The purpose of the current study is to examine the relationships between hope, optimism and mental health (psychological well-being and psychological distress) among students. A total of 222 students (132 males and 90 females) at the University of Pune from India completed inventories Revision of the Life Orientation Test (LOT-R), the Trait Hope Scale (THS) and the Mental Health Inventory (MHI) that assessed their optimism, hope and psychological well-being and psychological distress. The results of the study showed that optimism and hope were significantly correlated with each other. Optimism is positively related to psychological well-being and optimism is negatively related to psychological distress. Also, hope was positively related to psychological well-being. However, the findings suggest that optimism and hope could influence on mental health.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is not an exception in relying on the growth of its construction industry to support rapid population growth. However, its need for infrastructure development is constrained by low productivity levels and cost overruns caused by factors such as delays to project completion. Delays in delivering a construction project are a global issue and while theories such as Optimism Bias have been used to explain such delays, in KSA, client-related causes of delays are also significant. The objective of this paper is to develop a framework-based approach to explore how the country’s construction industry can manage and reduce delays in construction projects through building information modelling (BIM) in order to mitigate the cost consequences of such delays. It comprehensively and systematically reviewed the global literature on the subject and identified gaps, critical delay factors and the specific benefits that BIM can deliver for the delay management. A case study comprising of nine hospital projects that have experienced delay and cost overruns was also carried out. Five critical delay factors related to the clients were identified as candidates that can be mitigated through BIM’s benefits. These factors are: Ineffective planning and scheduling of the project; changes during construction by the client; delay in progress payment; slowness in decision making by the client; and poor communication between clients and other stakeholders. In addition, data from the case study projects strongly suggest that optimism bias is present in many of the hospital projects. Further validation via key stakeholder interviews and documentations are planned.
When examining conflicts around the world, it is evident that the majority of intractable conflicts are steeped in identity. Identity seems to be not only a causal variable for conflict, but also a catalytic parameter for the process of reconciliation that follows ceasefire. This paper focuses on the process of identity securitization that occurs between rival groups of heterogeneous collective identities – ethnic, national or religious – as well as on the relationship between identity securitization and the ability of the groups involved to reconcile. Are securitized identities obstacles to the process of reconciliation, able to hinder any prospects of peace? If the level to which an identity is securitized is catalytic to a conflict’s discourse and settlement, then which factors act as indicators of identity de-securitization? The level of an in-group’s identity securitization can be estimated through a number of indicators, one of which is narrative. The stories, views and stances each in-group adopts in relation to its history of conflict and relation with their rival out-group can clarify whether that specific in-group feels victimized and threatened or safe and ready to reconcile. Accordingly, this study discusses identity securitization through narrative in relation to intractable conflicts. Are there conflicts around the world that, despite having been identified as intractable, stagnated or insoluble, show signs of identity de-securitization through narrative? This inquiry uses the case of the Cyprus conflict and its partitioned societies to present official narratives from the two communities and assess whether these narratives have transformed, indicating a less securitized in-group identity for the Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Specifically, the study compares the official historical overviews presented by each community’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website and discusses the extent to which the two official narratives present a securitized collective identity. In addition, the study will observe whether official stances by the two communities – as adopted by community leaders – have transformed to depict less securitization over time. Additionally, the leaders’ reflection of popular opinion is evaluated through recent opinion polls from each community. Cyprus is currently experiencing renewed optimism for reunification, with the leaders of its two communities engaging in rigorous negotiations, and with rumors calling for a potential referendum for reunification to be taking place even as early as within 2016. Although leaders’ have shown a shift in their rhetoric and have moved away from narratives of victimization, this is not the case for the official narratives used by their respective ministries of foreign affairs. The study’s findings explore whether this narrative inconsistency proves that Cyprus is transitioning towards reunification, or whether the leaders are risking sending a securitized population to the polls to reject a potential reunification. More broadly, this study suggests that in the event that intractable conflicts might be moving towards viable peace, in-group narratives--official narratives in particular--can act as indicators of the extent to which rival entities have managed to reconcile.
It is not only the economic determinants that impact on life conditions, but maintaining a good level of life satisfaction (LS) may also be an important challenge currently. In Luxembourg, university students receive financial aid from the government. They are then registered at the Centre for Documentation and Information on Higher Education (CEDIES). Luxembourg is built on migration with almost half its population consisting of foreigners. It is upon this basis that our research aims to analyze the associations with mental health factors (health satisfaction, psychological quality of life, worry), perceived financial situation, career attitudes (adaptability, optimism, knowledge, planning) and LS, for non-Luxembourgish and native postgraduate students. Between 2012 and 2013, postgraduates registered at CEDIES were contacted by post and asked to participate in an online survey with either the option of English or French. The study population comprised of 644 respondents. Our statistical analysis excluded: those born abroad who had Luxembourgish citizenship, or those born in Luxembourg who did not have citizenship. Two groups were formed one consisting 147 non-Luxembourgish and the other 284 natives. A single item measured LS (1=not at all satisfied to 10=very satisfied). Bivariate tests, correlations and multiple linear regression models were used in which only significant relationships (p<0.05) were integrated. Among the two groups no differences were found between LS indicators (7.8/10 non-Luxembourgish; 8.0/10 natives) as both were higher than the European indicator of 7.2/10 (for 25-34 years). In the case of non-Luxembourgish students, they were older than natives (29.3 years vs. 26.3 years) perceived their financial situation as more difficult, and a higher percentage of their parents had an education level higher than a Bachelor's degree (father 59.2% vs 44.6% for natives; mother 51.4% vs 33.7% for natives). In addition, the father’s education was related to the LS of postgraduates and the higher was the score, the greater was the contribution to LS. Whereas for native students, when their scores of health satisfaction and career optimism were higher, their LS’ score was higher. For both groups their LS was linked to mental health-related factors, perception of their financial situation, career optimism, adaptability and planning. The higher the psychological quality of life score was, the greater the LS of postgraduates’ was. Good health and positive attitudes related to the job market enhanced their LS indicator.
Vacant City of Cape Town-owned land lying unutilized and -productive could be developed for land uses such as urban agriculture that may improve the livelihoods of low income families. The new City of Cape Town zoning scheme includes an Urban Agriculture zoning for the first time. Unstructured qualitative interviews among town planners revealed their optimism about this inclusion as it will provide low-income residents with opportunities to generate an income. An existing farming community at Philippi, located within the municipal boundary of the city, was approached and empirical data obtained through questionnaires provided proof that urban agriculture could be viable in a coastal metropolitan city such as Cape Town even if farmers only produce for their own households. The lease method proposed for urban agriculture is a usufruct agreement conferring the right to another party, other than the legal owner, to enjoy the use and advantages of the property.
The paper shows how the perceptions of five organizational virtuousness dimensions (optimism, trust, compassion, integrity, and forgiveness) explain organizational citizenship behaviors (altruism, sportsmanship, courtesy, conscientiousness, and civic virtue). A sample comprising 216 individuals from 14 industrial organizations was collected. Individuals reported their perceptions of organizational virtuousness, their organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB) being reported by their supervisors. The main findings are the following: (a) the perceptions of trust predict altruism; (b) the perceptions of integrity predict civic virtue.