Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica]]> vol. 30 num. lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Predictors of happiness among retired from urban and rural areas in Brazil]]> Abstract This study compared differences in degree of happiness, social support, activities performed, and health and economic situation among retirees from urban and rural areas in Minas Gerais State in Brazil. The influences of these predictors over individuals’ level of happiness were also analyzed. We included 279 retired individuals living in Abre Campo (a municipality with a population fewer than 20,000 inhabitants, which is considered a rural area) and in Belo Horizonte (a municipality with a population of almost 2.5 million inhabitants, which is considered an urban area). Participants responded to a questionnaire that included scales of happiness, social support, diversity of activities, and issues about satisfaction with health and economic situation. Retirees from the urban area had a higher happiness level than retirees from the rural area (β= 0.16). The most important predictors of happiness were health (β= 0.42), social support (β= 0.26), and economic situation (β= 0.15), but no moderation effects of urban and rural areas were found. Our findings support the implementation of actions to offer financial planning before retirement and to stimulate social support and health promotion for retirees, particularly given the importance of these factors in perception of happiness. <![CDATA[Homework self-regulation strategies: a gender and educational-level invariance analysis]]> Abstract This study investigates the measurement invariance as a function of gender and educational level of the Homework Behavior Questionnaire (Ktpc), an instrument developed to assess students’ homework self-regulation strategies. A sample of 1400 elementary and middle school students was used. Results of confirmatory factor analysis indicated a good fit of the theoretical model composed of three dimensions: planning, execution and evaluation of the homework completion. The results also provided evidence for the existence of metric invariance and partial scalar measurement invariance across boys and girls and across the elementary school and the middle school students. The reliability of the scores in the three dimensions was high. Girls obtained higher scores than boys in planning, execution and evaluation. Middle school students had lower scores in planning compared to the elementary school students. These findings are discussed, and their implications for practice are highlighted. <![CDATA[Scale development: ten main limitations and recommendations to improve future research practices]]> Abstract The scale development process is critical to building knowledge in human and social sciences. The present paper aimed (a) to provide a systematic review of the published literature regarding current practices of the scale development process, (b) to assess the main limitations reported by the authors in these processes, and (c) to provide a set of recommendations for best practices in future scale development research. Papers were selected in September 2015, with the search terms “scale development” and “limitations” from three databases: Scopus, PsycINFO, and Web of Science, with no time restriction. We evaluated 105 studies published between 1976 and 2015. The analysis considered the three basic steps in scale development: item generation, theoretical analysis, and psychometric analysis. The study identified ten main types of limitation in these practices reported in the literature: sample characteristic limitations, methodological limitations, psychometric limitations, qualitative research limitations, missing data, social desirability bias, item limitations, brevity of the scale, difficulty controlling all variables, and lack of manual instructions. Considering these results, various studies analyzed in this review clearly identified methodological weaknesses in the scale development process (e.g., smaller sample sizes in psychometric analysis), but only a few researchers recognized and recorded these limitations. We hope that a systematic knowledge of the difficulties usually reported in scale development will help future researchers to recognize their own limitations and especially to make the most appropriate choices among different conceptions and methodological strategies. <![CDATA[Drug use prevention projects in schools in Vitória, Brazil: quality analysis and improvement proposals]]> Abstract Adolescents living in vulnerable regions are more exposed to risk factors for drug use. The prevention of such use in school is a public policy that needs evaluation. Based on technical criteria and derived from a mixed research, this article analyses the quality of school-based prevention of drug use in Vitória, state of Espírito Santo, Brazil, and proposes improvements. A checklist of quality elements was completed with data from 16 projects proposed by 99 teachers from public schools. In 10 projects (62.5%), the approximate quality index was above 0.50. The majority of projects fulfilled the requirement of theoretical foundation (81.25%) and some of the methodological (93.75%), design (75%) and implementation (62%) requirements. Other requirements were absent: the majority were not designed by the whole school community (87.5%), and the participation of the family (62.5%) or the students as mediators (62.5%) was not considered. In general, contents of life skills (87.5%), positive relationships and alternative activities to drug use (56.25%) were not included. Activities for reinforcing the content were not described in any of the projects, and evaluation activities were described in only a few (31.25%). Many projects did not describe the inclusion of the project in the school curriculum (62.5%). Although, considering all items of effectiveness, regardless of their weight, more than half of the projects had an above average quality. The present items provide quality to the projects, whereas absent items indicate shortcomings to be improved using some of the measures described in this study. <![CDATA[Morphological priming development in Brazilian Portuguese-speaking children]]> Abstract Many studies have shown that, while reading, the brain works a sort of decomposing process of words, reducing them to its morphemes. Moreover, many studies have shown that morphological awareness, which is the ability to reflect upon the structure of words, may contribute to reading in Brazilian Portuguese. The present study investigated morphological priming in children and evaluated the correlation between morphological priming and morphological awareness scores. One hundred and forty-one children took part in this research: 35 second graders, 33 third graders, 33 fourth graders, and 40 fifth graders. They performed a lexical decision task (LDT) and morphological awareness task. Results indicate that as early as the second grade, children show some degree of morphological priming effects. In addition, children from the fifth grade presented morphological priming effects similar to those of a skilled reader. No correlations between morphological awareness scores and morphological priming effects were found. <![CDATA[A note on motor skill acquisition in mild and moderate Down syndrome individuals]]> Abstract This study investigated the acquisition of a serial motor skill in individuals with Down syndrome with two levels of handicap, mild group (mean age = 14.5 years, SD = 2.3, 7 individuals) and moderate group (mean age = 15.2 years, SD = 3.2, 7 individuals). The task involved single-arm sequential movements to five. The measures to access performance were overall sequence error, reaction time, and total movement time. To evaluate action program, formation variability of sequencing and relative timing variability were considered. Although there was no clear practice effect, the results showed that the level of handicap led to different strategies to plan and control the actions. The moderate group presented a less stable action program expressed in the variability in sequencing and timing. Their longer reaction times also suggest a heavy demand on central processing in accord with the one-target advantage hypothesis and also due to memory deficits to select and plan movements. <![CDATA[Relations between mental workload and decision-making in an organizational setting]]> Asbtract Background The complexity of current organizations implies a potential overload for workers. For this reason, it is of interest to study the effects that mental workload has on the performance of complex tasks in professional settings. Objective The objective of this study is to empirically analyze the relation between the quality of decision-making, on the one hand, and the expected and real mental workload, on the other. Methods The study uses an ex post facto prospective design with a sample of 176 professionals from a higher education organization. Expected mental workload (Pre-Task WL) and real mental workload (Post-Task WL) were measured with the unweighted NASA-Task Load Index (NASA-TLX) questionnaire; difference between real WL and expected WL (Differential WL) was also calculated; quality of decision-making was measured by means of the Decision-Making Questionnaire. Results General quality of decision-making and Pre-Task WL relation is compatible with an inverted U pattern, with slight variations depending on the specific dimension of decision-making that is considered. There were no verifiable relations between Post-Task WL and decision-making. The subjects whose expected WL matched the real WL showed worse quality in decision-making than subjects with high or low Differential WL. Conclusions The relations between mental workload and decision-making reveal a complex pattern, with evidence of nonlinear relations.