• An ecological approach towards understanding father involvement and engagement within Luton's most disadvantaged areas

      Donald, Louise (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2020-08)
      Father involvement and engagement exists within a family, which exists within a societal context; it is therefore influenced and determined, to varying degrees, by a variety of ecological systems working in cohort, in a bio-psycho-social fashion. In light of this, while fathers can have a significantly beneficial role in the lives of their children, regarding healthy physical and psychological development, the evidence consistently indicates that father involvement and engagement is reduced comparative to socioeconomic deprivation. Despite this fact, very few studies have explored this association through the lens of marginalised fathers themselves, nor have they utilised the first hand perspectives of mothers and professionals towards better understanding how fathering is shaped and impacted within an economically deprived context. With higher levels of deprivation in Luton than the UK average, this study sought to explore this issue within Luton’s most disadvantaged areas. A mixed methods sequential design was employed. Drawing from the interviews of fifteen professionals, nine fathers and eleven mothers; the findings provide valuable insight into trajectories of father involvement and engagement relative to contextual circumstances, linked to internal and societal beliefs about fathering. The key emerging themes therefore support an ecological viewpoint of father involvement and engagement, demonstrating the fundamentally significant impact that family background, the father-mother relationship and professional inclusion can have on fathers. This is further supported by the associated patterns identified within the cross-sectional questionnaire, which show links between sociodemographic factors, beliefs about the father role, parent mental health and father involvement. For the fathers at the forefront of this study, there was a clear pattern related to disadvantage, putting them in greater need of support in a variety of areas. However, the findings also highlight that there is very little support in place, tailored to meet their needs. This study exemplifies that examining fathering from an ecological perspective enlightens our understanding of how and why we see reduced levels of involvement and engagement amongst disadvantaged fathers, providing a more complete picture of how factors associated with disadvantage can have a wider impact. In order to more forward and make positive, sustainable, changes to the lives of fathers, and families living in socially disadvantaged communities, researchers, family professionals and policy makers should recognise and work from an ecological perspective, integrated into practice and policy formation.
    • The Hockliffe Collection: representations of punishment in nineteenth-century stories for children

      Stenson, Sarah Elizabeth (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2020-07)
      This thesis records the findings of a large-scale enquiry into over four hundred individual stories for children that were published during the nineteenth century and held in the Hockliffe Collection at the University of Bedfordshire. It critically examines how punishments are deployed in early children’s literature, adopting a methodological approach that includes texts as they appear within the archive, regardless of authorship or perceptions of literary merit. Donated by the Hockliffe family, the texts generally complement the tradition that favoured didacticism and moral guidance. The primary corpus is dominated by instructional works from the pre-1850s, an area currently neglected in the existing critical field. The preference for fantasy, more imaginative and canonised works, and those produced in the Golden Age of Children’s literature at the Victorian fin de siècle, has resulted in tales with an explicit pedagogical agenda being side-lined, a shortcoming this thesis addresses. Where there are lessons, there are punishments, and their inclusion emphasises a range of tensions and fears. Interrogating these moments provides a valuable insight into the sort of issues that were prioritised in books for children during this period. The methodology combines close reading and literary analysis with qualitative data gathering, which produces a rich set of findings. The inclusion of a substantial body of texts allows a network of conflicting ideological views to emerge, that are nuanced and complex. The results of the primary stage have been examined within a theoretical framework that comprises intersectional theories of gender and class. Adopting a Foucauldian lens enriches the analysis of punishment and its relation to the distribution of power. The thesis begins with a critical examination of the Hockliffe archive itself and, through extensive research of the British Newspaper Archive, presents the rationale for its editing processes and positions the Collection as a unique resource for scholars. The second chapter explores changing attitudes towards punishment through a comprehensive study of the punishment of giants which transitioned from violent to non-violent across the century. From here, there is a detailed examination of tales that incorporate a critique of mothers who are held accountable for the failure of their sons. There follows a chapter that explores a female-specific punishment by which women and girls are stripped and ejected from the home, and the following chapter builds on the former by looking at the implications of social class on punishments that involve the demotion of middle-class characters. The final chapter explores how children, animals and punishment collide in these stories before ending with the analysis of stories that feature punitive metamorphosis. This thesis critically engages with authors, stories, issues and themes that have received minimal attention to date and enriches our understanding of children’s literature during this period. The punishments are located within their historical context, revealing some of the many ways in which children’s literature addressed socio-political concerns during this period. The literary landscape is a broad expanse and the study of these rare neglected texts fills some of the spaces in between.
    • Patchworks of practice: helping student counsellors develop coherence in personal and theoretical integration

