Käyttäytymistieteellinen tiedekunta


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  • Heikkilä Astrid (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The starting point of this research is the relationship between food and religion. The subject of the study is the school's religious education and in particularly textbooks of schools. The religious meanings of food looked through the myths, rites and ritual. Selected investigations of rituals and rites were sacrificing food, food regulations, fasting, alms, asceticism, communion and sacrifice of food. Selected investigations of myths were Biblical stories. The study was intended to answer the questions: What kind of meaning the religion gives to food? How do these meanings appear in religious rites, rituals and myths? What kind of differences and similarities can be found in textbooks related to the religious meanings of food? Methods: The study is qualitative and the research material is three publishing textbooks (Sanoma Pro, WSOY and Edita) from classes 7-9. The research data analysis was carried out theory-based content and narrative analysis. Results and conclusions: The relationship between religion and the food appears to be diverse school textbooks. In the Biblical stories the ratio of food and religion could be seen metaphorically, for example, Jesus describes himself as the bread of life. The food was sacrificed to the gods and ancestors. Also, the religious meanings are included the Eucharist enjoyable wine and bread. Eating habits and meanings of food substances found in food regulations meanings of different religions. The religious meaning of food in fast, asceticism and alms appears when achieving the spiritual experiences. The study advantages the development of e-learning materials and education integration between household and religion. The study also highlights a link between two different subjects.
  • Partanen, Elina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Aims: Embodied practices among people with aphasia remain relatively little known until now. The aim of this study was to describe free conversation interaction between a seriously aphasic speaker and his wife. This study aims to explore what kinds of nonverbal elements appear during the conversation of the aphasic person, and how the nonverbal elements arise in different conversational turns. The main focus of this study is on the substitutive and the complementary gestures of the speech. Earlier studies on aphasia interaction suggest that gestures are an important resource to construct meanings in turns of an aphasic speaker. Data and methods: This is a qualitative study where conversational analysis is used as a research method. Data consists of two videotaped recordings of the couples’ free conversation at home settings. Results and conclusion: Several nonverbal elements, which had a significant influence for the conversation interaction of this couple, appeared in the data of this study. The wife interpreted aphasic person’s nonverbal elements in the conversation as meaningful elements. The wife gave time and space for the aphasic person to participate in conversation. The aphasic speaker took advantage of the gestures in order to compensate speech loss. In fact, he almost completely relied on the substitutive and complementary gestures in conversation. He used the gestures in many ways and combined gestures skillfully to his limited verbal elements. A significant result in the study was that the aphasic speaker hardly showed any signs for verbal word search before expressing nonverbal elements. He started gesturing often seamlessly just before of his typical turn initiator verbal expressions yeah yes and yeah but or simultaneously with them. Aphasic person´s expression were built fast and effortlessly despite the loss of speech. It can be said that aphasic person had adapted to his handicap caused by aphasia by taking advantage from gesturing.
  • Larkkonen, Pyry (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Goals. Small minority of chronic offenders commit disproportional amount of crime in society. However, efficient pre-emptive measures against crime can be seen benefiting everyone in the society. One challenging subgroup is considered to be offenders with high psychopathic traits. Yet psychopathy doesn’t seem to be an obstacle for everyone in adjusting and being successful in society – at least when considering socioeconomic status and lack of conflicts with law enforcement. The goal of this study is to explore if parental characteristics and psychopathic traits could jointly be related with different paths to criminal and non-criminal lifestyle. Methods. This thesis employed data drawn from Pathways to Desistance Study. The data was collected between 2000 and 2010 in the United States. Participants were recruited from local court system after they were put on trial for a felony in Pennsylvania and in Arizona. In all 1051 adolescent males participated who were between the ages of 14 and 17 at the time of their crime. 94% of the participants were born in the United States, and together they formed multi-ethnic sample. Binary logistic regression analysis was used to explore the relationships between psychopathic traits, parental characteristics and re-offending after the trial. Also, the moderator effect of psychopathic traits on the relationship between parental characteristics and re- offending was explored. Used parental variables consisted of parental warmth, hostility, knowledge and monitoring of adolescent’s spare time, and parents’ socioeconomic status. Both aggressive offending and income offending were used as two separate outcome variables. The used crime rates were based on participants’ self-reporting approximately two years after their trial. Results and conclusions. Higher level of parental hostility was found to be related to higher probability of offending. Parents’ higher knowledge and monitoring of adolescent’s spare time was found to be a related to lower probability of offending. Higher psychopathic traits increased the risk of offending. Psychopathic traits also moderated the relationship between parental hostility and offending. Parental hostility was found to be a risk factor for aggressive offending only among participants with low or moderate psychopathic traits but not among participants with high psychopathic traits. However, more research is needed to gain understanding of causality. Nevertheless, the results seem to highlight that among adolescents with high psychopathic traits effectiveness of interventions targeting delinquency is determined by how well their personality and unique characteristics are integrated into intervention strategies.
