Hellenic Journal of Psychology

Volume 05, 2008

ISSN 1790-1391

Legally responsible

George Grouios
President of the Psychological Society of Northern Greece
Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 541 24 Thessaloniki, Greece. Phone: +30-2310-992177; E-mail: ggrouios@phed.auth.gr


Anastasia Efklides, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Associate Editors:
Maria Dikaiou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Angeliki Leondari, University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece
Georgios D. Sideridis,  University of Crete, Rethymno, Greece

Assistant Editors:
Irini Dermitzaki, University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece
Mary H. Kosmidis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Filippos Vlachos, University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece
Plousia Misailidi, University of Ioannina, Greece
Pagona Roussi, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Editor of Issue 3:
Anastasia Efklides, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Editorial Board

Anastasia Efklides, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
George Grouios, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Shulamith Kreitler, Tel-Aviv University, Israel
Diomedes Markoulis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Robert Neimeyer, University of Memphis, USA
Markku Niemivirta, University of Helsinki, Finland
Jose M. Prieto, Complutense University, Madrid, Spain
Wolfgang Schnotz, University of Koblenz-Landau, Landau, Germany
Yannis Theodorakis, University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece
Maria Tzouriadou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Marja Vauras, University of Turku, Finland
Marcel Veenman, University of Leiden, The Netherlands


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Issue 1

Addiction, identity and gender: a narrative case study*

Zacharoula Kasseri & Evrinomy Avdi
Democritus University of Thrace, Greece & Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Abstract (Summary):

This study aims to investigate the ways in which women, who are in the process of recovery, talk about themselves and their experience of drug addiction. The material in this paper draws from a larger study, in which four women recovering addicts in a therapeutic community in Greece were interviewed regarding their life. The interview transcripts were subsequently analyzed employing narrative analysis. Through the presentation of one case, an attempt is made to investigate the meanings that women themselves give to their experience, with a special emphasis on gender and the reconstruction of identity. The replacement of the ‘spoilt identity’ of a drug user by a new, non-addicted self appears to have a special place in these women’s narratives. With regards to the negotiation of gender, a central issue relates to the minimization of the gendered aspects of the woman’s identity. Drawing on this study, it is suggested that gender and narrative are important in the conceptualization, research and treatment of female drug addiction.

Keywords: Drug addiction, Gender, Identity, Narrative analysis.

Address: Evrinomy Avdi, School of Psychology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 541 24 Thessaloniki, Greece. Tel.: +30-2310-997363. E-mail: avdie@psy.auth.gr

*Published in Greek.

Silent minority: Exploring gay and bisexual men's accounts of learning and teaching in British psychology university departments

Ian Hodges & Carol Pearson
University of Westminster, United Kingdom

Abstract (Summary):

This study explores the experiences of gay and bisexual men who have studied/are studying psychology at universities in the UK. The study utilises a qualitative framework, incorporating thematic analysis informed by grounded theory techniques. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a sample of 18 current and ex-students (ages range from 21-45 years) from 11 different institutions. Three higher-order categories emerged: (a) ‘Exclusion and estrangement’, (b) ‘Managing heteronormativity’, and (c) ‘Disciplinary loyalty’. In general, participants reported instances of exclusion from course material and feelings of estrangement within the learning and teaching environment. The curriculum was often described as homophobic and heterocentric and participants recounted strategies for protecting themselves against homophobia and heterosexism which included self-imposed segregation. We also interpret a degree of ambivalence conveyed by participants with respect to the limits of inclusion for sexual minorities. Overall, these experiences had an adverse effect on the overall learning and teaching experience of these participants and we argue that this is a result of a ubiquitous heteronormative disciplinary and institutional milieu, which by its very nature, is difficult to concretely identify and challenge. This milieu serves to marginalise and routinely silence lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) individuals, lifestyles and research in Psychology. Finally, we make recommendations with respect to fostering LGB affirmative learning and teaching practices.

Keywords: Homophobia, Learning and teaching, Lesbian and Gay Psychology.

Acknowledgement: The authors would like to thank Eugenie Georgaca for inviting us to present this work at the Quality of Life and Psychology Conference, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, our Chair of Department Prof. Hazel Dewart for valuable support over several years and Anna Jessen who contributed as a research assistant in the later stages of this project. We would also like to acknowledge the UK Higher Education Authority for providing funding during the later part of this study, especially Annie Watts for her continued interest and encouragement and the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments. Finally, we would like to express our gratitude to all those who participated in the study.