      Meakin, Beverley Joan (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2020-07)
      This thesis explores an area of my teaching practice with students on an integrative counselling course. Students work towards integrating differing counselling approaches with their personal values and beliefs. I devised a reflexive tool I refer to as Patchwork of Practice to facilitate this process. Patchwork aims to aid reflexivity around and within the interface between personal and professional experiences, thoughts and emotions. This raises awareness of values and beliefs and informs a counselling approach that is coherent with their way of being as a person (Anderson, 2001). The metaphor of Patchwork carries an idea of stitching together Patches of learning and experience to create an integrative approach that fits each student. Students create a Patch every few weeks, individually, then share this in small groups where other perspectives co-construct meaning and widen learning. A Patch can be in any media (writing, poetry, drawing, image) and represents an aspect of training or personal experience (past or present). To evaluate Patchwork of Practice, I explored student counsellors’ experience of using it over two years, through individual interviews and group discussions. In addition, interviews with qualified counsellors explored ongoing effects. To create congruence with the idea of stitching Patches together, I brought different research paradigms together in what I refer to as a Patchwork Methodology. Systemic Inquiry brought relational reflexivity, respect and curiosity in exploring participants’ stories, and attention to relational ethics of practitioner research. Themes were analysed using narrative portraiture (Lawrence-Lightfoot and Hoffman Davis, 1997) and informed teaching through ongoing Action Research reflexive cycles. The different stages of Heuristic research (Moustakas, 1990) provided a framework for these research activities. Additionally, Patchwork of Practice was adapted as autoethnography. I explored my integrating process, illustrated with examples of Patches. Here, Patchwork joined with ecology in a landscape metaphor — a rural landscape depicting how I see my life and practice. The structure of this thesis also evolved from the landscape metaphor. I found participants valued the freedom to use any media to create a Patch. This creative process, the Patch itself and sharing in a group, brought extended awareness of the influences that shaped their development as a person and as a counsellor. So, Patchwork of Practice was useful as a tool for reflexivity around personal and professional development. Other findings included benefits for self-care, for the participants as counsellors and for me as researcher. Patchwork of Practice was also used as self-supervision and adapted by participants to use with clients. One conclusion of this inquiry is to note the importance of connecting individual and group reflections focussed around a Patch. This combination opens a learning pathway that integrates individual and relational reflexivity. There is potential to use Patchwork of Practice as a reflexive tool in other professions and learning environments where awareness of personal influences on professional practice is important.
    • Media in Saudi Arabia: the challenge for female journalists

      Aljuaid, Kholoud (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2020-07)
      This study explores the role of women journalists in Saudi Arabia and provides more understanding of the challenges and barriers that working in the media presents for them. There are also a number of opportunities that may not have been fully recognised and where these women can make a difference. Against a background of reforms in Saudi Arabia, resulting from measures being put in place to comply with international human rights laws as well as a need for the country to utilise the economic benefits of a female workforce, the role of women in the media is increasing. The social changes that are taking place may not fit well with a more conservative society but female journalists are showing that they have been facing up to these challenges. Using a qualitative approach, this study sought to elicit the perceptions of a range of women working in the media and also interviewed male editors to gain their perspective on females working in their domain. The study revealed that the women chose journalism as a career because it was an area in which they excelled and which they very much enjoyed, despite numerous challenges they encountered. Although they had faced disapproval from family initially, they managed to win over parents and husbands once they started to have their work published. In more recent years the universities have been establishing media and communication courses for women and this is giving more support to journalism being a career choice. Nevertheless, it was clear that women were restricted by their gender in having access to influential chief editor positions, which were reserved for males. It was also found that the male editors approved of women working in journalism and spoke highly of the quality of their work. However, this may also be because the women open up the readership of newspapers by writing articles targeting other women and thus increase sales. In addition, some newspapers are found to be paying much lower rates to women than to their male counterparts. Reasons for this were given as being the costs of employing women, who often need drivers, cannot interview males, are not permitted to go unescorted, need a separate workplace environment, and who have maternity rights.
    • The impact of time allowances in an EAP reading-to-write argumentative essay assessment

