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About this book

Looking for a comprehensive one-stop resource on transitions across the life course? Then look no further.

This concise reference book unpacks the far-reaching topic of transitions, delivered in an accessible A-Z format that allows the reader quick and easy access to information relevant to whichever stage in the life course they are concerned with.

Providing an examination of each multidimensional transition, the book also brings a strong focus to the role of practitioners in preparing individuals for, and supporting them through, the transition process – whether it be a normative life transition, such as starting school, or something unexpected and distressing, like the sudden death of a loved one.

With explicit 'Implications for Practice' points, a wealth of guidance on further reading and comprehensive cross-referencing throughout, the book is an essential resource for students and practitioners exploring the subject area from a vast array of disciplines – from social work and nursing to teaching, counselling and beyond.

Table of Contents

A

Abstract
Acculturation has been defined as a process of change as a result of the interaction of two or more cultures (Berry, 2005). ABC stands for the affective, behaviour, and cognitive response to a different culture in the new (host) country. Three theories that are more comprehensive and regard the individual as pro-actively responding to the environmental changes provide a framework for the ABC framework of acculturation (Ward, Bochner, & Furnham, 2001). These are ‘stress and coping’, ‘culture learning’, and ‘social identification’. As mentioned earlier, they consider different components of response, namely affect, behaviour, and cognition. The stress and coping theories (affect) are based on the premise that life changes are inherently stressful and that an international sojourner needs to develop coping strategies to deal with this stress, and adjustment is dependent on personal (e.g. personality, attitude) and situational (e.g. social support) factors. Culture learning theories (behaviour) suggest that social interaction is important and the international sojourners need to learn culturally relevant social skills not only to survive but also to thrive. Social identification theories (cognition) assume that cross-cultural transition might involve changes in one’s cultural identity and inter-group relations.
Divya Jindal-Snape

B

Abstract
Bereavement refers to the feeling of loss experienced by someone, for example due to the death of a significant other, separation or divorce, natural calamity, substance abuse and recovery, illness, trauma, and/or career change (Horn, Crews, & Harrawood, 2013). Therefore, it is important to remember that this loss might not only be of a significant person, but can be of a pet or significant object or status and identity. However, in the main the term ‘bereavement’ is used in the context of death of someone significant to the individual and that is how it will be used here. Bereavement is a transition in itself, leads to other transitions, as well as interacting with other transitions of those affected by it and of those supporting them. Each individual might be affected differently by loss and the process of adaptation might be substantially different, e.g. depending on the relationship with the individual they have lost, their resilience and support networks, age and stage, expected and unexpected nature of the bereavement. This can also be dependent on the cause of bereavement, i.e., whether it was due to natural causes, accident, homicide, or suicide.
Divya Jindal-Snape

C

Abstract
A case study is used to explore the characteristics of a single, unique individual unit, namely, a student or an organisation (Jindal-Snape & Topping, 2010). A case study examines a phenomenon in-depth and in its natural context (Yin, 2009). Normally, the purpose of a case study is to get in-depth information which goes beyond what is happening to why it might be happening and what the effect of that is on that case (e.g. Rienties, Johan, & Jindal-Snape, 2015). Case studies are usually used in qualitative research, although there are instances when they are used in experimental research designs involving interventions (e.g. Jindal-Snape, 2005). The case is a single unit and can be one person or a larger unit such as an organisation/country, and can be at different eco-systemic levels (Swanborn, 2010; see entry on ecological systems theory). A single case study of a larger unit can also have embedded single or multiple case studies within it (Yin, 2009). So, for example, a hospital can be one case study and within that there can be multiple case studies of different medical wards. Or as can be seen from Figure 1, within the case study of a country, there might be multiple case studies of different regions that have particular characteristics.
Divya Jindal-Snape

D

Abstract
Several studies have defined ‘dip’ in attainment as lack of expected progress and sometimes regression, especially in literacy and numeracy at the time of transitions. There has been a lot of discussion about academic attainment and learning dip (sometimes used interchangeably) during educational transitions, in particular when students move to secondary school (e.g. Anderson, Jacobs, Schramm, & Splittgerber, 2000; Eccles et al. 1993; Galton, Gray, & Ruddock, 1999, 2003; Galton & Willcocks, 1983; Galton, Morrison, & Pell 2000; Galton & Morrison 2000; Reyes et al. 2000). Various reasons have been given for this dip in attainment (academic attainment to be precise) such as lack of curricular continuity between primary–secondary, differences in pedagogical approaches, difference in expectations of teachers in the two contexts, alongside lowering of self-esteem, especially self-competence and self-worth associated with the big-fish-small-pond effect, and mismatch between stage-environment fit (see entries on self-esteem, big-fish-small-pond effect and stage-environment fit).
Divya Jindal-Snape

