International Journal of Wellbeing 2020-12-16T17:31:17-08:00 Dr. Dan Weijers Open Journal Systems <p>The <em>International Journal of Wellbeing</em> was launched on 31st January 2011 in order to promote interdisciplinary research on wellbeing. The editorial team is dedicated to open access for academic research. The content is free for everyone to access, and there are no submission or publication fees for authors.</p> Researching creativity and wellbeing 2020-12-13T17:36:32-08:00 Frederic Kiernan Jane Davidson Lindsay Oades 2020-12-16T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Frederic Kiernan, Jane W. Davidson, Lindsay G. Oades Between the crowd and the band: Performance experience, creative practice, and wellbeing for professional touring musicians 2020-12-04T19:16:32-08:00 Andrew Geeves Samuel Jones Jane Davidson John Sutton <p>In some musical genres, professional performers play live shows many times a week. Arduous touring schedules bring encounters with wildly diverse audiences across many different performance ecologies. We investigate the kinds of creativity involved in such repeated live performance, kinds of creativity that are quite unlike songwriting and recording, and examine the central factors that influence musicians’ wellbeing over the course of a tour. The perspective of the professional musician has been underrepresented in research on relations between music and wellbeing, with little attention given to the experience of touring. In this case study, we investigate influences on positive and negative performance experiences for the four professional musicians of Australian pop/rock band Cloud Control. Geeves conducted intensive cognitive ethnographic fieldwork with Cloud Control members over a two-week national Australian tour for their second album, <em>Dream Cave</em> (2013). Adapting a Grounded Theory approach to data analysis, we found the level of wellbeing musicians reported and displayed on tour to be intimately linked to their creative performance experiences through the two emergent, overarching and interdependent themes of <em>Performance Headspace</em> (PH) and <em>Connection with Audience</em> (CA). We explore these themes in detail and provide examples to demonstrate how PH and CA can feed off each other in virtuous ways that positively shape musicians’ wellbeing, or loop in vicious ways that negatively shape musicians’ wellbeing. We argue that their creative practice, in thus re-enacting musical performance afresh in each venue’s distinctive setting, emerges within unique constraints each night, and is in a sense a co-creation of the crowd and the band.</p> 2020-12-16T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Andrew Geeves, Samuel Jones, Jane Davidson, John Sutton A theoretical framework of romantic creativity: Dyadic creativity in romantic relationships and plausible links with wellbeing 2020-12-01T01:33:12-08:00 Nicolas B. Verger Raffi Duymedjian <p>Everyday creative behaviours seem to be associated with high levels of wellbeing. Yet, the effects of creativity on wellbeing remain largely unknown, notably at a dyadic level, and particularly in the context of romantic relationships. Previous research has studied the effects of creativity on romantic relationships but has been limited by the two main epistemological assumptions that we present in this article. Consequently, very little is known about the effect of a form of creativity that may occur at a dyadic level in a romantic relationship, and that may have implications in the science of human flourishing. In other words, the research field lacks a theoretical framework for studying the effect of creativity in romantic relationships on wellbeing. The present theoretical framework aims to fill this gap by proposing a dyadic dimension of creativity embedded within wellbeing: romantic creativity<em>. </em>Romantic creativity is conceptualised as an observable, quantifiable, yet non-product-hierarchic phenomenon. It is defined as a dyadic process which favours new and meaningful directions in a romantic relationship through dynamics of discovery and self-expansion in one or both members of the dyad. This article describes the epistemological foundations of this theoretical framework and draws on existing research on self-expansion and the neuroscience of wellbeing to hypothesise the processes that might account for the effect of romantic creativity on human flourishing. We also identify two possible ontological perspectives for research on romantic creativity. The present article proposes that romantic creativity might help dyads to flourish through the processes implied in homeodynamics and dyadic self-expansion.</p> 2020-12-16T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Nicolas B. Verger, Raffi Duymedjian Emotion as creative practice: Linking creativity and wellbeing through the history and sociology of emotion 2020-12-08T01:36:37-08:00 Frederic Kiernan <p>This article draws on recent developments in the history of emotion and the sociology of creativity to argue that emotions themselves may be viewed as creative practices. After an initial, broad overview of key historical and epistemological complexities in emotions research, it describes a framework for understanding emotion (and the history of emotion) proposed by Monique Scheer (2012), which is grounded in the practice theory of French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu. In Scheer’s view, emotions should not be viewed as fundamentally internal physiological or psychological states, but as the practices to which those states are inextricably linked, and by which they are mobilized, named, communicated and regulated. The article then describes a sociological framework for understanding creativity proposed by Janet Chan (2016), which is also underpinned