Address: Ian Hodges or Carol Pearson, Department of Psychology, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW, United Kingdom. Tel.: +44-20-79115000 Ext. 2146. Fax: +44-20-79115174. E-mail: i.hodges@wmin.ac.uk and pearsoc@wmin.ac.uk

*Published in English.

Discourse analysis and psychotherapy: Examining the therapist's role

Evrinomy Avdi
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Abstract (Summary):

This review focuses on how contemporary discourse analytic studies of psychotherapy problematise and interpret the therapist’s role, drawing from a social constructionist perspective. Examples are given from recent qualitative research on psychotherapy, and in particular from studies employing discourse analysis on therapy sessions, which examines the therapist’s contribution to the unfolding clinical dialogue, and considers both the productive and the restraining effects of therapy talk. Such research throws light on the rhetorical strategies employed by constructionist/ postmodern therapists in the process of de­constructing dominant restrictive and pathologising narratives, and attempts to reveal the often hidden assumptions which inform and guide these discursive interventions, by linking interactional micro-processes in the consulting room with wider socio-political issues. It is argued that, when applied to the study of psychotherapy process, discourse analytic approaches can further our understanding of the process of therapy as an institutional practice and can raise important issues with regards to clinical training and the development of reflexive awareness on the part of the therapists, in relation to their theories, values, practice and positioning in the sociocultural context in which they operate. In this way, discourse analysis can contribute to the development of critical clinical psychology.

Keywords: Critical clinical psychology, Discourse analysis, Social constructionism.

Address: Evrinomy Avdi, School of Psychology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 541 24 Thessaloniki, Greece. Tel.: +30-2310-997363. E-mail: avdie@psy.auth.gr

*Published in Greek.

Highlighting the role of sociocultural discourses in mental distress: The contribution of qualitative psychotherapy research

Eugenie Georgaca
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Abstract (Summary):

Attending to the ways in which clients formulate the issues that bring them to therapy inevitably brings to the fore both the implication of culturally available systems of understanding and the role of expert discourses, such as medical discourse and the psychotherapeutic discourse itself, in shaping client difficulties. This paper presents and discusses qualitative analyses of psychotherapy sessions, and especially those employing discourse analysis, which have highlighted this issue and have discussed its impact in terms of pathologising clients and constraining their possibilities for change. The paper argues that qualitative research can enable psychotherapy to expand its focus from the exclusive emphasis on intrapersonal factors by demonstrating the crucial role sociocultural factors play in mental distress.

Keywords: Discourse analysis, Mental distress, Psychotherapy, Sociocultural discourses.

Address: Eugenie Georgaca, School of Psychology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 541 24 Thessaloniki, Greece. Tel.: +30-2310-997472, Fax: +30-2310- 997384, E-mail: georgaca@psy.auth.gr

*Published in Greek.

Critical psychology: Four theses and seven misconceptions

Ian Parker & Erica Burman
Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

Abstract (Summary):

Psychologists tell us that they are bit by bit discovering more and more about human behaviour and the mind. The problem is that as quickly as we find out things about human beings, those things seem to vanish before our eyes. We find that people in one or another group or culture do not behave or think as the psychological model would predict, and, more importantly, we find that our awareness, our reflection upon a process as described by a psychologist, changes that process. It is in the nature of human nature to change, to change as different linguistic resources, social practices, and representations of the self become available, and for human nature to change itself as people reflect on who they are and who they may become. This means that any attempt to fix us in place must fail. But it will only fail in such a way that something productive emerges from it if we do something different, and one place to do something different is in psychology instead. We need to step back and look at the images of the self, mind and behaviour that psychologists have produced, the types of practices they engage in, and the power those practices, those ‘technologies of the self’, have to set limits on change. We can then look at what psychologists might do instead.

Keywords: Critical psychology, Cyberpsychology, Feminist psychology, Queer psychology.

Address: Ian Parker, Division of Psychology and Social Change, Manchester Metropolitan University, Elizabeth Gaskell Campus, Hathersage Road, Manchester M13 OJA, United Kingdom. Phone: +44-161-2472573. Fax: +44-161-2476364. E-mail: I.A.Parker@mmu.ac.uk

Erica Burman, Division of Psychology and Social Change, Manchester Metropolitan University, Elizabeth Gaskell Campus, Hathersage Road, Manchester M13 OJA, United Kingdom. Phone: +44-161-2472557. Fax: +44-161-2476364. E-mail: E.Burman@mmu.ac.uk

*Published in English.