E

Abstract
Bronfenbrenner (1979, 1992) conceptualised ecological systems theory in terms of hierarchical systems ranging from those closest to the individual to those most remote, namely the microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, and macrosystem, to which chronosystem was added at a later date. This theory posits that an individual’s development is influenced by the environment around them and their interaction with it, and that these interactions do not happen in a vacuum but are embedded in the larger social structures of society, economy, and politics. He viewed human development as part of a life course and presented these as concentric circles each nested within the next, or as highlighted by him as a set of Russian dolls. These systems are based on settings. At the lowest level of this hierarchy is the microsystem, where the individual in the centre plays a direct role, has first-hand experiences, and has social interactions with others, such as the family or school. The next is the mesosystem, where two or more of the individual’s settings interact, such as interaction between family and school, i.e. child’s mother and class teacher. The next is exosystems, which include settings that have an influence on the individual in the centre but this individual has no direct interaction with them.
Divya Jindal-Snape

F

Abstract
Transition involves change in context and relationships. This implies that individuals experiencing transitions will work with new people in new contexts. For some people, this lack of familiarity can be overwhelming and stressful. In the context of international students, Kashima and Sadewo (2016), for example, suggest that people with high Need for Cognitive Closure (NCC) are more likely to want to have all the relevant information before going into a new situation or environment in order to reduce their sense of confusion, uncertainty, and ambiguity. Familiarisation can take the form of actual or virtual exploration of the new context and people in that context. For example, in an education as well as in an employment context, there is a period of induction to familiarise the person with the new environment (see entry on induction). Organisations also organise Open Days, reciprocal visits, virtual tours of campuses, videos and podcasts of others talking about their experiences, and photographs in order to facilitate and provide familiarisation and knowledge of the new context. These attempts have been found to be fairly successful.
Divya Jindal-Snape

G

Abstract
Games-based approaches are seen to support creativity at all ages (Cremin, Burnard, & Craft 2006; Cumming, 2007; Miller, Hudson, Shimi, & Robertson, 2010), sustained and shared thinking (Davies, Jindal-Snape, Collier, Digby, Hay, & Howe, 2013), faster processing of information, high levels of engagement and interest, global self-esteem (Miller & Robertson, 2011), improvement in attitude towards learning (Miller & Robertson, 2010; Vogel, Vogel, Cannon-Bowers, Bowers, Muse, & Wright, 2006), significant knowledge gains compared to traditional methods (Wolfe, 1997), and engagement of cognitive and affective processes (Sitzmann, 2011). Also, gaming is fun irrespective of age group (Kapp, 2012). They are also effective in providing opportunities for agency, self-determination, social learning, social networking and collaboration, competitiveness, and immersion (Kapp, 2012) (see entries on agency, selfdetermination theory and collaboration). They can be tapped into for different reasons, including facilitating transitions. Several examples of games-based approaches to transition planning and preparation exist, including the use of board games, whodunnit mystery activities (paper and online), and use of commercial-off-the-shelf computer (COTS) games (Jindal-Snape, 2012).
Divya Jindal-Snape

H

Abstract
The term ‘health transition’ in literature normally refers to the shifts that have taken place in the patterns and causes of death in many countries and covers demographic and epidemiological transition. However, in this book it is used in the context of changes related to individuals’ health and the impact they have on their other life transitions. Health transitions might have different dimensions. They can start from the time of diagnosis of a condition, if not before, and dealing with the change in the health condition. It can have an impact on other transitions such as developmental, educational, or work-related. For example, if a child has a health condition that requires hospitalisation or specific administration of medication, it will have an impact on their schooling, friendships, and relationships, and, in terms of long-term health conditions, on what support might be required for independently undertaking daily activities. Similarly, an adult might have to give up particular employment or older people might have to leave home to move into a nursing home or adult care. Therefore, the age and onset of health condition might affect individuals and those supporting them differently.
Divya Jindal-Snape

I

Abstract
Simply put, identity is a set of characteristics, values, and beliefs that makes someone who they are. However, the constructs of identity and identity development can be quite complex, and there are several different definitions based on the discipline they come from. Erikson (1968) took a life course approach to identity development and suggested eight stages, starting in infancy, with substantial changes during adolescence (13–19 years) marked according to him by identity versus role confusion and identity crisis due to developmental and contextual changes, and changing throughout later life. Similarly, Archer (2007) suggests that the formulation of identity is an ongoing process that involves continuous revision, evaluation, and reformulation of self over time. According to Vignoles, Schwartz, and Luyckx (2011), identity is not only who one thinks they are but also who that person acts as being, in particular interactions with others, and the social recognition of that from others. Identity is contingent upon relations with other social actors and the challenges of social structures that the individual might face (Archer, 2000, 2003). Therefore, identity is formed within a psychosocial context.
Divya Jindal-Snape

