• Access and utilisation of primary health care services in Riyadh Province, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

      Alfaqeeh, Ghadah Ahmad (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2015-06)
      The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) faces an increasing chronic disease burden. Despite the increase in numbers of primary health care centres (PHCCs) current evidence from the KSA, which is limited overall, suggests that access and utilisation of PHCCs, which are key to providing early intervention services, remain unequal with its rural populations having the poorest access and utilisation of PHCCs and health outcomes. There is a dearth (lack) of information from the KSA on the barriers and facilitators affecting access and utilisation of primary health care services (PHCS) and therefore this study aimed to examine the factors influencing the access and utilisation of primary health care centre (PHCC) in urban and rural areas of Riyadh province of the KSA. The behavioural model of health services use (Andersen’s model) provided the contextual and individual characteristics and predisposing, enabling and need factors which assist with an understanding of the barriers and facilitators to access and utilisation of PHCCs in Riyadh province. A mixed methods approach was used to answer the research questions and meet the objectives of the study. The converged qualitative and quantitative findings show that there are a number of predisposing (socio-demographic characteristics; language and communication and cultural competency) enabling barriers such as; distance from PHCCs to the rural residence, lack of services, new services, staff shortages, lack of training, PHC infrastructure, and poor equipment. Facilitators: service provider behaviour/communication, free PHCS, service provision and improvements, primary health care (PHC) infrastructure, manpower, opening hours, waiting time, and segregated spaces and need (increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, PHC developments in the KSA) factors influencing access and utilisation of PHCS. This study highlights important new knowledge on the barriers and facilitators to access and utilisation of PHCS in Riyadh province in the KSA. The findings have some important policy and planning implications for the MOH in the KSA. Specifically, the findings suggest: the need for clear documentation/guidance on minimum standards against which the PHCS can be measured; an audit of service availability at the PHCCs, regular patient satisfaction evaluations of PHCS, that the MOH take a parallel approach and continue to resource and improve buildings and equipment in existing PHCCs, the recruiting of more GPs, nurses, pharmacists, nutritionists and physiotherapists to meet patient demand and more Saudi health care staff, more targeted health education and interventions for the prevention of chronic diseases in the KSA and the need for an appointment system for attending the PHCCs. There is a need for further research into the barriers and enablers to accessing and utilising health care in Riyadh and the KSA overall. This research would be made easier with a clearer definition of rural and urban in the KSA context which would allow a greater comparability between urban and rural PHCS for future research, audit and evaluation as well as comparison with PHCS in other parts of the world. The Andersen model provided a useful conceptual model to frame this research and provided a structure for contrasting and comparing the findings with other studies that have used the Andersen model to understand the barriers and enablers to accessing and utilising health care services.
    • Achieving reliable and enhanced communication in vehicular ad hoc networks (VANETs)

      Eze, Elias Chinedum; University of Bedfordshire (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2017-08)
      With the envisioned age of Internet of Things (IoTs), different aspects of Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) will be linked so as to advance road transportation safety, ease congestion of road traffic, lessen air pollution, improve passenger transportation comfort and significantly reduce road accidents. In vehicular networks, regular exchange of current position, direction, speed, etc., enable mobile vehicle to foresee an imminent vehicle accident and notify the driver early enough in order to take appropriate action(s) or the vehicle on its own may take adequate preventive measures to avert the looming accident. Actualizing this concept requires use of shared media access protocol that is capable of guaranteeing reliable and timely broadcast of safety messages. This dissertation investigates the use of Network Coding (NC) techniques to enrich the content of each transmission and ensure improved high reliability of the broadcasted safety messages with less number of retransmissions. A Code Aided Retransmission-based Error Recovery (CARER) protocol is proposed. In order to avoid broadcast storm problem, a rebroadcasting vehicle selection metric η, is developed, which is used to select a vehicle that will rebroadcast the received encoded message. Although the proposed CARER protocol demonstrates an impressive performance, the level of incurred overhead is fairly high due to the use of complex rebroadcasting vehicle selection metric. To resolve this issue, a Random Network Coding (RNC) and vehicle clustering based vehicular communication scheme with low algorithmic complexity, named Reliable and Enhanced Cooperative Cross-layer MAC (RECMAC) scheme, is proposed. The use of this clustering technique enables RECMAC to subdivide the vehicular network into small manageable, coordinated clusters which further improve transmission reliability and minimise negative impact of network overhead. Similarly, a Cluster Head (CH) selection metric ℱ(𝑗) is designed, which is used to determine and select the most suitably qualified candidate to become the CH of a particular cluster. Finally, in order to investigate the impact of available radio spectral resource, an in-depth study of the required amount of spectrum sufficient to support high transmission reliability and minimum latency requirements of critical road safety messages in vehicular networks was carried out. The performance of the proposed schemes was clearly shown with detailed theoretical analysis and was further validated with simulation experiments.
    • Activism and political participation: roles, relationships and dependencies