Issue 2

Perception of emotional expression in line-drawings created by artists

Despina Stamatopoulou
University of Crete, Rethymno, Greece

Abstract (Summary):

This article reports on a research project that focuses on intra-cultural and inter-cultural (Greek-Canadian) variation of the perceptual experience of artistic, non-representational line-drawings depicting the subjective experience of the emotions of joy and fear, as compared to the relevant emotion schemas stated in words. The main purpose of the study was to explore how far Greek artists and spectators are in accord as to the referential and expressive properties of line-drawings, and how emotional, perceptual and conceptual structures are related in the dynamic person-object relationship in drawings perception. Two experiments were carried out to gain insight into the complexities of self-aesthetic object interaction involving the perceptual experience, which is the basis of artistic communication, and emotional concepts that bear cultural diversity. Analysis of the results revealed a shared “embodied” frame of reference cross-culturally especially for the negative emotion of fear.

Keywords: Artistic communication, Embodiment, Emotional expression perception.

Address: Despina Stamatopoulou, Department of Philosophy and Social Studies, School of Philosophy, University of Crete, 741 00 Rethymno, Greece. E-mail: stamatop@ phl.uoc.gr

*Published in English.

Meaning-making and chronic illness: Cognitive and narrative approaches

Pagona Roussi & Evrinomy Avdi
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Abstract (Summary):

In this paper, we review literature regarding meaning-making and chronic illness from two different perspectives: the cognitive perspective and the narrative. In the first section, we briefly discuss meaning and its connection to serious illness. In the second section, we discuss meaning and chronic illness from the cognitive perspective. First, we examine the ways in which meaning-making has been conceptualized in the coping literature. Second, we present descriptive findings on the forms meaning-making takes when coping with a chronic illness. Third, we review the sociodemographic and medical correlates of meaning-making in the context of a chronic illness. Fourth, we present findings regarding the relationship between meaning-making and adaptation. In the third section, we discuss meaning and chronic illness from the narrative perspective. More specifically, we discuss issues relating to the temporal dimension in illness narratives, the biographical disruption and identity reconstruction associated with a chronic illness, the moral dimension of the illness experience and, finally, the role of social context on illness narratives. In the last section, we discuss the similarities and differences between the two approaches and identify areas where each could be fruitfully informed by the other.

Keywords: Chronic illness, Coping, Illness narratives, Meaning-making.

Address: Pagona Roussi, School of Psychology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 541 24 Thessaloniki, Greece. Phone: +30-2310-997360. Fax: +30-2310-997384. E-mail: roussi@psy.auth.gr

Evrinomy Avdi, School of Psychology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 541 24 Thessaloniki, Greece. Tel: +30-2310-997363. Fax: +30-2310-997384. E-mail: avdie@psy.auth.gr

*Published in English.

Adolescents' possible selves, achievement goal orientations, and academic achievement

Angeliki Leondari & Eleftheria N. Gonida
University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece & Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Abstract (Summary):

The study examined adolescents’ possible selves, namely the most commonly reported hoped-for and feared selves; second, the differences in possible selves in relation to gender, place of living (urban/rural), and parents’ educational level and, third, the relations between possible selves, achievement goal orientations, persistence, and academic achievement. A total of 1162 mid-adolescents (aged 15-16) of both genders from urban and rural areas were asked (a) to report their three most important hoped-for and feared selves that they currently imagined for themselves and (b) to complete a self-report questionnaire measuring achievement goal orientations and persistence. The two most frequent categories of hoped-for possible self pertained to career and social relations followed by educational, material, and personal concerns. The two most commonly listed feared selves pertained to personal and career followed by social, material, and educational concerns. Significant effects of gender and place of living on both hoped-for and feared selves were found. Students with academic or career-related possible selves as their first choice were significantly more mastery-oriented and reported higher persistence as compared to students with other priorities as regards hoped-for selves. No significant effects of feared possible selves were found.

Keywords: Academic achievement, Achievement goal orientations, Persistence, Possible selves.

Address: Angeliki Leondari, Department of Preschool Education, University of Thessaly, Argonafton & Filellinon, 382 21 Volos, Greece. Phone: +30-24210-74744. E-mail: leontari@uth.gr

*Published in English.

