Jennifer E. Symonds

Jennifer E. Symonds
University College Dublin | UCD · School of Education

PhD in Psychology of Education

About

63
Publications
29,190
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
563
Citations
Introduction
Developmental psychologist of young people's learning, engagement and wellbeing
Additional affiliations
December 2015 - July 2016
Trinity College Dublin
Position
  • PostDoc Position
September 2010 - January 2012
University of Helsinki
Position
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow
August 2009 - February 2010
University of Bristol
Position
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Publications

Publications (63)
Preprint
Full-text available
This article answers a call for increased scientific precision in the conceptualization of student engagement by contributing a definition of engagement at the microlevel grain size of individual students’ momentary involvement in academic tasks. We build on the Classroom Engagement Framework, and use a dynamic systems perspective to offer a concep...
Article
Full-text available
The Professional Student Program for Educational Resilience (PROSPER) was designed to increase students’ ability to stay momentarily engaged in classwork, thus promoting educational resilience. Participants (N = 277, 51% male, 74% Irish) from two low-income schools in Dublin, Ireland (School A n = 158; School B n = 119), were assessed using the int...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research has demonstrated that student motivation and engagement can take different forms across a variety of tasks at school or college. However, no research has yet examined the forms of student momentary engagement that emerge in response to a single task. Adolescent students (N = 196) from two low-income secondary schools in Dublin, Ir...
Article
Full-text available
All individuals possess an inner voice that helps them to navigate life and its challenges. However, little is known about how children use self‐talk to maintain their momentary engagement during academic tasks. Using qualitative methods, this study investigated how 19 children (aged 8–12 years) from one primary school prospectively used self‐talk...
Article
Full-text available
This paper undertakes a critical analysis of a planned change, the Safe Learning Model (SLM), devised over time by Concern Worldwide, and implemented in 100 primary or elementary schools in a rural district of Sierra Leone. We situate the documentation pertaining to the SLM (micro) within its wider national (meso) and international (macro) context...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the greatest disruption to children’s schooling in generations. This study analyses primary school children’s emotional engagement with remote schooling during the Spring 2020 lockdown in the Republic of Ireland, which involved one of the longest school closures among rich countries at the time. It investigates whe...
Article
Full-text available
The current study investigates how internalizing and externalizing problems develop reciprocally across infancy to middle childhood, in relation to children’s gender, cognitive functioning, socioeconomic status, and parental stress. The study also examines the impact of the developmental cascade of internalizing and externalizing problems on bullyi...
Article
Full-text available
The study establishes the validity of a new measure of child and adolescent hedonic and eudaimonic wellbeing designed for international use and based on social evolutionary theory. The measure advances the fields of psychometrics and happiness studies by providing the first a-contextual assessment of both hedonic and eudaimonic wellbeing that is su...
Article
Full-text available
This study used a personal oriented approach to identify distinct combinations of children’s experiences of bullying and victimisation in the Irish primary school context. The study investigated the social and emotional characteristics that predicted those profiles at individual and classroom levels. The sample of 2,062 participants was drawn from...
Article
Purpose This paper aims to discuss the construction of two composite indices to assess children’s experiences with violence and peace in primary schools in Sierra Leone. Design/methodology/approach The authors provide a conceptual framework based on the three dimensions of the violence index (direct, structural and cultural violence) and the three...
Article
Full-text available
Children's self-talk, also known as inner speech, is an adaptive tool for regulating learning and managing the social demands of classrooms. This systematic literature review identified and analysed the existing research on children's self-talk in naturalistic classroom settings in middle childhood. Twenty-four empirical studies on naturalistic sel...
Article
Sierra Leone is one of the poorest countries in the world with a literacy level of 51%. The government has oficially abolished school fees; however, families still have to cover various education-related costs for their children. This paper analyses the nature of the schooling costs in Sierra Leone. It shows that despite the abolition of school fee...
Article
Full-text available
Investigating the risk factors associated with bullying and victimisation in Ireland is important for understanding the individual and environmental conditions in which these actions emerge, and for informing the design of preventative programmes in childhood and adolescence. The aim of this systematic review is to identify studies which, over the...
Article
Children’s time allocation plays an important role in their well-being, education and future chances in life. This paper examines children’s time use in rural Sierra Leone in the context of dynamics of power. It analyses the ways in which children co-construct their patterns of time use and create their own temporal spaces within the boundaries of...
Article
Full-text available
The aims of the present research were to evaluate the preliminary psychometric properties of a new measure for evaluating teachers’ attitudes towards the representation of homosexuality in film and television, and to explore the association between moral disengagement and teachers’ negative attitudes towards homosexual representations. Participants...
Article
The current study investigated whether a brief refutation text intervention could change college students’ misconceptions about the malleability of their intelligence and abilities. Students from a 2-year college and a 4-year university in a large urban city in the Northeastern United States participated in experimental and control conditions. A re...
Article
Full-text available