      Clark, Wayne Louis (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 1998-12)
      The past decade has seen an upsurge ofacademic and popular interest in the political activity undertaken by citizens. This thesis presents a predominantly qualitative analysis ofthe nature of voluntary political participation, and subsequently addresses a number of key concerns about the current state of democracy in Britain. It is argued that existing analysis of political participation tends to focus on quantitative questions such as the levels and socio-demographic composition of political activity, with little attention being given to the experiences of those citizens who engage with political organisations. The analysis utilises the theoretical work of JUrgen Habermas in order to consider the potential role of both state mechanisms of participation and structures of civil society within the development of rational and deliberative democracy. The primary research draws upon sixty interviews conducted within the British Labour Party, the British section of Amnesty International, two Tenants' Associations, one Residents' Association and an alternative lifestyle collective known as Exodus. Three main themes are addressed in the form of a comparative study. Firstly, the thesis considers the nature of the various organisations and their membership policies. Secondly, a typology ofpolitical participation and activism is presented. Finally, analysis is provided of the experiences ofthe respondents of the actual process ofparticipation. Addressing these themes enables the thesis to explore the nature of the discourse that occurs within spheres ofvoluntary political participation, and to provide some insight into the dialectical relationship that exists between structures of participation and the activity that develops within such contexts. It is concluded that a range of conflicting tensions currently inform voluntary political participation. These factors raise a number of serious questions about the role of civil society within processes of democratisation.
    • Acts of resistance: a reflexive inquiry into narrative group work with women who have experienced abuse or oppression

      Salter, Leah Karen (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2018-03)
      This thesis presents a story (in three ‘acts’) about being and talking with women who were part of narrative informed groups that I have previously co-facilitated in two locales. One took place in a Welsh valleys community and the other in a British island community. ‘Acts of resistance’ (Allan Wade, 1997) speak to social justice, a movement or action, represented in different forms in all three acts. Firstly in Act One, I discuss the co-construction of group work as an intervention into (and a resistance against) the dominant discourses of individualised psychopathology. This is a story of how the shaping of group work (as an act of solidarity) supports a wider discourse of social justice rather than a ‘what to include in a group’ story. Inquiring into the group experience (by talking with women who were part of these groups) is illustrated in Act Two. As a reflexive inquiry it leans towards narrative inquiry and autoethnography to frame the talking with women, a process I have called conversational inquiry. Reflecting on this helped me shape a particular way of engaging with the transcripts from those conversations, a five-step process I have called a responsive, temporally framed narrative inquiry, also described in the second act. This brought forth the themes (themselves representing acts of resistance) of deconstructing roles and rules, doing solidarity, co-constructing preferred futures, ‘going on’ from legacies of abuse, challenging them and us thinking, unpacking power, doing justice, and research as (an act of) resistance. These themes are explored in Act Three. The thesis tells this story of my conversations with women and a reflection on my development (movement) towards becoming a practice-based researcher, drawing on theory, personal and practice experiences and what I have learnt through the course of the inquiry. This is demonstrated in the epilogue under the umbrella of becoming a reflexive researcher. It is partly retrospective in that I am reflecting on previous practices but it is also ‘of the moment’ as I make connections with my ongoing practice and current cultural/political contexts, keeping stories of resistance within a temporal frame. I am reflecting on practice (evidenced in my field notes and in a conversation with my supervisor) and my own narrative (perhaps best evidenced in my conversations with my mother). This is all part of the wider methodological story. The research question I held in mind throughout this was, ‘how might the exploration of collective narratives inform systemic practice, research and social action; and how might this loop back to personal and social responsibility for the systemic practitioner?’. Taken from Goldsmith at al. (2010), the questions I asked of my co-researchers were: · “What were/are we making together?” · “How were/are we making it?” · “What were/are we becoming?” · “How did/do we make better social worlds?” The inquiry has enabled me to expand my own understanding of what it means to be a reflexive practitioner and provides a contribution to the wider systemic and qualitative research communities as an example of practice-based research that offers:  A first hand, relationally sensitive account of how narrative approaches can support personal and collective transformation.  Examples of local practice that connect with a wider (global) social justice movement.  A demonstration of how systemic practices and research can live in recursive relationships with one another.
    • Acupuncture’s efficacy in the treatment of psychological and somatic distress: an exploration of potential mechanisms from an attachment research perspective