Perceived quality of parenting and its relations with frequency of offending and psychosocial functioning among institutionalised adolescents

Stavros P. Kiriakidis
University of Stirling, Scotland, UK

Abstract (Summary):

The present paper explored the relations of two dimensions of perceived parenting, namely care and protection, with several legal, institutional and demographic characteristics of young offenders held in custody. The sample was 152 randomly selected male young offenders from the largest young offenders’ institution in Scotland, UK. They took part in a structured interview asking several socio-demographic characteristics and they filled in the questionnaire Parental Bonding Instrument. Most of the young offenders reported a parenting style of affectionate constraint, characterised by high care and high protection. The sample of the study scored significantly higher on both care and protection in comparison to community and young offenders of previous studies. Lower perceived care was related with a higher degree of past recidivism rate, earlier age of initiation of alchohol and drug use and several indices of mental health problems. The lack of relationship between perceived care and protection suggests that perceived care and protection are rather independent dimensions of perceived parenting.

Keywords: Adolescence, Child-rearing practices, Juvenile delinquency.

Address: Stavros Kiriakidis, 29 Kapetanaki Str., Ag. Dimitrios, 173 42 Athens, Greece. Tel./Fax: +30-210-9828455. E-mail: skyriak@syros.aegean.gr & kiriaks@yahoo.gr

*Published in English.

Issue 3

Students' value beliefs, performance expectations, and school perofrmance: The effect of school subject and gender*

Georgia Stephanou
University of Western Macedonia, Florina, Greece

Abstract (Summary):

This study investigated (a) students’ performance expectations, value beliefs, and performance in mathematics, ancient Greek, physics, and language, (b) the role of students’ performance expectations and value beliefs in the perception of their school performance as successful or unsuccessful in the above school subjects, and (c) gender differences in performance expectations, value beliefs, and school performance. The sample comprised 190 girls and 160 boys of 8th grade. The results showed that (a) performance expectations, value beliefs, and school performance differed between school subjects (most valuable was considered mathematics, highest performance was expected in physics, best performance was achieved in language); (b) value beliefs and, mainly, performance expectations predicted the perception of performance as successful or not, while their relative power in discriminating the perceived successful from unsuccessful performance group of students varied across school subjects, and (c) gender effects were school subject-specific rather than global, with language being clearly favoured by girls.

Keywords: Gender, Performance expectations, Value beliefs.

Address: Georgia Stephanou, Department of Early Childhood Education, Florina School of Education, University of Western Macedonia, 531 00 Florina, Greece. Email: gstephanou@uowm.gr & egokesy1@otenet.gr

* Published in English.

Children's perceptions of loneliness*

Evangelia P. Galanaki
University of Athens, Greece

Abstract (Summary):

The aim of this study was to examine if Hymel, Tarulli, Hayden Thomson, and Terrell-Deutsch’s (1999) three-dimension model of children’s loneliness perceptions could be applied in Greece, and to examine age and gender differences in these perceptions. In addition, a more detailed examination of the emotional dimension in the perceptions of loneliness was attempted, based on Parkhurst and Hopmeyer’s (1999) hypotheses for the emotions associated with loneliness. One-hundred and eighty 2nd-, 4th-, and 6th-grade children from Athens were interviewed about their understanding and experience of loneliness. Responses fit Hymel et al.’s (1999) model for the perceptions of loneliness, with some additions. Children perceived loneliness as a painful experience with emotional, cognitive, and contextual dimensions. Statistically significant age and gender differences were found in these dimensions, as well as in the loneliness-related emotions. The implications of these findings for the existing theoretical views on loneliness are discussed and suggestions for future research are made.

Keywords: Childhood, Emotions, Loneliness.

Address: Evangelia P. Galanaki, Department of Special Education and Psychology, Faculty of Primary Education, University of Athens, G. Kolokotroni 33, 117 41 Athens, Greece. Phone: +210-3688089 & +210-9222730. Fax: +210-3688088 & +210-9222730. E-mail: egalanaki@primedu.uoa.gr

* Published in English.

Multiple meanings of a developmental perspective on psychopathology*

Michael Rutter
Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College, London, U.K.