Background The transition from primary to secondary school is a period of intense sociocultural and environmental change, which can present specific challenges for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Children’s perspectives are often lacking in research on ASD, and this is also the case for research on children with ASD at the primary to...
Article
Full-text available
We systematically mapped and analyzed the longitudinal research on student engagement in adolescence published during 2010-20 to provide the review of how this topic has been covered conceptually, theoretically, and methodologically. A total of 104 studies, involving 104,304 adolescents, met inclusion criteria. Studies were mainly conducted in Nort...
Chapter
Despite the large number of studies on study/work engagement, there is relatively little integrated discussion about how engagement develops in young adulthood (18–24 years old). Consequently, this chapter reviews this area using perspectives drawn from positive psychology and developmental science. The chapter begins by discussing conceptualizatio...
Article
Full-text available
There is continued interest internationally in primary-secondary school transitions. Fourteen literature reviews of primary-secondary transitions have been published over the last 20 years, however none of them have systematically analysed primary-secondary school transition ontology, i.e., researchers’ worldviews, theories/models and frameworks. T...
Article
This paper explores the generationing of education and development in five villages in Northern Sierra Leone. Understood as ‘fields’ governed by power dynamics, we consider how the interactive ‘fields’ of generation, education and development coalesce, re/structuring adult and child ‘being’ and ‘doing’. We explore the tensions that arise between tr...
Article
In spite of widespread initiatives to improve access to education for girls, substantive concerns remain. While there is a rich and growing body of literature on gendered experiences of school in majority world contexts, absent is a focus on how this intersects with children’s out of school lives. Further, research with children in rural communitie...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Transition from primary school to secondary school is an important point in a young person's development. Children's experiences at transition have been found to have an enduring impact on their social and academic performance and potentially their success or failure at secondary school. This primary-secondary transition frequently prese...
Article
Full-text available
This study identified emergent forms of psychopathological traits and explored their role in the etiology of homophobic bullying in adolescence. Participants were 394 adolescents and young adults (41.6% male and 58.4% female) aged 15–20 years (M = 16.55; SD = .85) attending the third and fourth classes of public high schools in Italian cities. Part...
Article
This study investigates the role of family relationships and psychoticism in relation to homophobic bullying in adolescence. Participants were 394 adolescents and young adults, (164 boys and 230 girls) aged from 15 to 20 years. Participants completed the Homophobic Bullying Scale, to investigate bullying towards gay males and lesbians, the Inventor...
Technical Report
Full-text available
An ambitious social justice programme designed to help unemployed young adults develop key psychosocial competencies for finding and sustaining employment during the school-to- work transition, Career LEAP (Local Employment Action Partnership) was developed by Carmel O’Sullivan, School of Education, Trinity College Dublin, and her research team, Je...
Article
Full-text available
In the current study we investigated the developmental dynamics between positive youth development, being bullied in adolescence, gender, and sociocultural risk factors. Participants were 3,509 males (49%) and 3,656 females (51%) studied longitudinally across ages nine, thirteen, and seventeen in the Growing Up in Ireland study. Using structural eq...
Article
Full-text available
Physical activity (PA) decreases with age. The school transition is noted for significant changes in PA behaviour. Motor competence (MC), health-related fitness (HRF), and perceived competence (PC) are generally positively associated with PA. The aim of this study was to examine longitudinal cross-lagged relationships between PA, MC, HRF, and PC ac...
Preprint
Previous research has demonstrated that succinct profiles of motivation and engagement exist across students, as students engage in a variety of tasks at school or college. However, no research has yet examined whether profiles of momentary engagement emerge in response to a single task. Adolescent students (N = 312) from two low-income secondary s...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigates the impact of accessible and inaccessible role models on early adolescents’ conceptions of their identities. Accessible role models have regular direct interactions with adolescents, while inaccessible role models like celebrities do not. This investigation was based within the context of a broader educational intervention t...
Article
Full-text available
People’s motivation to engage in studying and working is an important precursor of participation and attainment. However, little is known about how motivation and the lack of motivation develops normatively across adolescence and young adulthood. Furthermore, there is no comparison of motivation and amotivation development across sequential age-gra...
Article
Full-text available
Across Europe, young adult unemployment remains an important issue. Those who have grown up in contexts of social and educational disadvantage may find it particularly difficult to find work. In response, Governments, charitable foundations and in the rare case researchers have developed programmes of training and work-based-learning to help them e...
Article
Full-text available
This guide accompanies the following article: Symonds, J. E. & O'Sullivan (2017) Educating young adults to be work-ready in Ireland and the United Kingdom: A review of programmes and outcomes. Review of Education, https://doi.org/10.1002/rev3.3099
Article
Full-text available
This special issue includes the following contributions: Symonds, J. (2017) The Irish context for research on adolescence. pp 2 - 3; Symonds, J. (2017) Enhancing adolescents' psychosocial competencies in Ireland. pp. 3 - 5; Dockray, S. (2017) Adolescent obesity-mediated inflaamation in adolescence, executive control and externalising behaviour. pp....
Article
Full-text available
This study identified the varied ways in which emotional disengagement from schoolwork typically developed between 14 and 16 years of age, in the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England. Using growth mixture modelling we found eight main trajectories of (dis)engagement, with four trajectories of either increasing or stable emotional disengage...
