Poster Presentations

Pieter Basson
University of Johannesburg, South Africa
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Executive functioning as a predictor of positive affect
Objectives:  The purpose of the study was to investigate the possible biological foundations of positive affect, with particular reference to executive functioning and the frontal lobes in the intact brain. The specific research question was: Can frontal executive functioning predict positive affect?
Design:        The paradigmatic background for the research question is positivism. An ex post facto predictive design was used in order to answer the research question.
Method:       A convenience sample of 203 participants aged 20-28, from various cultural groups but all proficient in English, with matriculation exemption, was selected. The participants completed two test batteries: i) An executive function battery consisting of the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function Test and the Executive Function Index and ii) The Positive Affect Battery which consisted of a compilation of seven tests measuring positive affect (Optimism, Hope, Satisfaction with life, Gratitude, Resilience, Self-efficacy and Forgiveness). Logistic regression was used to ascertain if executive functions predict positive affect.
Results:        Logistic regressions were performed by dichotomizing the dependent variable i.e. the scores on each of the positive affect battery subscales. Executive functioning was found to predict the experience of positive affect to a large extent.

Conclusions: It was indicated that positive affect has a biological link to executive functioning


Izanette van Schalkwyk1
North-West University,  South Africa1
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Educators' experiences of the social functioning of learners in middle childhood
The focus of this research was to explore educators’ experiences of the social functioning of learners in middle childhood to determine those key social skills needed to function optimally. Although there is much research as to socially withdrawn behaviours and problems of social functioning in middle childhood, there is a lack of studies within positive psychology to understand and reveal the strengths and mechanisms of social functioning in this life phase. Educators’ experiential wisdom as to learners in middle childhood’s social functioning is important as they are significant socialization agents within the learning environment.
A qualitative approach was used and through purposive sampling 29 educators were selected as participants from four school districts in a particular area in the North-West Province. Data were collected via four focus groups, with each focus group including the educators of one school per district.
Thematic analysis of the data revealed that educators view learners in middle childhood’s social functioning as specific to a particular context (with emphasis on cultural practices and background); learners in middle childhood’s social functioning entails appropriate and inappropriate behaviour; and, learners’ social functioning is threatened by various factors related to their internal and external environments.
It is recommended that the social functioning of learners in middle childhood should be enhanced intentionally through a school-based well-being programme. Guidelines for such a school-based programme should include skills about effective communication and listening, constructive conflict management, problem-solving, self-regulation and the establishing and maintaining of healthy relationships.


Henry . T Chahwanda
Midlands State University
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What is African about African Psychology
This paper provides insights on the Africaness about African Psychology. African Psychology is mainly based on the spirit of Ubuntu, studying the human science through qualitative research and collective behavior. The spirit of Ubuntu, collective behavior and other African practices affect the way people seek psychological help and   coping strategies or positive functioning of African people. There is no positive psychology without African psychology. Little is known about African psychology because of hegemony of western psychology internationally. Thus the studies on African psychology are not really meeting African thoughts and praxis and this affect our happiness. Therefore, in a quest to answer what really is African psychology, the paper argues that the nature of African psychology before the advent of western psychology was buried in the African subconscious and its relationship with positive psychology .African psychology plays an important role on one’s happiness. The data was collected through a desktop review. Hence, this paper explores the similarities and differences between African and Western psychology whilst engaging in the construction and development of the African image and developing a comprehensive African psychology and showing the relationship between African psychology and positive psychology.
Key words:  positive psychology, Africaness , African psychology


Rosemary Chigevenga
Women's university in Africa
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Strategies to empower multicultural  rural women in PMTCT programmes in Zimbabwe: a community psychology approach
HIV and AIDS remain among the leading causes of death of infants and women in Sub-Saharan Africa. This has prompted this researcher to study on the strategies that can can be employed to empower rural women from multicultural backgrounds in Zimbabwe using the empowerment theory from Community Psychology. The researcher was motivated to engage in this study after previously conducting a study which found out that socio-cultural factors are amongst the leading factors which impede participation of rural women in Zimbabwe in PMTCT Programmes. The study targeted 100 women for quantitaive data which was collected using questionnaires and 50 other women who provided qualitative data through focus group discussions. Ten professionnals involved in PMTCT programmes were also engaged for qualitative data. This gives a total of 170 research participants. Currently the researcher is still doing data analysis using SPSS for quantitative data and thematic analysis for qualitative data. The findings will lay a ground for conclusions and recommendations.


