Using culture to manage the transition into university: Conceptualising the dynamics of withdrawal and engagement

Märtsin, Mariann, Chang, Ivan, & Obst, Patricia L. (2016) Using culture to manage the transition into university: Conceptualising the dynamics of withdrawal and engagement. Culture and Psychology, 22(2), pp. 276-295.

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Abstract

This conceptual paper explored the purposes of using culture in the process of coping with stress by looking how first year undergraduate students used cultural elements and activities to aid their transition into university. Results supported two key conceptualisations of the use of culture. Firstly, results indicated that students used culture either for withdrawal purposes, i.e., for escaping from the stressful situation, or for engagement purposes, i.e., for actively engaging with the stressful situation. Secondly, the results suggested three different forms of using culture to engage with stressful situations: mood management, learning, and personal interaction. While the results of the study resonate with the distinction between avoidance versus approach-oriented coping strategies that are widely explored in the stress and coping literature, they also suggest that the relationship between withdrawal and engagement might be dynamic with those two strategies serving distinct purposes in the process of coping with stress. The paper thus suggests that there is a need to develop process-oriented models of coping that would allow identifying patterns in the way people fluctuate between withdrawal and engagement that support and facilitate their personal growth and development.

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ID Code: 84552
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: culture use, avoidance-oriented coping, approach-oriented coping, transition into university, symbolic use of culture
DOI: 10.1177/1354067X15621476
ISSN: 1461-7056
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Psychology not elsewhere classified (170199)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Deposited On: 28 May 2015 22:12
Last Modified: 18 May 2016 06:49

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