      Bruce, Emma Louise (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2020-03)
      The aim of this study is to investigate the impact of time allowances on students’ source use, composing behaviour and performance, in a second language reading-to-write assessment context. Set within a language centre in a large Hong Kong university, this mixed-methods study incorporates quantitative and qualitative data. The quantitative aspect focuses on an analysis of essay scores and lengths as well as reference types and uses, while the qualitative aspect incorporates retrospective questionnaires and discourse-based interviews to gain an understanding of students’ intentions, views and approach to composing. The synthesis of the countable data with students’ personal insights facilitated an understanding of the ways in which differences in source use and composing behaviour in the timed and extended conditions affected performance. The findings show that the majority of students preferred the extended condition as they valued the time to read the sources, think and reflect in a relaxed environment. Conversely, some students felt the time pressure elicited a heightened cognitive state, which enhanced their performance. Students tended to write over multiple sessions, engage more with the source texts and adopt a more recursive approach in the extended condition. In contrast, when composing under time pressure, students tended to reduce their engagement with the source texts in order to complete their essay. This rush to write the essay resulted in different reading strategies and a more knowledge-telling approach to composing. When students were given more time to write, mean word counts and mean essay scores were significantly higher. The top-performing students seemed to benefit most from the extra time. These writers experienced the biggest positive difference in essay length and scores, and displayed more instances of source-text use, but perhaps surprisingly they were more likely to embed their understanding of what they read into their own text without referencing the source material. The data suggest that, for higher-achieving students, the extra time resulted in an increased interaction with the source texts, which allowed them to take a more expert persona in their writing, impressing raters and leading to higher overall scores. The results have important implications for language teachers and test developers in EAP programmes. In particular, they demonstrate the paradox of implementing reading-to-write task types in an attempt to simulate the target language use context while failing to take account of the time required to engage in the appropriate academic literacy skills. Importantly, EAP curriculum and assessment designers should recognise that genuine academic writing requires time for students to engage with sources, to reflect and to construct new knowledge. This study suggests that essays produced in timed and extended conditions are two different manifestations of the dynamic reading-to-write construct and that, if both types of writing are indeed demanded in the wider university, EAP programmes should support students in acquiring the most appropriate and effective skills for achieving success in both contexts.
    • The effects of deductive, inductive and a combination of both types of grammar instruction in pre-sessional classes in higher education

      Giorgou Tzampazi, Stella (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-12)
      In recent years, debates continue about the efficiency of using different types of grammar instruction in language teaching contexts (Alzu‟ bi, 2015; Mahjoob, 2015; Brown, 2000; Ellis, 1997; Celce-Murcia, 1991; Krashen, 1982). Existing research is rather controversial and inconclusive and furthermore there is not any general agreement on how to approach grammar instruction: one basic dichotomy is connected with the processes of teaching grammar inductively (Krashen, 1985; Ke, 2008; Kuder, 2009; Scheffler, 2010; Gorat and Prijambodo, 2013; Alzu‟bi, 2015; Anani, 2017) versus deductively (Younie, 1974; Selinger, 1975; Pienemann, 1988; Anderson, 1990; Lee and VanPatten, 1995; Schmidt, 2001; Mountone, 2004; Nazari, 2012; Mallia, 2014; Sik, 2015; Amirghassemi, 2016). Some educators are in favour of the inductive grammar approach whereas others prefer the deductive approach (Ibid). University L2 pre-sessional students need to develop their understanding of EAP grammar which is essential for producing academic texts required for their studies and improve their score in ELAS writing exam. Having said that, which type of grammar instruction works better for university L2 students enrolled in pre-sessional classes: deductive, inductive, or combination of both? This study aimed at investigating the effectiveness of using deductive and inductive teaching models in teaching grammar needed for academic writing in terms of L2 pre-sessional students‟ grammar academic achievement. The current study, also, investigates university L2 pre-sessional students‟ perceptions and attitudes towards teaching grammar deductively and inductively. A quasi-experimental design and an ethnographic approach were used to collect data through the use of interviews, observations, questionnaires and diaries. Data analysis was performed using t-tests in order to analyse the relationship between different types of grammar instruction based on pre-post-tests. The results indicated that there were significant differences among the performances of each group in favour of the deductive approach. The results, also, revealed that university L2 pre-sessional students who were taught deductively or through the combination of the two types of grammar instruction performed slightly better as compared to those who were taught inductively. The study also contributed to the fact that teaching grammar through the use of both cognitive and prescriptive grammar may be the best solution in teaching contexts in higher education in EAP contexts.
    • History assisted energy efficient spectrum sensing in cognitive radio networks