      Bennett, Ashley (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2016-09)
      This thesis examines the effectiveness of acupuncture therapy in the treatment of psychological and somatic distress in the context of medically unexplained symptoms (MUS). Also, it explores the role of psychological attachment and experiential avoidance in an effort to explain potential mechanisms of acupuncture’s effect. Existing literature demonstrates some level of effectiveness of acupuncture therapy for the treatment of depression, anxiety and somatic symptoms. However, a lack of experimental rigor in methodology means that existing results cannot be shown to be superior to a placebo and thus current treatment protocols for patients with MUS do not include a recommendation of acupuncture therapy. MUS are defined as any set of symptoms that cannot be explained by organic disease, these clusters of symptoms are theorised to be of psychological aetiology. Sufferers of MUS find themselves stuck in a perpetual loop of secondary care referrals with little or no treatment options being made available. Whilst there is some evidence that talking therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, are effective, their availability, efficacy and stigma mean they are often not desired by patients who suffer with MUS. Previous research has shown that insecure attachment predicts higher instances of, psychological and somatic distress, as well as MUS. Previous work undertaken by the author of this thesis also suggests that there may be a moderating effect of attachment in acupuncture therapy outcomes. In order to investigate acupuncture’s efficacy a double-blind randomised control trial was undertaken; 63 participants were randomised to receive either five treatments of genuine acupuncture or a non-penetrating sham form of acupuncture using the Park sham acupuncture device. A rigorous procedure ensured participant and practitioner blinding to group allocation. Primary measures of psychological (GHQ) and somatic (BSI) distress were taken at pre, post and follow-up time points (8 weeks). Secondary measures included general attachment (RQ), experiential avoidance (MEAQ) and client attachment to therapist (CATS). Results showed a significant effect of acupuncture over placebo in the reduction of both psychological (GHQ) and somatic distress (BSI). This therapeutic effect was maintained at 8-week follow-up. Further results showed moderation effects of secure attachment on somatic symptoms in the treatment group but not placebo group. Experiential avoidance also moderated somatic symptom outcomes in the treatment but not placebo group. A subsequent study utilising a quasi-experimental multi-centre methodology, which used identical measures to the previous experiment, revealed the same significant reduction of both psychological and somatic distress. This study consisted of 184 participants across five clinics, each participant receiving five sessions of acupuncture. Similar results were observed regarding moderation effects of secure attachment on treatment outcomes of somatic symptoms. Results also showed differences in moderation effects between participant with a MUS diagnosis vs. those without. Findings of both studies suggest acupuncture is an effective treatment for psychological and somatic distress, as well as MUS. The differences in attachment moderation effects between treatment and placebo may indicate acupuncture’s ability to elicit endogenous opioid release in the brain. However, further neurological studies are required to confirm this hypothesis.
    • The acute effect of commonly used preparation strategies on short term high intensity motor capabilities

      Fletcher, Iain M. (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2011-07)
      The overall aim of this thesis was to investigate modalities used as components of pre event/training preparation, to try to develop an optimal preparation strategy for sports performers. It concentrates on the stretch modalities commonly used by athletes as part of a warm-up designed to prepare them for subsequent performance. Past literature suggests that static stretching as part of a warm-up leads to a decrease in performance when compared to an active warm-up or a warm-up including dynamic stretches. Not surprisingly this has led to a movement away from static to dynamic stretches by many athletes. The presented publications were conducted to clarify a number of issues raised by past research studies. A lack of ecologically valid studies is apparent; the static stretch protocols used in most of the early research in this area has failed to explore what sports performers actually use as part of their training, while there was a lack of research examining the effect of dynamic stretches on performance. Of particular relevance is the lack of research looking at the mechanisms behind the changes in performance linked to warm-ups incorporating dynamic stretches. Therefore, this group of publications attempts to systematically examine the effects on performance of manipulating the stretch component of an active warm-up, while exploring the potential mechanisms linked to any changes in performance. The general findings of this series of papers provides evidence that static stretches, as part of an active warm-up, are linked to a decrease in the acute performance of a range of physical capabilities; including sprint, agility, jump and maximal force output. The mechanisms behind these performance changes are multifaceted, with decreases in core temperature and heart rate, decreases in musculotendinous unit stiffness and a decrease in muscular activity, when compared to a general active warm-up established. In contrast when a dynamic stretch replaces the static stretch component and is incorporated within a warm-up, performance is enhanced when compared to an active warm-up. The mechanisms behind this seem to be less temperature related and more closely linked to the neuro-muscular system. Greater muscular activity is linked to dynamic stretches, causing an increase in peak force and rate of force development, compared to an active warm-up protocol. This effect seems to be enhanced the faster and more specific the dynamic stretches are to the chosen performance measure, while combining static stretches with dynamic stretches as part of a preparation strategy still leads to decreases in performance compared to an active warm-up combined with dynamic stretches. In conclusion, to maximise acute maximal performance in sports specific motor skills, an active warm-up combined with specific dynamic stretches is recommended to sports performers and coaches.
    • Adaptive application of forward error correction mechanism for reliable vehicle-to-vehicle communication

