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2023 - Group dynamics and creativity: A research with young adults in Reggio Emilia, Italy [Articolo su rivista]
Komarova, S.; Ndungu, F.; Gavazzoli, A.; Mineo, R.

Modern society demands innovativeness and creativity. Few studies have examined group dynamics' influence on individuals' creativity. This study explores creativity in group settings and how the gender of participants influences group dynamics and the creative process by observing specific behaviors, including Social Interaction and Play, Creative Action, and Creative Thinking. In groups of three, thirty participants (20 - 25 years) were asked to create Mosaics representing a “learning community” using LEGO dots. Relationships between group dynamics and creativity, creative thinking and creative action, gender of participants and their orientation to creativity and group dynamics were explored. Results showed negative relationships between group processes, creative thinking, and creative actions: the more intense the group dynamics were, the less the creativity. Surprisingly, female participants were more oriented to the creative task; male participants were more oriented to group dynamics. Further investigation of the relationship between creativity and cultural stereotypes on gender roles is needed.

2023 - Mental Health Professionals’ Tendencies towards Seeking Personal Therapy [Articolo su rivista]
Mineo, Roberta; El Rakhawy, Moustapha; Yahya Rakhawy, Mona; Mohamed Deif, Reem; Ahmed Youssef, Ehab; Osman Ali, Samah; Ndungu, Frashia

Mental health professionals worldwide are exposed to high levels of stress, which puts them at risk of burnout if self-care is not adequately pursued. One way of self-care is seeking personal therapy. Personal therapy emerged after Freud emphasized its importance and recommended that psychotherapists should return periodically to their therapy without feeling ashamed about it. Nevertheless, several controversies have ensued, with various attitudes being reported in different countries. This study assessed the tendencies of mental health professionals toward seeking personal therapy. A cross-sectional design was used with a sample of 156 Egyptian mental health professionals through an online survey. Findings suggested that the experiences of personal therapy increased the therapist’s practice and outcomes with their clients. Additionally, a statistically significant difference was found between professionals of Gestalt/person-centered orientation, whereas no statistically significant difference was found between professionals of psychodynamic/psychoanalytic, CBT, psychodrama, and other theoretical orientations. To conclude, personal therapy has a positive impact on therapists’ well-being and their practice. In their professional and personal development, it makes them excel in core and advanced skills and build appropriate relationships with their clients, which is required for effective practice. Further quantitative and qualitative studies are needed to determine the generalizability of the findings of the current study.

2022 - Exploring Resilience among Youths Living in Kibera Slums [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Ndungu, Frashia; Mineo, Roberta

Poverty and adverse life are associated with mental and physical illness. Although the youth residing in the slums struggle, most of them show resilience. Focus groups were conducted with youth living in Kibera Slums, Kenya, to explore the challenges they face and the coping mechanisms they use. These include establishing support systems, participating in civic activities, social cohesion, and self-efficacy. Although most of the participants indicated healthy coping skills, some participants reported the use of alcohol and drugs or indulging in criminal behaviors. The findings highlight the need for further research in the slums and for designing specific support interventions with youth groups.

2022 - Teen Dating Violence among Italian High School Students: A Quantitative Study on Gender Differences [Articolo su rivista]
Mineo, R.; Hofstede, A.; Newara, R.; Abdeltawab, A. -S. M.; Ndungu, F.; Rakhawy, M.

Healthy relationships involve trust, integrity, respect, and cooperation. Unfortunately, teen dating violence is a serious problem and there has been a consensus that it has severe consequences on the victims’ physical and psychological health. It can negatively influence the development of healthy sexuality, intimacy, and identity of adolescents as they transition into adulthood. This study examined the gender differences in teen dating violence among 336 Italian adolescent students from four secondary schools in Reggio Emilia, aged 14 to 20 years. The study used questionnaires for data collection and the results revealed that both genders have a significantly greater acceptance of control behavior when compared to their acceptance of aggressive behavior. In addition, boys accepted interpersonal violence more than girls. A Significant high percentage of girls reported victimization, with physical, emotional, and threatening violence perpetrated more against them. Most of the teens were aware of TDV among peers, and an experience of TDV was among the causal attributions mentioned. Others reported the fear of losing a partner and reaction to a provoking behavior. The recommendations drawn included the importance of addressing masculinity models that see aggressiveness as part of their gender identity and the relevance of raising awareness of control behaviors as antecedents of teen dating violence.

2022 - The Role of Group Dynamics in Creativity: A Study Case from Italy [Abstract in Rivista]
Komarova, Sofya; Ndungu, Frashia; Gavazzoli, Alessia; Mineo, Roberta

: Modern society requires people to be flexible and to develop innovative solutions to unexpected situations. Creativity refers to the “interaction among aptitude, process, and the environment by which an individual or group produces a perceptible product that is both novel and useful as defined within a social context”. It allows humans to produce novel ideas, generate new solutions, and express themselves uniquely. Only a few scientific studies have examined group dynamics' influence on individuals' creativity. There exist some gaps in the research on creative thinking, such as the fact that collaborative effort frequently results in the enhanced production of new information and knowledge. Therefore, it is critical to evaluate creativity via social settings. The study aimed at exploring the group dynamics of young adults in small group settings and the influence of these dynamics on their creativity. The study included 30 participants aged 20 to 25 who were attending university after completing a bachelor's degree. The participants were divided into groups of three, in gender homogenous and heterogeneous groups. The groups’ creative task was tied to the Lego mosaic created for the Scintillae laboratory at the Reggio Children Foundation. Group dynamics were operationalized into patterns of behaviors classified into three major categories: 1) Social Interactions, 2) Play, and 3) Distraction. Data were collected through audio and video recording and observation. The qualitative data were converted into quantitative data using the observational coding system; then, they were analyzed, revealing correlations between behaviors using median points and averages. For each participant and group, the percentages of represented behavior signals were computed. The findings revealed a link between social interaction, creative thinking, and creative activities. Other findings revealed that the more intense the social interaction, the lower the amount of creativity demonstrated. This study bridges the research gap between group dynamics and creativity. The approach calls for further research on the relationship between creativity and social interaction.