PhD Completion Seminars - July 2016

The School would like to recognise Mardee Greenham and Robert Ely who will be presenting their PhD completion seminars this month.

PhD Candidate: Mardee Greenham

Supervisor: Prof Vicki Anderson, Dr Anne Gordon & Prof Paul Monagle

Date Friday 15th July 3:30-4:30pm

Venue: Redmond Barry building, Room 822

Title: Psychosocial outcomes following paediatric arterial ischaemic stroke

Abstract: Paediatric arterial ischaemic stroke (PAIS) is associated with long-term residual neurological impairment, including motor, cognitive and language deficits. Yet relatively little is known about psychosocial outcomes. Study 1 examined the environmental contributions to social and mental health outcomes following PAIS. Study 2 explored psychosocial function in the first year following PAIS. Study 3 examined psychosocial function 5 years post-PAIS and early predictors of outcome. Study 4 explored social and socio-cognitive function 5 years post-PAIS. Results suggested that children are at risk of psychosocial impairment following PAIS. Medical factors such as lesion location and neurological impairment were not predictive, while family environmental factors such as family function and parent mental health were associated with outcome.

PhD Candidate: Robert Ely

Supervisor: A/Prof Mary Ainley

Date Tuesday 19th July 10:30-11:30am

Venue: Redmond Barry building, Room 822

Title: Identifying Dimensions of Interest to Support Learning in Disengaged Students: The MINE Project

Abstract: For some time, there has been a concern that many students are disengaged with learning in schools. Despite the well-documented connection between interest in curriculum and learning, discovering what disengaged students are interested in has proven problematic using current methods of interest measurement. This thesis addresses these difficulties by introducing a new method of determining what students are interested in without the need for them to be confronted by direct enquiry. The My Interest Now for Engagement (MINE) software is an easy-to-use, playful and engaging online environment that allows students to explore and report upon interests by expressing their personal preferences. Based on iFish software (Pearce, 2008), The MINE tool also measures how adolescent learners feel about their selected interests through behavioural indicators of dynamic interest experience. Three development studies describe the design and testing of the MINE tool. The first study establishes a collection of appropriate interests for exploration within MINE’s interface. The second study establishes parameters for exploration within the software. The third study tests whether the MINE tool measures the interests of adolescent learners consistently and in line with the established framework. Findings indicated that the MINE tool was an effective measure for profiling adolescents’ interest. MINE was then used to profile the interests of 213 students studying in two academically underperforming schools in Melbourne, Australia. After establishing patterns of what these adolescent learners were interested in, findings indicated gender differences in the patterns of interest content. It was found that high ratings for positive affect, moderate to high ratings for hopeful, and very low ratings for negative affect were associated with expressed interests. The knowledge and value dimensions associated with reported interests were also examined. Behavioural indicators of knowledge and value were used to identify common patterns of interest experience. A four-cluster solution was found using an exploratory two-step cluster analysis. Four common patterns were identified and these were compared with the phases of interest development described in the Four-Phase Model of Interest Development (Hidi & Renninger, 2006). Clusters of interests defined by either low levels of knowledge or value aligned with the situational phases of interest development. Two clusters of interests associated with high ratings for knowledge, and high value, differentiated by very high or very low ratings of perceived effort, were aligned with the individual phases of interest development. The potential usefulness of the main study’s findings to a teacher wishing to engage a student is presented using a representative selection of six case studies. These case studies discuss potential curriculum connections between content and education as well as an in-depth analysis of the interest experience of the individuals being profiled, including interest triggered by the MINE tool itself. This research argues that knowledge of both the content and dynamic processes that combine when interest is activated might be useful for teachers when personalizing learning activities to engage or re-engage a student. The MINE tool generates interest profiles that provide information to teachers seeking to engage adolescent learners who have become disengaged with learning in schools.

PhD Candidate: Sampada Bhide

Supervisors: Professor Vicki Anderson, Dr Emma Sciberras & Professor Jan Nicholson

Date Thursday 28th July 11:45 am - 12:45 pm

Venue: Old Physics-G16 (Jim Potter Room), University of Melbourne

Title: Parenting Style and the Functional Outcomes of Children with ADHD: A Community-Based Longitudinal Study

Abstract: Parenting style contributes to functional outcomes of typically-developing children; however little is known about this association for children with ADHD. Our overall aim was to investigate the role of parenting style in determining the functional outcomes of children with ADHD from the community. This study is part of the Children’s Attention Project, and participants include 179 children with ADHD and 212 non-ADHD controls (aged 6-8 years at baseline), their parents and teachers. Measures of parenting style and child functioning were collected at baseline and after 18 months. Results showed that parenting style was associated with aspects of concurrent and prospective child socio-emotional functioning. Parenting consistency and anger at baseline, partly mediated the relationship between ADHD status at baseline and social functioning after 18 months. Results hold clinical implications for parenting interventions aimed at reducing the risk of ADHD-associated social impairments over time.