Testing Restorative Narratives in a College Student Resilience Project

Abstract

A new online program, The Student Resilience Project (https://strong.fsu.edu), explores how institutions can effectively communicate health and resilience information to students. We investigated one key element of a pilot version of this program, specifically its use of video-based “restorative narratives,” which depict college students overcoming adversity using institutional resources. We proposed a theoretical model, which is supported by data from a survey completed by undergraduate students (n = 229) who viewed the videos. Results suggest that perceptions of restorative narratives can directly predict students’ behavioral intentions, including their intention to seek resources and to share content with other students. Perceptions of restorative narratives also influenced behavioral intentions indirectly via their influence on meaningful affect and outcome expectations, including the belief that advice and resources would help them and others. Based on the model, we offer evidence-based suggestions for web-based prevention programs.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

Notes

  1. 1.

    The broad measure of affect here was employed mainly due to the need for brevity in measuring emotional responses to the messages (in order to limit participant fatigue and increase questionnaire completion rates) and to replicate the measure used in a previous study in order to facilitate comparison of effects across studies in this newer area of inquiry (restorative narrative). There is some debate about the validity of using a broader measure of an affective feeling state such as this one vs. using multi-item measures of discrete emotions (e.g., four-item measures of happiness, three-item measures of hope) when assessing responses to mediated messages. However, many scholars recognize the human tendency to categorize events or stimuli broadly along a continuum of negative to positive valence and suggest that such categorization can generally indicate a desire to avoid or approach that stimulus (Bolls, 2010), such as returning to a web site.

References

  1. Algoe, S. B., & Haidt, J. (2009). Witnessing excellence in action: The “other-praising” emotions of elevation, gratitude, and admiration. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 4, 105–127.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Aquino, K., McFerran, B., & Laven, M. (2011). Moral identity and the experience of moral elevation in response to acts of uncommon goodness. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 100, 703–718. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0022540

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Armitage, C. J., & Conner, M. (2001). Efficacy of the theory of planned behaviour: A meta-analytic review. British Journal of Social Psychology, 40, 471–499.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Atkin, C., & Rice, R. (2013). Theory and principles of public communication campaigns. In R. Rice & C. Atkin (Eds.), Public communication campaigns (pp. 3–19). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Baker, R., Brick, J. M., Bates, N. A., Battaglia, M., Couper, M. P., Dever, J. A., & Tourangeau, R. (2013). Summary report of the AAPOR task force on non-probability sampling. Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology, 1, 90–143.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundation of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Bandura, A. (2004a). Health promotion by social cognitive means. Health Education & Behavior, 31, 143–164.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Bandura, A. (2004b). Social cognitive theory for personal and social change by enabling media. In A. Singhal, M. J. Cody, E. M. Rogers, & M. Sabido (Eds.), Entertainment-education and social change: History, research, and practice (pp. 75–96). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Bandura, A. (2009). A social cognitive theory of mass communication. In J. Bryant & M. B. Oliver (Eds.), Media effects: Advances in theory and research (pp. 94–124). Los Angeles, CA: Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Bilandzic, H., & Busselle, R. (2013). Narrative persuasion. In J. P. Dillard & L. Shen (Eds.), The Sage handbook of persuasion: Developments in theory and practice (pp. 200–219). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Blanco, C., Okuda, M., & Wright, C. (2008). Mental health of college students and their non-college-attending peers: Results from the National Epidemiologic Study on alcohol and related conditions. Archives of General Psychiatry, 65, 1429–1437. https://doi.org/10.1001/archpsyc.65.12.1429

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Bolls, P. D. (2010). Understanding emotion from a superordinate dimensional perspective: A productive way forward for communication processes and effects studies. Communication Monographs, 77, 146–152.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Dahmen, N. S. (2016). Images of resilience: The case for visual restorative narrative. Visual Communication Quarterly, 23, 93–107.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Edwards, J. R., & Lambert, L. S. (2007). Methods for integrating moderation and mediation: A general analytical framework using moderated path analysis. Psychological Methods, 12, 1–22. https://doi.org/10.1037/1082-989X.12.1.1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Fitzgerald, K., & Green, M.C. (2018) Restorative narrative: A new approach to prosocial media. Unpublished Manuscript.

  16. Florida State University (2018). 2017–2018 Factbook. Retrieved from http://ir.fsu.edu/factbooks/2017-18/2017-18%20FSU%20Fact%20Book.pdf

  17. Fredrickson, B. L. (2001). The role of positive emotions in positive psychology: The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. American Psychologist, 56, 218–226. https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.56.3.218

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Fredrickson, B. L., & Branigan, C. (2005). Positive emotions broaden the scope of attention and thought-action repertoires. Cognition & Emotion, 19, 313–332.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Fredrickson, B. L., & Joiner, T. (2002). Positive emotions trigger upward spirals toward emotional well-being. Psychological Science, 13, 172–175.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Harvard Business Review. (2011). Post-traumatic growth and building resilience [Podcast Transcript]. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2011/03/post-traumatic-growth-and-buil

