Nikki Rickard

Nikki Rickard
Monash University (Australia) · School of Psychological Sciences

PhD, BBSc(Hons)

About

97
Publications
122,131
Reads
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4,206
Citations

Publications

Publications (97)
Article
Full-text available
High quality monitoring of mental health and well-being over an extended period is essential to understand how communities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and how to best tailor interventions. Multiple community threats may also have cumulative impact on mental health, so examination across several contexts is important. The objective of this stud...
Preprint
Full-text available
This research compared older members of choirs and exercise groups over 7 months to track whether longer-term improvements of wellbeing could be measured. We found increases in emotional wellbeing for both groups and a decrease in mental wellbeing between Time 1 and Time 2. No changes were found in sense of social connection or empathy. Qualitative...
Article
Full-text available
As populations age, it is critical to understand how psycho-social wellbeing supports successful ageing. The health sector is increasingly asking how best to improve social connection and affective state because of their positive influence on overall health. Choral participation has been proposed as a particularly effective way to improve socio-emo...
Article
As the application of positive education becomes more prevalent in schools, the importance of gathering information on optimal processes and outcomes associated with the programs, increases. The fulfillment of psychological needs such as competence, relatedness and autonomy, have seldomly been explored, yet they seem inextricably linked with well-b...
Article
Full-text available
Objective There is an abundance of evidence supporting the efficacy of computerised cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), but few studies have evaluated mobile applications (apps) that provide CBT strategies. This study investigating the relationships between mental health outcomes and engagement with a mobile app that recommended short CBT strategi...
Article
Objective:: To determine the size of the effects and feasibility (recruitment and retention rates) of a therapeutic songwriting protocol for in-patients and community-dwelling people with acquired brain injury or spinal cord injury. Design:: Randomized controlled trial with songwriting intervention and care-as-usual control groups, in a mixed me...
Article
Full-text available
Choir membership has been shown to improve emotional states and facilitate social connectedness. It is, however, less clear whether these benefits are unique to group singing or are shared by other social group activities that include some of the characteristics of choirs other than singing, such as music listening and social interaction. This rese...
Article
Full-text available
Given the ubiquity and interactive power of smartphones, there are opportunities to develop smartphone applications (apps) that provide novel, highly accessible mental health supports. This paper details the development of a smartphone app, “MoodMission,” that aims to provide evidence-based Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) strategies for mood- and...
Article
Many smartphone applications (apps) for mental health (MHapps) are available to the public. However, few have been the subject of a randomized controlled trial (RCT), and the change processes that are hypothesized to mediate claimed effects have not been previously studied. This RCT compared the efficacy of three publicly available MHapps to a wait...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: This pilot study examined how fifteen participants in early rehabilitation described their self-composed songs six- to twelve-months following participation in a 6-week identity-focused songwriting program. Specific focus was given to the process of meaning making and identity reconstruction in the participants' self-composed songs. Met...
Article
Full-text available
Emotion regulation (ER) becomes increasingly important across adolescent development, and promotes psychological flexibility, resilience and well-being in youth. Positive education programs (PEPs) combine academic training with positive psychology interventions (PPIs) to increase well-being and reduce mental ill-health. Despite considerable overlap...
Article
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Background: Frequent expression of negative emotion words on social media has been linked to depression. However, metrics have relied on average values, not dynamic measures of emotional volatility. Objective: The aim of this study was to report on the associations between depression severity and the variability (time-unstructured) and instabili...
Article
Full-text available
Acquired brain injury (ABI) presents a significant threat to sense of self and necessitates a complex process of psychosocial adjustment. Self-concept changes remain understudied in the early stages of inpatient rehabilitation. The aim of the current study was to examine changes in self-concept, distress, wellbeing and functional skills for five in...
Article
Full-text available
MUSIC ENGAGEMENT IS COMPLEX AND IS INFLUENCED by music training, capacity, preferences, and motivations. A multi-modular self-report instrument (the Music Use and Background Questionnaire, or MUSEBAQ) was developed to measure a diverse set of music engagement constructs. Based on earlier work, a hybrid approach of exploratory and confirmatory analy...
