Pathways to flourishing of pharmacy students
Basson, Margaretha Johanna
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Spending your time „nurturing what is right‟ enables people to grow and negotiate the problems of life which is more than only fixing what is wrong. The World Health Organisation also defined well-being as more than not ill-being. Flourishing is an optimal state of well-being. The question is, „what is it that flourishers do different from non-flourishers?‟ Pharmacy students prepare themselves for a profession which is being bombarded with change; they are the pharmacists of tomorrow. Among them some students flourish and the others do not. This study aimed to look at possible pathways to flourishing that flourishers utilise. In this way the study addressed several gaps in the knowledge regarding flourishing: 1) The prevalence of flourishing among pharmacy students, 2) The role of demands and resources in flourishing of students, 3) The role of antecedent factors of basic psychological need satisfaction on the basic psychological need satisfaction of students and therefore in their flourishing, and 4) The use of positive affect regulation (an internal strategy) as a pathway to flourishing. A cross-sectional design was utilised. The study population was all the enrolled pharmacy students at the North West University during 2014. A convenience sample of 779 students participated. The measuring battery consisted of the Mental Health Continuum-Short Form (MHC-SF; Keyes, 2009), the Emotional Regulation Profile-Revised (ERP-R; Nelis, Quoidbach, Hansenne, & Mikolajczak, 2011), the Balanced Measure of Psychological Needs (BMPN; Sheldon & Hilpert, 2012), statements about the antecedents of basic psychological need satisfaction and statements about demands and resources, developed for the purpose of this study, and a demographic questionnaire. Structural equation modelling, invariance testing and latent class analysis were some of the statistical techniques used to analyse the cross-sectional data. Manuscript one addressed the prevalence of flourishing among pharmacy students as well as possible differences between the year groups. The manuscript also investigated the role of workload as a study demand and the lecturer as a study resource and the possible interaction between them in the flourishing of students. Year group as a possible moderator in the respective relationships between demands, resources, the interaction between them on the one hand and flourishing on the other, were also assessed. 40% of the group flourished whilst 57% was moderately healthy and 3% languished. The different year groups negotiated the demands and resources in their study environment differently in their path to flourishing. The possible pathways to flourishing in this context were identified as the use of lecturer support (a resource), especially when the workload (a demand) is high and the successful negotiation of workload over their four years of study. Manuscript two dealt with the impact of antecedent factors of basic psychological need satisfaction of pharmacy students on their basic psychological need satisfaction and therefore ultimately the influence of these contextual factors on their flourishing. The researcher wanted to determine whether there is a difference in the role(s) that family, peers, lecturers and workload play in the satisfaction of the students‟ basic psychological needs (relatedness, competence and autonomy). Year group as a moderator in these respective relationships was also investigated. Family and peers played the most important role in need satisfaction of students. However, lecturers can actively engage in supporting the need satisfaction of students, which would increase their levels of autonomous motivation and thereby their levels of flourishing. In manuscript three the use of internal strategies as pathways to flourishing were explored. Positive emotion regulation strategies have a positive relationship with well-being. However, a person can dampen or savour his or her positive emotions. The students were clustered into distinctive groups by means of a latent class analysis. Three distinctive groups were posterior identified based on the characteristics of group members, namely flourishers, languishers and moderately healthy students. Regression analyses of the three groups revealed that flourishers are the only group that most likely will utilise savouring positive emotion regulation strategies and refrain from utilising dampening positive emotion regulation strategies. Pathways to flourishing that flourishing pharmacy students utilise are therefore the use of savouring positive emotion regulation strategies and the non-use of dampening positive emotion regulation strategies.