Dr Terry Ng-Knight
Academic and research departmentsSchool of Psychology, Development, Education, Learning and Outreach in Psychology (DevELOP) Research Group, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.
I am a research psychologist with interests how 'positive' personality traits such as self-control develop and interact with environmental factors such as parenting, peers and socio-economic status. My main area of expertise is working with large survey and longitudinal data.
University roles and responsibilities
- Deputy Admissions Tutor
Affiliations and memberships
I have broad research interests across many areas of individual differences and developmental psychology. Some of my recent and ongoing work focuses on: the development of self-control; personality development; social mobility; socioeconomic effects on personality; transitions between schools and into work or university.
I teach on the BSc (Hons) Psychology course.
I contribute to the following modules:
- PSY1023: Classics in Personality Theory
- PSY2017: Advanced Statistics and Data Analysis
- PSY3116: Personality and Life Course Development.
I teach on the following MSc Social Psychology course.
I contribute to the PSYM140: Personality and Life Course Development module.
This article reports findings from a study undertaken in two parts between November 2006 and May 2008, investigating the drug treatment needs of new migrants to the UK. The study explored the eligibility and treatment needs of new communities in London. This article reports findings in relation to EU Accession Eight (A8) nationals’ entitlement and access to drug treatment. For this part of the study 20, in depth interviews were conducted with staff of Drug and Alcohol Action Teams and treatment services in seven London boroughs to identify levels of service provision, along with practitioners’ interpretations of entitlement to services, perceptions of local need and gaps in treatment. Additionally, 19 interviews were conducted with related service providers. Six service users were interviewed. Findings show professionals are eager to address the needs of A8 migrants but services are providing limited treatment to A8 nationals. However, entitlements vary between boroughs and decisions are pragmatic, based upon assessments of clinical necessity but also financial constraints. Decisions made on this footing can lead to services being denied despite intense need and resulting in reduced opportunities for planning. The article concludes with observations as to how provision might develop to meet a changing context.
School transition at around 11-years of age can be anxiety-provoking for children, particularly those with special educational needs (SEN). The present study adopted a longitudinal design to consider how existing transition strategies, categorized into cognitive, behavioral or systemic approaches, were associated with post-transition anxiety amongst 532 typically developing children and 89 children with SEN. Multiple regression analysis indicated that amongst typically developing pupils, systemic interventions were associated with lower school anxiety but not generalized anxiety, when controlling for prior anxiety. Results for children with SEN differed significantly, as illustrated by a Group × Intervention type interaction. Specifically, systemic strategies were associated with lower school anxiety amongst typically developing children and higher school anxiety amongst children with SEN. These findings highlight strategies that schools may find useful in supporting typically developing children over the transition period, whilst suggesting that children with SEN might need a more personalized approach.
Background Adolescence is associated with developments in the reward system and increased rates of emotional disorders. Familial risk for depression may be associated with disruptions in the reward system. However, it is unclear how symptoms of depression and anxiety influence the development of reward‐processing over adolescence and whether variation in the severity of parental depression is associated with hyposensitivity to reward in a high‐risk sample. Methods We focused on risk‐adjustment (adjusting decisions about reward according to the probability of obtaining reward) as this was hypothesized to improve over adolescence. In a one‐year longitudinal sample (N = 197) of adolescent offspring of depressed parents, we examined how symptoms of depression and anxiety (generalized anxiety and social anxiety) influenced the development of risk‐adjustment. We also examined how parental depression severity influenced adolescent risk‐adjustment. Results Risk‐adjustment improved over the course of the study indicating improved adjustment of reward‐seeking to shifting contingencies. Depressive symptoms were associated with decreases in risk‐adjustment over time while social anxiety symptoms were associated with increases in risk‐adjustment over time. Specifically, depression was associated with reductions in reward‐seeking at favourable reward probabilities only, whereas social anxiety (but not generalized anxiety) led to reductions in reward‐seeking at low reward probabilities only. Parent depression severity was associated with lowered risk‐adjustment in offspring and also influenced the longitudinal relationship between risk‐adjustment and offspring depression. Conclusions Anxiety and depression distinctly alter the pattern of longitudinal change in reward‐processing. Severity of parent depression was associated with alterations in adolescent offspring reward‐processing in a high‐risk sample.
