08 SES 08, High school students; Education, health and wellbeing
Working conditions have become increasingly stressful in many workplaces and characterized by stress and adaptation to new situations. Workplace challenges require a positive and changeable attitude in young people. A person's willingness to adapt (proactive behavior)  is a necessary ability for employability and for development in working life. Ability to assess, evaluate and plan before a goal (self-regulation)  can be transformed into action can be reflected in students' thoughts about a "future job hunt". The representation of a person in the future can show hopes and aspirations (well-being)  in relation to a desirable work. The clearer and more accessible this representation is, the more insight into self-regulation and proactive behavior the individual has. By using expressive writing about "future work hunt", the individual can concretize the image of this "job hunt" which can lead to positive attitudes towards working life as it strengthens the individual's self-regulation. The purpose of the project is to investigate the relationship between self-regulation, proactive behavior and "future work hunt" with students in high school. The result is expected to provide knowledge about young people's expectations of working life and whether their attitude to the ability to get work can be influenced by expressive writing. The difficulties young people must deal with to get into the labor market today are similar in many countries. Efforts in developing young people's ability to cope with the difficulties are to a high degree lacking and therefore, this research is relevant in an international context.
In an interview survey of 700 students at high school, school work was stated as the cause of stress, but also the fear of not getting any work . The high youth unemployment has been an important stress factor in the 21st century. For those who failed to meet the eligibility requirements for applying to high school and for those who failed to complete the upper secondary school studies, the situation in the labor market is particularly sad. From 2010, especially foreign-born adolescents failed to get enough grades to gain further education, and this could increase the risk of developing outbreaks and mental health . Young people who become unemployed directly after high school continue to be unemployed to a significantly greater extent than others over the next ten years. For at least five years, a part of the increased unemployment risk is a direct effect of the person being unemployed as a teenager .
People have known for a long time that writing down experiences, feelings and thoughts can give perspective on existence. Today's blogging in social media is a way of expressing feelings and concretizing events. Modern cognitive behavioral therapy uses expressive writing as a means for people to reach deep feelings and thoughts and to enhance understanding for their own person. Pennebaker [6,7] has investigated effects of expressive writing of thoughts and emotions for 20 minutes intervals over three consecutive days and found positive effects for well-being, both emotionally and somatically. King  has later developed this type of intervention to "the best possible future I", where the individual imagines himself if everything in his life goes in the best possible direction. Like Pennebaker's intervention, this intervention has had an effect on an increased degree of well-being but also achievement. Maybe interventions like these can contribute to a cognitive restructuring of how young people look at their working life in the present and future by providing different characteristics in mind and imagining their own behavior in different work situations .
Four upper secondary schools in a Swedish town are included in the study. Before the intervention and after the intervention, upper secondary school students respond to electronic versions (a final survey system called e-choice at university) of all instruments; well-being (life satisfaction, positive and negative emotions, stress, psychological well-being and self-esteem), self-regulation (assessment and locomotion) and proactive behavior. The pre-measurement includes demographic issues such as gender, age and family relationship. The following scales are used: (1) Well-being consists of (a) Subjective Well-Being Scale meaning the perception of positive emotions and negative emotions (b) Psychological Well -Being Scale, which means autonomy, environment, personal development, positive relationships, goals in life and self-acceptance (c) Perceived Stress Scale and (d) Self-Esteem Scale. (2) Self-regulation strategies are the ability of the individual to assess, evaluate and plan different strategies for achieving a goal (assessment) as well as the ability to actually implement the actions (locomotion) required to achieve what they were supposed to achieve. Assessment and Locomotion Scales measures two strategies that individuals use to fulfill their goals [9,10]. (3) Proactive Career Behaviors measures the extent to which an individual develops his career through proactive behavior in different categories, such as career planning, environmental research and networking. The questionnaires are followed by the intervention. The intervention group writes about its "future job hunt" for 20 minutes in a period of five consecutive days. The instruction is: "Think of your life in the future. Imagine everything has gone as well as it has been possible. You have worked hard and managed to achieve what you desire in life. Then write down what you imagine ". After the intervention, the same questionnaires are used. To investigate the effect of the intervention a control group that write about every day events is used. The five statements given by the students about their "future work hunt" are examined qualitatively but also quantitatively by quantitative semantic methods . Variance Analysis for Repeated Measurement by Gender and Group (intervention group / control group) as independent variables are used to investigate differences between pre- and post-measurement and effect of intervention. We will also be able to compare the texts and the development of students' "future work hunt" from all five writing periods. This will provide insight into whether attitudes to work change, how they change (from abstract to concrete) and the content of attitudes (words used).
We expect the intervention to affect the measurements for the intervention group, but not for the control group. The project can contribute with knowledge of young people's expectations of their upcoming work life and whether their attitudes can be influenced positively by a relatively simple prevention that can help to concretize their "future job hunt". This concretization is expected to be important for young people's attitude towards their upcoming work life and to support them to handle the challenges they will encounter when they are to compete in an increasingly tough labor market. If the results of the intervention show that it influenced the students, measures may be recommended that reinforce the ability of students to plan and achieve goals before entering the labor market or proceeding to college/university studies. From a gender perspective, the project will also be relevant to any action against the current trend of boys' poor performance and girls' increased performance requirements and ill health. Women's development is also not as positive as men´s when they get into the labor market because they do not have the same opportunities for further education and skills development at the workplace. The study may be relevant to research on gender differences in current views on future employment and careers during education.
 ] Prabhu, V. P. (2013). Proactive personality and career future: Testing a conceptual model and exploring potential mediators and moderators. American Journal of Management, 13(1), 11 – 31  Kruglanski, A. W., Higgins, T., Pierro, A., Thompson, E.P., & Atash, M.N. (2000). To "Do the right thing" or to "Just do it": Locomotion and assessment as distinct self-regulatory imperatives, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79(5), 793-815.  Silla, I., De Cuyper, N., Garcia, J. F., Peiro, J.M., & De Witte, H. (2009). Job insecurity and wellbeing: Moderation by employability. Journal of Happiness Studies, 10, 739–751. doi 10.1007/s10902-008-9119-0  Trender i barns och ungdomars psykiska hälsa i Sverige. State of the science-conference, 12–14 april 2010. Konsensusuttalande. Stockholm: Kungl Vetenskapsakademien  Nordström Skans, O. (2004). Har ungdomsarbetslöshet långsiktiga effekter? Rapport 13. Uppsala: Institutet för arbetsmarknads- och utbildningspolitisk utvärdering.  Pennebaker, J. W. (2011). The secret life of pronouns. What our words say about us. New York: Bloomsbury Press  Chung, C., & Pennebaker, J. (2007). The psychological functions of function words. In K. Fiedler (Ed.). Social Communication, 343-359. New York: Psychology Press  King, L. A. (2001). The health benefits of writing about life goals. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27(7), 798-807.  Jimmefors, A., Garcia, D., Rosenberg, P., Mousavi, F., Adrianson, L. & Archer, T. (2014). Locomotion (Empowering) and assessment (Disempowering); Self-regulatory dimensions as a function of Affective profile in high school students. International Journal of School and Cognitive Psychology, 2(1) http://dx.doi.org/10.4172/1234-3425.1000103  Adrianson L, Ancok D, Ramdhani N. & Archer T. (2013) Cultures influences on health, affect, self-esteem and impulsiveness: an Indonesian-Swedish comparison. International Journal of Research Studies in Psychology 2, 25-44.  Garcia, D., & Sikström, S. (2013). Quantifying the semantic representations in adolescents' memories of positive and negative life events. Journal of Happiness Studies, 14, 1309–1323.
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