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Thriving in transition : the personal characteristics and processes of thriving in young males in periods of geographic dislocation

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posted on 2023-05-26, 21:34 authored by Harris, MW
This study examined the personal characteristics and processes of thriving in a group of young men during a geographically dislocating transition. The concept of thriving broadened the traditional vulnerability and coping focus of transition research, to one that incorporated positive learning and growth. The challenging circumstances surrounding geographic dislocation provided the context for these characteristics and processes to be examined and explained. The study was conducted with 24 young male, elite athletes drawn from the Australian Football League who were required to relocate to take up their player contracts. A partially mixed, sequential design was employed, firstly to identify the features of the participant group. Despite their homogeneity on a range of instruments, the outcome variations were not adequately explained. Subsequently, the particular characteristics and processes that contributed to thriving were examined. From the results, a comprehensive analysis of the experience of the geographically, dislocating transition identified a principle group of 16 characteristics (concepts) and associated processes. Based on variations in these identified concepts, the study's participants clustered in one of three groups (categories): those who were thriving, surviving or languishing in regard to the challenge of the geographically dislocating transition. Thriving was further examined in relation to a theoretical framework of transition as a cyclical process. This was explained as a dynamic exchange across stages of transition, rather than as a standard linear model. While the transition was recursive, the stages were disjunctive and at the same time interconnected. Thriving explained by this model required the resolution of tasks associated with the concepts at each stage. For each of the categories the concepts were the same however the resolution of the associated tasks was more problematic. The recursive process of learning gave the thriving participants a significant advantage. They had a positive trajectory on the thriving transition cycle and their ability to progress was enhanced by the satisfactory resolution of issues at each stage of the challenge. Those whose tasks were poorly resolved or unresolved were less able to thrive as the transition unfolded. This study provided new insights into the characteristics and processes of thriving in a geographically dislocating transition. Thriving was observed as a cyclic, staged process where the trajectories of passage, and adjustment strategies, exerted a significant influence on the outcomes. To advance the learnings from this research and to broaden the application of possible interventions, the direction of future research should extend the methodology to other groups in transition, and to a wider range of transition challenges.

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Copyright 2009 the Author Thesis (PhD)--University of Tasmania, 2009. Includes bibliographical references

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