English summaries

English Summaries (03/2016)

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Tuuli Turja

Connection between trauma symptoms and emotions during an accident

This study contributes to research in Finland on psychological impact after accidents, which has been lacking up to now. The psychological side is often neglected in research and in health care. This is especially the case with small and everyday accidents, although they too can cause pain and suffering to the victim, as well as a sense of fear, helplessness or shame. Research questions were: 1) How prevalent are psychological trauma symptoms after an everyday accident that does not include any violence or massive catastrophe? 2) Is there a connection between emotions during an accident and the prevalence of trauma symptoms? The online questionnaire was answered by 149 participants (aged 16–64), of whom 79 percent were male. The context of the accident was either leisure time activity (56 %), work (24 %) or traffic (19 %). Trauma symptoms were measured by IES-R. The participants assessed their level of pain and emotions during the accident by using a scale from 1 to 10. The data was analyzed mainly by correlations and logistic regression. Every tenth respondent reported a substantial amount of symptoms referring to psychological trauma. The higher the level of fear, helplessness or shame, the more trauma symptoms were found. There is a lack of awareness about how seemingly small accidents can lead to psychological trauma. This research suggests that the trauma discourse should not be restricted to incidents of violence or even injuries classified as severe. Psychological trauma is associated with the emotions and interpretations concerning the accident.

Keywords: accident, psychological trauma, IES-R, pain, fear, helplessness, shame

Riitta Luukkainen-Markkula

Neuropsychology of meditation

Numerous studies have shown how the brain may be shaped by meditation. This review gathers brain research on mindfulness and meditation. Could this method be used in neuropsychological rehabilitation? Meditation seems to activate central functional networks such as attention networks, the mirror neuron system and networks that integrate the body and mind. In a recent meta-analysis of morphological neuroimaging in meditation practitioners, researchers found eight brain regions consistently altered in meditators including the hippocampus (memory consolidation), the frontopolar cortex (meta-awareness), sensory cortices and insula (body-awareness), the anterior and midcingulate cortex (emotion regulation) as well as intra- and interhemispheric communication fibers. Experienced meditators exhibit increased connectivity within attentional networks as well as between attentional networks and medial frontal regions. Mindfulness-based interventions have successfully been tried out with patients suffering from stroke, traumatic brain injury and Parkinson’s disease as well as in modulation of pain. Numerous other applications could be found in training attention and executive functions.

Keywords: meditation, mindfulness-based stress reduction, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, attentional networks, neuropsychological rehabilitation

Emma Timonen, Jussi Silvonen & Marjatta Vanhalakka-Ruoho

Career adaptability of adolescents starting upper secondary education

The purpose of the article is to study the career adaptability of adolescents who have transferred from comprehensive school to general upper secondary education or vocational education. Career adaptability is defined as psychosocial resources for managing developmental tasks, occupational transitions and work changes. The four dimensions of the Career Adapt-Abilities Scale (CAAS) are concern, control, curiosity and confidence. The aim of the study is to investigate what kind of career adaptability beliefs measured by CAAS a small Finnish sample of adolescents has and how factors of social context – gender, educational route, school achievement, educational status of the family and the parents’ conceptions of the school attitudes of the adolescent – are connected to the adolescent’s career adaptability beliefs. In this study the fifth dimension, relationality, has been added to the scale and its characteristics studied. Data is from a small follow-up survey in which the adolescents and their parents (= 127) participated. According to the results the adolescents’ career adaptability beliefs are mainly strong. School achievement is significantly related to career adaptability, whereas gender and educational route are not associated to CA. The results suggest that the educational status of the family might be nonlinearly related to the adolescent’s career adaptability. Career adaptability and its connections to the factors of social context are worth studying with larger samples.

Keywords: career adaptability, school achievement, educational status of the family