“Multiple Meanings of a Developmental Perspective on Psychopathology” by Professor Rutter from European Journal of Developmental Psychology (2005) vol. 2 no. 3 copyright © Psychology Press Limited 2005, translated and reprinted by permission of the journal’s editor, the author and the publisher.

Address: Sir Michael Rutter, SGDP Centre, Institute of psychiatry, PO80, De Crespigny Park, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF, United Kingdom. Phone: +44-20-78480864. Fax: +44-20-78480881. E-mail: j.wickham@iop.kcl.ac.uk

Μετάφραση: Μαρία Βαϊράμη, Αριστοτέλειο Πανεπιστήμιο Θεσσαλονίκης
Επιμέλεια μετάφρασης: Παναγιώτα Βορριά, Αριστοτέλειο Πανεπιστήμιο Θεσσαλονίκης

Περίληψη: Η ανασκόπηση αυτή αρχίζει με μια συζήτηση για το τι σημαίνει αναπτυξιακή αλλαγή. Η ανάπτυξη ως έννοια είναι από τη φύση της ασαφής, ωστόσο αποτελεί ένα χρήσιμο πλαίσιο για έρευνα στην ψυχοπαθολογία. Καταγράφονται ορισμένες από τις σημαντικότερες αλλαγές κατά τη διάρκεια των τεσσάρων τελευταίων δεκαετιών στην προσέγγιση που έχει υιοθετηθεί για τη μελέτη της ανάπτυξης. Στην ανασκόπηση αυτή συζητιούνται δέκα βασικά αναπτυξιακά θέματα: (1) οι προγεννητικές επιδράσεις, (2) οι επιδράσεις της ευαίσθητης περιόδου, (3) οι διαμεσολαβητικοί μηχανισμοί των μακροχρόνιων επιπτώσεων των εμπειριών, (4) οι διαφορές σε ό,τι αφορά την ηλικία έναρξης της διαταραχής, (5) οι διαφορές φύλου, (6) η φυσιολογικότητα και η διαταραχή, (7) οι συνδέσεις μεταξύ των διαφορετικών ψυχολογικών περιοχών, (8) οι εξελίξεις στον τομέα της ψυχοπαθολογίας, (9) η ανθεκτικότητα, και (10) η αλληλεπίδραση γονιδίων-περιβάλλοντος. Η ανασκόπηση καταλήγει στο συμπέρασμα ότι η έρευνα για την ανάπτυξη είναι ένα πλούσιο πεδίο με μεγάλο δυναμικό, απαιτείται, όμως, να είναι προσανατολισμένη στη διεργασία παρά στον κανόνα. Απαραίτητη είναι η εστίαση στις διασυνδέσεις μεταξύ του εγκεφάλου και του νου, ενώ απαιτείται να επιδειχθεί μεγαλύτερο ενδιαφέρον στις ατομικές διαφορές.

Λέξεις κλειδιά: Αλληλεπίδραση γονιδίων-περιβάλλοντος, Ανάπτυξη, Ανθεκτικότητα, Διαμεσολαβητικοί μηχανισμοί, Ευαίσθητη περίοδος, Προγεννητικές επιδράσεις.

* Translated from English and published in Greek.

Ψυχή, νους, και εγκέφαλος: Μια ιστορική αναδρομή στη μελέτη των μεταξύ τους σχέσεων*

George T. Panagis & Manolis Dafermos
University of Crete, Rethymno, Greece

Abstract (Summary):

Modern neuroscience has deep roots in the history of philosophy and medicine. This article provides a brief but comprehensive history of the leading ideas on the essence of psyche, and the properties of the mind and the brain as well as their relationships and interactions. Τhe origins and the development of contemporary ideas as regards the localization of mental functions in the brain are traced. Finally, the article attempts to outline some of the major developments in the understanding of brain anatomy and function before the 20th century that gave impetus to the modern approaches of the biological basis of behavior.

Keywords: Ηistory of neuroscience, Localization of mental functions, Philosophy.

Address: George T. Panagis, Department of Psychology, University of Crete, University Campus at Gallos, 741 00 Rethymno, Greece. Phone: +30-28310-77544 & +30-28310-77521. E-mail: panagis@psy.soc.uoc.gr

Manolis Dafermos, Department of Psychology, University of Crete, University Campus at Gallos, 741 00 Rethymno, Greece. Phone: +30-28310-77544 & +30-28310-77521. E-mail: mdafermos@psy.soc.uoc.gr

* Published in Greek