Article
Full-text available
Recent studies have demonstrated increased activity in brain regions associated with emotion and reward when listening to pleasurable music. Unexpected change in musical features intensity and tempo - and thereby enhanced tension and anticipation - is proposed to be one of the primary mechanisms by which music induces a strong emotional response in...
Article
Full-text available
Context/Objective: Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) patients face unique identity challenges associated with physical limitations, higher comorbid depression, increased suicidality and reduced subjective well-being. Post-injury identity is often unaddressed in subacute rehabilitation environments where critical physical and functional rehabilitation goals...
Article
Full-text available
PERSONAL MUSIC LISTENING ON MOBILE PHONES IS rapidly growing as a popular means of everyday engagement with music. This portable and flexible style of listening allows for the immediate selection of music to fulfil emotional needs, presenting it as a powerful resource for emotion regulation. The experience sampling method (ESM) is ideal for observi...
Article
Full-text available
Background Neurological trauma is associated with significant damage to people’s pre-injury self-concept. Therapeutic songwriting has been linked with changes in self-concept and improved psychological well-being. Objective This study analyzed the lyrics of songs composed by inpatients with neurological injuries who participated in a targeted song...
Article
Full-text available
Physiological measures provide a useful complement to self-report indices of mental health and well-being. The cortisol awakening response (CAR) has been associated with mental distress, but less consistently so with positive functioning. In this study, the utility of two CAR indices as a measure of the full spectrum of mental health and well-being...
Article
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Well-being program evaluations mostly focus on identifying effective outcomes rather than measuring the actual extent to which program participants may apply learned skills in subsequent everyday lives. This study examined the feasibility of using a newly developed mobile experience sampling app called Wuzzup to study program implementation in youn...
Article
Full-text available
Background Emotional well-being is a primary component of mental health and well-being. Monitoring changes in emotional state daily over extended periods is, however, difficult using traditional methodologies. Providing mental health support is also challenging when approximately only 1 in 2 people with mental health issues seek professional help....
Article
Full-text available
Background Social networking sites (SNSs) have become a pervasive part of modern culture, which may also affect mental health. Objective The aim of this systematic review was to identify and summarize research examining depression and anxiety in the context of SNSs. It also aimed to identify studies that complement the assessment of mental illness...
Article
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Group singing is a common feature of classroom-based music education, and has often been proposed to have benefits that extend beyond acquisition of music skills, primarily in academic achievement. However, potential social and emotional well-being benefits have been under-represented in these discussions. This article proposes that an evolutionary...
Article
Full-text available
An important aspect of researching everyday music use is determining the reasons people have for listening to music. While this has been the focus of an extensive body of research, findings have been inconsistent, and the frequencies and affective outcomes of different reasons for listening remain unclear. Emotional reasons for listening are of par...
Article
Full-text available
Background: This study aimed to construct knowledge about the mechanisms of change active during a songwriting intervention for people in early stage recovery post acquired neurological injury.Methods: A total of 10 participants engaged in a 12-session songwriting programme that targeted examination of self-concept. Measures of self-concept, depres...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The number of mental health apps (MHapps) developed and now available to smartphone users has increased in recent years. MHapps and other technology-based solutions have the potential to play an important part in the future of mental health care; however, there is no single guide for the development of evidence-based MHapps. Many curren...
Article
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Emotion-enhanced memory occurs when an arousal response to an emotion stimulus strengthens memory consolidation. We tested whether listening to emotionally arousing music enhanced memory in this way. In a within-subjects design, 37 participants (18 to 50 years, 22 female) listened to two of their own highly enjoyed music tracks, two self-rated neut...
Article
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Music has been demonstrated to induce strong emotional responses in listeners, but listeners’ capacity to regulate this response has not yet been experimentally examined. In this study, 32 participants (Mage = 20.22 years, SD = 2.45; 72% female) listened to short music excerpts (four “happy” and four “sad” pieces) with instructions to “feel” or to...