  • Kilpinen, Raija (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The purpose of the research was to give a micro level perspective to joy of learning. In the theoretical part of the research I study the concepts of learning, emotion and joy of learning. Learning is seen in this research as a social action. The research problem was: In what kind of situations is joy of learning visible in the video material of the high school students’ school day? The research material of the first grade high school students was recorded in a high school during three days. I analyzed the material with the help of conversation analysis, which gave tools for the detailed processing of the material. For the analysis, I chose interaction situations in which there was initial evidence of joy of learning. The choice criterions were laughter, vocal pitch, volume, prosody, facial expressions and gestures. The analysis shows that joy of learning was visible during the school day. In the classroom, the students expressed their emotion less intense than outside of the classroom, although the topics of the interaction situations were the same.
  • Nikolainen, Paula (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Abstract Objectives: Depression is one of the most common mental disorders. It causes significant individual suffering as well as societal economic burden. In this study hostility refers to a multidimensional personality trait, which includes cynicity and paranoia towards others and feelings of anger. Previous studies have shown that hostility is associated with depressive symptoms and different psychosocial problems. However, it is not known if there is a two-way relationship between depressive symptoms and hostility over time. Thus, the aim of the current study was to examine, whether depressive symptoms predict higher levels of hostility, and also, whether hostility predicts later depressive symptoms. The hypothesis was that depressive symptoms would predict higher hostility. No hypothesis was set to whether hostility would predict later depressive symptoms. Methods: The sample of this study (n=1528) has been collected in a longitudinal and still ongoing study (the Young Finns study) started in 1980 of the risk factors for coronary heart disease of Finns of age 24–39 in 2001. Depressive symptoms were measured in 2001 and 2007 using a modified version of Beck’s depression inventory (mBDI). Hostility was evaluated in 2001 and 2007 using three different scales which measure cognitive and affective dimensions of hostility. The scales of cognitive dimensions (cynicity and paranoia) are originally a part of the MMPI and SCL-90R inventories. Affective dimensions were measured using the anger scale included in Buss and Durkee’s hostility scale. The research setting controlled for perceived social support, socioeconomic status and health behavior and they were assessed in 2001. Results and conclusions: A two-way relationship between depressive symptoms and hostility was found. The controlled factors did not attenuate the association between depressive symptoms and hostility. In addition, this study found that perceived low level of social support, a lower socioeconomic status, smoking and the male sex were weak predictors of hostility. This study also supports earlier results that depressive symptoms and hostility are relatively permanent traits. Recognizing a two-way relationship of depression and hostility may help in developing interventions for both conditions.