      Muhammad, Shehu Jabaka (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2018-10-12)
      Recently, the intelligent transportation system (ITS), which provides vehicles with the capabilities to cooperatively and wirelessly exchange messages to circumvent, for instance, hazardous motorway traffic circumstances, have attracted an enormous amount of attention in academia and the automotive industry. Moreover, vehicular adhoc networks (VANETs) are considered to be at the centre of ITS, owing to the recent demands to minimise the number of injuries leading to fatalities, loss of lives and finances, consequent to the increased number of accidents on the highways. However, VANETs have many challenges, among which is the need for timely, reliable and scalable message transmission. Solving these challenges will require a shared media access control (MAC) layer that will guarantee timely, reliable as well as scalable communication of safety messages. This research investigates the application of error correction coding for reliable transmission in VANETs. An adaptive application of Forward Error Code (Adaptive FEC scheme) for reliable safety message transmission in VANETs is proposed. The solution combined Automatic repeat request (ARQ) with FEC at the MAC layer. The Adaptive FEC scheme used the existing channel condition, an estimate of the maximum number of transmissions and message type as an index into the code lookup ensemble (CLE) to get the optimum code (optCode) for current transmission. Furthermore, the proposed Adaptive FEC scheme also sets the transmission timeout delay RTT, encodes the message with the optCode and transmits. However, if the transmission timeout delay elapses before receiving an ACK/NAK, the scheme will go back to the initial stage for possible retransmission of the message. In this solution each transmission is self-decodable. Although the proposed Adaptive FEC scheme has shown remarkable performance, it needs improvement to minimise the incurred overhead due to the collision effect of the retransmission requests. To overcome the weaknesses of the proposed Adaptive FEC scheme, an Adaptive FEC-based Timely and Efficient Multihop Broadcast (Adaptive FEC-based TEMB) scheme is proposed for Reliable Inter-Vehicular Communication. The Adaptive application of error control and the utilisation of dynamic transmission range reduces the hops count between faulty vehicle and other nearby vehicles in a region on the motorway. Furthermore, in order to mitigate the hidden and exposed node problems, which will minimise the rate of collision in the network, a novel request to transmit (RTT) and clear to transmit (CTT) mechanisms is designed for the Adaptive FEC-based TEMB. In addition, a pre-emptive queuing mechanism is developed and applied to give the highest priority to the safety critical messages. This enables faster safety message transmission between the source vehicle and the destination vehicles. On the other hand, in VANETs, designing an efficient media access protocol poses a major challenge, as the number of vehicles is not known before transmission and could not be bounded. Thus, the scalability of the MAC approach has a significant effect on the operation of vehicular communication. Therefore, an investigation was conducted into the scalability issue of 802.11p and compared with Self-Organised Time Division Multiple Access (STDMA), using time-triggered and event-triggered safety messages. The proposed solutions’ performance is clearly demonstrated through detailed theoretical analysis which was further validated by results of the simulation experiments. The results of the theoretical analysis and simulation experiments show that our proposed schemes mentioned above outperformed the existing related solutions.
    • Adaptive intelligent tutoring for teaching modern standard Arabic

      Kseibat, Dawod (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2010-06)
      The aim of this PhD thesis is to develop a framework for adaptive intelligent tutoring systems (ITS) in the domain of Modern Standard Arabic language. This framework will comprise of a new approach to using a fuzzy inference mechanism and generic rules in guiding the learning process. In addition, the framework will demonstrate another contribution in which the system can be adapted to be used in the teaching of different languages. A prototype system will be developed to demonstrate these features. This system is targeted at adult English-speaking casual learners with no pre-knowledge of the Arabic language. It will consist of two parts: an ITS for learners to use and a teachers‘ tool for configuring and customising the teaching rules and artificial intelligence components among other configuration operations. The system also provides a diverse teaching-strategies‘ environment based on multiple instructional strategies. This approach is based on general rules that provide means to a reconfigurable prediction. The ITS determines the learner‘s learning characteristics using multiple fuzzy inferences. It has a reconfigurable design that can be altered by the teacher at runtime via a teacher-interface. A framework for an independent domain (i.e. pluggable-domain) for foreign language tutoring systems is introduced in this research. This approach allows the system to adapt to the teaching of a different language with little changes required. Such a feature has the advantages of reducing the time and cost required for building intelligent language tutoring systems. To evaluate the proposed system, two experiments are conducted with two versions of the software: the ITS and a cut down version with no artificial intelligence components. The learners used the ITS had shown an increase in scores between the post-test and the pre-test with learning gain of 35% compared to 25% of the learners from the cut down version.
    • Administration and social change in the post-war British new towns: a case study of Stevenage and Hemel Hempstead 1946-70

      Homer, Andrew (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 1999-06)
      This thesis examines one of the major town planning projects of the post-war period, the British new towns programme. It is a comparative study of two 'mark one' new towns, designated after the passing of the New Towns Act in 1946, Stevenage and Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire. The thesis provides a fully integrated study examining the inter-relationship of three factors: the experiences of the new town migrants; the effects of the planned environment of the towns; and the administrative framework within which they were constructed. The thesis examines two main areas: firstly, the consequences of social development policy within the British new towns and, secondly, the nature of social changes experienced by the new town migrants. The thesis outlines the dichotomy between the idealistic intentions of the Labour Government of 1945-51 and the new town planners, and the practical difficulties of putting their plans into practice. There were three main constraints to this idealism: finance, administrative difficulties and the views of the new town migrants themselves. The new towns programme was thus typified by constant struggle between these conflicting forces. Nevertheless, the thesis concludes that the programme was successful as it gave many of the new town migrants the opportunity to have a new home for the first time. The evidence suggests that the new towns soon became examples of thriving communities with ample opportunities for social interaction. However, it should be noted that this social intercourse was often despite, rather than because of, the actions of the government, the new town Development Corporations and the town planners. The thesis draws upon a wide range of sources, both primary and secondary material, published and unpublished. In the area of social development these include the original new town master plans as well as the papers of the Ministry of Housing and the Local Government held at the Public Record Office, Kew. The papers of the Development Corporations and local authorities, which are held at the Hertfordshire County Record Office, have also been used. Reference has also been made to the contemporary planning and sociological literature. Moreover, the discussion and evaluation of the social changes experienced by the population of the new towns is reliant upon records produced by the residents themselves. These include newspapers and newsletters published by the local residents' federations, and personal memoirs.
    • Adult attachment and relationship quality in parents of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