Internal locus of control is associated with academic success and indicators of wellbeing in youth. There is however less understanding regarding the role of locus of control in shaping the transition from school to work beyond the more widely studied predictors of socioeconomic background and academic attainment. Guided by a socio-ecological model of agency, the current study examines to which extent internal locus of control, understood as an indicator of individual agency, can compensate for a lack of socioeconomic resources by moderating the association between parental disadvantage and difficulties in the transition from school to work. We draw on data collected from a longitudinal nationally representative cohort of 15,770 English youth (48% female) born in 1989/90, following their lives from age 14 to 20. The results suggest that the influence of agency is limited to situations where socioeconomic risk is not overpowering. While internal locus of control may help to compensate for background disadvantage regarding avoidance of economic inactivity and unemployment to some extent, it does not provide protection against long-term inactivity, i.e. more than 6 months spent not in education, employment or training.
This report summarizes results from the School Transition and Adjustment Research Study (STARS; www. ucl. ac. uk/stars). The report aims to provide a non-technical summary and to describe the practical implications of the research findings for parents and professionals involved in the transition from primary to secondary school. Full references are included for the scientific papers generated from this work at the end of the report and the interested reader is directed to those materials for further details.
Background Very little is known about the extent to which eleven-year olds might consider a career in medicine. This exploratory study therefore asked children and their parents about medicine as a possible career, looking also at the relationship to a range of background measures. Methods A longitudinal, three-wave, questionnaire study of students transferring from primary to secondary school (STARS), with data collection at primary school (wave 1; mean age 11.3 yrs), in the first months of secondary school (wave 2; mean age 11.7 yrs) and at the end of the first year of secondary school (wave 3; mean age 12.3 yrs). Parents/carers also completed questionnaires. Children were entering ten large comprehensive secondary schools in the south-east of England; 46.3 % were female, 15.6 % receiving free-school meals, 39.8 % were Black or Minority Ethnic and 28.8 % had a first language which was not English. Of 2287 children in the study, 1936 children (84.5 %) completed at least one questionnaire of the three waves (waves 1, 2 and 3). The main outcome measures were an open-ended question in each wave, “What job would you like to do when you grow up?”, and a more detailed questionnaire in wave 3 asking about 33 different jobs. Results 9.9 % of children spontaneously mentioned medicine as a career on at least one occasion. For the specific jobs, would-be doctors particularly preferred Hospital Medicine, followed by Surgery, General Practice and then Psychiatry. Would-be doctors were also more interested in careers such as Nurse, Archaeologist, Lawyer and Teacher, and less interested in careers such as Shopkeeper, Sportsperson, or Actor/dancer/singer/musician. Would-be doctors were less Neurotic, more Open to Experience, more Conscientious, and preferred higher prestige occupations. Those interested in medicine did not score more highly on Key Stage 2 attainment tests or Cognitive Abilities Test, did not have a higher family income or greater parental/carer education, and did not have more experience of illness or deaths among family and friends. Conclusions An interest in a medical career, unlike high prestige jobs in general, is not associated with higher educational attainment or cognitive ability, and it is likely that only one in ten of the children interested in medical careers will have sufficient educational attainment at GCSE or A-level to be able to enter medical school.
Objective The objective of the study was to elicit beliefs and experiences of the value of a screening programme for mental illness among UK military personnel. Method Three months after returning from Afghanistan 21 army personnel participated in a qualitative study about mental health screening. One-to-one interviews were conducted and recorded. Data-driven thematic analysis was used. Researchers identified master themes represented by extracts of text from the 21 complete transcripts. Results Participants made positive remarks on the advantages of screening. Noted barriers to seeking help included: unwillingness to receive advice, a wish to deal with any problems themselves and a belief that military personnel should be strong enough to cope with any difficulties. Participants believed that overcoming barriers to participating in screening and seeking help would be best achieved by making screening compulsory. Conclusions Although respondents were positive about a screening programme for mental illness, the barriers to seeking help for mental illness appear deep rooted and reinforced by the value ascribed to hardiness.
