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Amanda Wallis, VUW Ph.D. candidate
Will speak on;
The role of place attachment in increasing resilience to nature’s hazards
New Zealand is exposed to many natural hazards, including earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and flooding. Preparedness for these hazards is crucial to ensuring individual and community resilience in the face of environmental threats. I propose that place attachment (a person’s bond to their meaningful places) plays an important role in personal preparedness for a range of hazards. I will firstly test the relationship between place attachment and existing disaster preparedness in two surveys distributed to Wellington residents (Study 1 and 2). These surveys will also serve to factor out place attachment across various dimensions (e.g., social and physical) and spatial targets (e.g. house, neighbourhood, city, and country). I intend to then experimentally manipulate place attachment in Study 3 to test its outcome on behavioural intentions to prepare. Finally, using findings obtained in Studies 1-3, a place attachment intervention will likely be trialed with a community sample in the Wellington region with the goal of enhancing actual disaster preparedness behaviours (Study 4).
Johannes will give a talk on attitudes and behaviours towards international students in New Zealand Universities and High Schools.
The number of international students is steadily increasing and is expected to reach 7.2 Million by 2025. While most major institutions of higher education now have departments assisting international students in their transition into their new environment, most problems international students face require the help of their domestic peers. Particularly problems of academic nature, for example course specific work, require the assistance of students and staff familiar with the local academic environment. An important question, therefore, is: what are barriers and promotors of willingness to assist international students in an academic environment?
In the current study we explored the influence of contextual and individual variables on the willingness to help international students in academic matters. We conducted the research with 543 domestic students in secondary and tertiary educational institutions in New Zealand. The research participants answered survey assessing their social dominance orientation, perception of cultural inclusiveness of their current institution, perceived threat by international students, attitudes towards and contact with international students, as well as their willingness to assist international students in academic matters.
We established a model, using pathway analysis, in which the effects of social dominance orientation and cultural inclusiveness, and contact on attitudes were partially mediated by perceptions of threat. In turn, attitudes completely mediated the relationships of cultural inclusiveness and threat with the willingness to assist international students in academic matters. The effect of social dominance orientation and contact was only partially mediated.
These findings draw attention to intra-individual processes in understanding the influence of individual and contextual factors on the willingness to assist international students. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.