  • Salonen, Jonna-Maria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Objectives. Online discussion forums are part of extensive interactive network environments known as social media. Large part of the public debate today takes place on its fields. Any search for information on the internet may easily lead to online discussion forums. Speech therapy and issues related to it are also discussed on many discussion forums. The aim of this study was to identify the main themes being discussed about speech therapy and to analyse the forum users’ perceptions of speech therapy. The theoretical framework of the study relies on social constructionism and socio-cultural learning theory. Perceptions are constructed by language in social interaction, and are based on one’s own and others’ experiences. Sharing experiences, peer support and information online are part the cultural change taking place in society. The change affects the ways of learning and retrieving information. Connectivism is a digital age learning theory that is based on the learning online via networks. Methods. The survey was conducted by analysing 88 online discussion chains from a popular Finnish online forum. The discussions had taken place 2005-2014. The data analysis was carried out using content analysis by means of themes and phenomenographic research approach, which focused on the interpretation of the perceptions from the online discussions. The network of perceptions was contemplated by interpreting the expressed cause-and-effect relationships between the themes. Results and discussion. Based on analysis there were a total of 11 themes in discussions. Three main themes were speech therapy resources, differences of municipal and private speech therapy, and speech therapists’ role and job description. All the other themes were related to the three main themes. The cause-and-effect relationships between the themes were a basis for a interpreted network of speech therapy perceptions. Online discussions can be considered to partly reflect the situation in society, as well as to follow other media. Lack of resources in speech therapy and many other social and health services has become reality in Finland in recent years. Health care services transfer to the private sector has been a topic of discussion also in traditional media. Information provided by analysing attitudes, opinions and perceptions of speech therapy could help to address the customers’ needs and direct the guidance, advice and support in the best possible manner.
  • Weckström, Elina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Goals. During the last few decades, the understanding of childhood has changed. Nowadays we see children as active social actors and as specialists of their life. Children’s development and learning happen in close interaction with the surrounding society. The goal of my study is to describe, analyse and interpret children’s experiences of participation in children’s and older adults’ club activities in third sector. I studied Terhokerho clubs as children’s operational environment of participation. I focused my study on children’s experiences of participation and the structural and situational of the operational environment. My goal was to find operational modes, which support children’s experiences of participation. I studied participation through children’s initiatives and children’s experience of belonging to the group. Methods. I studied two different Terhokerho clubs in southern Finland. Terhokerho clubs are part of the Koko Suomi leikkii –program. There were 27 4-12 year-old children and 21 adults participating in the study. I collected my research data by observing action in Terhokerho clubs and by interviewing children. The interviews were the primary source of research data. I analysed my observation notes and transcribed interviews separately with content analysis by classifying and finding themes from the data. Results and conclusions. In my study, participation as children’s experience of belonging to the group and as children’s possibilities to make initiatives was surprisingly homogenous. Key factors supporting children’s experience of participation were fun activities and friends. Those who did not have their own friends with them in the clubs also considered getting new friends an important factor. Children also wanted to get to know the adults in the clubs. Joint activities of children and adults helped create interaction and therefore supported children’s experience of participation and possibilities to make initiatives. Adults’ action and the structure of the club also made a difference. Common starting and closing moments of the clubs and activities that took into account children’s opinions furthered children’s possibilities to make initiatives and experience of participation. Humour and warm athmosphere between children and adults were typical in the club activities of children and older adults.
  • Komulainen, Kaisla (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Adolescent delinquency is a prevalent concern, which carries with psychological and societal costs. Deviant peer affiliation and criminogenic attitudes, as well as personality traits are known to be associated with delinquency, but their interlinked effects are less studied. The present study examines the role of personality in a deviant socialization context. Specifically, I examine whether peer deviance and criminogenic attitudes (1) mediate and/or (2) moderate the associations of the Five-Factor Model personality traits with delinquency. The data included respondents (n=4855) to the cross-sectional Finnish Self-Report Delinquency Study 2012, aged 14-17 years. Delinquency was assessed on the basis of 17 different deviant behaviors; the reported frequencies of engaging in each of them were scaled using a graded response model. Peer deviance and criminogenic attitudes were assessed via respondents’ selfreports; two distinct attitudinal indicators (deviant and neutralizing attitudes) were included. Personality was assessed with a 15-item BFI-S questionnaire. A structural equation model was conducted to examine the mediation pathways. The moderation effects were examined with linear regression analysis. Delinquency was associated with higher extraversion, lower agreeableness, lower conscientiousness, and lower neuroticism. Peer deviance and criminogenic attitudes partially mediated the associations of extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness with delinquency. The association between neuroticism and delinquency was fully mediated via criminogenic attitudes. Peer deviance strengthened the associations of low neuroticism, low agreeableness, and low conscientiousness with delinquency. Deviant and neutralizing attitudes strengthened the associations of high extraversion and low agreeableness with delinquent conduct. The findings suggest that personality may provide novel insights into the etiology of delinquency in a context of deviant socialization. Implications of the personality-based approach and directions for further research are discussed.