Marianne Gericke
Marié P. Wissing1; Lusilda Schutte1
North-West University, South-Africa1
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Relational well-being and levels of psycho-social well-being: An exploratory study
Relational well-being is an important facet of functioning well and of psycho-social well-being in various contexts. This study explored the types of relationships people consider to be most important and the reason thereof for people on different levels of psycho-social well-being. Using a mixed methods convergent parallel design, quantitative and qualitative data were combined and interpreted. From a sample of 243 participants' protocols descriptive statistics were used to distinguish quantitatively between high and low psycho-social well-being groups based on the total scale scores of the Mental Health Continuum - Short Form (MHC-SF). Subsamples of 25 high and 25 low psycho-social well-being participants were identified using the upper and lower scores on the total scale score. For the sake of brevity the high well-being group was designated as flourishing and the low functioning group as languishing. Responses from semi-structured open-ended questions on important relationships and the reasons therefore were then thematically analysed. The findings showed similarities in the types of most important relationships for both groups, but also some unique differences. Mutual fulfilment, reciprocity and an orientation to a greater good and a sense of contribution, associated with eudaimonic well-being, stood out for the positively framed flourishing group, whereas a personal need-fulfilment, a more self-centred orientation and turning to external sources for support charaterised the responses of languishers.The findings on differences in motivation are informative for practice in the sense that interventions towards better relationships and well-being in general in population samples should not assume that "one size fits all".


Mildred  Godji1
Wilmien Human1; Tharina Guse1
Department of Psychology, University of Johannesburg, South Africa1
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Increased well-being in the aftermath of trauma: The mediating role of hope
Background:  Traditionally, the psychological response to trauma was investigated from a pathogenic perspective and literature focused on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) but in emerging research, other responses have been investigated such as posttraumatic growth (PTG). Tedeschi and Calhoun (2004) explained that the possible determining factor of PTG lies in the concept of “new reality”. Questions then arise about the adaptive significance of PTG and its relation with well-being. This study considers that hope could have a role as hope is another construct widely researched in the field of Positive Psychology and similarly involves the concept of a new reality. Although empirical findings report hope as a component in trauma healing, limited accounts of the personal assessment of hope exists.
Aim:  The aim of this study was to a) examine levels of PTG, hope and well-being among a group of university students and b) determine the possible mediating role of hope in the relationship between PTG and well-being.
Method:  Participants  (n = 166, mean age 20.5) completed the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI; Tedeschi& Calhoun, 1996), Adult Hope Scale ( AHS, Snyder, 1991) and Mental Health Continuum Short Form  (MHC-SF, 2008). Descriptive statistics and a mediation analysis using PROCESS (Hayes, 2013) was implemented.
Results: Levels of PTG, hope and well-being was relatively high. There was a significant indirect effect for PTG on well-being through hope, β= .202, CI [.114, .276]. This represents a large effect, K2 = .202 CI [.145, .280].
Conclusion:  Despite experiencing adverse experiences (often associated with the current South African socio-political context), students’ levels of PTG, hope and well-being were relatively high and in keeping with previous research. This is important as these young adults are preparing to establish themselves in a rather complex socio-political society. The association between PTG and well-being seems to be mediated by hope. The cognitive-motivational nature of hope therefore may play an important part in facilitating PTG and consequently well-being. This finding strengthens previous research on the importance of hope as a strength related to well-being.


