Psychologists for Peace

Peace Research Award

Winner of the 2023 Peace Project Award announced

Congratulations to Freya Wrigley for her Honours thesis Racial Microaggressions Among Racial and Ethnic Minority Mental Health Workers in Australia: A Qualitative Study. Freya completed their thesis at Cairnmillar Institute supervised by Dr Joanne Brooker.

Thesis abstract:

Understanding mental health workers’ experiences of subtle racism in the workplace is critical for improving racial and cultural inclusivity. This qualitative study aimed to explore the experiences of racial microaggressions among racial and ethnic minority mental health workers in the Australian workplace. The ten participants included six psychologists, three mental health support workers, and one social worker. Participants’ racial and ethnic background were East Asian, South Asian, South-East Asian, Central American, or South American. Data were gathered through semi-structured interviews and analysed using reflexive thematic analysis. Four themes were identified: (1) the mental and emotional labour of racial microaggressions, (2) prioritising the therapeutic alliance following a racial microaggression, (3) navigating culturally White work contexts with limited support, and (4) processing workplace racial microaggressions in safer spaces. The cumulative effect of racial microaggressions within and outside the work context contributed to participants’ fatigue and desensitisation to racial microaggressions. Participants expended cognitive and emotional resources when navigating culturally White workplaces and racial microaggressions from clients, colleagues, and supervisors. Generally, workplaces were unsupportive of participants, with limited conversations or training on managing discrimination from clients. These findings highlight that workplaces need to provide training, allyship, and support processes to reduce the burden of dealing with microaggressions experienced by racial and ethnic minority workers. Greater representation of racial and ethnic minorities within the workplace, particularly in leadership positions, may promote greater workplace safety and inclusion. Future research could validate interventions for addressing microaggressions in therapy and mental health workplaces in the Australian context.

 
 
 
 
 
The Peace Project Award will be for applications in 2024! 

The APS Psychologists for Peace "Peace Project Award" is for students in Honours and Masters level psychology degrees who may soon be completing their thesis research which could qualify for the award. Submissions are due on 29th November via the submissions portal in the below link.

Eligibility

The Award is made annually to a student enrolled in an accredited fourth year psychology program or Masters by coursework psychology program who has conducted a research project on a peace-related topic.

Value

The Award is typically for $500 in recognition of high calibre research and to encourage dissemination of the research findings. If there are projects of sufficient merit, more than one award may be made depending on yearly funding. If no entry is worthy of the Award, no winner shall be chosen.

Criteria for the award

Projects will be judged on their scientific merit and their potential contribution to theory or practice in:

  • the peaceful resolution of conflict; 
  • understanding and preventing aggressive behaviour 
  • the fostering of harmonious relationships whether at global, inter-group or interpersonal levels. 

For more details on the award, including applications, click here.

 

Previous Peace Project Award Winners

2022

Emily Haines

“Their Win Is Our Loss”: Examining Whether Framing Utopian Thinking and Collective Narcissism Influence Support for Racial Equality

Honours thesis - Flinders University (supervisors Professor Emma Thomas and Dr Morgana Lizzio-Wilson)

Emily’s honours thesis researched how imagining an ideal, positive future world (i.e., utopian thinking) may bring about racial equality between People of Colour and White people. Emily’s thesis offers a novel paradigm (utopian thinking) and adopts experimental methods to explore framing utopian thinking as a possible strategy to increase White people’s willingness to advocate for racial justice and reduce their support for movements and ideologies which reinforce inequality (e.g., support for White rights). Of course, one barrier for acting in solidarity with People of Colour is White people’s experience of threat in anticipation of changes to their power and privilege within society. Therefore, Emily’s research considers the role of a positive, imagined future (i.e., a utopian society) in which equality is achieved but without White people 'giving up' their privilege, as a means of engaging advantaged group members without eliciting threat. Indeed, the findings supported that framing an imagined future in terms of gains for People of Colour not being contingent on losses to White people, increased White people’s willingness to engage in collective action in support of racial equality. The results indicated that framing imagined future worlds in terms of achieving equality for People of Colour without any losses to White people’s privilege, and utopian thinking as a method, may assist us to move towards racial equality.  

Emily is currently preparing a paper for publication as a means of disseminating the findings of her thesis, including seeking to replicate and extend these findings. Emily also aims to apply for a PhD and continue this line of research on promoting harmonious relationships at the intergroup level.

 

2021

Kimberley Bates

Immigrants' Willingness to Report Victimisation to Police: The Importance of Procedural Justice, Police Effectiveness and Trust in Police

Honours thesis - Griffith University (supervisor Professor Kristina Murphy)

Kimberley’s Honours thesis title was: ‘Immigrants’ willingness to report victimisation to police’. Her project was ambitious and involved two studies: Study 1 used survey data collected from ethnic minority immigrants who had experienced criminal victimisation in Australia. The study explored the link between how police were perceived to treat immigrant victims in Australia and victims’ subsequent willingness to trust and report their victimisation to police. Findings showed that when police were perceived as more respectful, displayed empathy, and were neutral in their dealings with victims this had a strong positive effect on victims’ willingness to trust police and report their victimisation. Study 2 involved interviewing victim support workers about how they believed police could work more harmoniously with immigrants who had experienced victimisation. Again, relationship-building and respect were highlighted as crucial to this goal.

 

2020

Erin Geary

Online Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Does Social Connectedness and Learning Community Predict Self-Determined Needs and Course Satisfaction?