  • Neuvonen, Pilvi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The aim of this study was to examine identity narratives and membership narratives of religious minority youth. The theoretical framework for identity consisted of both postmodern identity theory and post-positivist realistic identity theory, thus identity is seen as changing and selectable though guided by social categories. Additionally, the aim was to examine how the youth narrate memberships and negotiate their religious values and social identity in the social context of school. The goal of the study was to analyze how young people who belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints narrate identities, memberships and identity and membership negotiations at school. Previous studies have shown that youth belonging to religious minorities often face negotiations at school, concerning their values, lifestyle and worldviews. The data consisted of five interviews of young people belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The study was conducted using qualitative methods and analyzed with theme analysis of narratives. The analysis included characteristics of both narrative methods and content analysis method. Based on the results, identity and membership narratives of the youth belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were found to emphasize the importance of their religious membership. However, self-definition of being an ordinary young person and having many other identities besides religious identity were also highlighted. In identity and membership negotiations special importance was given to the optimization of the conditions of situations in which membership of the religious group was being discussed. The goal of the optimization was to maintain identity of an ordinary young person and to defend the multidimensionality of one’s identity. The study suggests that other peoples’ partly negative attitudes towards the religious group of the youth guided their agency in identity and membership negotiations. Being different was more likely to be seen positively in an in-group setting than in an out-group setting. Thus, the outcomes of the negations were influenced by the nature of the relationship the people included in the negotiations had. According to the study, youth belonging to a religions minority see their position in school positively. However, they face negotiations concerning their differing views on values and lifestyle.
  • Lehtimäki, Hanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Objectives. Competence management has been a recent topic in public debate. However, it has not been researched so much in primary education. The purpose of my master ́s thesis is to describe how competence management and teachers ́ competence development takes place in primary schools. The focus of my master ́s thesis is on studying the practices that support school teachers ́ competence development. Through research on the practices that support competence development, the practices can be shared with other work communities. This is how primary schools can learn the competence development of each other. Methods. The data was collected by focused interview of the five primary school principals and school leaders in Southern Finland. The interviewees were selected for research by snowball sampling and according to interest in the subject. The results were analyzed using content analysis. Results and conclusions. The results show that competence management in the primary school principals ́ work was determined by identification, maintenance, development, and acquisition of skills. Primary school principals felt that their role as the competence leader was in directing competence development and setting objectives, enabling competence development, supporting learning, motivating and inspiring, creating frameworks and structures, creating co-operation between teachers, and controlling the development of competence. Primary school principals guided the competence development of class teachers with regular development discussions, continuing education and diverse workplace learning. Class teacher competence development in primary schools was supported by discussion and interaction, collaboration, and instruction-based practices. The practices that support class teachers ́ competence development are co-operation, organizational teaming, pair working, teaching together and co-teaching, learning from students, networking, pedagogical discussion, reading professional literature, sharing expertise in the work community, briefing, highlighting and use of teachers' strengths, giving different roles to teachers, and teacher guidance in the everyday life of education and teaching. The requirements and challenges of successful skills development are, looking from different aspects, related to class teachers themselves, resources and school culture. In the future, principals should help class teachers recognize the practices that support competence development as opportunities for their professional growth. Other schools can take ideas from these practices and further develop them to suit the needs of their own working environment. The practices brought on by this study should be a part of principal training, so that they could spread to other schools with various possible implementations. In addition, principals in basic education should be guided to realize the benefits and significance of vision in competence management.