Meghan Gowan1
Claire Fialkov1
William James College Newton, Massachusetts USA1
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Making a Case for Girls Well Being: The Impact of Strength Based Learning in a Kenyan Primary School
A key aim of this research to apply current thinking in the fields of positive education, positive youth development, and global education to a culturally-relevant, social-emotional learning curriculum that may be scaled and replicated. The curriculum selected for this research is that which was designed by the Kenya Education Empowerment Project (KEEP), incorporating evidence-based social-emotional learning techniques into facilitated dialogue, developmentally-appropriate classroom interactions, and opportunities for self-reflection. The 2-week KEEP curriculum takes a “whole community” approach and relies on dialogical practices to create a learning community characterized by the emphasis and development of character strengths. This research study investigated the hypothesis that the recognition and amplification of character strengths, through the delivery of the KEEP strengths-based curriculum, will result in a measurable increase in the subjective well-being of children. With particular focus on female learners, this project also looks at the potential for a social-emotional learning intervention of the type that KEEP offers, to differentially impact behavioral and cognitive outcomes for girls. The research assessed a sample of 121 Kenyan upper-primary school learners enrolled in Standard 6-8 at a Central, Kenyan primary school. The study, which took place in July, 2017, used a quantitative, pre-test/post-test research design. The metric for assessing well-being was the KIDSCREEN-27 which assesses Health Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) along five dimensions, including Physical Well-Being, Psychological Well-being, Autonomy and Parents, Peers and Social Support, and School Environment. This study found that there was a significant increase over a 2-week period for female learners relative to their attitudes towards school and learning. A paired t-test was conducted to compare scores on the KS subtest “School and Learning” over time.  Findings indicate that mean scores on the KS S5 increased significantly between Time 1 (M = 16.15, SD = 3.934) and Time 2 (M = 18.08, SD = 2.465); t= -2.576, p < .02. Thus, female learners from ages 10-12 had a better attitude towards school and learning when they had the chance to increase their character strengths through their participation with the KEEP curricular intervention. Implications of these results, limitations to the current study and areas for future research are discussed. This research is part of an on-going study conducted by investigators at William James College.


Michelle Hopkins1
Rebecca Tladinyane1; Adriaan Viviers1
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The sources of work stress and coping resources for high school teachers in the Gauteng province within different career stages
Although several studies have been conducted regarding sources of stress for teachers, as well as the coping resources deployed by teachers to manage stress, no studies were found which explored these constructs for teachers within different career stages. Similarly, several studies have explored the sources of stress for teachers in different South African provinces, but no studies were found which explored stress or coping resources for teachers in Gauteng. This study aims to address this identified lack in research. Teaching ranks as one of the most stressful occupations, not only internationally, but also in South Africa and therefore, stress poses a threat to the quality of education in South Africa.. This threat was recognised by the Gauteng Department of Education, and as a result, the goal to increase the wellness of teachers in Gauteng was set in the Annual Performaance Plan of 2012/2013, making this study not only original, but also a necessity. High school teachers (n=193) were selected from 23 high schools in Gauteng to participate in this study. The Sources of Work Stress Inventory, the Coping Resource Inventory and the Adult Career Concerns Inventory were used to measure sources of stress, coping resources and career stages, respectively. Pearson product correlations were analysed and significant relationships were found between different sources of work stress, coping resources and career stages.


Henry Mason
TUT, South Africa
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Exploring the transition from school to university: meaning-making and psychological well-being
The transition from school to university constitutes a significant turning point for first-year students. Hypothesising from literature, it could be expected that students who derive meaning following the transition from school to university would present with higher levels of psychological well-being. To date, scant attention has been paid to the relationship between psychological well-being and meaning-making following turning points, with a specific emphasis on the transition from school to university among South African student populations.
This poster sheds light on the relationship between psychological well-being and meaning-making among first-year university students, based on their lived experiences of transitioning from school to university. Using a mixed methods research design, data were collected from a sample of 134 first-year university students (female = 53.73%). Participants completed a battery of quantitative questionnaires (Meaning in Life Questionnaire, Positive and Negative Affect Schedule, Scales of Psychological Well-being, and Satisfaction with Life Scale) and a qualitative-based narrative sketch. Meaning-making and turning points were coded using a qualitative approach.
The quantitative analysis pointed to positive associations between meaning-making and psychological well-being. These findings reveal the importance of meaning-making among first-year student populations during the transition from school to university. Preliminary suggestions for applied research are cautiously provided, taking into account the limitations of the study. 


