Dr. Ike ChangAssociate Professor and Chair, Department of Psychology, Asia University, Taiwan.

Dr. Chang will be presenting lectures entitled Mediating Role of Rumination on Core Belief and Posttraumatic Growth for Acehnese Survivors and The Comparative Predictive Power between Empathy and the Just World Belief of Adolescent’s Bullying Behaviors in Taiwan.


Presentation Abstracts:

Mediating Role of Rumination on Core Belief and Posttraumatic Growth for Acehnese Survivors

Li-Jung Chang1, Ainul Mardiah2 & Wan-Nu Su1

 1Associate Professor of Psychology Department, Asia University. Taiwan
2Master Candidate of Psychology Department, Asia University, Taiwan

When one’s assumptive world is shattered because of traumatic events, it seems necessary for one to ruminate (i.e. deliberate, intrusive) in order to rebuild a new set of world assumptions. This critical process will lead a person to develop PTG (Calhoun & Tedeschi, 2006). The purpose of current study is examining the mediating role of rumination between core belief and posttraumatic growth. Four hundred thirteen students (174 males, 239 females), who experience tsunami, conflict or both, participate in this study. The measurements include Short Form of PTGI (SF-PTGI), Event Related Rumination Inventory (ERRI) and Core Belief Inventory (CBI). All measurements demonstrate good internal consistency reliability (α= .77- .85). Result of exploratory factor analyses revealed acceptable construct validity; SF-PTGI consist of 2 domains (growth possibilities and appreciation of possibilities), ERRI consist of 3 domains (ruminate unintentionally, ruminate intentionally and contemplate the event), CBI consist of 2 factors (world belief and world assumption). Results from Sobel test found that unintentional rumination (Sobel z= 2.44, p < .001), intentional rumination (Sobel z= 2.96, p < .001), and contemplate rumination (Sobel z= 1.97, p < .001) mediate posttraumatic growth and core belief. We find the same mediating effect when we run the analysis for each domain of rumination, core belief and PTG.  It implies that all forms of rumination are positive and some intrusive thoughts are necessary as an initial process to deliberate rumination which facilitates PTG. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.

The comparative predictive power between empathy and the just world belief of adolescent’s bullying behaviors in Taiwan

Li-jung Chang & Ming-Yau Jang

Bullying behaviors very often involves acts of cruelty among adolescents. It has been shown to be a prevalent and significant issue in Taiwan. It is observed that the bullies seem to be able to justify their acts with some deeply grounded beliefs. The target persons of bullying acts are to blame and subsequently punishment constitutes the major cause of bullying behaviors. The present study examines the relationship between empathy, just world-views and bullying behaviors among a group of junior high school students. It is hypothesized that the tendency to employ a just world-view is positively related to bullying acts.

Two hundred and ninety seven junior high school students were recruited to participate. They were asked to fill out the Bullying Behavior Inventory(Ho, 2010), the Belief in Just World-view Scale (BJWS; Rubin & Peplau, 1975; Dalbert, Montada, & Schmidt, 1987), and the Empathy Scale(Cheng, 1991). Results of exploratory factor analyses of the Belief in Just World-View Scale reveal the following 2 factors – the Justification of Retaliation (JOR) and the Approval of Punishment (AOP). Three factors – perspective taking, emotional resemblance, and willingness to be empathetic were found from the Empathy Scale. A one factor solution was found with the Bullying Behavior Inventory measuring adolescent’s tendency to inflict harm on their classmates.

Three models were composed for the test of hierarchical regression analyses. Model one is composed of only the gender variable. Gender plus the three empathy components were included to form the Model two. The four components of BJWS plus those variables in Model two were put together to form Model three. Results of regression analysis of model one shows that gender is a significant predictor of adolescents’ bullying behaviors (R2=.087, F=24.381, p<.001)。Males exhibit more bullying behaviors than females. It is demonstrated in Model two that empathy components failed to increase the accounted variance (△R2=.027, △F=2.562, p>.05). Results of Model three suggest that BJWS increase the accounted variance of bullying behaviors by .025% (△F=3.67, p<.05) suggesting that, after controlling gender and empathy, belief in just world is a valid predictor of bullying behavior. In specific, the more an adolescent embrace the belief of Approval of Punishment (AOP), the more likely he/she will be bullying around on junior high school campus.

Overall, the hypothesis that some unique cultural beliefs are better predictors than one’s empathetic capacity is approved by the results of the present study. The one unique belief found to be predictive of bullying behaviors is the belief in the approval of Punishment. Theoretical and practical implications of the present study are discussed.