This report, commissioned by the London NTA, represents the first detailed examination there has been into the use of drug treatment services by newly arrived populations. The report was commissioned in response to requests from providers, commissioners and local authorities, and was also a recommendation from the NDTMS Analysis Stakeholder Consultation held on 16 th March 2006. The work is intended to facilitate better needs assessment, and therefore better planning of drug treatment services in London. This analysis provides a snapshot of existing legislation, policy and some early headline statistics over a short period of time. It was not intended to provide a robust measure of the rate of change within the population using services.
Objectives: Hearing problems can impair occupational functioning. Since coalition forces have been in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US military have reported an increase in hearing problems. This can result in personnel being discharged, reducing their quality of life and future employment opportunities. Deploying personnel with hearing problems can also impair military capability. Hearing problems represent a substantial cost to the government who provide clinical services and compensation. We investigate whether there are associations between hearing problems and deployment to Iraq/Afghanistan and blast exposure within UK military personnel. Methods: This is a two-phase cohort study of UK military personnel in which respondents completed questionnaires about deployment experiences and health outcomes. Data were collected between 2004 and 2006 and again between 2007 and 2009 (n=9984). Key demographic, military and deployment factors predicting hearing problems are explored using univariable and multivariable logistic regression. Results: We identified 1978 (19.4%) military personnel with hearing problems. Factors associated with hearing problems included being male (odds ratio 1.43, 95% CI 1.15-1.75), older than forty (1.44, 1.20-1.72), deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan (1.55, 1.24-1.94) and in a combat role (1.56, 1.34-1.81). Further investigation of deployed personnel showed that exposure to small arms/rocket-propelled grenade fire (2.11, 1.68-2.66), mortar attacks (1.50, 1.18-1.90), landmine strikes (2.80, 1.11-7.05), improvised explosive devices (2.37, 1.45-3.88) and firing a weapon in direct combat (2.92, 2.20-3.86) were associated with hearing problems. Conclusions: Hearing problems are associated with deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan and with exposure to blasts. These results have implications for occupational hearing conservation programmes.
Objectives We assessed changes in Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) scores over time. We investigated the impact of life events and changes in mental health status on AUDIT scores over time in UK military personnel. Methods A random representative sample of regular UK military personnel who had been serving in 2003 were surveyed in 2004–2006 (phase 1) and again in 2007–2009 (phase 2). The impact of changes in symptoms of psychological distress, probable post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), marital status, serving status, rank, deployment to Iraq/Afghanistan and smoking was assessed between phases. Results We found a statistically significant but small decrease in AUDIT scores between phases 1 and 2 (mean change = −1.01, 95% confidence interval = −1.14, −0.88). Participants reported a decrease in AUDIT scores if they experienced remission in psychological distress (adjusted mean −2.21, 95% CI −2.58, −1.84) and probable PTSD (adjusted mean −3.59, 95% CI −4.41, −2.78), if they stopped smoking (adjusted mean −1.41, 95% CI −1.83, −0.98) and were in a new relationship (adjusted mean −2.77, 95% CI −3.15, −2.38). On the other hand, reporting new onset or persistent symptoms of probable PTSD (adjusted mean 1.34, 95% CI 0.71, 1.98) or a relationship breakdown (adjusted mean 0.53, 95% CI 0.07, 0.99) at phase 2 were associated with an increase in AUDIT scores. Conclusions The overall level of hazardous alcohol consumption remains high in the UK military. Changes in AUDIT scores were linked to mental health and life events but not with deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan.