      Yahya, Fatahyah (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2012-07)
      This study aimed to explore the influence of adult attachment on relationship quality in parents of children with ADHD. A mixed methods design was used to address the research objectives. Study One (quantitative) explored the different pressures that having a child with ADHD places on parents with different attachment styles, and how the parents differ in their way of responding to such pressures based on their attachment styles. Two hundred and fifty four participants were employed: 101 parents of children with ADHD, and 153 parents of children without ADHD. Four established questionnaires were used: Connors Parental rating Scale (CPRS), Communication Pattern Questionnaire (CPQ), Experience in Close Relationship (ECR), and Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS). The results showed that parents of children with ADHD reported greater marital conflict and worse dyadic adjustment than parents of children without ADHD. Moreover, behavioural problems in children with ADHD correlated negatively with interpersonal relationship in the parental couple. Finally, attachment style moderated the impact of ADHD symptoms on interpersonal problems in the couple. On the other hand, Study Two (qualitative) explored parents’ experiences of how the disorganised behaviour of children with ADHD or the normal naughtiness of children without ADHD had an impact on the relationship. The differences between parents with children with and without ADHD with regard to their attachment styles were also studied. Forty eight participants extracted from the Study One were participated in this Study Two. The results through the thematic analyses indicated that parents of children with ADHD experienced the stress related to their children’s condition which was negatively affected their couple relationship. Not only that, the parents with different attachment styles experienced differently in both group. In considering both studies, the qualitative themes may explain how attachment insecurity moderates the impact of having a child with ADHD on relationship variables. The theme may be particularly important, as it may have a negative influence on the interpersonal communication of the parents with insecurity attachment. It is proposed that this research can make a contribution towards relevant intervention programs to facilitate support for parents of children with ADHD.
    • Adverse childhood experience, psychological distress and offending: the role of emotional intelligence and related concepts

      Hart, Jacqui Ann (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2014-04)
      Despite evidence to suggest that pathways from adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) to psychological distress and offending are gender-specific, theory-driven research examining intervening factors in such pathways is rare. Utilising a mixed-method design, the research presented in this thesis aimed to provide further insight into gender-specific trajectories from ACEs to negative outcomes and to identify a suitable framework within which to conduct such research. It was anticipated that comparing and contrasting quantitative (Studies 1 and 2) and qualitative (Study 3) findings would help to inform interventions to reduce female offending. The literature review identified an attachment framework as appropriate and highlighted variables that warranted investigation. Cross-sectional, self-report data were obtained from a community sample (Study 1; N=153, 121 females) and women with a history of ACEs (Study 2; N=43). Analysis involved correlations, mediation analyses (using bootstrapping) and ANOVAs. Study 1 findings provided some support for unique gendered pathways to offending. In Study 2: secure attachment was significantly associated with fewer psychological distress symptoms and higher levels of emotional intelligence (EI) and emotional coping; a history of high (4+) vs. low (≤3) ACEs explained 10% of the variance in dysfunctional attitudes and posttraumatic stress; ex-offenders reported greater utilisation of a (potentially maladaptive) emotional processing approach to coping than non-offenders. Semi-structured interviews (Study 3) involving women with a history of ACEs and offending (N=5) were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. The findings suggested a need for interventions to target emotion dysregulation in order to ameliorate the potential negative outcomes of chronic childhood adversity. The importance of context was also highlighted. Additionally, EI and an emotional coping approach were identified as factors that were beneficial in terms of the women’s psychological well-being. Overall, support was found for the use of an attachment framework in research that examines the negative sequelae of ACEs. Moreover, emotion coping and management skills were highlighted as useful targets for intervention in women ex-offender populations with a history of ACEs and associated psychological distress. Based on the findings reported in this thesis, recommendations were made with regard to future research in the field of ACEs, psychological distress and offending.
    • Al-Jazeera (Arabic) satellite television: a platform for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt

      Abunajela, Mohammed-Ali M.A. (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2015-06)
      The Qatari-funded channel, Al-Jazeera Arabic (AJA) has been subject to criticism as being in favour of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in Egypt. The approach taken by AJA Satellite Television to represent the MB, the Mubarak regime and other political actors in Egypt, during its coverage of four key electoral moments - before and after the 2011‘revolution’- is reviewed in this research. Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) is applied to study the constructive effects of AJA’s language in an interpretive way (Parker & Burman, 1993). The effect of the language used by two predominant AJA TV programmes, Without Borders بلا حدود and Opposite Direction الاتجاه المعاكس has been investigated and a number of current and former AJA journalists have been interviewed. Van Dijk’s Ideological Square and Pier Robinson’s Framing Model, in conjunction with Chouliaraki’s Three Rhetorical Strategies (Verbal Mode, Agency and Time Space) have been used as analysis tools to study the process of AJA’s representation of different political ideologies: the MB’s Islamic ideology and the Mubarak regime’s secular ideology. Van Dijk’s Ideological Square helps to identify the boundaries between ‘us’ (the good) and ‘them’ (the bad), and to classify people according to their support of specific ideology against another - the ‘in-group’ or the ‘outgroup’. AJA positively framed the Islamic MB movement on the basis that the group and its members were democratic, Islamic and victims, whereas it negatively framed the Mubarak regime and the Military Council in Egypt as repressive, secular and villains. The assigned role of different actors (including; the Egyptian people and opposition parties) in AJA TV programmes changed from one electoral moment to another. While the Mubarak regime, its supporters and the Military Council were represented as the ‘out-group’ at all times, the role allocated to the Egyptian people and the opposition shifted between the ‘in-group’ and the ‘out-group’, depending on the political mood they held towards the MB.
    • Alcohol use and misuse of university students: the role of personal and environmental factors

