The University of Dublin, Ireland
Posters & Accepted Abstracts: J Psychol Psychother
Seafaring has long combined paradoxes, such as social exclusion and continuous social contact, confinement in open spaces and multiculturalism within the single organizational culture of a ship. Consistencies such as social isolation and confinement with shipmates are evident in onboard working and living conditions from the earliest seafarers to their contemporaries. Nonetheless, substantial social changes are apparent in recent times, including the large-scale introduction of multinational crews, a revolution in information and communication technologies and faster ship turnaround in ports. In light of research indicating that mariners are a professional group amongst those at the highest risk for stress and associated mental health conditions, researchers are calling for the psychological health of seafarers to be adequately investigated, measured and addressed. For decades, a collective focus of the fields of psychology, neuroscience and mental health on the long and short-term consequences of stress is evident and more recently, on extreme stress. As highlighted by Schager, the shipping industry could gain many benefits by availing of modern scientific psychology. To date, the application of positive psychology concepts, interventions and training to the maritime context has been explored only to a limited degree. This Doctoral research explores positive psychology as an approach to enhancing well-being at sea. The research comprises two primary aims: Assessment of perceptions and experiences of resilience, stress and wellbeing in the maritime context and the perceived effects of an offshore positive psychology (resilience) intervention amongst seafarers.
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