Centro de Investigação em Psicologia

Welcome to the Research Center in Psychology web page at Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa

Research Projects

Ongoing Projects

AUTONOMOUS FAMILIES: A TAYLORED MULTIDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH & INTERVENTION

Multiproblem families present several indicators of vulnerability, being characterized by a plurality of problems, as well as relational and communicational problems that tend to persist across generations. These families are often in a psychosocial situation of risk and sociocultural deprivation, perpetuating the cycle of poverty. This project with a mixed methodology follows a research-action approach aiming to promote family skills and empowerment. “Give power” to these vulnerable families, through a multidisciplinary family centered intervention. It will contribute to improve their resilience, autonomy, and self-organization capacity to deal with problematic situations, promoting reflection and the experience of new ways of interaction. This project includes different waves of assessment (baseline and treatment efficacy) of individual and family variables.

Research Team

Mónica Pires


CROSS-CULTURAL PREDICTORS OF SUBJECTIVE WELL-BEING

The study analyzes the relationship between a several psychosocial variables and the Subjective Well-Being, namely, personality, attachment styles, cultural values, love styles and relationships’ experiences and quality. Five samples were collected in Portugal, Mozambique, USA, Sweden and India, from 500 participants in each country. The study developed mediation and moderation analysis and comparison analysis between the various countries, through structural equation modelling. The study was developed with the colaboration of researchers from several national and international universities, namely: ISCTE – IUL, Francisco Esteves, PhD; Department of Psychology of the University of Virginia-UVa, Sigehiro Oishi, PhD; the Department of Psychology of the University of East Carolina, Derrick Wirth; the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon – ICS, Cícero Pereira, PhD. The study outputs resulted in several national and international publications. Funded by the Foundation for Science and Technology, between 2007 and 2015 – BPD / 26479/2006.

Research Team

Iolanda Costa Galinha


NEW WORK RESEARCH PROJECT: THE NEW WORK AND IT’S IMPACTS.

Globalisation and technological advancement are transforming the world of work. Individuals, groups and organisations are currently facing new demands and health risks related to this change. Flexibilization stemming from the new economic and social contexts of work, as well as factors associated with work management, are generating biopsychosocial risks that can lead to phenomena such as burnout or work-life imbalance. Within this framework innovation, creativity and lifelong learning have become key issues for the survival and growth of organisations and for the employability and progress of individuals. The overall aim of this project is to investigate how this change towards a phenomenon of “new work” is transforming and promoting biopsychosocial risks and, based on this knowledge, to contribute towards the development of a work-as-a-promoter-of-achievement paradigm.

Research Team

Tito Laneiro

José Magalhães

Luísa Ribeiro

Martina Nitzsche (Collaborator member)

Michael Leiter (Collaborator member)

Katerine Osatuke (Collaborator member)

Saúl de Jesus (Collaborator member)

Sandra Queiroz  (Collaborator member)


ASSOCIATIONS AMONG SLEEP QUALITY, BULLYING, ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE, AND BEHAVIORS IN CLASSROOM IN PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN

To study the association between sleep characteristics and sleep quality and bullying behaviors in primary school children.

Research Team

Ana Gomes


EVALUATION MATERIALS REPOSITORY FOR SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNERS IN AN EDUCATIONAL CONTEXT.

Evaluation materials repository for second language learners in an educational context.This project aims to prepare a set of assessment and intervention tools, with 15 language tasks, aiming students that learn Portuguese as second language (PLNM. Assessment tools are being adapted and validated to those immigrants attending Portuguese schools. After validation, these materials will be available to the school community in an electronic repository of the national education system. School practices and the lack of research about the processes and cognitive processing in a second language is the basis of this research taking place in the following organization: (1) instruments validation; (2) data analysis and creation of cognitive and linguistic profiles of minority language groups; (3) analysis of the teachers representations about PLNM; (4) results comparison with the American school system andcognitive and linguistic profiles of their students; (5) construction of instruments repository.