Background: Friendships have been linked to mental health and school attainment in children. The effects of friendlessness and friendship quality have been well researched but less is known about the role of friendship stability (i.e., maintaining the same friend over time), an aspect of friendship which is often interrupted by the transition between phases of schooling. Many children report concerns about the secondary school transition which introduces a number of new social and academic challenges for children. Aims: To explore rates of friendship stability and whether maintaining a stable best friend across the primary to secondary school transition provided benefits to children’s adjustment during this period. Sample: Data were from 593 children (M age = 11 years 2 months). Methods: This study used longitudinal data from children transitioning into 10 UK secondary schools and explored the association between self-reported friendship stability and three outcomes: academic attainment, emotional problems, and conduct problems. Analyses controlled for friendship quality and pre-transition psychological adjustment or attainment as appropriate. Results: Rates of friendship stability were relatively low during this period. Children who kept the same best friend had higher academic attainment and lower levels of conduct problems. Exploratory analyses indicated that secondary school policies that group children based on friendships may support friendship stability. Conclusions: Helping maintain children’s best friendships during the transition to secondary school may contribute to higher academic performance and better mental health.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent restrictions imposed by governments worldwide have had profound social and psychological effects, particularly for young adults. This study used longitudinal data to characterise effects on mental health and behaviour in a UK student sample, measuring sleep quality and diurnal preference, depression and anxiety symptoms, wellbeing and loneliness, and alcohol use. Self-report data was collected from 254 undergraduates (219 females) at a UK university at two-time points: autumn 2019 (baseline, pre-pandemic) and April/May 2020 (under 'lockdown' conditions). Longitudinal analyses showed a significant rise in depression symptoms and a reduction in wellbeing at lockdown. Over a third of the sample could be classed as clinically depressed at lockdown compared to 15% at baseline. Sleep quality was not affected across the sample as a whole. The increase in depression symptoms was highly correlated with worsened sleep quality. A reduction in alcohol use, and a significant shift towards an 'evening' diurnal preference, were also observed. Levels of worry surrounding contracting COVID-19 were high. Results highlight the urgent need for strategies to support young people's mental health: alleviating worries around contracting COVID, and supporting good sleep quality, could benefit young adults' mental health as the COVID-19 crisis unfolds.
There is increasing evidence that childhood Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) elevates risk of later depression, but the mechanisms behind this association are unclear. We investigated the relationship between childhood ADHD symptoms and late-adolescent depressive symptoms in a population cohort, and examined whether academic attainment and peer problems mediated this association. ALSPAC (Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children) is an ongoing prospective longitudinal population-based UK cohort that has collected data since September 1990. 2950 individuals with data on parent-reported ADHD symptoms in childhood (7.5 years) and self-reported depressive symptoms in late adolescence (17.5 years) were included in analyses. 2161 individuals with additional data at age 16 years on parent-reported peer problems as an indicator of peer relationships and formal examination results (General Certificate of Secondary Education; GCSE) as an indicator of academic attainment were included in mediation analyses. Childhood ADHD symptoms were associated with higher depressive symptoms ( b = 0.49, SE = 0.11, p
There is now an abundance of research which has demonstrated that military personnel who deploy on operations are at increased risk of suffering a variety of mental health difficulties in the immediate and long-term post-deployment period. One consequence of these research findings has been the development of a variety of programmes which attempt to mitigate the increased psychological risk and to assist personnel who are returning from a deployment to make a smooth transition home. Using a three-tiered prevention model, this article reviews some of the key post-deployment issues facing the UK Armed Forces and highlights the recent interventions which have been put in place to promote successful adjustment in the early post-deployment period. The paper is based upon research identified through a thorough literature search for studies which focused on this area and included a recognized measure of mental health as an outcome. The paper focuses on three main areas; psychological decompression, psycho-education and screening. The current philosophical approaches to post-deployment mental health problems of some of the UK's coalition partners are also discussed.
