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Psychologisches Institut Persönlichkeit und psychische Gesundheit im interkulturellen Kontext

Themen für Masterarbeiten

  • Informationen zur Masterarbeit
    With the group "Personality, mental health and culture" you can choose either a single topic or a topic area from which a specific topic will be developed.
    If you are interested, please contact the indicated (co-)supervisor.
    In addition to a brief CV, please include an approximately one-page letter of motivation with your application for a master's thesis, explaining why you wish to work on this topic.
    The master thesis may only be booked after consultation with the (co-)supervisor. It is recommended to book the master thesis parallel to the research colloquium 2.

    In der folgenden Übersicht finden Sie Themenbereiche, Einzelthemen und ev. extern betreute Einzelthemen vor. Bei Interesse wenden Sie sich bitte an eine der genannten Kontaktpersonen.
    (Bitte fügen Sie Ihrer Bewerbung für eine Masterarbeit neben einem kurzen Lebenslauf auch ein ca. einseitiges Motivationsschreiben bei, in welchem Sie erklären, warum Sie sich für das Forschungsprojekt bewerben)
    Betreuungsperson der Masterarbeit: Prof. Dr. A. G. Thalmayer

Übersicht der Masterarbeitsthemen dieser Professur

Durch Klick auf die einzelnen Themen werden die Detail-Informationen angezeigt.

 


offen:

  • Enhancing Cultural Sensitivity in Grief Diagnostics: A Study of Khoekhoe Idioms and Prolonged Grief Disorder

    Beschreibung: Euro-centric psychiatric conceptualizations of psychopathology often ignore the interplay of local and human-universal factors in psychological suffering. Emic, locally focused, perspectives can enrich etic, imported, models to better elucidate the role of culture in mental illness and ultimately help provide culturally-sensitive care. The objective of this thesis is to enhance the cultural sensitivity of grief diagnostics by integrating indigenous expressions of grief. By linking a traditional Khoekhoe idiom of distress with contemporary diagnostic criteria, this research aims to help develop a more inclusive view of mental health. Specifically, the aim of this master thesis is to investigate the relationship between the Khoekhoe idiom of distress, "pain in the heart," with the International Classification of Diseases, 11th Revision (ICD-11) diagnosis of Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD) in a Namibian sample using network analysis.
    Kontakt: Daniel Hofmann, E-Mail

    Status: offen (erfasst / geändert: 21.06.2024)
  • Personality and psychopathology in African contexts

    Beschreibung: This thesis will focus on the personality trait of neuroticism vs. emotional stability, and how to best conceptualize and assess it in African contexts. Data will come from the Africa Long Life Study, a longitudinal study of emerging adults (ages 18 to 25) in Namibia, Kenya, and South Africa. The project will include literature review and potentially discussions with African psychologists and research assistants to consider local views on the trait and how this compares to the Big Five trait. It will include psychometric exploration, possibly including testing for measurement invariance across the three contexts, and tests of convergent and divergent validity with constructs such as psychological disorder symptoms, satisfaction with life, other personality traits, and life outcomes.
    Kontakt: Daniel Hofmann, E-Mail

    Status: offen (erfasst / geändert: 21.06.2024)

 


vergeben:

  • Cultural Mindset in Namibia, Kenya, and South Africa

    Beschreibung: The study of the reciprocal constitution of the mind and culture requires reliable ways to operationalize cultural differences. Early work that defined cultural-level variation (e.g., Hofstede, 1980) helped establish cultural psychology as a field. Collectivism versus individualism became the dominant contrast (Hamamura, 2012), useful when comparing the individualistic West to everyone else (Henrich, 2020), but not for comparing other regions (Kitayama et al., 2022). Exciting recent work has delineated complex regional variation in cognition, motivation, emotion, identity, relationships, and impersonal pro-sociality, but so far without data from Africa (e.g., Kitayama et al., 2022; San Martin et al., 2018; Uskul et al., 2023). Placing African contexts on the global map would be a important contribution to cultural psychology. In the Africa Long Life Study (ALLS) we followed the recommendation of many authors (e.g. van de Vijver, 2013; Saucier et al., 2014) to look at four other cultural values in a sample of young adults in Namibia, Kenya, and South Africa: Cultural tightness-looseness (Gelfand et al., 2011), Relational Mobility (Thomson et al., 2017; Yuki et al., 2007), Culture of honor/proneness to aggress (Henry, 2009), and Regularity Norm Behaviors (Saucier et al., 2015). This master thesis will analyze these four variables in the three countries and compare results to literature and research from other countries, to assess the degree to which these variables capture meaningful differences among African populations and between these populations and other groups in the world.
    Anzahl Arbeiten für dieses Thema: 1
    Zeitrahmen: FS24
    Eingabedatum: 05.10.2023
    Kontakt: Julia Rotzinger, E-Mail