by Bourdieu’s practice theory, and which posits that creativity is an inherent feature of all social action and may generate social change via institutionalized cultural practice or cultural revolt, the latter of which may itself take at least three forms. It then links Scheer’s and Chan’s frameworks together, explaining how, from this sociological perspective, emotions can be understood as creative practices, as embodied acts of thinking performed in habituated ways and which themselves generate change by doing different types of creative work. It proposes a new four-part framework for categorizing emotions as creative practices, based on Chan’s framework for creativity: 1) emotion as institutionalized cultural practice; 2) emotion as cultural edgework; 3) emotion as cultural transcendence; and 4) emotion as cultural transformation. It concludes by suggesting that this framework provides an original and useful way of explaining the role of emotion in generating social and historical change, and of explaining the link between creativity and wellbeing from a sociological perspective.</p> 2020-12-16T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Frederic Kiernan Left / Write // Hook: A mixed method study of a writing and boxing workshop for survivors of childhood sexual abuse and trauma 2020-12-03T18:27:44-08:00 Donna Lyon Shannon Owen Margaret Osborne Khandis Blake Bruna Andrades <p>This article investigates how the combination of writing therapy and embodied empowerment, explored through the physical sport of non-contact boxing, can facilitate the recovery journeys of women survivors of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and their move towards post-traumatic growth. It uses established quantitative psychological measurements and qualitative analytical approaches to examine the impact of an eight-week boxing and writing workshop for female survivors of CSA, called Left/Write//Hook (LWH), on participants’ recovery journeys. The hypothesis was that the LWH workshops would contribute to participants’ recovery and wellbeing. The article reports on the pilot study of the workshops as one aspect of an ongoing research project around LWH which uses concurrent, triangulation mixed methods design to gather and analyze qualitative audio-visual and creative-writing data produced by the women, alongside quantitative psychological assessment data. The findings of qualitative analyses of the participants’ creative writing and the quantitative psychological assessments of the impact of the LWH workshops on participants’ assertiveness, post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, wellbeing, depression, anxiety and stress, along with preliminary findings of filmed material are presented and discussed in this article. The findings supported the hypothesis that the LWH workshops helped facilitate participants’ recovery journeys and supported their wellbeing. This article offers preliminary support for the argument that the dual approach of written/verbal and embodied creativity can enhance the wellbeing of survivors of sexual abuse and trauma.</p> 2020-12-16T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Donna Lyon, Shannon Owen, Dr. Margaret S. Osborne, Dr. Khandis Blake, Bruna Andrades The role of community language radio for understanding creativity and wellbeing in migrant communities in Australia 2020-12-01T14:53:07-08:00 Amanda Krause Anya Lloyd-Smith John Hajek <p>Community radio—and community language radio specifically—occupies an important place in Australia’s multicultural landscape. Members of many language communities arriving in Australia have been denied important opportunities in their home countries including outlets for self-representation and public creativity in their languages. Within Australia, radio provides an accessible means of creative expression, provides vital social connection for community members of all ages and generations, and supports social cohesion on a wider scale. This article explores how community language radio in Australia can play a critical role in supporting the wellbeing of both individuals and communities by providing an accessible and adaptable outlet for creative expression. This case study examines the practices of presenters from Australia’s largest community language radio station, 3ZZZ, which reports broadcasting in around 70 languages weekly. A sample of 16 presenters from the station completed an online, mixed-methods survey. The results afford discussion of the format and composition of community language programs as a form of cultural and language maintenance, the perceived role of creativity in program design and delivery, the perceived impact of the programs for the community, and the perceived role of the program for individual and community wellbeing. The findings are considered with respect to pertinent theoretical frameworks, exploring the implications concerning creativity, community, and wellbeing. The multifaceted results we present highlight how creative community language radio participation is able to contribute positively to wellbeing in the Australian migrant context.