Emerging evidence suggests interventions can improve childhood self-regulation. One intervention approach that has shown promise is Taekwondo martial arts instruction though little is known about its acceptability among stakeholders or its mechanisms of effect. We extend evidence on Taekwondo interventions in three ways: (1) testing the efficacy of a standard introductory course of Taekwondo; (2) assessing the acceptability of Taekwondo instruction among school children; and (3) investigating two self-regulatory mechanisms by which Taekwondo may operate (executive functions and motivation). This paper reports findings from a randomized control trial implementing a standard 11-week beginners’ course of Taekwondo. Participants were from a mixed-sex, non-selective UK primary school (N = 240, age range 7 to 11 years). Measures of self-regulation included teacher-rated effortful control, impulsivity, prosocial behavior and conduct problems; computer-based assessments of executive functions; and child self-reported expectancies and values to use self-regulation. Post-intervention, children in the Taekwondo condition were rated by teachers as having fewer symptoms of conduct problems and better effortful control (specifically attentional control), they also had better executive attention assessed by a Flanker Task. Effects were not found for teacher-rated inhibitory control, activation control, impulsivity and prosocial behavior, or for assessments of response inhibition, verbal working memory, and switching. Taekwondo was rated very positively by children. Finally, there was evidence that children who completed Taekwondo classes reported higher expectancies and values to use self-regulation and that expectancies and values mediated intervention effects on self-regulation. We conclude that short standard Taekwondo courses are well-received by pupils, improve attentional self-regulation and reduce symptoms of conduct-problems.
Stress has been shown to have a causal effect on risk for depression. We investigated the role of cognitive ability as a moderator of the effect of stressful life events on depressive symptoms and whether this varied by gender. Data were analyzed in two adolescent data sets: one representative community sample aged 11–12 years (n = 460) and one at increased familial risk of depression aged 9–17 years (n = 335). In both data sets, a three-way interaction was found whereby for girls, but not boys, higher cognitive ability buffered the association between stress and greater depressive symptoms. The interaction was replicated when the outcome was a diagnosis of major depressive disorder. This buffering effect in girls was not attributable to coping efficacy. However, a small proportion of the variance was accounted for by sensitivity to environmental stressors. Results suggest that this moderating effect of cognitive ability in girls is largely attributable to greater available resources for cognitive operations that offer protection against stress-induced reductions in cognitive processing and cognitive control which in turn reduces the likelihood of depressive symptomatology.
Objective Previous studies have shown that individual differences in self‐control emerge early in childhood and predict a range of important outcomes throughout childhood and adulthood. There is, however, less knowledge about the social origins of self‐control, including the mechanisms by which early socioeconomic adversity may lead to lower levels of self‐control. This study aimed to extend understanding of the link between socioeconomic adversity and self‐control by (a) testing which individual aspects of socioeconomic risk uniquely predict lower self‐control; (b) testing whether objective socioeconomic risk operates independently of, or via, subjective parental stress; and (c) examining the interplay of socioeconomic risk factors and individual differences in children's temperament as predictors of early self‐control. Method Data were from a UK population birth cohort of 18,552 children born in 2000 and 2001. Results Multiple individual socioeconomic risk factors have independent associations with children's self‐control, including low parental education, income, and occupational class; insecure housing tenure; and younger parenthood. Results point to independent additive effects of exposure to objective and subjective risk. There was evidence of mothers' subjective stress partially mediating objective socioeconomic risks but only weak evidence of hypothesized interaction effects between temperament and socioeconomic risk. Conclusions Results were consistent with additive risk and bioecological perspectives.
Objectives There are concerns that alcohol misuse among military personnel could have serious consequences for both individual and organisational functioning. Research has found alcohol misuse to be particularly high in the UK Armed Forces, even when taking into account the UK general population's enthusiastic drinking behaviour. We aim to provide up-to-date information on alcohol misuse in the UK Armed Forces and explore changes in consumption. Methods A two-phase cohort study of UK military personnel in which respondents completed questionnaires about military experiences and health outcomes. Data were collected between 2004 and 2006 and again between 2007 and 2009 (n=9984). Factors predicting new-onset alcohol misuse at phase 2 are explored using univariable and multivariable logistic regression. Results At phase two 13% (n=1323) of personnel report alcohol misuse, which is associated with both deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan and with combat roles. Alcohol misuse has reduced among regular personnel who responded to both phases (from 14.2% to 10.9%). Baseline factors associated with new-onset alcohol problems are being younger, being single, having a combat role, smoking, mental health difficulties, having parents with drink/drug problems. New-onset mental health difficulties and marital breakdown were also linked to new-onset alcohol problems, while military deployment and leaving the Armed Forces were not. Conclusions Alcohol-reduction programmes may benefit from targeting resources at those most at risk (such as those in combat roles). Associations with other habits (ie, smoking) and personal difficulties (eg, divorce) indicate that combined welfare programmes may be beneficial in maintaining a healthy workforce.