      Syed, Tazeen Shabana (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-11-28)
      The ever-increasing wireless applications and services has generated a huge demand for the RF spectrum. The strict and rigid policy of spectrum management by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has rendered spectrum a valuable resource. The disproportion in the usage of spectrum between the licensed primary users (PUs) and the enormous unlicensed secondary users (SUs) in the band has created spectrum scarcity. This imbalance can be alleviated by the Dynamic Spectrum Access (DSA) based on Cognitive Radio Network (CRN) paradigm by significantly improving the efficiency of spectrum utilisation of the wireless networking systems. DSA enables unlicensed secondary users (SUs) also known as cognitive radios (CRs) to sense the spectral environment and access the licensed spectrum opportunistically without causing any interference to the licensed primary users (PUs). Spectrum sensing is the most prominent capability of CRs to effectively detect the presence or absence of licensed primary users (PUs) in the band. Sensing provides protection to primary users (PUs) from interference and creates opportunities of spectrum access to secondary users (SUs). However, scanning the spectrum continuously is critical and power intensive. The high-power consumption in battery operated CR devices reduces device lifetime thereby affecting the network performance. Research is being carried out to improve energy efficiency and offer viable solutions for extending lifetime for wireless devices. In this thesis, the work focuses on the energy efficient spectrum sensing of CR networks. The main aim is to reduce the percentage of energy consumption in the CR system in possible ways. Primarily, the conventional energy detection (ED) and the cyclostationary feature detection (CFD) spectrum sensing mechanisms were employed to sense the spectrum. Aiming on energy efficiency, a novel history assisted spectrum sensing scheme has been proposed which utilises an analytical engine database (AED). It generates a rich data set of spectrum usage history that can be used by CRs to make efficient sensing decisions modelled using Markov chain model. The usage of sensing history in decision making, results in decreasing the frequency of spectrum scanning by the CRs thereby reducing the processing cost and the sensing related energy consumption. It shows 17% improvement in energy saving compared to the conventional sensing scheme. The key performance parameters such as probability of miss detection (PMD), probability of false alarm (PF) and probability of detection (PD) were investigated using ROC curves. Extensive performance analysis is carried out by implementing two traditional sensing schemes ED and CFD in terms of computational cost and energy consumption and shows 50% improvement in effective energy saved by using history assisted spectrum sensing mechanism. Further, to address the high energy consumption during communication between CRs / stations (STAs) and the base station (BS), a novel energy efficient Group Control Slot allocation (GCSA) mac protocol has been proposed. Publish/Subscribe (PUB-SUB) and point-to-point messaging models have been implemented for data communication between BS, STAs and AED. The proposed mac protocol increases the number of STAs to enter in to sleep mode thereby conserving the energy consumed during idle state. Furthermore, cluster based co-operative spectrum sensing (CSS) is considered for reducing the energy utilised for data communication between CRs and BS by electing a cluster head (CH) using fuzzy logic-based clustering algorithm. The cluster head (CH) collects, aggregates data from cluster members and it is only the CHs that communicate to the BS. Thus, there is no communication between individual non-CH CRs and BS, thereby significantly reducing the energy consumption and improving the network lifetime of the CR system. Extensive simulations were performed in MATLAB and results are presented for all the proposed schemes.
    • Prediction of a water quality index using online sensor data