Thobeka Mthembu1
Sandiso Bazana1
Rhodes University, South Africa1
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Rural ‘black’ people and psychotherapy: An exploratory study towards Positive Psychology in mainstream psychology
The appropriateness and effectiveness of the field of psychology and its branch psychotherapy has been met with fierce criticisms especially in contexts outside of Western or Euro American or urban Southern Africa. This paper argues that if psychology is to expand its scope, rural black communities’ conceptions and beliefs of ‘doing’ psychotherapy must be incorporated to promote the practice of psychology in rural black communities. As such, mainstream psychology must embrace Positive Psychology principles. Positive Psychology is a scientific study of optimal human functioning. It aims to discover and promote the factors that allow individuals and communities to thrive. Psychotherapy is premised on holistic healing and this is central to Positive Psychology. The question is how do rural black people who do not have access to costly urban-trained therapists do therapy. Put it differently; how do black rural people treat and heal psychology related illnesses. The study will argue that Positive Psychology must be viewed as the last hope towards deconstructing and decolonising the theory and practice of psychology, especially in southern Africa, post-colonial/apartheid. Through employing Afrocentricity theory underpinned by Post-Colonial theory, this paper will review the literature to understand how rural people conceptualise and practice psychotherapy. This review can possibly assist in new understandings of psychotherapy as constructed in different contexts and instigate future research to be conducted in often-neglected areas such as rural black communities.
Keywords: psychology, psychotherapy, afrocentricity, ‘black’ rural communities


University of Johannesburg, South Africa1
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Enhancing Wellness of younger orphans and vulnerable children affected by HIV/AIDS in urban settings
Parental sickness or death as a result of effects of HIV/AIDS affects children in multiply ways, compromising their wellness. And with increased survival rates for the peri-natally HIV infected due to improved medical regimens, going through schooling systems for these children can be more challenging. Although information on older children is available, wellness of younger children affected by HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa is largely missing in literature.  This poster draws from a recently concluded study which explored experiences of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) affected by HIV/AIDS, in early childhood development and education (ECDE) centres located within poor resourced urban setting, in Nairobi Kenya. 45 preschool children aged 5-to-6 years and 12 teachers were purposively sampled for the study. Multiple qualitative methods which include conversational interviews, focus group discussions, drawings, visual stimulus illustrations were utilised in finding out what made these children happy, and what made them unhappy. Thematic content analysis with a phenomenological hermeneutic approach focusing on the children’s lived experiences was utilised on accrued data. Results indicated that the preschool OVC were exposed to complex difficulties which compromised their sense of wellness. However, they identified school environment as providing ingredients which enhanced their wellbeing. These included: relationships, mentorship, companionship, childhood play, identity, independence and confidence, learning activities both in and out of class, feeding scheme, medical screening and checkup amongst others. These indicate an importance in harnessed support systems, and enriched activities in schools for preschool OVC wellness and other positive consequences. Future studies should focus on larger population for generalisation.


Wesley Pieters1
Nadia Auanga1
University of Namibia1
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Enhancing work engagement of teachers through organisational commitment, organisational justice and psychological conditions in Namibia.
In 2014, 2227 teaching vacancies were filled by under and unqualified teachers in Namibia. Qualified teacher will be required to take on a heavier workload which includes mentoring unqualified staff resulting in exhaustion and lower levels of engagement. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between work engagement and its antecedents amongst primary and secondary school teachers in the Omaheke, Oshana and Oshikoto regions (n=288). Considering the high failure rate of learners coupled with harsh working conditions and limited resources, teachers tend to become disengaged. A cross-sectional design was used and SPSS (version 24) for the data analysis employing Pearson-product moment correlation and Multiple regression analyses. All variables reported positive relationships with work engagement, the significant predictors of work engagement are psychological meaningfulness, psychological availability and normative commitment. This study propose incentives such as equitable benefit packages, career advancement opportunities, and work resources; thus teachers would feel valued and this would increase their levels of work engagement. Fair and respectable interactions between teacher and supervisors would foster psychological meaningfulness, organisational justice, commitment and work engagement. This centers on the aspects of how pertinent information is conveyed to the teachers and strengthening the person oriented treatment. Training, especially in-service training will increase the level of work engagement amongst the teachers and will enhance the competencies of qualified and underqualified teachers.