Article
Full-text available
Anecdotal evidence suggests that songwriting assists people with spinal cord injury (SCI) or acquired brain injury (ABI) to explore threats to self-concept, yet studies that explore the mechanisms of change have not been reported. In a pilot study we explored the correlations between changes in self-concept and wellbeing, with mechanisms of flow an...
Article
Full-text available
A positive self-concept after neurological injury is associated with enhanced quality of life and good mental health. Therefore, effective reconstruction of identity is heralded as an important goal of rehabilitation. We have developed and tested a songwriting protocol for people with acquired brain injury and/or spinal cord injury (SCI) that focus...
Article
Full-text available
Veterans commonly report listening to music as a means of self-managing their mental health, yet no research has systematically explored how veterans use music for the purpose of regulating their emotions. In the current study, surveys were completed by 205 Australian veterans (mean age 59.57, SD 0.83), assessing their affective mental health (depr...
Article
Full-text available
Mental health is not only the absence of mental illness, but also the presence of positive well-being. Music is often cited as an effective tool for regulating emotions and may also promote well-being because music facilitates one’s ability to regulate the experience and expression of emotions. This study aimed to examine the pathways by which musi...
Article
Full-text available
Music is frequently used to support emotional health and well-being, with emotion regulation the most commonly reported mechanism. Music-based emotion regulation has not yet been extensively investigated within the broader emotion regulation framework. The effects of music-based emotion regulation on emotional state and well-being outcomes have als...
Article
Full-text available
The measurement of everyday music use remains a challenge for researchers, with many of the available methodologies limited by intrusiveness or lack of ecological validity. The Experience Sampling Method (ESM) addresses such limitations by assessing current subjective experience at various times throughout participants’ everyday functioning. The ai...
Article
Full-text available
The mediating effects of emotion regulation (reappraisal and suppression) were examined in the relationship between music engagement and well-being. Emotion regulation strategies (Emotion Regulation Questionnaire; Gross & John, 2003) and styles of music engagement (Music Use questionnaire; Chin & Rickard, 2012) were assessed in a large diverse samp...
Article
Full-text available
Music training has been found to produce a range of cognitive benefits for young children, although well-controlled evaluation of the effects on psychosocial functioning has been limited. In this study participants were recruited from two grade levels (prep/grade 1, N = 210; grade 3, N = 149), and were allocated to a music education condition, or a...
Chapter
This chapter analyzes the similarities and differences of meaning in language and music, with a special focus on the neural underpinning of meaning. In particular, factors (e.g., emotion) that are internal to an agent are differentiated from factors that arise from the interaction with the external environment and other agents (e.g., sociality and...
Article
Full-text available
The sustainability of changes in well-being achieved via positive interventions is challenged by findings that happiness levels are constrained by a homeostatic set-point. In this paper, we propose that while generally stable, the neurological and psychophysiological bases of well-being demonstrate plasticity. The neurobiological underpinnings of t...
Article
Memory processing requires tightly controlled signalling cascades, many of which are dependent upon intracellular calcium. Despite this, most work investigating calcium (Ca(2+)) signalling in memory formation has focused on plasma membrane channels and extracellular sources of Ca(2+). The intracellular Ca(2+) release channels, ryanodine receptors (...
Article
Musicianship is traditionally denoted by a history and level of expertise achieved through formal music training. In research investigating cognitive and health benefits of music, it has been usual for a distinction to be made between =musicians' and nonmusicians'. In this chapter, we explore a range of other forms of engagement with music, includi...
Article
Full-text available
Can music listening offer reliable cognitive benefits? If so, how is this achieved? These outwardly simple questions are at the heart of decades of research that has now accumulated to examine the cognitive effects of music listening. The most well known of these is the infamous Mozart Effect which describes a short-lived improvement in abstract re...