    Status: vergeben (erfasst / geändert: 02.02.2024)
  • Characteristics of emerging adulthood in sub-Saharan Africa

    Beschreibung: Emerging adulthood, the time of transitioning into adulthood around ages 18-29, has been characterized in the West as a time of identity exploration, instability, self-focus, feeling in-between, and optimism (Arnett, 2000). What does this phase look like in non-western contexts, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa where the highest population of young people are found? Which aspects of emerging adulthood are prominent and how do these compare to the West and Asia? This thesis will explore these questions in order to distinguish which emerging adulthood features seem more universal, and which may be more culture-and-context specific to sub-Saharan Africa, specifically in Namibia, South Africa and/or Kenya. This will be investigated utilizing data from the Africa Long Life Study on the Inventory of the Dimensions of Emerging Adulthood (IDEA) scale (Reifman, Arnett, & Colwell, 2007), an instrument that measures the features of emerging adulthood. The IDEA scale adapted for this study has about 18 items on identity exploration, instability, self-focus, feeling in-between, and optimism and also includes items assessing ?others-focus?, which has not been a focus of emerging adulthood in the West, but may be relevant in the African context as a result of communal values. The psychometric properties of the IDEA will be analyzed, possibly including an explorative factor analysis to observe the factor structure produced within these contexts. Arnett, J. J. (2000). Emerging adulthood: A theory of development from the late teens through the twenties. American Psychologist, 55, 469?480. https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.55.5.469 Faas, C., McFall, J., Peer, J. W., Schmolesky, M. T., Chalk, H. M., Hermann, A., Chopik, W. J., Leighton, D. C., Lazzara, J., Kemp, A., DiLillio, V., & Grahe, J. (2020). Emerging Adulthood MoA/IDEA-8 Scale Characteristics From Multiple Institutions. Emerging Adulthood, 8(4), 259?269. https://doi.org/10.1177/2167696818811192 Nelson, L. J., & Barry, C. M. (2005). Distinguishing Features of Emerging Adulthood: The Role of Self-Classification as an Adult. Journal of Adolescent Research, 20(2), 242?262. https://doi.org/10.1177/0743558404273074
    Anzahl Arbeiten für dieses Thema: 1
    Zeitrahmen: FS24
    Eingabedatum: 10.10.2023
    Kontakt: Selma Uugwanga, E-Mail

    Status: vergeben (erfasst / geändert: 02.02.2024)
  • Assessing socioeconomic status among emerging adults in sub-Saharan Africa

    Beschreibung: Different indicators for socioeconomic status (e.g., income, education, occupation) have been used to assess its often-significant impact on life outcomes of every type. Among adolescents, and outside Western contexts, however, this important research has been hampered by a lack of appropriate measures and challenges to obtaining accurate information (Currie et al. 1997; Molcho et al. 2007). One promising instrument designed to optimize assessment of SES among adolescents is the Family Affluence Scale (FAS; Currie et al., 2004). It has been used to assess SES mostly in Europe and North America, but not yet in African countries. In order to facilitate accounting for the role of relative poverty or affluence on development into adulthood in the groundbreaking Africa Long Life Study (ALLS), a first longitudinal study of psychological phenomena in Namibia, Kenya, and South Africa we are attempting to contextualize this measure. The goals of this master thesis are to (1) assess the psychometric properties and model fit of our new African Family Affluence Scale in Namibia, Kenya, and South Africa, and (2) to assess its convergent validity with other indicators of SES. The goal is to develop a culturally adapted instrument that can be used to assess socioeconomic status among emerging adults in Namibia, Kenya, and South Africa, and that is potentially useful in other African and majority world contexts.
    Anzahl Arbeiten für dieses Thema: 1
    Zeitrahmen: FS24
    Eingabedatum: 05.10.2023
    Kontakt: Julia Rotzinger, E-Mail

    Status: vergeben (erfasst / geändert: 02.02.2024)
  • Gender Differences in the Structure of Psychopathology in Kenya, Namibia and South Africa