University of Johannesburg, South Africa
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Hope for the future and literacy achievement in a sample of impoverished South African primary school children: A positive psychology perspective
This study investigated the problem of hope for the future and literacy achievement in a sample of impoverished South African primary school children. Data was collected through a quantitative survey that was administered to 160 learners from four classes of grades 5 to 7 at a school in the Soweto Township, Johannesburg, South Africa. The survey comprised five literacy tests that were standardised by Do-IT Profiler, an institute based in the United Kingdom (UK), and Shape the Learner, a South African based consultancy. The results showed a statistically significant relationship between hope for the future and literacy scores, with learners who had less hope for the future scoring significantly lower on the literacy tests used in the study. Adopting a positive psychology perspective and hope theory, the author discusses the implications of the findings for literacy achievement in children living in poverty. Several important recommendations are made, namely: the use of a methodological tool to identify specific literacy skills in children; the support that could be provided by educators and school psychologists; and a multilevel focus in targeting poverty eradication.


Liesl van der Merwe1
North-West University, South Africa1
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Collective learning through Dalcroze-inspired activities: two choirs as communities of musical practices
The purpose of this multisite case study was to explore to what extent Dalcroze-inspired activities can facilitate collective learning in a choir as a community of musical practice. The research intervention was conducted in two choirs: at a newly formed multi-ethnical high school choir in Germiston, South Africa and the semi-professional Swedish choir, Amanda Sångensemblen.  Data sources were unique for each case, although in-depth semi-structured interviews and researcher field notes of rehearsals and concerts were predominantly used in both cases. The data was analysed inductively within Atlas.ti, where unique codes, categories and themes emerged. A deductively analysis followed where data was conceptualised within the framework of the social theory of collective learning as developed by Wenger (1998) and expanded by Murillo (2011): community of practice (learning as belonging), construction of identity (learning as becoming), negotiation of meaning (learning as experiencing) and engagement in practice (learning as doing). From a social-constructivist and Dalcrozian theoretical lense, engagement in practise and belonging within the choir group preceeded other forms of learning. This study contributed to current theory, by finding that meaningful experiences are central to other forms of collective learning. Dalcroze-inspired activities nurtured collective learning and formed an essential part of choristers’ feeling of belonging within a choir community of musical practice.


BavanishaVythilingum2;Dan J Stein1
Stellenbosch University, South Africa1; University of Cape Town, South Africa2
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Predictors of resilience
Introduction: Life is increasingly demanding and stressful. This challenges one’s ability to cope and wellness. Evidence suggests that resilience is a protective factor that reduces the vulnerability to mental health issues, while stress and certain personality factors may impede on resilience. This presentation aims to provide an overview of resilience factors. As an example, data is presented that identifies predictors of resilience in a subset of women who were enrolled in the Stress Development study.
Method: Women (mean age 27 years, range 18-41 years) were followed over a period of two years during and after pregnancy including 6 months and 1 year postnatal. Data was gathered on stress and anxiety levels, resilience, temperament and character, and emotion processing.
Results: Stress and anxiety levels were significant predictors of resilience consistent with previous work. Women who were bold and confident (ie level of harm avoidance) had higher resilience. Selective attention to threatening faces compared to neutral faces was also a significant predictor of resilience. 
Conclusion: It is important to highlight predictors of resilience given evidence of its potentially protective ability against the development of mental health issues. Thus identifying specific contributing factors to resilience may assist in identifying weaker areas e.g. personality or emotion processing style that may impede on general functioning, and the development of interventions.