Arguments for public involvement in science and technology are often based on ideas of developing a more capable public and the assumed effects this may have for science. However, such a relationship is yet to be sufficiently explored and recent work indicates that a more involved public may have counterintuitive effects. Using nationally representative survey data for the UK and Northern Ireland, the effects of the public’s own beliefs about involvement are explored. Developing the concept of “belief in public efficacy,” findings suggest those who believe that the public might be able to affect the course of decision making have less approving attitudes towards future applications of genetic science; however, an individual’s political efficacy does not significantly influence these attitudes. Furthermore, political efficacy and belief in public efficacy have some distinct and opposing relationships with the principles of governance people prefer. Overall, findings provide support for suggestions that it is simplistic to consider increasing public involvement as a way of increasing the approval of risky new technologies.
Job embeddedness is a relatively new concept that offers the potential to improve our ability to explain why people stay in their jobs. This article outlines the development and testing of new measures of on‐ and off‐the‐job embeddedness. Analyses of survey data show the measures demonstrate adequate psychometric properties across samples (three military and one nonmilitary organization) and across different organizational levels, genders, and tenure, as well as discriminant validity over other turnover‐relevant constructs and appropriate convergent validity with a number of further constructs identified in the literature.
This study examined the co-development of educational expectations and effort (conceptualized as indicators of individual agency) during secondary school and assessed their role as predictors of academic success, controlling for prior academic attainment and parental social background. Drawing on data collected for the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE), a nationally representative sample, the findings suggest reciprocal effects between expectations and effort, shaped by family SES and prior academic attainment. Agency is not a static construct, it is not fully determined by family SES and students adapt their functioning and choices in response to informative feedback loops.
Maternal depression is associated with reduced academic attainment in children, however, it is not clear how this association comes about. Depressive symptoms are associated with impairment in social roles including parenting. Children’s self-control is an important contributor to academic attainment and is influenced by parenting. We therefore hypothesised that impaired parenting and children’s self-control may mediate links between maternal depression and children’s academic attainment. Data were from a brief longitudinal study (3 waves) of UK children aged 11-12 years and their mothers. Higher maternal depressive symptoms at baseline were associated with lower academic attainment in children assessed one year later. There was evidence to support an indirect effect of maternal depressive symptoms on children’s academic attainment through the mother-child and the father-child relationship which, in turn, reduced children’s self-control. These influences were independent of socio-economic deprivation. A direct effect of maternal depression on children’s academic attainment was also observed.
Higher self-control in children and adolescents is associated with a range of positive outcomes in adulthood. However, little is known about the naturalistic development of self-control during early adolescence and the factors that affect this. We examined the role of puberty and parenting style as theoretically important influences on stability and change in self-control. A longitudinal (3 waves), multiple-informant dataset of children entering early adolescence (M = 11 years) was used to explore longitudinal change in self-control using latent growth curve modelling. Children's self-control declined during the one-year study period and declines were associated with children's behavioural and social functioning. Associations with self-control were found for pubertal status and parental warmth and hostility, but not for parental discipline. The findings suggest that during early adolescence, when children make the transition to secondary school, self-control declines. This is particularly the case for those experiencing puberty earlier than their peers. Parent warmth influences the trajectory of self-control during this period.