    Beschreibung: The universal applicability and broad generalizability of psychopathology constructs is generally assumed. However, evidence for contemporary psychopathology models come predominantly from Western contexts, which limits generalizability. In Western epidemiological studies of categorical mental disorders consistently report that sex differences exist in many disorder prevalence rates, and that disorders are often comorbid. In Western studies sex differences in prevalence were systematic such that women showed higher rates of mood and anxiety disorders and men showed higher rates of antisocial and substance use disorders. The goal of this thesis is to investigate patterns of disorder comorbidity using a dimensional internalizing (mood, anxiety, trauma)-externalizing (antisocial, substance use) liability model.
    Anzahl Arbeiten für dieses Thema: 1
    Zeitrahmen: FS24
    Eingabedatum: 11.12.2023
    Kontakt: Daniel Hofmann, E-Mail

    Status: vergeben (erfasst / geändert: 11.12.2023)
  • Religiosity in the Mental Health of Young Adults in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Beschreibung: Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest religious engagement globally, making it the ideal context to explore its protective role in mental health. The African continent faces both a significant mental health burden, as well as a lack of adequate healthcare infrastructure. These challenges are particularly concerning given the high prevalence of psychosocial and socioeconomic stressors, such as poverty, migration, war, and conflict. Religiosity may be a key source of support and resilience since it plays a central role in African cultures and is closely intertwined with values of interconnectedness, personhood, and community, such as the concept of ubuntu/botho. This master thesis using data from the Africa Long Life Study will explore the versus culturally specific aspects of religiosity's protective effect on mental health. Understanding and harnessing the potential protective benefits of religiosity, this research could also inform culturally relevant prevention measures and contribute to global mental health programs.
    Anzahl Arbeiten für dieses Thema: 1
    Zeitrahmen: FS23
    Eingabedatum: 30.10.2023
    Kontakt: Daniel Hofmann, E-Mail

    Status: vergeben (erfasst / geändert: 30.10.2023)
  • Stability of Mental Health Measurement Across Time in a Kenyan Sample: A Longitudinal Structural Equation Model

    Beschreibung: Mental health assessments are crucial in understanding psychological well-being globally. The International Mental Health Assessment (IMHA) is a measure of common behavioral health problems. The study?s goal is to enhance IMHA's utility in longitudinal research, ensuring consistency and reliability, thereby advancing mental health interventions in Kenya and similar settings worldwide. The research addresses the challenge of ensuring consistent measurement of mental health factors over time, vital for drawing meaningful conclusions and evaluating mental health stability and predictions. By focusing on IMHA?s measurement invariance, the study aims to provide a robust framework for researchers, ensuring the tool's reliability across various time points. The primary objective is to assess the longitudinal measurement invariance of the IMHA among Kenyan populations, ensuring that changes in IMHA scores truly reflect mental health dynamics and not measurement errors. Achieving this objective will enhance methodological soundness in mental health research, leading to evidence-based interventions tailored to Kenya?s unique needs.Utilizing data from the Africa Long Life Study, a longitudinal research design is employed. The methodology encompasses data processing, exploratory data analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, and structural equation modeling.
    Anzahl Arbeiten für dieses Thema: 1
    Zeitrahmen: HS23
    Eingabedatum: 10.10.2023
    Kontakt: Daniel Hofmann, E-Mail

    Status: vergeben (erfasst / geändert: 10.10.2023)
  • Mental health trajectories in young adults in sub-Saharan Africa

    Beschreibung: Mental health research globally have been minimally informed by evidence from African samples (Mpofu, 2002; Nwoye, 2015), although the region has a large mental health burden (Cortina et al., 2012; Skeen et al., 2010; World Health Organisation, 2014). Evidence in the West suggests that young adults are particularly at risk for psychological disorders (Bantjes et al., 2016; Crumb et al., 2021; Robinson, 2019), which is highly relevant in Africa, given the youth of the population. Better understanding the development of mental health issues in this group is needed to improve local efforts for prevention and intervention. The goal of this master thesis is use two waves of data from the Africa Long Life Study to assess the one-year change among samples of 18- to19-year-olds from three sub-Saharan African countries. The study may look at differences by group or life experience, and may compare results to what has been reported in the West. The measurement tool is a contextualised version of the Cascade Mental Health Assessment (CMHA), which is integrated with a large body of evidence suggesting the utility of a hierarchical model for the organisation of disorder symptoms. Its measurement properties may also be assessed. Prior evidence indicates that these dimensions could be useful in cultural clinical psychology (Krueger et al., 2003). A hierarchical and dimensional approach to psychopathology recognises that culture exerts an important influence on symptomatology but also seeks to capture spectra that are conceptualised to be universal. Thus this research can utilise common categories (Depression, Anxiety, Post-traumatic stress, substance use and abuse, anger issues, life stress, sleep issues, relational conflict) and/or higher order spectra (Internalising, Externalising and Life Difficulties), considering which level of analysis is more suitable.
    Anzahl Arbeiten für dieses Thema: 1
    Zeitrahmen: FS23
    Eingabedatum: 17.11.2022
    Kontakt: Daniel Hofmann, E-Mail