      Anyachebelu, Tochukwu Kene (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-11)
      Surface water quality is a dynamic quantity to deal with. There are factors which affect the surface water quality. These factors include weather changes, anthropogenic activities and urbanization. There is an underlying problem with water quality monitoring and management around the world especially in developing countries. Pollution outbreak in a Luton town lake in 2012 which killed a lot of fishes is one instance of such devastating outbreak and the underlying effects. This thesis is aimed at utilising measured data values for certain physico chemical parameters in the determination of surface water quality through analysis, indexing and model prediction. The physical parameters measured are temperature, conductivity and turbidity while the chemical parameters are dissolved oxygen, pH and ammonium. These parameters are measured at two locations on the Luton Hoo Lake which is used as our research study site to monitor the water quality and possible sources of contamination. Data with regards to the values of the different parameters is collected with the help of multi parameter probe sensors that were installed at the site in form of a remote monitoring station. Manual sampling of the water and collection of parameter value readings is also used to substantiate the values derived from the remote monitoring stations. A preliminary analysis is carried out using descriptive Statistics and correlation analysis to determine the dependencies between the various parameters measured for water quality monitoring. We evaluate the relationship of the measured parameters to contamination sources and its impact on the water quality as it affects aquatic life. With the correlation analysis, it is discovered that some of the parameters exhibited the expected relationship whereas some could not relatively show any dependence. This led to the need for further analysis to help in the parameter selection since the aim of this work is to use minimal parameters to establish the water quality status. It is determined that dissolved oxygen is the most important parameter compared to other measured parameters. This was actualized through the use of principal component analysis to identified the major components. Multiple linear regression is used to establish the relationship between Dissolved oxygen and the other measured parameters. The two locations being monitored exhibit the same trend from the results of the box plot analysis that was carried out. Dissolved oxygen is inversely proportional to Temperature which confirms the same trend pattern as exhibited by the correlation analysis. Principal component analysis helps in the establishment of the hierarchy of the parameters measured and the level of importance which determines the input parameters for the water quality index. This research work looked at various water quality indices developed by various researchers and discovered that most available indices were limited by the fact that the data collection was done manually. This work adopted the use of a tailored Water quality index with three parameters which are Dissolved oxygen, Conductivity and Turbidity. These parameters were selected based on the results derived from the Principal components analysis. Water quality index is a good way of uniquely rating the overall water quality status of a water body using a single term. In this research study, we utilised available water quality indices that have been developed through expert opinions and modified them to suit our requirements. The results obtained were satisfactory and proved that the use of minimal parameters can give a good indication of the water quality in same way as the use of many parameters. The minimal Water Quality Index is recommended where faster and more economical approach is needed in decision making with regards to water quality monitoring. A hybrid neural network is finally proposed for the prediction of parameters for water quality index which can be tailored based on the location of the surface water and the primary use of the surface water for the end users. The major problem of identifying a low cost way of monitoring surface waters for developing countries is achieved through the use of minimal parameters and the availability of the sensor probes in the market is of great importance to the work.
    • Human systems in motion: exploring the application of systemic ideas in teams navigating change

      Rød, Anne (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-10-17)
      This thesis explores how teams can constructively lead, be in and with, emergence and change, given the challenges they are faced with in today’s complex environment. By helping teams view change and changing as something that naturally occurs in their environments, combined with their own experience of change, the teams may approach, and be with change, in different ways. The title, ‘Human Systems in Motion’ speaks to the very essence of human existence; the transformational, relational and emerging nature of our beings. The target audience is leaders, teams and other practitioners in the organisational field offering an alternative approach to emergence and change processes. The research is situated in a social constructionist perspective foregrounding the meaningmaking and sense-making activities in the teams engaged with, and what awareness and possible responses and actions emerge from these. Social constructionism depicts the relational, also known as systemic processes, where the co- creation of reality is taking place inside the human interaction. Through a parallel autoethnographical account, I share my ‘come from place’ that has shaped the lens through which I – as a long-standing practitioner in the field of organisational change – view, approach and explore change in teams and organisations. It provides an overview of some of the main contributors to the theories of change to create an understanding of how change is often conducted in organisations today. Emergent approaches to the topic are explored through perspectives on systems and systemic thinking. It investigates the relevance of these ideas to teams in change, and also looks into some of the obstacles encountered in the face of emergence. The result is a model: The Wheel of Systemic Ideas. I follow three different teams, operating in different contexts but facing some kind of emerging change. Through Participatory Action Research sessions, the teams’ perception of, engagement with, and responses to, change are explored. The main and final part of the research engages the teams with the Wheel of Systemic Ideas. Each team explores its focus points in the change process, and to what extent the systemic ideas can facilitate the emerging change process. The research indicate that the model can be applied to different change topics and contexts, enabling conversations which break up binary thinking and the questions preferences for linear and normative approaches to change.
    • A general practice intervention targeting registration on the NHS Organ Donor Register