Objective This study extends existing research on the role of infant temperament as a moderator of the association between the quality of parent‐child relationships and children’s self‐control during the pre‐school years. In particular, we focus on the potential moderating role of a dimension of early infant temperament known as behavioural inhibition. Assumptions formulated within the diathesis‐stress, the vantage‐sensitivity and the differential susceptibility models of individual differences in environmental sensitivity are tested. Method Data are from the Millennium Cohort Study, a nationally representative birth cohort of 18,552 infants born in the UK during 2000/01. Results The results show that the quality of both mother‐child and father‐child relationships are associated with children’s development of self‐control in early childhood. Additionally, individual differences in infant temperament moderate the association between mother‐child conflict and children’s development of self‐control. Specifically, high behavioural inhibition shows a vantage‐sensitivity pattern for mother‐child conflict. Conclusion Aspects of both mothers’ and fathers’ relationships with their young children independently predict variations in self‐control. This study also provides an initial indication that behavioural inhibition, a temperamental trait best‐known for being a risk factor for anxiety, may provide small benefits in relation to young children’s self‐control development.
With changing retirement ages and an aging workforce, interest is growing on the potential contribution of relevant bundles of HR practices in eliciting well‐being and performance among aging workers. Drawing on theories on lifespan development and self‐regulation, we distinguished two bundles of HR practices: development HR practices that help individual workers reach higher levels of functioning (e.g. training), and maintenance HR practices that help individual workers maintain their current levels of functioning in the face of new challenges (e.g. performance appraisal). Further, based on lifespan theories, we expected and found that the association between development HR practices and well‐being (i.e. job satisfaction, organisational commitment and organisational fairness) weakens, and that the associations between maintenance HR practices and well‐being, and between development HR practices and employee performance, strengthen with age. In addition, a third bundle of ‘job enrichment’ HR practices emerged that elicited higher job performance among aging workers.
The transition from primary to secondary schooling is challenging and involves a degree of apprehension. The extent to which pre-existing mental health difficulties, as well as pupil, parent, and teacher concerns and expectations about secondary school predict adaptation to secondary school, is unclear. In a three wave, prospective longitudinal study, we examined associations between pre-transition concerns and expectations about moving to secondary school with mental health difficulties and demographic factors. We then evaluated whether these constructs predicted multiple indicators of adaptive pupil functioning at the end of the first year of secondary school (academic attainment, classmate behaviour rating, school liking and loneliness at school). We found children’s concerns reduced across the transition period. Concurrent associations were identified between both concerns about secondary school and lower parent and teacher expectations that children would settle in well at secondary school, with mental health difficulties and special educational needs. Investigating associations with multiple indicators of adaptive functioning at secondary school, multivariable regression analyses controlling for a range of baseline factors (e.g. special educational needs), found children’s concerns about secondary school to be specifically associated with loneliness. In contrast, children’s mental health difficulties and both parent and teacher expectations of how well children would settle into secondary school were associated with a wider range of indicators of adaptive functioning at secondary school. When examining all predictors simultaneously, primary school teacher expectations showed longitudinal association with a wide range of indicators of successful transition. These findings suggest that assessing primary school teacher expectations may be useful for monitoring and supporting pupils through this transition period and could usefully inform school-based interventions to support transition and mental health. attainment
Research predicated on self-determination theory (SDT) has established a positive relationship between autonomy-supportive teaching and a range of desired student outcomes. Therefore, the enhancement of autonomy-supportive teaching is a legitimate focus of efforts to improve student outcomes. In this study, we compared self-reported levels of autonomy-supportive teaching amongst different educational professionals and explored the relationships between four hypothesised antecedents of autonomy support: constraints at work, perceived competence for teaching, perceptions of students’ autonomous motivation towards school and autonomous motivation for teaching. Questionnaire data from 429 teachers and teaching assistants (TAs) working in schools in the United Kingdom (UK) revealed that teachers report significantly more autonomy-supportive teaching than do TAs. Structural equation modelling indicated that the more teachers feel competent, the more their teaching is autonomy-supportive. Amongst a range of other significant findings, teachers, but not TAs, who experience fewer constraints at work are more autonomously motivated towards teaching. The findings suggest that differences in autonomy-supportive teaching may account, at least in part, for the differential impact of teachers and TAs on academic progress as revealed by recent large-scale research in the UK. Furthermore, they identify social-contextual variables that should be considered when attempting to promote autonomy-supportive teaching and educators’ motivation towards teaching.