academic self-concept. A cross-sectional design was used to compare experiences between different medical schools. Novice PBL (Problem Based Learning) students experienced higher levels of exhaustion, no differences were found in the later phases of studies. Thus, the PBL environment appeared challenging, but only during the first years of study. Study III followed the experiences of nine student teachers for two 14-day follow-ups. The first follow-up consisted mostly of lectures and ordinary small-group work. The second period ran parallel to the completion of an intensive inquiry-based project that was the focus of the present study. A multivariate analysis of variance revealed that studying during the inquiry-based period produced stronger experiences of being challenged as well as more negative emotional experiences than the teacher-centred period. However, the interview data indicated that the participants enjoyed the inquiry-based period. In Study IV, the objective was to study the relations between approaches to learning and both the disciplines of the students and their perceptions of the learning environment. Altogether 2,509 students from different fields participated in the study. The results indicated that both approaches to learning and the discipline have an effect on students experiences of the learning environment. The dissertation showed that combining different cognitive, motivational and emotional perspectives and using a variety of methodologies helps to build a more comprehensive picture of how higher education students experience their studies. The most important findings of this thesis were: 1) Successful engagement with the learning environment is not merely about seeing the studies as important, being satisfied with the faculty or career choice, or seeing oneself as capable of achieving the tasks. Stress, worry about competence and to some extent exhaustion are important components of engagement in studies. 2) Negative affects, experiences of high levels of challenge and exhaustion may be essential parts of the process of gradually learning to take responsibility for both individual and collaborative learning processes. 3) Students experiences of their learning environment are not related to a single feature or set of features, but are connected to both their approaches to learning and the characteristics of the learning environment, such as the pedagogy used.
  • Lindgren, Maija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Psychosis is usually preceded by a prodromal period. This phase is characterized by psychotic-like symptoms, attenuated positive symptoms not severe enough to reach a psychotic level. For example, a person may hear voices that are not real. The objective of this study was to investigate whether it is possible and useful to screen for psychosis risk in an unselected clinical adolescent population seeking help for psychiatric symptoms. By finding which symptoms predict transition to a severe psychiatric illness, these risk symptoms can be identified early, enabling effective intervention. This study collected data on adolescent psychiatric patients aged 15 18 years in Helsinki during the years of 2003 2004 and 2007 2008. The participants were screened using the Prodromal Questionnaire (PQ) for prepsychotic symptoms, completed by 731 adolescents. The Structured Interview for Prodromal Syndromes (SIPS) was administered to 174 adolescents to ascertain their psychosis risk status, and broad cognitive testing was done. The participants were followed via patient files and the national hospital discharge register for 3 9 years. A third of the adolescents were identified as psychosis risk patients, but psychosis incidence during follow-up was low, and psychosis risk was not specifically predictive of psychosis. Hospital admissions for psychotic disorder were predicted by the depersonalization symptom intensity of the questionnaire and the positive symptom intensity of the interview. In addition, psychosis risk status predicted psychiatric hospitalizations overall during the following years. Visuospatial performance was poorer among the adolescents with a psychosis risk compared to other patients. Particularly poorer verbal performance was associated with stronger negative symptoms among adolescent patients, regardless of the psychosis risk status. Psychosis risk was associated with suicidal ideation among the adolescent psychiatric patients, but did not predict an increased risk of severe, hospital-treated self-harm during follow-up. The best predictor of intentional self-harm was emotional inexpressivity. Psychotic-like symptoms are common in general adolescent psychiatric services, but the development of psychosis is rare, and predicting psychosis with psychotic-like symptoms is not possible in the clinical environment. However, identifying and treating psychotic-like symptoms is important, as not only are they often distracting experiences in themselves, they can also be associated with cognitive deficits and suicidality, predict hospitalizations, and thus indicate a more serious disorder.