</p> 2020-12-16T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Amanda Krause, Anya Lloyd-Smith, John Hajek Care, collaboration and critique: The intersection of creativity and wellbeing in older women 2020-11-25T17:28:35-08:00 Lila Moosad Cathy Vaughan <p>In this paper, we investigate the intersection of creativity and wellbeing for older women based on the experience of a group who participated in a photography project in Melbourne, Australia. We draw on interviews with 18 women who participated in the <em>500 Strong</em> photography project in 2019. This project aimed to raise the visibility and dispel stereotypical portrayals of older women through an exhibition of nude photographs of more than 400 women aged over 50 from Melbourne and regional Victoria. We suggest that, for the participants in this study, creativity and wellbeing are interlinked through the domains of care, collaboration and critique. For some women, the photography experience was an act of care, to liberate themselves from negative images of ageing and celebrate their bodies. For others, participation was a creative venture through which they could collectively acknowledge the contributions of older women. Some women participated in the photography project to raise awareness of, and critique policies detrimental to, older women’s wellbeing. The findings of this qualitative research with older women support the arguments that: 1) wellbeing is understood by the participants within a matrix of personal and structural security; 2) creativity is a critical and under-theorised dimension through which women make these understandings visible. This study contributes to literature on contemporary ageing that contests singular notions of decline and loss and to theorizing the use of creativity in wellbeing frameworks.</p> 2020-12-16T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Lila Moosad, Cathy Vaughan Gathering community perspectives to inform the design of autism-friendly music-making workshops for wellbeing 2020-12-01T16:31:20-08:00 Grace Anne Thompson Melissa Raine Susan Hayward Hannah Kilpatrick <p>Many autistic people report experiencing social isolation, a recognized risk factor for poor psychological wellbeing. Promoting social inclusion is therefore a vital yet complex task. Community-based creative activities such as music groups can improve individuals’ sense of social connection and reduce the experience of social isolation. However, limited literature is available that describes autistic people’s perspectives about how to foster successful engagement in these creative and inclusive group opportunities. This project aims to gather perspectives from autistic individuals aged between 18 to 25 years to inform the design of autism-friendly music-making workshops for wellbeing. This co-design project involved a research team comprizing autistic and non-autistic academics, and an advisory group that included autistic young adults and autism advocates. Together, we designed an online survey and structured interview questions to gauge autistic people’s preferences for engagement in group-based music activities. There were 30 responses to the online survey questions which collected demographic information, opinions about group music-based activities, and views about ways to best support access and participation in the local community. In addition, five structured interviews were conducted with survey participants who volunteered to provide in-depth follow-up responses. Survey data are presented descriptively, and interview data underwent inductive thematic analysis. Participants described being motivated to join music-making workshops offered in the community and proposed various ways to improve accessibility. The qualitative themes from the survey free text and interviews suggest that both environmental and social factors work together to create a sense of safety and inclusion. In particular, a welcoming atmosphere and acceptance of diversity were expected from the workshop facilitator and group members. These findings have important implications for the co-production of future music-making workshops for the wellbeing of autistic people.</p> 2020-12-16T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Grace Anne Thompson, Melissa Raine, Susan M Hayward, Hannah Kilpatrick Women’s recovery journeys from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome towards wellbeing: A creative exploration using poetic representation 2020-12-02T17:06:43-08:00 Mahima Kalla Margaret Simmons <p>Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a poorly understood condition, with an unclear aetiology. Due to diagnostic difficulty, CFS has frequently been dismissed by medical professionals as an untreatable “psychological issue” leading to patients not receiving adequate care for extended periods of time. This situation has led to patients feeling isolated, neglected, and misunderstood. CFS is more common in women than men, in an approximate ratio of 4:1; accordingly, we explore seven (7) women’s experiences of CFS and by adopting an idiographic approach seek to amplify the voices of a group of patients who have long been marginalized, and often dismissed. Findings are presented using a narrative research technique called poetic representation, wherein participants’ interview transcripts are cast into poetic forms. The condensed encapsulation of participants’ experiences through carefully crafted poetry adds an intensity that focuses readers’ attention more tightly than merely telling their stories. A small sample size commensurate with the study’s aim, enabled an in-depth exploration of each individual’s experiences. In the context of CFS, themes surrounding illness, diagnosis, treatment, wellbeing, and recovery were explored, focusing particularly on the potential for the recovery of a new life achieved through participants’ self-agentic psychosocial endeavors. The emerging poetic representations were clustered together in themes using a temporal framework, as follows: 1) <em>Downhill to diagnosis</em>; 2)<em> From diagnosis to despair</em>; 3) <em>From despair to hope</em>; 4)<em> Looking back to move forward</em>; 5)<em> And, now.</em> This research not only sheds light on the experiences of a puzzling illness, but also seeks to drive improvements in patient care through a more authentic understanding of the CFS lived experience.</p> 2020-12-16T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Mahima Kalla, Margaret Simmons