Liezl Schlebusch1
Shakila Dada1
University of Pretoria, South Africa1
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Positive and Negative Impact of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder on the Family
Background: There is a large body of evidence that confirms that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) pose a range of distinct challenges to families. However, there is a risk that the dominant portrayal of a negative impact elicits an elaborate representation of the challenges associated with ASD, without considering any positives.
Objectives: We investigated the measurement of positive and negative cognitive appraisal in the context of childhood disability, and describe how South African families positively and negatively appraise the impact of raising a child with ASD.
Method: We used the responses of 180 parents who completed the Family Impact of Childhood Disability Scale, which was part of the survey data gathered in a larger study that examined the perspectives of South African families of young children with ASD.
Results: Our findings indicate that the measurement of cognitive appraisal of the impact of ASD on the family was measured in a reliable and valid manner; contributing evidence to the universal properties of positive and negative appraisal. Families rated the positive appraisals to have a more substantial impact on the family than the negative appraisals.
Conclusion: Similar to other families in other countries, the participating families perceived the impact of a child with ASD as both positive and negative and revealed that parents are able to re-create positive meanings about their child with ASD. The positive findings portray the complexity of families and challenge the limitations and stigmatisation ascribed to raising a child with ASD.


Ayanda Purity Simelane
Wits University, South Africa
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Ethical obligations that arise from the effects of cultural/religious practices and beliefs on the well-being of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is said to affect children equally regardless of their cultural and social background. This bioethical analysis focuses mainly on religious and cultural practices and its effects on the wellbeing of children with Autism within the context of South Africa. This research is normative with an empirical component. Its sets out to ethically evaluate the effects of these practices and what ought to be done and what ought not to be done. The critical part of the study is to identify harms and to recommend ways how harms could be prevented. The normative component of the study draws from the relevant literature by using key sources that are rich in sourcing out data. The qualitative component is conducted via interviews with key informants using a semi structured interview guide. The findings of this study will contribute in identifying and developing on workable interventions to improve the wellbeing of children with ASD.


Salome Smith1
Lusilda Schutte1; Marié P. Wissing1; Amanda Cromhout1
Africa Unit for Transdisciplinary Health Research (AUTHeR), South Africa1
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Validation of the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale in a South African adult group
The aim of this study was to explore the psychometric properties of the English version of the Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (SWEMWBS) in a multicultural South African adult group (N = 421, with ages ranging from 18 to 74) by examining the internal consistency reliability, the factorial validity, and the convergent and discriminant validity of the scale. The scale displayed good internal consistency reliability and the hypothesised single-factor model (as evident from exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis) was supported by the data. The scale exhibited convergent and discriminant validity. The findings suggested that the SWEMWBS holds potential for use in future research and practice pertaining to mental well-being among South African adults.
Keywords: mental well-being, measurement, multicultural, positive psychology, psychometric properties, scale validation, South Africa.


Marie Ubbink
North-West University, South Africa
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Construction of an alternative story based on Keirsey's preferred theory: A narrative approach 
The purpose of the paper is to understand and clarify the way in which Keirsey’s character and temperament types can be effectively used when applying the narrative counselling conversation.
The rationale of the paper was motivated by the tendency of narrative theory to reduce human lives to discourses, when human beings are viewed as a function of interaction. Here it is shown that a person's structural nature plays an important role in the way they live and how they construct meaning to their lives.
This paper was led by a qualitative approach where an exploratory and descriptive design was applied, and data was collected by means of a qualitative single-case, underpinned by the principles of the narrative approach and the social construction thereof.
A summary of the results obtained highlights that a person is receptive for the cultural influences of his or her life only on the basis of their structure of being. It happens sometimes that social discourses silence the voice of the structure of being a person. In this paper light is shed on how the structure of being can be taken into consideration when using the narrative approach.
In conclusion, the approaches used was a postmodern social constructive narrative and Keirsey theory approach. It does not undervalue the valuable contributions that exist in the field of narrative therapy. The research is but an example of how the Keirsey theory may be used in counselling.