    Status: vergeben (erfasst / geändert: 25.01.2023)
  • Becoming an Adult in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Beschreibung: Emerging adulthood, the time between ages 18-25, has been defined in the West as a stage characterized by identity exploration, instability, self-focus, feeling in-between, and optimism (Arnett, 2000). Many life changes happen during this period that can variously impact when and how emerging adults experience themselves as adults. Emerging adulthood has been reported to be one of the most stressful periods across the human life span, including the ages with the highest reported mental illness onset (Zhong & Arnett, 2014). Emerging adulthood has been studied extensively in the West, and to some extent in East Asian countries, where the features and experiences have some similarities but also marked differences (Zhong & Arnett, 2014). It is important to explore the influence of culture and context on the reported important features and markers as these events are impacted by cultural expectations and the possibilities of the specific context. Sub-Saharan Africa, which has a significantly young population with a median age of 19.7 years and 70% of the total population under the age of 30, remains understudied and poorly represented in the current literature. This project will explore how emerging adulthood populations in Sub-Saharan Africa (specifically in either South Africa or Kenya) are transitioning into adulthood, and what ways this is similar to or different from the West and Asia. This will be investigated, utilizing data on the Markers of Adulthood scale, an instrument that measures what milestones are endorsed to become an adult with 38 items, clustered into seven categories: Independence, Interdependence, Role transitions, Norm compliance, Biological transitions, chronological transitions and Family capacities. The scale has been reviewed by Fosse, Grahe, and Reifman (2015) and Norman, Grahe & Lee (2021) to assess its validity. This thesis will be a psychometric exploration of the measures in Kenya or South Africa and exploration of the markers that are significant to this context. Key references: Arnett, J., 2000. Emerging adulthood: A theory of development from the late teens through the twenties. American Psychologist, 55(5), pp.469-480. Fosse, N., Grahe, J. E., & Reifman, A. (2015). Markers of Adulthood Subscale Development: Comparative Review and Assessment of Inductive and Deductive Psychometrics. Retrieved from https://osf.io/p8nwq/ Norman, K. B., Grahe, J. E., & Lee, S. (2021). Reconstructing adulthood: Revising the markers of adulthood scale for increased ecological validity. Psychological Reports, 003329412110617. https://doi.org/10.1177/00332941211061700 Zhong, J., & Arnett, J. J. (2014). Conceptions of adulthood among migrant women workers in China. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 38(3), 255?265. https://doi.org/10.1177/0165025413515133
    Anzahl Arbeiten für dieses Thema: 1
    Zeitrahmen: FS23
    Eingabedatum: 17.11.2022
    Kontakt: Selma N. Uugwanga, E-Mail

    Status: vergeben (erfasst / geändert: 25.01.2023)
  • Ubuntu/Botho: Analysis of qualitative interviews on African interconnectedness

    Beschreibung: Ubuntu is an expression of African humanity and relates to qualities such as empathy, compassion, hospitality, generosity, among others. It has four key elements, namely African spirituality, botho as personhood, botho and interconnectedness, botho and communalism (Sodi et al., 2021). It is the ideal of human being (Dolamo, 2013) and guides people on a daily basis to live in harmony with others. Most research on this topic has been conducted theoretically with few quantitative or qualitative studies. The present thesis consists of a qualitative analysis of interviews with 18-year-old?s from across Namibia and possibly also in Kenya and South Africa. The aim is to get a better understanding of Both/Ubuntu in the life of young adults
    Anzahl Arbeiten für dieses Thema: 1
    Zeitrahmen: HS22
    Eingabedatum: 19.05.2022
    Kontakt: Julia Rotzinger, E-Mail

    Status: vergeben (erfasst / geändert: 25.06.2022)
  • Life Satisfaction in Namibia

    Beschreibung: Since the 1980s, research on subjective well-being has increased dramatically (Diener, 2009). Developed in 1985, the 5-item scale Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) was designed to efficiently assess subjective well-being, combined across different life domains, and has since been employed in hundreds of studies. Good psychometric properties have been reported for English and in translation to over 30 other languages (Diener, 2020). The objective of the current study is to assess the psychometric properties and normative values of the SWLS in three relatively representative language-group sample of Namibians, including two new translations to African languages plus English. This assessment of the SWLS?s applicability to and utility in Namibia, including its measurement invariance across language groups is provided to establish it as a valid measure for research in the Namibian context.
    Anzahl Arbeiten für dieses Thema: 1
    Zeitrahmen: FS22
    Eingabedatum: 23.05.2022
    Kontakt: Amber Gayle Thalmayer , E-Mail

