The Mediator and the Moderator Effects of Positive Cognition on the Relationship Between Alienation and Resourcefulness in Nursing Students in Alexandria

Wednesday, 14 July 2010: 9:10 AM

Abir K. Bekhet, PhD, RN
College of Nursing, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI
Jaclene A. Zauszniewski, PhD, RN-BC, FAAN
Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

Learning Objective 1: to describe the effects of positive cognitions on alienation and resourcefulness in adolescent nursing students.

Learning Objective 2: to identify strategies to help nursing students to develop positive cognitions for reducing alienation and increasing their resourcefulness.

Alienation is an experience of dissatisfaction and disconnectedness with oneself, with others, with one’s God, with nature or a transcendent realm of being.  Alienation in adolescents can lead to acting-out behaviors, including juvenile delinquency, assault, rape, alcoholism, drug addiction, and suicide.  Nursing students, the adolescents of today, are the nurses of tomorrow who will deal with human behavior.  Their psychological well-being is an important factor in managing their client’s condition.  Adolescents enjoy a new capacity and opportunity for meaningful identification, which can provide a major direction and organization for the remodeling process. 

Purpose: Within the context of Zauszniewski’s mid-range theory of resourcefulness, this study examined whether the effects of the intrinsic factors (alienation) on the adolescent’s resourcefulness (personal and social) are influenced (i.e., mediated or moderated) by process regulators, such as positive cognitions.

Methods: A descriptive, correlational, cross-sectional design was used to examine hypothesized relationships among the study variables in a convenience sample of 170 adolescent first year nursing students aged 17 to 20 years old.

Results: Using hierarchical multiple regression, results showed that positive cognitions had a moderating effect on the relationship between alienation and resourcefulness. The addition of the interaction term was significant and the amount of variance explained increased from 8% to 11% (B = –.21, t (3,166) = –2.54, p < .05).  Results also indicated that positive cognitions had a partial mediating effect on the relationship between alienation and resourcefulness; there was a substantial drop in the beta weight of relocation controllability (B = −.27 to −.20) accompanied by a change in significance when positive cognitions entered the equation. 

Conclusion: The findings suggest that it is imperative for nurses to generate primary, secondary, and tertiary interventions to enhance positive cognitions in nursing students.