Article
Full-text available
Underpinned by stage-environment fit and job demands-resources theories, this study examined how adolescents’ anxiety, depressive symptoms, and positive functioning developed as they transferred from comprehensive school to further education, employment or training, or became NEET (not in education, employment or training), at age 16 years, in the...
Article
Full-text available
Adolescents typically like school less after making age-graded school transitions. Stage-environment fit theory (Eccles & Midgley, 1989) attributes this to a mismatch between developmental needs and new school environments. Our in vivo study provides a basis for future quantitative designs by uncovering the most prevalent stage-environment interact...
Book
Full-text available
School transition is a life changing event for children - they are rarely faced with such a powerful set of personal and social changes. These underpin the immediate and longer term wellbeing of children, peer groups, teachers and schools. Understanding School Transition provides a most comprehensive, international review of this important area, co...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper outlines eight steps that can be taken to turn a research idea into a dissertation proposal using International Psychology as example. Often, doctoral students enter their program with the idea to research a social or a tangible issue. However, this can be far removed from the concise academic problem that is needed for an investigation....
Article
Full-text available
This guide accompanies the following article: Jennifer Symonds and Maurice Galton. Moving to the next school at age 10-14 years: an international review of psychological development at school transition. Review of Education, 10.1002/rev3.3021
Chapter
Full-text available
Gendered identities can develop throughout the lifespan in an undulating process spurred at times by significant physiological, cognitive and social events. Two important developmental transitions occur in early adolescence (age 10-14): changing schools and puberty. This chapter reviews the development of gender identity and gender differences in s...
Chapter
Understanding what young people are doing and who they are doing it with is an important anchor for understanding how things have changed for them over time. There is a growing literature on time use, and many countries now have regular Time Use Surveys. The literature suggests some ways in which it might matter for positive youth development. This...
Chapter
Full-text available
One of the most obvious social changes over the second half of the 20th century was the increase in the proportion of young people using alcohol and different kinds of drugs. Recreational use of illegal substances has increased and is now a conspicuous part of the social landscape. We know that using substances is associated with a range of poor ou...
Chapter
Introduction Asking how young people's use of time in the UK has changed over recent decades is an important, but deceptively simple, question. How we use our time is both a measurement of direct change, and is also an index of more subtle, underlying shifts in social values and preoccupations, so it is crucial to our task of looking at social chan...
Chapter
Introduction A clear social change over the second half of the 20th century was the increase in the proportion of young people using alcohol and different kinds of other drugs, which have become a conspicuous part of the social landscape. The shifting pattern of use by young people and the possible links to trends in mental health problems are the...
Article
Full-text available
The organisation of time at school has important implications for adolescents’ development and achievement, and educators’ management of out-of-school time. However, this has been a somewhat neglected research area. This paper comprises a scoping review of existing literature and secondary analysis of data on school time, in order to map out the te...
Article
Full-text available
The classification by many scholars of numerical research processes as quantitative and other research techniques as qualitative has prompted the construction of a third category, that of 'mixed methods', to describe studies that use elements from both processes. Such labels might be helpful in structuring our understanding of phenomena. But they c...
Book
Full-text available
This longitudinal multiple methods study used an ethnographic approach to examine the development of early adolescents’ psychology during pubertal and school transitions. It explored potential associations between attitudes to school, perceptions of school life and transfer, home and peer relations, and puberty over the course of a school year. It...
Article
Full-text available
Developmentally appropriate research techniques were uncovered by involving ten Year 7 pupils as researchers in a four-hour workshop that investigated the effectiveness of multiple methods in gathering sensitive information from early adolescents. The pupils learned about, tried and evaluated the methods of generating interview questions, peer and...

Questions

Questions (2)
Question
What are your opinions, perceptions and favourite theories?
Question
I'm looking for suggestions as to how to create two groups with an identical mean value and distribution on the measured variable. Currently, I have two groups with different mean values, distributions and Ns. I have some ideas on how to do this (e.g. working from the mean value of group A, match all group B cases within 2 SDs, then use a random number generator to select a matching proportion of group B within each SD, which should create the same mean value) but I would love some (better) ideas and examples, especially that would work in SPSS. 
For example, could I specify a normal distribution within group A, then find some way to match this to group B, so that the mean values are the same?
Thanks for your input!

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (8)
Project
AI enhanced citizen science to act on plastic pollution in the sea and in rivers
Project
This project aims to investigate the impact of the 12-week undergraduate class ‘Human Learning’, on student’s academic motivation, college identity, momentary engagement in online learning, and achievement.
Project
The UCD Safe Learning Study is an innovative mixed methods study within the UCD School of Education. We assess the impact and effectiveness of Concern Worldwide's Safe Learning Model, an intervention programme focused on literacy, rights, well-being and gender equality amongst primary school children in Sierra Leone.