  • Vazquez Harkivi Os Vazquez Garza, Mily (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Abstract Objectives. Communication is a basic human activity, and one that is also crucial for business. For those communicating with international audiences, lack of knowledge regarding how people communicate across cultures might create misunderstandings and in the worst case, conflicts. The research purpose of this thesis was to identify cultural discourses about nature and the environment that would illustrate deeply held values and beliefs about nature. The theoretical approach utilised in the thesis was Cultural Discourse Theory. This approach originates from the Ethnography of Communication tradition and contemplates not only the linguistic aspects of discourse, but also the context in which discourse is produced, utilised and maintained. Previous research has shown that communication is cultural and that both culture and communication can influence the way nature is constructed. The research question is aimed to identify beliefs and values about nature, personhood, and relationships hold by seven Finnish professionals of the environment working in the forest company UPM. Methods. The research material was collected through seven semi-structured interviews conducted in Finnish language and translated to English. The interviews were recorded digitally and lasted approximately one hour. To ensure confidentiality, the participants were given aliases and their real names were not disclosed publicly. The research participants reviewed the excerpts of text in the original language (vernacular Finnish) and also reviewed the translations to English language. The material was displayed in both Finnish and English language and analysed applying the Cultural Discourse Analysis (CuDA) method. The CuDa method proposed five analytical tools through which the research data could be analysed: dwelling, relations, feelings, action and identity. In this thesis the data was examined in light of the tools or themes of dwelling, relations, identity, and in some cases that of action. Results and conclusions. The research results indicate that three main discourses are present in the discourse of environmental professionals about nature. For the participants nature was a place to relax and calm down, to be with themselves and to maintain a sense of continuity. The values related to these discourses were peace, privacy, autonomy, identity, spirituality, and continuity as a way to preserve what is valued. The main value hold by the participants is that of continuation or sustainability. Further research could build upon the notion of sustainability as a cultural discourse. Research related to other business areas could be useful to understand how a deeply held value about nature like sustainability is common across businesses/industries.
  • Rapala, Emma (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of three Finnish volunteer teachers in developing countries. Specific point of interest was to understand the functions of volunteer learning experiences in developing teacher identities. The objective of the study is to understand the possibilities of personal and professional growth that international volunteer teaching can provide. In this study, identity was seen as socially constructed narratives (Sfard & Prusak 2005). Learning was considered the bridge between actual and designated teacher identities. Teachers’ professional growth was seen as interplay between developing the teacher’s personal identity, professional identity and collective identity (Heikkinen 2001). This study follows constructivist theories’ conception of knowledge as socially and subjectively constructed. A narrative approach defines the study as a whole. The research method applied was a combination of autobiographical narrative interview (Schütze 2005) and a semi-structured interview. The subjects were three Finnish teachers who all had taken part in an international volunteering program for six months. The collected data was analysed using Polkinghorne’s (2005) analysis of narratives and narrative analysis. Analysis of narratives was utilised in categorizing the teachers’ learning experiences. Narrative analysis then was applied to construct a new narrative: a typical story of the functions of international volunteering in teacher identity development. The teachers’ learning experiences through volunteering were substantial and strongly linked to the teacher’s personal background. The learning experiences were categorized as follows: 1) adapting in a new country, 2) working in the school community, 3) facing challenging situations in teaching and 4) cultural encounters. All categories except for the first one were linked to teacher identity development in the teachers’ narratives. Learning experiences were utilized in two ways: realizing designated identities and creating new ones. International volunteering can support teachers’ professional growth, but learning experiences are not linked to professional identities automatically without reflection. For the organizations providing international volunteering opportunities, it is important to indentify the reflexive nature of volunteering and be organized in guiding teachers to reflect their experiences.
