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    Using Personal-Disclosure Mutual-Sharing (PDMS) with first-year undergraduate students transitioning to higher education

    Evans, Andrew, Slater, Matthew and Turner, Martin ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1975-5561 (2022) Using Personal-Disclosure Mutual-Sharing (PDMS) with first-year undergraduate students transitioning to higher education. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 92 (4). pp. 1315-1334. ISSN 0007-0998

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    Background: Using Personal-Disclosure Mutual-Sharing (PDMS) with students transitioning into Higher Education (HE) has yet to be researched in education. Aims: In two studies, we aimed to explore the immediate effects of a Coping Oriented Personal-Disclosure Mutual-Sharing (COPDMS) intervention on first-year undergraduate students’ relational and organizational identification, perceived social support availability, and self-efficacy for learning and performance. In our second study, we also aimed to examine student-perceptions of participating in a COPDMS intervention. Sample and Methods: At the beginning of induction week in both studies, first-year undergraduate students on the same degree programme at a HE provider in England received an education session where COPDMS was introduced. Students participated in a COPDMS session a few days later. During COPDMS sessions, students mutually-shared and disclosed personal information and/or stories relating to transitional experiences with other students and staff members. Results: Across both studies, students’ relational identification with staff and perceived emotional, esteemed, and informational support availability from others on the degree programme significantly increased from pre- to post-COPDMS phases. Findings relating to relational identification with other Year 1 students and perceived availability of tangible support were mixed. No significant changes occurred for organizational identification with the university and self efficacy for learning and performance. In Study 2, five higher-order themes relating to students’ perceptions of COPDMS were found: (1) emotionality; (2) personal development; (3) storytelling; (4) enhanced group processes; and (5) task appropriateness and value. Conclusions: Study findings provide evidence that COPDMS is a useful psychological intervention to deliver to students transitioning into HE. Practical considerations, limitations and future research suggestions are provided.

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