Article
Full-text available
Enhancing emotional well-being is one of the primary goals of listening to music. People report listening to music for a range of emotional purposes, including to 'feel better', to reduce stress, to become energized, for great pleasure, and for the intensity of the emotional experience. The evidence that music listening is effective in enhancing po...
Article
Full-text available
Music training has been associated with a range of academic, cognitive and psychosocial benefits. These non-music benefits are often used to justify the importance of maintaining music education within a 'crowded' school curriculum. However, most of this type of research into music education has focussed on extra curriculum music training which typ...
Book
Music psychology is the study of how humans experience and perceive music, and the impact this has on individuals, groups and communities. Engaging with music - whether by performing, creating, learning or listening - can have significant benefits across the lifespan. This book explores how music can promote mental health and functioning in diverse...
Article
Full-text available
Research on whether music facilitates recall has been inconsistent and has lacked a theoretical basis. Three competing emotion-based theories yield differential predictions dependent on arousal levels, mood congruence, and functional relevance of information respectively. The aim of this study was to determine the most informative framework to unde...
Article
Full-text available
active engagement with music has been associated with cognitive, emotional, and social benefits, although measures of musicianship are typically limited to music training. A self-report questionnaire was developed to assess both quality and quantity of different forms of music use, with eight music background items, and a further 124 items testing...
Article
Full-text available
Previous studies demonstrate that private music training has benefits which may transfer to other domains, including verbal memory, intelligence and self-esteem. The current paper reports on the impact of an increase in school-based music training on a range of cognitive and psychosocial measures for 10–13-year-olds in two independent studies. In t...
Article
Full-text available
Musicianship is traditionally denoted by a history and level of expertise achieved through formal music training. In research investigating cognitive and health benefits of music, it has been usual for a distinction to be made between =musicians' and nonmusicians'. In this chapter, we explore a range of other forms of engagement with music, includi...
Article
Can music listening offer reliable cognitive benefits? If so, how is this achieved? These outwardly simple questions are at the heart of decades of research that has now accumulated to examine the cognitive effects of music listening. The most well known of these is the infamous Mozart Effect which describes a short-lived improvement in abstract re...
Article
Full-text available
Enhancing emotional well-being is one of the primary goals of listening to music. People report listening to music for a range of emotional purposes, including to 'feel better', to reduce stress, to become energized, for great pleasure, and for the intensity of the emotional experience. The evidence that music listening is effective in enhancing po...
Book
Music psychology is the study of how humans experience and perceive music, and the impact this has on individuals, groups and communities. Engaging with music - whether by performing, creating, learning or listening - can have significant benefits across the lifespan. This book explores how music can promote mental health and functioning in diverse...
Article
Full-text available
Emotional events tend to be retained more strongly than other everyday occurrences, a phenomenon partially regulated by the neuromodulatory effects of arousal. Two experiments demonstrated the use of relaxing music as a means of reducing arousal levels, thereby challenging heightened long-term recall of an emotional story. In Experiment 1, particip...
Article
Full-text available
Although there are many examples of notable string programmes there has been relatively little comparative analysis of these programmes. This paper examines three benchmark string programmes (The University of Illinois String Project, The Tower Hamlets String Teaching Project and Colourstrings) alongside Music4All, an innovative string programme ru...
Article
Full-text available
Impairment of nitric oxide (NO) production, ryanodine receptor (RyR) calcium channel function and adrenoceptor activation have been found to prevent the formation of the long-term memory stage in young chicks trained on a single-trial discrimination avoidance task. The current study investigated whether these three activities were linked, and if so...
Article
Full-text available
Research reveals background music played during learning can variously enhance or impair memory, although the conditions which determine its effect are not yet understood. Possible explanations for the differing effects of music on memory include characteristics of the music itself, such as tempo and lyrics, induced mood of the listener and persona...
Article
The role of small-conductance calcium-activated potassium (SK) channels in memory formation was explored in chicks trained on a single-trial discrimination avoidance task. Blockade of SK channels using apamin (1 nM, 0.02 ng/hem, i.c.) impaired long-term memory retention when administered between 10 min prior to, and 30 min after, training. Apamin (...