Erna van der Westhuizen
Africa Unit for Transdisciplinary Health Research (AUTHeR), South Africa
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Wellbeing in diverse contexts: Reflection on positive psychology and disability
Background: Uhambo Foundation recognises that children with disabilities are part of an extensive ecosystem of which their families, services, the environment, and policy are all part.
Aim: The purpose of this poster is to explore a positive psychology perspective on disability, encouraging an understanding of health and wellbeing in this diverse context.
Method: A reflection will be offered by means of data sources accessed through a qualitative survey exploring on the lived experiences of parents in the Western Cape, active parent support groups, community dialogues and early childhood programs as part of Uhambo’s monitoring and evaluation as well as associated theories and constructs in positive psychology literature.
Results and Conclusions: The social enterprises’ hybrid model addresses both medical and community barriers faced by families affected by disability reaching about 20 000 beneficiaries during the past two years in many under-resourced and remote communities across South Africa. This model underscores the belief that inclusion requires a holistic approach which includes an understanding that children with disabilities have potential, empowered and capacitated parents, engaged communities, an understanding of rights and capacity building requires not just skills but tools.


Nicola Vermooten1
Johan Malan1; Billy Boonzaier2
Stellenbosch University, South Africa, Department of Industrial Psychology1; Faculty of Economic and Management Science2
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Applying the Job Demands-Resources theory among teachers
Orientation: The Education at a Glance 2016 Report, which ranks the quality of basic education offered in 76 countries, positioned South Africa 75th.
Research purpose: To apply the Job Demands-Resources theory among public school teachers in South Africa. More specifically, to determine the level of engagement among teachers, and examine the relational dynamics between antecedents of variance in employee engagement.
Motivation: The quality of any educational process is closely correlated with teacher quality. The study was therefore motivated by the intention to inform human resource practices that can be adopted to nurture employee engagement among teachers and, in turn, enhance the quality of teaching and learning processes offered in many public schools across the country.
Research design, approach and method: A cross-sectional survey design was used to gather primary data from 518 public school teachers in the Western Cape. Structural Equation Modelling was applied to measures of job demands and resources, personal resources and coping strategies.
Main findings: Challenges with the level of engagement among teachers is worrisome. In addition, job demands and resources, personal resources and coping strategies explain variance in employee engagement.
Practical/managerial implications: Findings of the study holds inevitable consequences for human resource practices in the education context. The researchers recommend interventions that can be developed and implemented to nurture employee engagement among teachers.
Contribution: The study contributed to engagement literature by illustrating that the Job-Demands Resources theory can be in the education context to nurture employee engagement among teachers.


North-West University, South Africa - MASARA
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Exploring flow experiences of ensemble performers with Dalcroze Eurhythmics: An interpretative phenomenological analysis
The purpose of this interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) was to explore how performers understand their experiences of Dalcroze Eurhythmics while preparing the “Tango” and “Charleston” of the jazz ballet La revue de Cuisine by BohuslavMartinů.

In this research I adapted the IPA design and applied it to creative qualitative research, as I was actively participating in my own research as an ensemble member, which is unusual, but not in conflict with the core principles of IPA. The main method of data collection in IPA studies is the semi-structured interview. The seven people who were part of the ensemble were my participants and there were two rounds of semi-structured interviews after the five Dalcroze sessions with two experienced and qualified Dalcroze teachers on the Martinů work.

The six super-ordinate themes that emerged through the interviews with the participants were: 1. Heightened awareness of music time and space; 2. Beneficial for relationships in the ensemble; 3. Improved musicianship; 4. Enjoyment and well-being; 5. Informing pedagogy; and 6.Social and cognitive challenges. The super-ordinate themes linked with the experience of “flow”, as described extensively by Csikszentmihalyi. This proves that Dalcroze Eurhythmics can be linked with experiences of flow. Experiences of flow are very positive emotions, which will be beneficial for the performers in an ensemble.

This study would be of interest for solo performers as well as ensemble performers as it will highlight the usefulness of Dalcroze Eurhythmics for performance preparation.