Research Team

Sandra Figueiredo

Margarida Alves Martins (Collaborator member)

Carlos Fernandes (Collaborator member)


PSYCHOSOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES AND BURNOUT IN DEMENTIA CAREGIVER: A LONGITUDINAL STUDY

Caregiving is challenging for everyone involved. It entails being under a chronically stressful process capable of altering the informal caregivers (ICs) psychosocial functioning. Research indicates that caring for a relative with dementia is associated with an increased risk of suffering mental and physical health declines. However, there is still much debate about the specific pathways through which caregiving impacts upon mental and physical health. There is a great individual variability in the way caregivers cope with this difficult experience and adjust to this role. Thus, it is of high importance to identify factors (from patient, caregiver and patient-caregiver relationship) that can create greater vulnerability to, or protection against, the negative effects of caregiving. The objective of this project is to examine and better understand the individual variability in psychosocial functioning of ICs responses to caregiving. Using a sample of patients with dementia and their caregivers, we hope to characterize psychosocial functioning of ICs and explore the role played by other variables (attachment, emotion regulation, coping, family functioning) in explaining individual differences in these processes. We hope with this project to be able to identify ICs that are at greater risk. Moreover, we aim to gather knowledge to inform the development of psychosocial interventions targeting ICs needs.

Research Team

Rute Brites

Odete Nunes

João Hipólito

Tânia Brandão

Francisco Moniz Pereira (Collaborator member)


WELLBEING, ORIENTATION FOR HAPPINESS & DISABILITY ASSOCIATED WITH LOW BACK PAIN

The present research aims to explore the affective/cognitive aspects of well-being’ effects, here considered respectively as Subjective Happiness (Lyubormirsky & Lepper, 1999) and Satisfaction with Life (Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin, 1985) over Perceived low back pain disability (Roland & Morris, 1983) in Portuguese university students and workers. Considered a serious health problem for those who live it and for the community in which they live, it is also a dysfunction responsible for high annual expenses in their treatment and in sick leave (Monteiro, 2012). In this initial stage, we intend to evaluate the role of happiness orientation (Peterson, Park, & Seligman, 2005) in the relationship between well-being (affective / cognitive) and the perception of low back pain disability. An empirical study with a quantitative nature and the application of the research protocol will be carried out in two moments, whose data collection will be structured and operationalized through the survey method using the self-administered questionnaire technique (Moreira, 2004). A structural model of relations between the studied variables will be proposed. It is intended to broaden knowledge about previous history that may contribute to the prevention of disability created from low back pain, and expanding the nomological network of the concept (Cronbach & Meehl, 1955).

Research Team

Joaquim Monteiro

Odete Nunes

Tânia Ferraro


ASSESSMENT OF POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD) SEVERITY IN THE PORTUGUESE POPULATION: VALIDATION OF THE PORTUGUESE VERSION OF THE POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER CHECKLIST 5 (PCL-5).

The assessment, diagnosis and monitorization of PTSD symptoms are basic aspects for the clinical and research work of health care professionals who work in the context of mental health e trauma, especifically psychiatrists and clinical and health psychologists. With regards to PTSD assessment, there is a lack of instruments adapted, validated and updated for the Portuguese population. In addition, there is a lack of brief versions of self-report measures to use in clinical practice with the objective of screening and monitoring individuals. Within this context, two instruments developed according to the new DSM-V criteria emerge: the PCL-5 (Weathers, Litz et al., 2013), an instrument that assesses symptoms and diagnoses PTSD; and the National Stressful Events Survey PTSD Short Scale NSESSS-PTSD (Kilpatrick, Resnick & Friedman, 2013), an instrument used to identify the severity of PTSD symptoms in both the general and clinical population. This project aims to translate both instruments into Portuguese, and to validate them for the Portuguese population, with extensive usage of samples among the wider community and military. This research project will have implications for clinical practice and research in the field of PTSD contributing to assessment and diagnoses PTSD using more adequate and updated criteria, useful not only for the military population but also for the wider community as a whole.