    Status: vergeben (erfasst / geändert: 23.05.2022)
  • "Still standing inside" Qualitative analysis of interviews on a cultural concept of post-traumatic distress among Khoekhoegowab speakers in Namibia

    Beschreibung: A local idiom in Khoekhoegowab describes a situation in which "a terrible experience has entered into a person and is still standing inside them." This idiom of distress is thought to describe ongoing psychological impact of a traumatic experience. The interviews will be analysed using a qualitative method to be determined. An emic approach of identifying the etiologic and potential vulnerability factors is planned.
    Anzahl Arbeiten für dieses Thema: 1
    Zeitrahmen: 2022
    Eingabedatum: 21.04.2022
    Kontakt: Daniel Hofmann, E-Mail

    Status: vergeben (erfasst / geändert: 21.04.2022)
  • A Cross-Culturally Universal Personality Model of Three Dimensions

    Beschreibung: Personality psychology relies on the Big Five model, developed in North America and northern Europe. Although inventories have been translated and used all over the world, the model is not a good match to locally important distinctions in many contexts. A two-factor model (Social Self-Regulation and Dynamism) arises more consistently in local lexical studies around the globe, providing a possible higher-order universal model. Recent evidence, however, suggests that a three-factor model might be equally universal, and could provide better distinction and prediction. However, the specific content of those three factors that is most universally applicable is not known. The present thesis would identify common-denominator concepts for three factors and situate the resulting model within existing theoretical and empirical work. This culturally de-centered model would provide the basis for a truly cross-cultural personality inventory and model, not dominated by Western samples. Forschungsmethoden: Lists from 11 lexical studies from around the globe would be compared, either in Excel or R. This would require extensive information organization, but little statistical analysis. Common-denominator concepts would be identified, and literature reviews would be used to compare the results existing theoretical and empirical work on personality traits and structure.The method would closely follow that used in the paper cited below to identify a two-factor model. Weiterführende Literatur: Saucier, G., Thalmayer, A. G., Payne, D. L., Carlson, R., Sanogo, L., Ole-Kotikash, L., Church, A. T., Katigbak, M. S., Somer, O., Szarota, P., Szirmák, Z., & Zhou, X. (2014). A basic bivariate structure of personality attributes evident across nine languages. Journal of Personality, 82(1), 1?14. https://doi.org/10.1111/jopy.12028
    Anzahl Arbeiten für dieses Thema: 1
    Zeitrahmen: 2022
    Eingabedatum: 07.12.2021
    Kontakt: Julia Rotzinger, E-Mail

    Status: vergeben (erfasst / geändert: 01.04.2022)
  • Alcohol use and abuse in Africa: Analysis of qualitative interviews

    Beschreibung: In our team?s preliminary work on mental health and disorder symptoms in Namibia, we identified different patterns of alcohol use and abuse, including different attitudes, motivations, community reactions, and patterns of difficulty. Masters theses with our group would use qualitative analysis of interviews. Some supporting quantitative survey data will also be available. One set of 48 interview among Oshiwambo-speaking young adults specifically explores motivations for drinking, in order to understand the ways that choices and habits are formed early in life. These are expected to make a useful contribution to (a) the international literature on alcohol motivation (e.g. Cooper, 1994; Cooper et al, 2003; Cooper et al., 2015) by providing the contrast of a sample from an African country, and (b) clinicians and public health officials in Namibia seeking to reduce harmful alcohol use in the country. A second sample among a sample of 20 adult Khoekhoegowab-speakers explores local conceptions of types of alcohol use and abuse. These interviews could potentially be integrated with those in the same sample on the topics of depression and trauma to assess local idioms of distress and of coping. Forschungsmethoden: Learn and use qualitative thematic analysis to analyse interview material that has already been collected in Namibia (in English).
    Anzahl Arbeiten für dieses Thema: 2
    Zeitrahmen: 2022
    Eingabedatum: 07.12.2021
    Kontakt: Daniel Hofmann, E-Mail

    Status: vergeben (erfasst / geändert: 01.04.2022)
  • Pain in the heart: a local idioms of depression among Khoekhoegowab-speakers in Namibia

    Beschreibung: Analysis of qualitative interviews on a local idiom related to depression among speakers of Khoekhoegowab from throughout Namibia.
    Anzahl Arbeiten für dieses Thema: 1
    Zeitrahmen: 2022
    Eingabedatum: 07.12.2021
    Kontakt: Daniel Hofmann, E-Mail

    Status: vergeben (erfasst / geändert: 07.12.2021)