      Sharipova, Dilshoda; University of Bedfordshire (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2017-05)
      The aim of the mixed methods study was to explore students’ alcohol use and misuse taking into account personal, micro, macro level factors influencing their choice in the behaviour performance based on analysis of quantitative data obtained from longitudinal surveys and interpreting narrative data obtained during interviews and to use the findings from the quantitative and the qualitative studies to facilitate focus groups of university services, to discuss and recommend variables to be targeted during interventions for students. The first study was a cross sectional quantitative study in which the questionnaire constructed for the current study has been evaluated and the reliability of the measures was identified. In addition, the correlations of the study variables have been explored. The path analysis has been performed to examine the Theory of Planned Behaviour, Self-Determination Theory, Prototype Willingness Model and Social Learning Theory. The second study a longitudinal quantitative study in which before mentioned theories have been explored in a 3 month follow up. The change over time have been investigated by constructing models, path analysis, and the predictors of the change in outcome variables alcohol consumption, alcohol related problems, frequency of alcohol use, units consumed in a single occasion and binge drinking occasions, have been identified. The third study, a qualitative study, interviews with the students were organised to explore further the variables used in the study and explain the quantitative findings with help of interview data. The data assisted in identifying contextual factors of alcohol use and locate the components of researched theories within this context. The fourth study, another qualitative study, which explored the alcohol use of university students from the perspectives of the staff of university support services. Extra contextual factors have been identified and were added to the matrix of students’ alcohol use. The results of the research supported the use of the theories selected as Self-Determination Theory explained the predictors of Theory of Planned Behaviour.
    • Algal nitrogen fixation on solid surfaces and temperate agricultural soils

      Featherstone-Witty, John (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 1974-09)
      This thesis examines various factors controlling algal nitrogen fixation and nitrogen release in temperate agricultural soils. New apparatus for investigating nitrogenase activity on uniform soil grown algal crusts and for the in.situ estimation of nitrogen fixation in the field is described. The effects of oxygen concentration and temperature on acetylene reduction by soil grown cultures of Nostoc ellipsosporum in the light and in the dark suggest that ATP generated by oxidative phosphorylation contributes to fixation even in the light. The oxygen concentration giving optimum nitrogenase activity depends on the intensity of illumination, largely because of the continuing contribution from dark fixation. The oxygen dependent acetylene reduction continued throughout the night in the field at 20% of the midday rate. This proportion is dependent on daytime light intensity and day/night temperature drop. The release of nitrogenous compounds by soil and sand grown cultures of N .ellipsosporum was investigated in the laboratory. Algal cultures growing on sand released only 20/0. of the total nitrogen compared with 10% released by liquid cultures. Freezing to below -30C, drying to less than 4% moisture or pathogenic infection all cause extensive cellular lysis with a concomitant loss of nitrogenase activity, followed, after several days, by a surge in ammonia concentration. The recovery of nitrogenase activity after re-wetting was investigated in the field after a period of dry weather. All samples achieved a steady rate of nitrogenase activity after 400 minutes irrespective of the magnitude of recovery. Nitrogenase activity in the field was monitored at weekly intervals using an in situ technique over a two year period on Broadbank, one of the Rothamsted classic plots sown to winter wheat. The seasonal fixation rates varied from 1.4 to 28 Kg/ha depending on the fertilizer and herbicide treatment. The greatest seasonal fixation was given by non-herbicide plots receiving 48 Kg N/ha of applied nitrogen. The effect of various species of algal inoculum was investigated on 60 plots sown to winter wheat with and without irrigation and added nitrogen. A significant increase in fixation was produced and the most effective treatment was a liquid application of N. ellipsosporum. Both the N. punctiforme and Anabaena cylindrica were more effective when applied as dried sand cultures. The most important single factor limiting algal development in field experiments was soil moisture.
    • Alternative provision as an educational option: understanding the experiences of excluded young people

