Development of positive psychological capital at a Roma Student College (2020) - research journal article

2021.07.21

Authors: Aranka Varga, Fanni Trendl, and Kitti Vitéz

The aim of our study is to present different kinds of obstacles that hindered the successful educational progress of our Roma university student interviewees from disadvantaged backgrounds. The theme is equality and equity, which is examined in the context of inclusion, empowerment, resilience and intersectionality (Varga, 2017), and to investigate their effect on positive power of performance, the positive psychological capital. Our research sample consists of the community members of the diverse Roma Student College of Pécs. The studied university students are considered resilient (Masten, Herbers, Cutuli, & Lafavor, 2008), as they have overcome the hardships of their family background and learn in higher education. Our study gives an analysis of 27 life-path interviews conducted in 2017. In these life-path interviews, we have found the external sources of resilience: supportive families, models of friends and siblings, and teachers' support as well. The intrinsic changes of personality have been prominent in the narratives, which could often balance out the negative effects with the positive psychological capital. The "building blocks" of this capital (Luthans et al., 2007) can be detected at common points in walk of life interviews, such as positive self-image, motivation, goal-orientation, and conscious planning. The positive role of the Roma Student College community appeared in their narratives as a strikingly relevant factor, from which we can assume that the shared development of different "capital types" results in investments in the interiorization process of individual members.