Research team

António Correia

João Hipólito

Odete Nunes


AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY ABOUT SINGING GROUPS IN WELL-BEING, HEALTH AND COGNITIVE FUNCTIONING IN ADULT SENIORS

Singing is a multimodal activity that involves a physical, cognitive and psychosocial performance, and has the potential of improving the health of adult seniors in different areas capable of improving their activities and autonomy (Johnson et al., 2015). Previous studies suggest that singing is beneficial for well-being; however, the specific factors contributing for these effects remain unclear (Stewart & Lonsdale, 2016) because most studies do not allow for causal inferences. More experimental studies are needed with control groups and follow-up measures in order to infer causality and obtain more reliable results (Apóstolo, Bobrowicz- Campos, Rodrigues, Castro, & Cardoso, 2016; Johnson et al., 2015; Skingley, Clift, Coulton, & Rodriguez, 2011). In this study, we will implement and examine the effects of a group singing for adult seniors, using an experimental design with a control group, in the subjective wellbeing, psychological and social, in cognitive functioning, and in physical health (biomarkers), search for health services and perceived health. Participants will be 100 retired adult seniors (> 65 years old) randomly divided into the experimental group (n = 50) and the control group (n = 50). Intervention consists of 34 bi-weekly sessions of a singing group over a period of four months and the preparation and presentation of a musical show. Measures will be collected at baseline, at the end of the intervention, and at 4 months follow-up. We hope to find a positive effect of the program in participants’ well-being, cognitive functioning and health.

Research Team

Iolanda Galinha


EUROPE – ENSURING UNITY AND RESPECT AS OUTCOMES FOR PEOPLE

The aim of this study is to improve, evaluate its relevance and its impact and to disseminate the program Quiet Time (QTP) among different European contexts. The main activities of the project are: to implement the QTP in European schools; to evaluate the QTP capacity to create an environment of inclusive learning and reduced violence; to support teachers and others school professionals to deal with the diversity of students; to evaluate the QTP; to disseminate the results of its implementation; and to disseminate the evaluation framework to support transnational cooperation between partners involved in the project and new European partnerships interested in the project outcomes. To promote awareness about the importance of QTP; to establish a specialized European center to implement the QTP.

Research team

Joana Vieira dos Santos

Luís Sérgio Vieira (Collaborator member)


FRIENDS – FOSTERING RESILIENCE – INCLUSIVE EDUCATION AND NON-DISCRIMINATION IN SCHOOLS

This project aims to implement and evaluate the QTP, that uses a technique of Transcendental Meditation in schools as a way of promoting tolerance and reducing negative behaviors between diverse populations such as adolescents and risk minorities. This team will evaluate the efficacy of this approach that will be implemented in local schools. The assessment involves the development of a structure of evaluation to the project. It will confirm or not the expected findings and will evaluate the implementations procedures and the experiences of participants, aiming at establishing a good practices manual in order to facilitate the application of this program in any school or university.

Research team

Alexandra Gomes

Joana Vieira dos Santos

Luís Sérgio Vieira (Collaborator member)


MILAGE : Interactive Mathematics by implementing a Blended-Learning model with Augmented Reality and Game books

In this project we plan to extend traditional learning environment to a virtual classroom setting that will keep students connected for learning mathematics by the exploration of motivating math tools. We want to take advantage of mobile devices for teaching and learning. We want to implement an approach for teaching and learning mathematics that will also accommodate gaming mechanics that it is two-fold: complexity and detail. It will have three different levels of problems complexity: beginners, intermediate and advanced. On the other hand, each problem will have two levels of explanations/resolutions: detailed and concise. In this way, all students will be accommodated in a learning environment centered in the student. The low-achieving students that may struggle to learn the materials covered in class, can study and repeat the materials as many times as they may need to learn.  Students will have access to complex problems and activities that may provide additional stimulation for top performers students. Teachers will also be more confident to give homework activities to their students. It is known that it is important to assign homework, to help struggling or underachieving students to learn the material covered in class, to ensure that the material is stored in students’ long-term memory, or to provide additional stimulation for high performers. With this project we aim at providing the support so that we can contribute for the improvement of mathematics skills of all students.

Research team

Cátia Martins


INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR AGING

The European Comission and the European Counseling have been identifying aging as one of the main societal challenges, highlighting the need of finding broad answers for this demographic phenomenon through European social models. Thus, the International Center for Aging was created. Its mission is to become a consolidate international center of excellence in research and innovation in the field of aging, in order to lead and promote the development of knowledge and research in this field.

Research team

Gabriela Gonçalves