International recognition for ACU research excellence

Published: Monday 25th May 2015

Professor Herb Marsh and Dr Sarah Marshall from ACU’s Institute for Positive Psychology and Education (IPPE) have been recognized glogally for their research excellence.

Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich will give Professor Marsh an Honorary Doctorate while Dr Marshall won the Dr. Sybil Eysenck Young Researcher Award - a global award offered by academic publishing company Elsevier.

Professor Marsh will attend the Academic Ceremony in Munich hosted by the University’s Faculty of Psychology and Education on 18 September and will deliver the key note lecture titled: “Academic Self-concept: Cornerstone of a Revolution in the Positive Psychology of Education”.  

“There is a positive psychology revolution sweeping educational psychology, one that emphasizes how healthy, normal and exceptional students can get the most from education,” Professor Marsh said.

“Positive self-beliefs are at the heart of this revolution. My self-concept research program represents a substantive-quantitative synergy, applying and developing new quantitative approaches to better address substantive issues with important policy implications.

“My purpose is to provide an overview of my self-concept research in which I address diverse theoretical and methodological issues with practical implications for research, policy and practice.”

Dr Marshall was part of a team who wrote the paper, “Self-compassion protects against the negative effects of low self-esteem: A longitudinal study in a large adolescent sample”.

The team focused on self-compassion, which involves accepting self-doubt, negative self-evaluations and adversity as part of the human condition.

In a longitudinal study of 2448 Australian adolescents, the team assessed how self-esteem interacted with self-compassion in Grade 9 to predict changes in mental health over the next year.

As hypothesized, self-compassion moderated the influence of self-esteem on mental health. Amongst those high in self-compassion, low self-esteem had little effect on mental health, suggesting a potentially potent buffering affect.

The paper discusses the possibility that fostering self-compassion among adolescents can reduce their need for self-esteem in situations that elicit self-doubt.