J

Without Abstract
Divya Jindal-Snape

K

Without Abstract
Divya Jindal-Snape

L

Abstract
Transitions, educational transitions in particular, can be surrounded by a lot of myths and negative language, based on an individual’s own perceptions of what it might be like or lived experience of professionals or parents at that stage (Jindal-Snape & Foggie, 2008). The language used can be very worrying for those going through or preparing for particular transition phases. For example, teachers, and indeed children and parents, talk about high school being ‘bigger’ with concerns of ‘getting lost’, which would lead to high school teachers punishing the child, as they are a ‘lot stricter’ than the primary school teachers, along with, of course, concerns of ‘head flushed down the toilet by bigger kids’, ‘a lot of home work’, and the need to ‘work harder’. Professionals and parents talk about the child being ‘not ready’ to start school or indeed a young person being ‘not ready’ to start university or move to the ‘big unknown real world’ or ‘wait till you are older’ or ‘when you have to work’. There is the use of ‘big-fish-little-pond’ in the literature, with parallel imagery of ‘little-fish-big-pond’, which invokes thoughts of individuals being overwhelmed in the new ‘big pond’ environment.
Divya Jindal-Snape

M

Abstract
Children experience international transitions for various reasons. Some transitions are related to accompanying parents when they move to another country for education or employment (see entry on multiple and multi-dimensional transitions theory). (Please note there are substantial transitions also for those whose parent/s move overseas but the child stays back in the home country, see Cebotari & Mazzucato, 2016.) Other children are forced to leave their country for political, economic, and/or social reasons. In the latter case, some might move to another country on their own. Each type of transition has various psychosocial (Bronstein & Montgomery, 2011) and educational consequences (Cebotari & Mazzucato, 2015; McKenzie & Rapoport, 2011), and are identified as additional support needs (see entry on additional support needs), with some being particularly traumatic for children, which increase exponentially for those already affected by trauma in their country and then making another move, for example when leaving war affected areas (even when migrating within the country, such as Barron & Abdallah, 2012, 2015; Barron, Abdallah, & Smith, 2013; Barron, Dyregrov, Abdallah, & Jindal-Snape, 2015).
Divya Jindal-Snape

N

Abstract
Nicholson (1987) suggested transition cycles and stages, specifically in the context of work-role transitions (see entry on employment). The stages are: a. Preparation: This is the stage before the move or change and involves processes of anticipation. Individuals can face certain issues such as concerns, lack of readiness, and expectations that are unrealistic (So, 2010). b. Encounters: This happens in the first few days of the change and involves emotional response and sense making about the change. Individuals can face problems related to sense of denial, shock and regret at the change or loss. c. Adjustment: This is the next stage and involves finding one’s feet, making sense of one’s place in the new context, and working out one’s role or identity. d. Stabilisation: This comes from an expectation that after the change an individual will experience a sense of stability when they will have adapted to the new context. Continuous adjustments are however required within this stage in line with any environmental change.
Divya Jindal-Snape

O

Abstract
There are several links with transitions within the literature on offending behaviour: transition as a change in identity from offending to desistance, transition from prison to community, and life transitions that may lead to offending behaviour or desistance. Desistance has been defined as cessation from offending; however, this is not an abrupt change or end, rather an ongoing process of change as the individual transitions from offending to desistance and vice versa through primary desistance with the journey ending in long term or secondary desistance (King, 2013; Maruna, Immarigeon, & LeBel, 2004). According to King there is evidence to demonstrate that desistance leads to a change in identity from that of ‘offender’ to ‘nonoffender’ or as some have put it ‘ex-offender’. This change in identity relates to change in perception of one’s own identity and perception of others regarding that person’s changed identity (see entry on identity). He also highlights that individuals’ narratives need to change for desistance to happen and found early narratives of desistance that can lead to transition to long-term desistance.
Divya Jindal-Snape

P

Abstract
Parental involvement has been defined as the involvement of parents in their child’s education. Previous research suggests that parental involvement can have a significant impact on the child’s performance regardless of ethnicity, socio-economic background, and maternal educational background (Jeynes, 2007). There is a view amongst some professionals that, despite this, some parents do not want to be involved in their child’s education. However, a previous meta-analysis of literature found that the term ‘parental involvement’ has not been defined clearly and it has been used across a range of behaviours, such as parent–child interaction at home and involvement in school activities (Fan & Chen, 2001). It is possible that professionals take a narrow view of parental involvement, i.e. parental involvement is limited to parents’ presence in the school, ignoring the wider perspective that includes involvement with the child at home or within the community (Desforges & Abouchaar, 2003; Jindal-Snape, Roberts, & Venditozzi, 2012). This is despite the fact that research suggests that daily activities at home and in the community can lead to positive learning outcomes (Tizard & Hughes, 2002).
Divya Jindal-Snape