      Malcolm, Andrew David (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2015-07)
      Alternative provision schooling is an important and on‐going part of our education system. Annually around 45,000 pupils are educated in alternative provision schools and despite the existence in general of an underpinning rationale of inclusion this number does not seem to be diminishing. In fact, when New Labour focussed on and were successful in getting the number of pupils excluded from schooling down, over the same time period the number of pupils based in pupil referral units (PRUs are considered a type of alternative provision) increased significantly. Given the intransigent nature of the problem of mainstream schooling being unable to cater for all pupils there is a need to think deeply about and theorise effectively the field of alternative provision schooling. In addition to the perennial nature of the problem, the characteristics of pupils, the experiences they are more likely to have had, and the destinations and the outcomes they are more likely than the average young person to experience there is a moral imperative to develop positive and effective practice in this field. This thesis set out to explore two questions. These were the nature of alternative provision, and the effect of this kind of schooling on the young people who attend. Methods used included a survey of providers, qualitative interviews with a sub sample of this group, in‐depth life history interviews with 18 young adults and further qualitative interviews with key professionals. In doing this an articulation of mainstream and alternative provision schooling as distinct fields (using Bourdieu’s field theory) has been developed. This analysis underpins a model of the types of experience of pupils who end up marginalised and excluded from mainstream schooling and of likely trajectories of success for each of these pupil experience types. The dominant habitus in mainstream schooling necessitates that pupils internalise insignificance and inferiority in the pupil teacher relationship. In alternative provision the dominant habitus is a relationally mediated equality which influences pupils in a number of ways connected to the experiences which have led to their exclusion from mainstream schooling.
    • An investigation into the use of an Enterprise Resource Planning Framework by British Tennis.

      Barr, Christopher Anthony (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2010-08)
      The overall objective of this study is to establish the extent to which an ERP system could be used within the management of British Tennis. Whilst ERP systems are used extensively in commercial organisations, there is little research into the use of these systems in the management of sport by the National Governing Bodies and by the operational providers of sport facilities. This supports the specific finding in the Game Plan (National Strategy Unit, 2002), which identified that the management systems within sports administration need to be improved and that there is a general lack of research within this specific area. The research proposes an ERP framework which can be implemented to achieve a number of improvements in operations and to enable other opportunities such as targeted marketing. Porter’s Value Chain is used as a model to investigate the organisations involved in the provision of tennis, and this model brings together the two concepts of multi-organisational structures and ERP systems. This enables the selected modules of the ERP system to be mapped on the value chain, and a new value network to be created. This research uses a predominantly qualitative method which incorporates an iterative approach to the investigation, based on the model by Bryman. Iteration One uses a mixture of indepth and semi-structured interviews to establish and corroborate the themes identified as part of the literature review. Also there are additional areas of theory identified as part of the data collection process which are explored in more depth. The second iteration is then used to gather further information and information confirmatory to the first iteration. Findings demonstrate a mixture of governmental, commercial, profit-making and not-forprofit organisations that have no central system in use. The research proposes that a central ERP system, including a number of functional modules, could be implemented into this environment and that it would deliver benefits to all organisations, including cost reduction, managerial benefits, strategic benefits, improved IT infrastructure and organisational benefits.
    • An analysis of administrative reforms in Pakistan’s public sector

      Iqbal, Faisal (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2014-12)
      Context: Despite a long history of reforms, Pakistan‘s public sector (PS) is still considered cumbersome, corrupt, and inefficient by its citizens, government and international development community. Recent reforms were operationalised in 2001 under a new economic policy called the Poverty Reduction Programme (PRP) designed to facilitate the New Public Management (NPM) influenced transformation. The overarching objectives of these reforms were to strengthen the market and public sector simultaneously and so that they complemented each other. The PS reform actions taken under this strategy were mainly based on the World Bank‘s (WB) experience of developing countries which identified the state‘s weak institutional capacity as bottleneck to this transformation. Therefore, with the view to removing these impediments, actions to train the public servants, improve their salaries, and enhanced the use of information technology (IT) were included. However, many recent reports and indicators confirm the situation in Pakistan has remained unchanged. Various generic explanations of these compromised results have been provided; however, the concrete reasons in a Pakistani setting are still unknown. Research Questions: This study aims to investigate the reasons why Pakistan‘s PS organisations appear to be resistant to reform and why the repeated attempts at reform appear to have had so little impact. It addresses the following questions: What effects, if any, have NPM-inspired reform attempts had on the way that public sector organisations function? What have been the intended and unintended consequences of reform attempts? Research approach: This case study aims to bridge this gap through analysing the effects of administrative reforms in the federal tax agency where these actions have been revived as a part of the comprehensive reform programme. This study is qualitative and adopts a social constructionist approach. This case study is ethnographically oriented and works within pragmatist criteria of truth and validity; the case study organisation has been conceptualised as negotiated order (Strauss, 1978); and the initiatives of training, salaries and information technology are understood as managerial attempts to reshape organisational structures, processes, and the employment relationship with employees in line with the requirements of NPM. This research mainly depends on the interpretation and analysis of data gathered through 22 semi-structured interviews, participant observation and documentary sources of information including public and classified reports from donors and government repositories as well as published scholarly articles. The data were analysed in two stages: 1. abstract analysis took place during data collection, arranging, cleaning, and extraction of themes and patterns; and 2. firm analysis happened through an iterative process of comparing these themes, patterns, and field notes to make the sense of data. Findings: The findings suggest that the desired results of efficiency, transparency, fairness, and controlling corruption could not be achieved due to the takeover of prevalent contextual corrupt practices of nepotism, favouritism and recommendation at the time of its implementation. Moreover, this content-focused approach has also ignored the context and processes that led to compromised results. I have supported these findings through the identification of these contextual problems at the organisational and national levels. Contribution: This research contributed to a greater understanding of the initiation and implementation processes of the NPM-inspired PSR in Pakistan through the identification of factors limiting its results at organisational and national levels. In turn, it helped to highlight the problems behind reformer‘s taken for granted assumptions of quick-fixing the institutions through rapid dosage of reform. The results will also be valuable to reformers as they will not only help reformers to understand the reasons affecting its intended results but also help them to include these in the list of safeguard.
    • An analysis of the decision making processes and criteria applied by adolescents selecting A level subjects and place of study