  • Dhir, Amandeep (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The purpose of this dissertation is to increase understanding of the nature of Internet Addiction (IA) among adolescents (aged 12 to 18 years), focusing on what IA is and how it is measured. Particular emphasis is given to the measurement of IA, and different variables are considered in order to deepen understanding of its various aspects. Accordingly, five studies have been conducted. Study I examines various Internet uses and gratifications (U&G) among adolescent Internet users by developing a valid and reliable 27-item Internet gratification scale (N = 1,914); Study II investigates the role of adolescents’ demographic, technology accessibility, unwillingness to communicate attributes, and sought Internet U&Gs in predicting their tendency to experience IA (N = 1,914); Study III examines the effect of adolescent Internet users’ background characteristics (e.g., demographics, technology accessibility, unwillingness to communicate attributes) on predicting different Internet U&Gs and heavy Internet use among adolescents (N = 1,914); Study IV investigates the psychometric properties of the Compulsive Internet Use Scale (CIUS), and the relationship between the CIUS and adolescent Internet users’ background characteristics (e.g., demographics, ICT accessibility and Problematic ICT use) (N = 2,369); and Study V focuses on the development and validation of WhatsApp (WA) addiction scales for adolescents (N = 405). Cross-sectional research and psychometric theory based analysis reveal the following findings. First, a valid and reliable Internet U&G instrument (27- item) addresses six dimensions of Internet U&G, namely information seeking, exposure, connecting, coordination, social influence, and entertainment (Study I). Second, the following are risk factors for adolescent IA: being male, lower academic performance, high daily time spent on Internet use, strict Internet parenting at home, higher approach avoidance and reward seeking, looking for more connecting, coordination and social influence seeking, and pursuing lower information seeking and exposure gratifications (Study II). Third, older females, adolescents with higher academic performance, higher reward seeking and lower daily Internet use content gratifications such as information seeking & exposure; male, adolescents seeking higher approach avoidance and reward seeking tend to seek higher social gratifications such as connecting & coordination; and higher approach avoidance and reward seeking tendencies predicted process gratifications such as social influence & entertainment (Study III). Fourth, the CIUS possesses good psychometric properties with fairly high reliability, homogeneity and validity. Male, older adolescents, those with lower academic performance, lower life satisfaction, active Internet use (including daily Internet use, excessive Internet use and overall Internet activity) and problematic Internet use significantly predicted compulsive Internet use among adolescents. The study confirmed the findings of Study II (Study IV). Fifth, three original IA scales were adjusted to access WhatsApp (WA) addiction among adolescents. The data showed that they were valid and reliable self-reporting instruments. In addition, a shorter version of each of the three adapted instruments and a 16-item unified scale were also developed and validated. All five studies (Studies I, II, III, IV, V) examined various perspectives on the conceptualization of IA with a strong focus on the measurement and development of valid and reliable instruments to measure IA To conclude, the results indicate that not all adolescents equally experience IA; rather, some are more vulnerable than others. The studies have clarified situations, attributes or behaviors that lead to IA among adolescents. Moreover, new Internet U&Gs have been identified to help to conceptualize IA. In addition, the developed and validated instruments (27-item Internet U&G, 14-item CIUS, 14-item WA addiction test, 8-item and 10-item compulsive WA use) will serve as handy tools for teachers, educational psychologists, and counsellors. By utilizing these instruments, one can easily screen compulsive Internet users from a normal population and provide vulnerable students with timely help and support. The present study confirms the findings of earlier IA literature available in the context of Internet users from a wider age group, and different cultural and demographic settings. The current studies are important, especially because the target user group is adolescent Internet users (aged 12 to 18 years) who have been overlooked in IA and Internet U&G literature. These findings also emphasize the importance of recognizing IA as a problem among adolescents, which many adolescents unknowingly are or become vulnerable to be in daily life settings. The findings are valuable in terms of education and research.
  • Laakasuo, Michael (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    In our previous studies it has been found that a phenomenon labeled tilting is a form of moral anger. When players are in tilt they make a series of bad decisions, chase their losses and express anger by cursing their opponents. In the context of tilting, the players also report episodes of memory loss. Additionally, we also developed a scale that measures the level of a player's poker experience, and we found evidence to suggest that poker experience is associated with mature self-reflection skills. We also found that the likelihood of a poker player making the correct decision in poker decision making tasks increased as a function of self-reflection and poker experience. In Study 1 I found evidence supporting the hypothesis that the regulation of emotions is an important part of the skill set of poker players. Specifically, if poker players have read a story about betrayal where they are asked to take the position of the victim before they make their decisions in poker decision making tasks, they make mathematically worse decisions than those participants who have only read a control story. The effect was moderated by the presence of a pair of moving eyes placed on the screen, which were used as proxy for the social environment. The results support the hypothesis that tilting is related to moral anger, or at least some form of anger that seems consistent with the events taking place in the social context. In Study 2, I assessed the associations between the HEXACO personality inventory -revised and poker experience. I obtained evidence supporting the notion that emotional stability is positively associated with accumulated poker experience. In Study 3 I showed that poker experience does not seem to be correlated with emotional intelligence, selfishness, self-control problems, social alienation or lowered levels of life satisfaction. I also note that these measures correlate with instruments measuring problem gambling. However, I observed either no correlations, or correlations hinting towards health benefits, between these instruments and poker experience. I concluded that problem gambling instruments need further development Taken together our results indicate that there are numerous benefits in approaching the field of gambling studies from a non-clinical angle.