Masters thesis - Monash University (supervisor Dr Kelly-Ann Allen)

 

2019

Ariane Virgona

A comparison of the impacts of cultural ideologies on personal wellbeing: An Australian study of polyculturalism

Honours thesis - La Trobe University (supervisor Professor Emiko Kashima)

In contrast to a multicultural conceptualisation of cultural groups as separate and independent entities having fixed attributes, polyculturalism assumes cultural groups to have flexible boundaries and shared attributes as they interact and influence each other over time. 

Ariane's study looked at how the cultural ideologies of multiculturalism, colourblindness and polyculturalism impacted psychological wellbeing in an Australian sample. Results found that polyculturalism was the only ideology to be significantly associated with wellbeing outcomes through increased empathy for other cultural groups and increased quality of contact. Additionally, polyculturalism was associated with decreased clarity in one’s cultural identity. These findings indicate that polyculturalism potentially has both positive and negative implications for endorsers' psychological wellbeing and this warrants further investigation. Ariane is continuing this research currently in a PhD at La Trobe University. 

For further elaboration on these concepts, please see Ariane's interview on SBS Filipino Radio: https://www.sbs.com.au/language/english/audio/an-inclusive-australia-looking-into-polyculturalism

 

2018

Michael Dare

Social Groups and Superordinate Identification: Preserving Pro-sociality in the Face of Inequality

Honours thesis - University of Queensland (supervisor Professor Jolanda Jetten)

 

2017

Award rested

 

2016

Maddison Norton

Community Understandings of humanitarian entrants: An investigation of Coffs Harbour

Honours thesis - Southern Cross University (supervisor Dr Gail Moloney)

 

2015

Emma Mabin

The Effects of Mitigating Information and Ruminative versus Empathic Group Discussions of Aggression

Honours thesis - University of New South Wales (supervisor Professor Tom Denson)

 

Fatima Azam

Predictors of Approach/Avoidance of Diversity in Non-Muslims: A Hijab Stall Field Test

Honours thesis - University of Newcastle (supervisor Dr Stefania Paolini) 

 

2014

Alison Clarke

Sacred Devotion through Social Interaction: Group-based Values and Psychological Pathways to Political Activism and Radicalism

Honours thesis - Murdoch University (supervisor Dr Emma Thomas)

 

Benjamin Low

Being ‘Here First” Determines “What’s Fair” for Immigrants

Honours thesis - University of Queensland (supervisor Professor Matthew Hornsey)

 

2013

Alissa Badcock

The Role of Rumination in the Relationship Between Mindfulness and Forgiveness: A Trait and State-Level Investigation

Honours thesis - La Trobe University (supervisor Professor Eleanor Wertheim)

 

2012

Alexia Naef

Visual Markers and Social perceptions of religious groups

Postgraduate Diploma thesis - Southern Cross University (supervisor Dr Gail Moloney)

 

2011

Lisa Yu

The Dark Side of Self-control: Can Self-control Training Decrease and Increase Aggressive Behaviour?

Honours thesis - University of New South Wales (supervisor Dr Tom Denson)

 

2010

Miriam Capper

Practicing Self-Control Decreases Reactive Aggression in Aggressive Individuals

Honours thesis - University of New South Wales (supervisor Dr Tom Denson)

 

Rishani Panawennage

Intergroup Forgiveness after the Prolonged Conflict in a Sri Lankan Sample

Honours thesis - La Trobe University (supervisor Professor Eleanor Wertheim)

 

2009

Joanne Frare

Patriotism or Nationalism: Investigating Australian National Identity and Flag Display Behaviour

Honours thesis - Southern Cross University (supervisor Dr Gail Moloney)

 

Tim Howle

The Differential Impact of Ethnic Threat and Ecological Threat on Ethnocentrism and Prejudice

Honours thesis - Australia National University (supervisor Dr. Boris Bizumic)

 

2008

Irene Giaprakis

The contribution of emotional intelligence and its components in the prediction of forgiveness

Honours thesis - La Trobe University (supervisor Professor Eleanor Wertheim)

 

2007

Award rested

 

2006

Peggy Koutsos

Paths to interpersonal forgiveness: The role of personality, dispositional forgiveness and situational forgiveness

Postgraduate Diploma thesis - La Trobe University (supervisor Professor Eleanor Wertheim)

 

2005

Luisa Rossi

The Relationship between Language Skills and Outcomes of the PATHS Curriculum

University of Western Australia 

 

2004

Award rested

 

2003

Andreia Azevedo

Adolescents’ value orientations and preferred strategies for resolving disagreements involving different student groups

Honours thesis - La Trobe University

 

2002

Helena Culbertson

Ashley Carl

 

2001

Jackie Bornstein

University of Melbourne

 

Anne Matuszek

University of Tasmania

 

2000

Elizabeth Le Clercq

 

1999

Andrew Hamilton

University of Melbourne

 

Albert Dinelli

 

1998

Michelle Fleming

Michael Virgen

 

1997

Adina Kotler

Tamara Noy

Heather Siddons

Brianna Harrison

Janet Ruffles

 

1996

Therese Meallin

Michelle Versluys

 

1995

Tony Pastore

Lana Strogonow

Kimberley’s Honours thesis title was: ‘Immigrants’ willingness to report victimisation to police’. Her project was ambitious and involved two studies: Study 1 used survey data collected from ethnic minority immigrants who had experienced criminal victimisation in Australia. The study explored the link between how police were perceived to treat immigrant victims in Australia and victims’ subsequent willingness to trust and report their victimisation to police. Findings showed that when police were perceived as more respectful, displayed empathy, and were neutral in their dealings with victims this had a strong positive effect on victims’ willingness to trust police and report their victimisation. Study 2 involved interviewing victim support workers about how they believed police could work more harmoniously with immigrants who had experienced victimisation. Again, relationship-building and respect were highlighted as crucial to this goal.