  • Mattila, Satu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Purpose. The purpose of this study is to describe the factors that influence junior high age young people as they connect with friends and peer groups, especially from the view of a student who is somehow distinct from the group. The term somehow distinct is used to encompass the wide variety of factors that may influence an adolescent who is left to the fringes or totally outside of a peer group. As inclusion and multiculturalism increases in schools it is important to understand adolescent belief and value systems in order to create an atmosphere that is open to diversity and strengthens peer relationships at school. This study examines short essays by young people on the subject of being an outsider to their peer groups and the preconditions and terms of friendships. In addition, what circumstances support or prevent the ability to join a group and form friendships. In past years this topic has been researched from the point of view of the experiences of special needs students and of general adolescent peer relations. (Ellonen, 2008; Hoikkala & Paju 2013; Korkiamäki, 2014; Koster, Nakken , Pijl & van Houten 2009; Saarinen 2012). In this work the angle of approach is the thoughts and feelings that the somehow distinct adolescent brings out in the peers representing the majority of the group and how to support him/her in order to get to join the group and how to strengthen his/her social competence. Methods. For this study, data was collected from two secondary schools. The students were selected from one class at each school and a total of 49 students returned write-ups. Essays were prompted by four questions about what it means to be an outsider, what factors lead to being outside of the group and the conditions for the process of forming peer relations. Student essays were transcribed and sorted by theme. Themes that emerged were then interpreted by using content analysis. Results and conclusions. The research highlighted the challenges that diversity poses in adolescent groups. Young people looked for direction from adults and guidance in situations where someone was outside of the group. They also brought forth ideas how the social competence of a young person distinct from the group could be supported. Group dynamics and general social climate in the classroom seemed to influence how diversity was handled. There were subtle differences between boys and girls as far as what components supported and what prevented the forming of peer relations. Girls were especially influenced by outward appearances and favored the opinions of girls high up in the class social hierarchy as to who should be accepted in the group. Boys’ ability to form peer relations were supported more by social skills and mutual conversation topics and hobbies.
  • Makkonen, Mira (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Objective. Chronic stress is known to be a significant cause of disease incidence. The current study was set out to assess the relationship between innate temperament and vital exhaustion, a consequence of long-term stress. Previous studies have mostly focused on studying vital exhaustion in relation to cardiovascular disease. Among other things, vital exhaustion has been shown to be a precursor of myocardial infarction and has been associated with cardiovascular risk factors. Similarly, temperament traits have been linked to disorders and risk factors related to vital exhaustion. The direct evidence of the relationship between temperament and vital exhaustion is, however, limited. The aim of this study was to determine whether temperament, as defined by Buss and Plomin, predicts vital exhaustion. Methods. The sample consisted of 1132 adults participating in the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns (CRYF) Study. Temperament was measured in 2001 using the EAS temperament inventory. Vital exhaustion was measured in 2001 and in 2007 using the Maastricht Questionnaire. The associations between temperament traits and vital exhaustion were examined by linear regression analyses. All analyses were adjusted for the effect of gender, age, education level and marital status. In additional analyses, vital exhaustion in 2001 was further controlled when predicting vital exhaustion in 2007. Results and conclusions. Higher emotionality and lower sociability predicted higher vital exhaustion over a 6-year time interval. Lower activity also predicted higher vital exhaustion six years later, although it was not associated with vital exhaustion at baseline like the two other traits. As a whole, temperament independently explained very little of the variance in vital exhaustion when vital exhaustion at baseline was taken into account. The results suggest that temperament plays a more important role in explaining the level and stability of vital exhaustion than explaining the increase or decrease in it.
  • Kotamäki, Kati (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    The goal of this study is to find out how class teachers define an ideal working environment in a classroom, how they maintain this ideal working environment and how they react when it’s disturbed. An ideal working environment is something every class teacher has to deal with in their job and it plays a great role in it. There’s no absolute definition to what an ideal working environment actually is and every teacher creates the definition themselves. In this study knowledge about class teachers’ definitions of the term was assembled in a configuration where the interviewed class teachers were experts of their own teacher being and their educational philosophy. The aim was to gather answers from class teachers without making any generalizations depending on the answers. Eight class teachers were interviewed for this study on the area of Uusimaa. Six of them have graduated within the last five years and two of them over 20 years ago. The interviewed teachers were chosen randomly for the interviews. In this study it occurred that the definitions for an ideal working environment that the teachers defined bore a resemblance to one another, even though the theme isn’t discussed in the teacher education at the university. It seems that the atmosphere in the classroom plays an important role in the formation of the ideal working environment and so does the teacher’s attitude. The teachers have various ways to prevent issues that can disturb the ideal working environment they have built in their classroom, to maintain it and to react to the disturbances. The teachers have taken many of the measures into their repertoire after having heard or read about them elsewhere.