  • Kalu, Emmanuel Okwara (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    More than half of those newly infected with HIV/AIDS are between the ages of 15 and 24 (UNICEF, UNAIDS and WHO 2002). The disease s challenge is not limited to students already diagnosed with the disease, but also to students in limbo (students who do not know their status), because about 50% of those living with HIV do not know their status (UNAIDS 2012). However, voluntary HIV screening is unpopular, probably due to fear and gross misconceptions. Based on the presumption that besides its health and educational impacts, the disease also influences the productivity and future goals of students, this study investigated and compared the conceptions of HIV-positive university students in Finland and Nigeria in search of not only the negative, but also the positive meanings of living with the disease, with the aim of bettering HIV/AIDS understandings. The study is primarily approached through phenomenography. Seven individuals participated in the study (three Finns and four Nigerians) through in-depth and e-mail interviews. The outcomes are described and compared under 7 main categories, 26 sub-categories and 300 themes based on the similarities and qualitative differences in the participants conceptions. To further illustrate the outcomes, Concept Maps were used at the end of each main category to separately show the Finnish and Nigerian participants responses within each category. In addition, tables of comparison were used in Appendixes one to seven to compare the Finnish and Nigerian participants conceptions thematically and also in relation to the results of earlier studies. Subsequently, propositions in text format were used in Appendix eight to present the concept map outcomes in a different light. The findings reveal that although the negative effects are much more noticeable, the positive impacts are increasing. They add to refuting what we already know about living with the disease, especially in the 1980s and 1990s. In view of the many benefits of living with HIV, as illuminated by this study, the current situation is unlike the past, as today living with HIV does more good than harm especially in terms of motivating positive and healthful living. The comparison of the two groups reveals no wide gap between the Finnish and Nigerian participants conceptions; nevertheless, while the Finnish participants are slightly better informed about HIV/AIDS, their Nigerian counterparts are more open and positive about their conditions. Due to the nature of its findings, the implications of this study are many; the most outstanding of which is that it may positively and healthfully transform readers. By bringing into the spotlight the unpopular positive sides of living with HIV (not AIDS), PLWHA could further be strengthened to cope with the disease, and the fears of students in limbo due to misconceptions could be reduced, which may motivate them to voluntarily participate in HIV screening. Furthermore, the study may contribute to enabling HIV/AIDS organisations to better tailor their services towards meeting the needs of their subjects. School authorities could equally be motivated to make school environments more HIV/AIDS friendly. The Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and similar ministries in other countries may also find in these outcomes reasons to push for changes in HIV/AIDS policies. Keywords: HIV/AIDS, PLWHA, students, education, health, healthful living
  • Aarnio, Matti (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Today's medical education faces the challenge of developing students competencies to resolve ever more complex problems in collaboration with other professionals. Problem-based learning (PBL) has proven useful for developing many of the competencies needed in modern healthcare. In PBL students collaboratively construct knowledge to explain and solve problems related to real-life situations. In such knowledge construction, dealing with conflicting ideas and knowledge has the potential to enhance student learning while also developing teamwork and critical thinking, skills that are central to multi-professional healthcare teams. The studies that make up the present doctoral thesis explored how students deal with conflicts on knowledge and how they are facilitated to handle such conflicts in PBL tutorial discussions. In addition, the thesis focuses on how to help students learn teamwork skills and critical thinking. Study I examined how to teach teamwork skills to first-year medical students and how to motivate them to learn these skills. The teamwork skills focused on verbal communication in PBL tutorial sessions and in healthcare teams. Feedback on the teamwork skills module from three consecutive classes of first-year students was analysed. Students motivation to learn teamwork skills increased significantly when the introduction to the topic was improved by more clearly pointing out the clinical relevance of such skills. Study II focused on how conflicts on knowledge were dealt with in PBL tutorial group discussions. Four video-recorded tutorial sessions including 33 first-year medical and dental students were analysed. Conflicts on knowledge were found to be relatively rare and generally fairly brief. This was due to a lack of collaborative and thorough argumentation, as well as a lack of questions that would elicit elaboration on the issues. Study III examined tutor facilitation during tutorial discussions, and particularly how the facilitation helped students to collaboratively resolve conflicts on knowledge. The study focused on the tutors in the same video-recorded tutorial sessions as in Study II. The tutors typically intervened by confirming what the students had said or by giving explanations, but they rarely asked questions that would stimulate elaboration on knowledge. During conflicts on knowledge the tutors gave more explanations, but did little to encourage the students to elaborate on conflicting ideas. Study IV focused on medical students conceptions of critical thinking in preclinical PBL. The aim was to find out how the students defined critical thinking, how they perceived it in preclinical PBL and what they expected it to be in clinical practice. The students typically understood critical thinking as judging the reliability of sources of information. Few students understood critical thinking to mean reflecting on their own thinking or viewing things from different perspectives. Students conceptions of critical thinking may have prevented them from seeing the connection between critical thinking in preclinical PBL and critical thinking in clinical practice. The present thesis sheds light on the processes of collaborative knowledge construction related to dealing with conflicting knowledge and ideas in PBL tutorial discussions. The results confirmed prior research findings, which have shown that students rarely deal with conflicting ideas and knowledge, and they point to the central role of the tutor in facilitating students to address these matters in tutorial discussions. The findings also revealed that engaging in deep inquiry during conflicts on knowledge was challenging for both students and tutors. The results further underlined the importance of clearly pointing out to students how they will benefit from the skills learned in preclinical PBL, such as teamwork and critical thinking, in their future professions. Based on these findings, new ideas for improving learning from conflicting ideas in small-group discussions are introduced. Future studies are encouraged to continue exploring the many exciting avenues opened by the present doctoral thesis.