R

Abstract
There is a debate regarding school readiness. In some countries, there is continuing focus on optimal school starting age, taking a maturational approach. Research has been inconclusive about the appropriateness of age as a predictor for readiness to start school (Ford & Gledhill, 2002; Stipek, 2002). Elsewhere the focus seems to have moved to readiness to learn as well as social and emotional readiness. However, the overarching debate is whether it is about the child being ready or is about the schools being ready to work with every child as an individual recognising his/her unique differences and building on his/her strengths. Vernon-Feagans, Odom, Panscofar, and Kainz (2008) highlight that readiness is the interaction and fit between the child and his/her family, and the readiness of the school to teach that child. Mayer, Amendum, and Vernon-Feagans (2010) suggest that readiness is at levels beyond the child, and includes the community, school, and family. Whether in the context of educational transitions or other life transitions, it is important to remember that readiness is the fit between the individual and organisation, with the individual being ready and willing to adapt to the new environment and organisations working with each individual according to their specific needs.
Divya Jindal-Snape

S

Abstract
Self-determination Theory (SDT) emerged from the study of human motivation, in particular intrinsic motivation. According to SDT, human beings have three innate psychological needs, namely competence, autonomy, and relatedness (Ryan & Deci, 2000). Competence relates to the need for mastery and feeling skilled and competent in controlling the environment. Autonomy is the extent to which one has control over one’s actions and choices. Relatedness refers to the need for development and creation of close personal relationships with others. The satisfaction of these needs is key to the enhancement of motivation and well-being. Social contextual factors can either enhance or thwart the fulfilment of these needs. According to Wehmeyer and colleagues (Wehmeyer, 2005; Williams-Diehm, Wehmeyer, Soukup, & Garner, 2008), self-determination refers to actions where an individual makes conscious choices or has the autonomy to make conscious choices. These actions, called volitional actions, have four characteristics: autonomous action by an individual, including self-regulation of their behaviour and psychologically empowered response to the event or environment, for the improvement of their quality of life (Wehmeyer, Abery, Mithaug, & Stancliffe, 2003).
Divya Jindal-Snape

T

Abstract
The term ‘transition’ has been conceptualised in different ways by researchers. Galton, Gray, and Ruddock (1999) differentiated between ‘transition’ as a process where children move between different classes in a school and ‘transfer’ as a move between different schools. Other researchers (Jindal-Snape, 2010b) have suggested the terms ‘transition’ and ‘transfer’ can be used interchangeably to describe any move that a child makes from one context and set of relationships to another. In this book, the term ‘transition’ has been used consistently and in line with Jindal-Snape’s (2010a) conceptualisation, as this is the most commonly used term internationally. Implications for practice 1. It is important to be mindful of the different terms used by authors, as they might indicate that their conceptualisation of transition is different to the professionals, especially across disciplines and professions.
Divya Jindal-Snape

V

Abstract
In a new context, even the most adept and able person can feel a bit de-skilled. Sometimes these messages come from others through the unspoken rules of an organisation or the expectations of others within that organisation. The virtual backpack approach emphasises that the purpose of education is to open the virtual backpack a learner might bring with him or her (Peters, 2010) and avoid de-skilling of a learner. Building on Thomson’s (2002) notion of every child carrying a virtual school bag full of knowledge, experiences, and dispositions, and that of Bourdieu (1997) and Brooker (2002) regarding the social and cultural capital every child brings to a school, in the context of early years Peters (2013) emphasised the importance of the significant others valuing the social and cultural capital that a child might bring to the new environment. This applies not only to children and their transitions; it applies to all transitions irrespective of the stage and age. The virtual backpack approach acknowledges the learning journey somebody has been through, and the idea is to build upon what the individual brings with them in terms of skills, abilities, aptitudes, etc.
Divya Jindal-Snape

W

Abstract
A systematic literature review of studies investigating the impact of arts on well-being found that there was no clear definition of wellbeing and several dimensions were included, such as emotional and psychological well-being, spiritual well-being, physical well-being, and social well-being (Toma, Morris, Kelly, & Jindal-Snape, 2014). It is often used interchangeably with terms such as happiness, quality of life, flourishing (Statham & Chase, 2010). It has been measured or reported either in terms of objective measures (e.g. economic indicators) or in terms of subjective well-being (McLellan, Galton, Steward, & Page, 2012). McLellan et al. report that there are four approaches to conceptualising subjective well-being in literature, namely Hedonic Approach (affect and life satisfaction), Eudaimonic Approach (personal growth, development, self-actualisation and motivation), Social Approach (social integration, contribution, coherence and acceptance) and Capability Approach (bodily health, bodily integrity, senses, imagination and thought, emotions, affiliation, control over environment, etc.).
Divya Jindal-Snape
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