  21. Harvard University. (2018). The Resilience Consortium. Retrieved from https://resilienceconsortium.bsc.harvard.edu/about

  22. Hu, L. T., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 6, 1–55.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Hunt, J., & Eisenberg, D. (2010). Mental health problems and help-seeking behavior among college students. Journal of Adolescent Health, 46, 3–10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2009.08.008

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. LeViness, P., Bershad, C., & Gorman, K. (2017). The Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors annual survey. Retrieved from https://www.aucccd.org/assets/documents/Governance/2017%20aucccd%20surveypublic-apr26.pdf

  25. Masten, A. (2001). Ordinary magic: Resilience processes in development. American Psychologist, 56, 227–238.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. McAdams, D. (2013). The psychological self as actor, agent, and author. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 8, 272–295. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691612464657

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. McAdams, D. P., & Jones, B. K. (2017). Making meaning in the wake of trauma: Resilience and redemption. In E. M. Altmaier (Ed.), Reconstructing meaning after trauma: Theory, research, and practice (pp. 3–16). San Diego, CA: Elsevier.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Moyer-Gusé, E. (2008). Toward a theory of entertainment persuasion: Explaining the persuasive effects of entertainment-education messages. Communication Theory, 18, 407–425.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Murphy, S. T., Frank, L. B., Moran, M. B., & Patnoe-Woodley, P. (2011). Involved, transported, or emotional? Exploring the determinants of change in knowledge, attitudes, and behavior in entertainment-education. Journal of Communication, 61, 407–431. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-2466.2011.01554.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Myrick, J. G., & Oliver, M. B. (2015). Laughing and crying: Mixed emotions, compassion, and the effectiveness of a YouTube PSA about skin cancer. Health Communication, 30, 820–829. https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2013.845729

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Nabi, R. L. (2015). Emotional flow in persuasive health messages. Health Communication, 30, 114–124.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Nabi, R. L., & Green, M. C. (2015). The role of a narrative’s emotional flow in promoting persuasive outcomes. Media Psychology, 18, 137–162. https://doi.org/10.1080/15213269.2014.912585

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Nabi, R. L., Gustafson, A., & Jensen, R. (2018). Framing climate change: Exploring the role of emotion in generating advocacy behavior. Science Communication, 40, 442–468. https://doi.org/10.1177/1075547018776019

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Oatley, K. (2002). Emotions and the story worlds of fiction. In M. C. Green, J. J. Strange, & T. C. Brock (Eds.), Narrative impact: Social and cognitive foundations (pp. 39–69). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Oehme, K., Perko, A., Clark, J., Ray, E. C., Arpan, L., & Bradley, L. (2018). A trauma-informed approach to building college students’ resilience. Journal of Evidence-Informed Social Work, 16, 93–107. https://doi.org/10.1080/23761407.2018.1533503

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Oliver, M. B., Hartmann, T., & Woolley, J. K. (2012). Elevation in response to entertainment portrayals of moral virtue. Human Communication Research, 38, 360–378.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Pedrelli, P., Nyer, M., Yeung, A., Zulauf, C., & Wilens, T. (2015). College students: Mental health problems and treatment considerations. Academic Psychiatry, 39, 503–511.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Schillewaert, N., Langerak, F., & Duharnel, T. (1998). Non-probability sampling for WWW surveys: A comparison of methods. International Journal of Market Research, 40, 1–13.

    Google Scholar 

  39. Tenore, M. (2016a). Exploring the impact of restorative narrative. Retrieved from http://ivoh.org/exploring-the-impact-of-restorative-narrative/

  40. Tenore, M. (2016b). Restorative narratives: Defining a new strength-based genre. Retrieved from https://ivoh.org/what-we-do/restorative-narrative/

  41. Tugade, M. M., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2004). Resilient individuals use positive emotions to bounce back from negative emotional experiences. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 86, 320–333.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Yeager, D. S., Krosnick, J. A., Chang, L., Javitz, H. S., Levendusky, M. S., Simpser, A., & Wang, R. (2011). Comparing the accuracy of RDD telephone surveys and internet surveys conducted with probability and non-probability samples. Public Opinion Quarterly, 75, 709–747.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Yzer, M. (2013). Reasoned action theory: Persuasion as a belief-based behavior change. In J. P. Dillard & L. Shen (Eds.), The Sage handbook of persuasion: Developments in theory and practice (pp. 120–136). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

    Google Scholar 

  44. Zhang, X., Han, X., Dang, Y., Meng, F., Guo, X., & Lin, J. (2017). User acceptance of mobile health services from users’ perspectives: The role of self-efficacy and response-efficacy in technology acceptance. Informatics for Health and Social Care, 42, 194–206.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Karen Oehme.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Ray, E.C., Arpan, L., Oehme, K. et al. Testing Restorative Narratives in a College Student Resilience Project. Innov High Educ 44, 267–282 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10755-019-9464-4

Download citation

Keywords

  • Resilience
  • Online training
  • Restorative narratives
  • Student wellbeing