  • Neittaanmäki-Perttu, Noora (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    ABSTRACT Background and purpose: As the skin cancer burden continues to increase, there is an urgent need for novel methods for the early detection of skin cancers, and for new cost-effective treatments. The hyperspectral imaging system (HIS) is a novel technique which offers the dual advantages of allowing the imaging of large skin areas rapidly and non-invasively. Daylight photodynamic therapy (DL-PDT), with the advantages of excellent tolerability and convenience, is an attaractive therapy for actinic keratoses (AK) and field cancerization.This thesis aimed to enable early and effective treatment of common premalignancies of photo-damaged skin.The first purpose of this thesis was to evaluate the feasibility of HIS in the detection of field cancerized skin and in the detection of ill-defined borders of lentigo maligna (LM) and lentigo maligna melanoma (LMM). In addition, this thesis aimed to further develop the treatment of field cancerized skin with photodynamic therapy using a novel photosensitizer in combination with daylight (DL-PDT), and to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of DL-PDT. Methods: This thesis included four non-sponsored prospective clinical studies. The novel prototype HIS, used in studies I-II, was developed for the study at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. The technique enabled in vivo imaging of the skin prior to surgical procedures and produced abundance maps of the affected skin areas. The results were verified by histopathology. Study III was randomized double-blinded intra-individual split-face trial comparing novel photosensitizer formulation, 5-aminolaevulinate nanoemulsion (BF-200 ALA) with methyl-5-aminolaevulinate (MAL) in DL-PDT of AKs. In addition to blinded clinical and histological treatment efficacy, tolerability of the treatment was assessed. Study IV evaluated the cost-effectiveness of MAL-DL-PDT compared to conventional MAL-LED-PDT. Results: In studies I-II HIS showed its feasibility in both the detection of subclinical borders of ill-defined lentigo malignas (LM) and lentigo maligna melanomas (LMM), and in the detection of early subclinical actinic keratoses (AK). In study I HIS accurately detected 20 of 23 (87%) of the LM/LMM borders as confirmed by histology. HIS was useful i.e. detected the lesion borders more accurately than a clinician using Wood s light in 11 of 23 (47.8%) cases. Six re-excisions could have been avoided with HIS. In 3/23 cases (13%) HIS was not in concordance with the histopathology, which in two cases HIS showed lesion extension which was not verified histologically (wrong positive) and in one case HIS missed the subclinical extension (wrong negative). In study II with 12 patients and 52 clinical AKs, HIS accurately detected all the clinical lesions in addition to numerous areas of subclinical damage. HIS findings matched the histopathological findings in all 33 biopsied areas (AK, n=28, photo-damaged skin, n=5), revealing 16 subclinical lesions of which 10 were not detected by fluorescence diagnosis. In study III (13 patients, 177 lesions) in a per patient (half-face) analysis BF-200 ALA cleared thin AKs more effectively than did MAL (p=0.027). In per lesion analysis the complete clearance rates were 84.5% for BF-200 ALA, and 74.2% for MAL (p=ns). The area response rates, including also the new appeared lesions (i.e.preventive effect), were 79.8% for BF-200 ALA and 65.6% for MAL, p=0.044. Histologically, DL-PDT effectively cleared all the signs of dysplasia in 61.5% lesions treated with BF-200 ALA and in 38.5% with MAL (p=ns). The mean decrease in p53 expression was 54.4% with BF-200 ALA, 34 % with MAL (p=ns). DL-treatment was nearly painless with both photosensitizers. BF-200 ALA and MAL DL-treatments were similarly tolerated as regards to adverse reactions. In study IV 70 patients (210 target lesions) randomized to receive DL-PDT or LED-PDT with MAL, at six months the patient complete response rates were 15 of 35 (42.9%) and 24 of 35 (68.6%), (p=0.030) and lesion clearance rates were 72.4% and 89.2%, respectively (p=0.0025). DL-PDT required significantly less time at the clinic (p less than 0.0001) and could be used with lower total costs ( 132) compared to conventional LED-PDT ( 170), p=0.022. However, in terms of cost-effectiveness MAL-DL-PDT was found to give less value for money compared to MAL-LED-PDT. The incrementl cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) showed the monetary gain of 147 per unit of effectiveness lost. Thus, the use of DL-PDT instead of LED-PDT would decrease the healing probability but only low incremental cost savings would be achieved. The costs per complete responder were 308 for MAL DL-PDT and 248 