      Scott, Michael Bennet (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2002-07)
      The research was stimulated by involvement in leading elements of an Education Management programme. Developing part of the teaching material led to the realisation that while pupils' choice of school has been extensively researched it appeared that subject choice, particularly at A level had not. It also became apparent that ideas and models concerning decision making, extensively adopted within the Consumer Behaviour literature had not been applied in this context. Extensive reviews ofthe literature confirmed this position and indicated that the post sixteen school choice was also under researched and further that it was not possible to apply extant consumer behaviour models directly to the A level or School choice contexts. The research programme consisted of a mixture of qualitative and quantitative techniques. Building on elements of theory, from the literature, exploratory research employing focus groups was used to develop an initial model of adolescent pupil decision making. Early in the exploratory research it was found that the decision for adolescents choosing where to study their A levels was inextricably linked to choice of subjects. Choice of A level subjects was added to the research programme. Based on the exploratory results a quantitative study, using questionnaires, was developed to test the model on both single (choosing a school) and multiple (choosing A level subjects) choice situations. The study investigated differences between single-choice and multiple-choice decision making, an area neglected by consumer research, which provides at least a partial explanation of the process used by the pupils when they choose schools/colleges and A level subjects. Findings identify that although some aspects ofthe choice process are similar, there are important differences between the two types of decision. Evoked set are larger for multiple-choice decisions, and multi-choice decisions are likely to involve more stages in the decision making process than single-choice decisions. The results also identified that the parents' role has changed from 'decider', when their children were younger, to 'influencer', with the adolescent pupils becoming the decision makers. Concomitantly, choice criteria are shown to have evolved with 'discipline' decreasing markedly in importance and subject range increasing. The pre-eminence of personal sources of information is confinued but co-orientation emphasised.
    • An analysis of the involvement construct in the information processing of advertising messages

      Danbury, Annie Hagen (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2007-01)
      This research investigated the role of felt involvement in processing advertising messages by means of a 3x2 factorial experiment with control. The experiment was designed to examine the effects of advertising exposure on the decoding process with a risk and pleasure treatment for three product categories. Overall, results from 583 respondents provide strong support for the influence of affective components of involvement in the evaluation of advertising information in both high and medium involvement situations. Specifically, risk and pleasure antecedents were examined to determine their relative impact on involvement, information processing, and outcomes of the decoding process in terms of recall and attitudes to the advertisement. The involvement construct was found to be relatively stable, but the affective antecedents, pleasure and sign, influenced the decoding process and its outcomes after advertising exposure. Evidence from this research suggests that cognitive processing of advertising messages is simpler than has been assumed in the advertising and consumer behaviour literature to date as information processing is driven predominantly by affect. Pleasure appeals were also found to be particularly effective across product categories. Purchase risk was perceived to be very low or non-existent at the time of advertising exposure. Insight into the underlying processes that influence the decoding of advertising is also provided. This suggests that advertising situations are specific and based on the relative importance of the product, the nature of involvement, advertising appeal, user status, proximity of the next purchase, attitude to advertising and potentially gender identification.
    • An analysis of the mandatory admission criterion within youth justice diversionary processes

      Cushing, Karen (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2016-08)
      ‘To require old heads upon young shoulders is inconsistent with the law’s compassion to human infirmity’ (Lord Diplock in Director of Public Prosecutions v Camplin Appellant [1978] AC 717)’. For young people in England and Wales who offend, diversion from formal proceedings has historically been a principle constituent of youth justice policy and practice, and presently accounts for over a third of all outcomes for detected youth offending (Youth Justice Board for England and Wales, 2015). Although attitudes concerning diversion have often oscillated between favour and criticism, and there has rarely been a period of sustained consensus or constancy of processes (Bernard, 1992; Goldson, 2010), eligibility for an out of court disposal has traditionally been dependent on an admission of some form being made by a young person. This thesis seeks to place the evolution of diversionary measures for young people who commit low level offences or engage in nuisance behaviours into a contextual and historical context, and explore why an admission has become, in the absence of any discernible political, academic or professional considerations, a central tenet of diversionary policies in England and Wales. Potential barriers which may prevent some young people making an admission and unnecessarily losing eligibility for an out of court disposal are considered, as well as the nature and standard of admission expected from young people, and the circumstances in which admissions are usually sought from them. This thesis also explores whether the mandatory admission criterion is compatible with other statutory and international obligations to consider the welfare of a young person when determining a suitable disposal, and whether it sufficiently distinguishes between young people unwilling to make an admission and those who may feel unable to. The thesis seeks to identify the gaps in current academic and professional knowledge concerning whether some young people may unnecessarily forfeit eligibility for a diversionary outcome for the sole reason that they do not make an admission. The research undertaken with relevant professionals’ endeavours to fill these gaps by exploring the practical application of the admission criterion, as well considering any suitable alternatives within the existing statutory regime.