Article
Memory consolidation processes occur slowly over time, allowing recently formed memories to be altered soon after acquisition. Although post-learning arousal treatments have been found to modulate memory consolidation, examination of the temporal parameters of these effects in humans has been limited. In the current study, 127 participants learned...
Article
Full-text available
MUSICIANS HAVE BEEN REPORTED TO DEMONSTRATE significantly better verbal memory abilities than do nonmusicians. In this study, we examined whether forms of music engagement other than formal music training might also predict verbal memory performance. Gender, socioeconomic status, and music performance variables were controlled in the main study; IQ...
Article
Young chicks were trained on a weakly reinforced variant of a single-trial discrimination avoidance task which typically fails to consolidate the long-term memory stage. The ryanodine receptor (RyR) agonist 4-chloro-m-cresol (500 microM, i.c.) persistently promoted high retention until at least 24 h post-training when administered between the time...
Article
Full-text available
Research has demonstrated that exposure to a rhythmic auditory stimulus can promote retention of a simple memory task in an avian species. In the current study, day-old domestic chicks (Gallus gallus) were trained on a weakly reinforced discriminative avoidance task for which retention is typically lost 30 min posttraining. Exposure to rhythmic sti...
Article
Calcium (Ca(2+)) is involved in a myriad of cellular functions in the brain including synaptic plasticity. However, the role of intracellular Ca(2+) stores in memory processing remains poorly defined. The current study explored a role for glutamate-dependent intracellular Ca(2+) release in memory processing via blockade of metabotropic glutamate re...
Article
Facilitation of memory for discriminative learning in young chicks is enhanced following exposure to a synthesized rhythmic auditory stimulus. Increased arousal, mediated by noradrenergic activation, is believed to underlie this effect. In this report we examine whether ethologically relevant rhythmic auditory stimuli produce the same noradrenaline...
Article
Nitric oxide (NO) has been well established as a molecule necessary for memory consolidation. Interestingly, the majority of research has focused on only a single mechanism through which NO acts, namely the up-regulation of guanylate cyclase (GC). However, since NO and NO-derived reactive nitrogen species are capable of interacting with a broad arr...
Article
Calcium signalling is an important process underlying neuronal function and consequently behaviour. The release of calcium from intracellular stores via the ryanodine receptor calcium release (RyR) channel has been implicated in both synaptic plasticity and to a limited extent in memory processing. While past investigations have suggested a role fo...
Article
Full-text available
The past 50 years have seen numerous claims that music exposure enhances human cognitive performance. Critical evaluation of studies across a variety of contexts, however, reveals important methodological weaknesses. The current article argues that an interdisciplinary approach is required to advance this research. A case is made for the use of app...
Article
Previous research in our laboratory has demonstrated a significant memory-enhancing effect of exposure to a complex rhythm stimulus following weakly-reinforced passive avoidance learning in chicks. The aim of this study was to explore whether noradrenaline mediates this process. Chicks were trained on a strongly-reinforced single-trial passive avoi...
Article
The important role of nitric oxide (NO) in memory processing has been recognised for some time. However, the mechanisms through which NO may act are only partially understood. One highly reactive radical brought about by the reaction of NO and superoxide ions is peroxynitrite. The current study investigated the effect of peroxynitrite scavenging on...
Article
Full-text available
A consistent theme across general theories of emotion is that intense emotions are accompanied by increased levels of physiological arousal. The aim in the current study was to determine whether music which elicited intense emotions produced higher levels of physiological arousal than less emotionally powerful music. Twenty-one participants (9 fema...
Article
Full-text available
The generalizability of temporal parameters of memory formation previously observed for a passive avoidance task was investigated in a spatial task with day-old chicks (Callus gallus). The percentage improvement in completion time over 2 separate trials was measured, and chicks were found to complete the second trial faster at all times tested up t...