for MAL LED-PDT, p= 0.004. Conclusions: The more accurate pre-surgical assessment of the subclinical borders of LM and LMM with HIS could lead to fewer re-excixions, which furthermore could reduce the burden to both patients and clinics. In addition, the early non-invasive detection of skin field cancerization could enhance the treatment process by revealing the as yet subclinical areas in need of treatment, and could possibly aid the monitoring of treatment efficacy. Even though HIS was found to be useful in these two indications, more studies are warranted to qualify the optimal mathematical algorithms for diagnostic use.The use of novel a photosensitizer formulation, BF-200 ALA, in DL-PDT could lead in lower costs and increase the efficacy. Interestingly, the efficacy of DL-PDT with BF-200 ALA was approaching the efficacy achieved with conventional LED-PDT. As field cancerized skin should be treated as a chronic disease requiring repeated treatments, DL-PDT offers a painless and convenient option for this purpose. However, DL-PDT with MAL provided less value for money compared to conventional MAL-PDT. The cost-effectiveness of BF-200 ALA in DL-PDT for AKs needs further studies.
  • Chua, Joey (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    This qualitative study examined the culture-specific forms of dance talent development. Due to the scant and uneven literature in the field of dance talent development, this study firstly aimed at exploring the various theories and research methodologies underpinning current dance talent development literature. The other aims were to better understand how various catalysts and processes enhanced dancers development at different stages and helped guide students in actualizing their potential. Hence, mapping the Finnish and Singaporean dancers and dance students talent trajectories later became the focus of this study. This dissertation consists of three sections or (dance) Acts , which are based on three sole-authored publications. Act I introduces the compilation and synthesis of empirically based articles published between 2000 2012 that dealt with the critical issues of developing dance talents across the lifespan of children, adolescents, and adults. Data from 37 accepted studies were abstracted into evidence tables relating to: (a) abilities and traits, (b) creativity, (c) motivation, and (d) social support. Findings and recommendations about future research were useful in clarifying the ontological, epis- temological, and methodological lenses adopted in subsequent studies in this dissertation. In particular, definition of dance talents should be addressed using talent development theories, and more retrospective research about successful dancers and more prospective longitudinal research about talented students should be conducted. Act II presents, via retrospective interviews, the key factors that impacted the talent development of the award-winning Singaporean (n = 4) and Finnish (n = 4) ballet and contemporary dancers. Integral to all the eight dancers success were a high level of abilities, developed psychosocial skills, supportive and knowledgeable people, optimal learning opportunities, and chance. Four dancers stories titled Nonconformist, Exemplary Dancer, Go-Getter, and Trailblazer revolving around the themes and developmental stages illustrate the markedly different pathways for achiev- ing success. The talent-development mega-model framed the discussions in Acts I and II. The perspectives of students (n = 4), parents (n = 2), teachers (n = 6), and a sibling were analyzed in Act III in order to clarify how well significant individuals have supported the exceptionally talented dance students across the different stages of their talent development. The four exceptionally talented students were enrolled in their national dance institutions the Finnish National Opera Ballet School and the Singapore Dance Theatre. Common themes that emerged from this prospective, two-year study were being there, sharing, and knowing that illustrated the types of support instrumental, emotional, and informational from families, peers, and teachers that contributed to the students development. A result of this dissertation is the creation of a conceptual framework of dance talent develop- ment that can be useful for future research. The framework describes abilities, motivational beliefs, supportive and knowledgeable people, learning opportunities, and social skills that are crucial for dance talent development across four stages budding, blossoming, maturing, and seasoned.  The author has already utilized this framework in a longitudinal study involving male dance students. While this model emphasizes talent development in dance, it is hoped that this model is applicable in other domains.