      Penn-Jones, Catrin Pedder (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-10-15)
      Background: There is a shortage of organs for transplant in the UK. Family consent is a critical part of the organ donation pathway, and prior knowledge of a person’s wishes makes this decision easier for families. The most effective way to express organ donation wishes is through registration as an organ donor. General practice is an underutilised setting for organ donation interventions, and is the only NHS setting which can put people directly on the organ donor register. Therefore, interventions could be developed in this setting to maximise the opportunities for UK residents to register their request to donate their organs after death. This thesis aims to explore this by developing and evaluating the feasibility of a general practice intervention designed to increase organ donor register sign-up in the UK. Methods: A literature review, systematic review, and theoretical review were conducted to establish a basis for the intervention. Intervention Mapping was then used to develop it based on these empirical and theoretical findings. Based on the IIFF model of organ donation registration, the intervention consisted of three parts; staff training, asking patients in consultations if they wished to join the NHS Organ Donor Register (prompted choice) and the provision of leaflets and posters in the waiting room. A single practice feasibility study was conducted to assess five dimensions; recruitment, data collection materials, resources, acceptability, and intervention promise. Intervention mapping was revisited to refine the intervention based on the single practice study findings. Results: Staff conducted prompted choice on 12.4% of face to face consultations they had with patients over three months, with 214 patients joining the NHS ODR. Some staff found prompted choice both feasible and acceptable, with opinions dependent on staff professional role. Responses to the training sessions were positive; however, although leaflets and posters were found to be feasible and acceptable, the majority of patients did not notice them. Significant challenges to implementation were found with SystmONE the practice software, the NHS Ethics process (particularly the confidentiality advisory group) and recruitment of practices. These resulted in the ultimate abandonment of a planned multi-practice feasibility randomised controlled trial. Conclusion/Discussion: These findings were positive and indicated that general practice could be an acceptable location to provide the facility to join the NHS ODR in the UK verbally. However, due to implementation issues, consideration is required as to how best to test the intervention further for feasibility. Recommendations include conducting a larger feasibility randomised controlled trial with more resources (people and financial), to help aid recruitment and the implementation of the required SystmONE elements. Contribution to Knowledge: This is the first academically tested intervention allowing people to sign-up to the NHS ODR verbally, and one of the first organ donation interventions in UK general practice. It is also the second intervention internationally to use Intervention Mapping for organ donation behaviour, and this thesis adds to the evidence base in each of these areas.
    • An evaluation of the implementation and practice of social prescribing

      Pescheny, Julia Vera (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-07)
      It is a current policy priority in the UK to break down the traditional divide between primary care and community services, in order to deliver continuous, integrated, and need-driven care and to provide opportunities for health professionals to respond to the wider determinants of health more effectively. Social prescribing is an example of an approach in primary care that promotes partnership working between the health and community and voluntary sector. It provides health professionals with a non-medical referral option to address the non-medical needs of patients, determining their health and wellbeing. Given that social prescribing is increasingly implemented across the UK, it is a key priority for commissioners and service providers to understand the implementation, uptake and adherence, and potential outcomes of social prescribing, as well as the existing evidence base. This study uses a mixed-methods design, reviewing previous evaluations on social prescribing to provide an overview of the evidence base. In addition, face-to-face semistructured interviews were conducted with health professionals, navigators, service providers, managers, and decision-makers to explore the facilitators and barriers to the implementation of the social prescribing programme in Luton. Face-to-face, semi-structured interviews were also held with service users of the Luton programme, to explore the factors affecting uptake and adherence to social prescribing, as well as the patient outcomes from a service user perspective. Lastly, secondary data from the Luton programme was reviewed, to analyse the change in energy expenditure and mental wellbeing for service users after the programme. The systematic literature review identified a range of service user outcomes and specific facilitators and barriers to the implementation of social prescribing, enabling increased and efficient access to available evidence. In addition, this study found that the implementation of the Luton programme was affected by operational processes, the evaluation process, communication, relationships, shared knowledge, and understanding among stakeholders, human resources, organisational readiness, and contextual factors. The uptake of social prescribing was affected by the trust in general practitioners, programme design, patient expectations, perceived need, and benefits, and fear of stigma of psychosocial problems. The support of navigators, the availability and accessibility of services, perceived benefits, and health and wellbeing of service users affected the adherence to the Luton programme. In addition, the study found that service users experienced improvements in their health related behaviours, mental wellbeing, and pain relief due to social prescribing. Lastly, the quantitative analysis showed that the Luton social prescribing programme has the potential to increase energy expenditure of participants and to activate sedentary patient groups. The iv analysis also found a statistically significant improvement in mental wellbeing postintervention. Findings of this study contribute to the development of an evidence base for social prescribing and can support policy-makers, decision-makers, and providers to improve the implementation, uptake, and adherence for social prescribing in the future. In addition, the identified gaps in the evidence base and the limitations of this study can inform future research in this field.
    • Writer-reader interaction: writer’s stance in English L1 and L2

      Darwish, Hosam (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-07)
      Stance refers to the ways academics annotate their texts to comment on the possible accuracy or creditability of a claim, the extent they want to commit themselves to it, or the attitude they want to convey to an entity, a proposition or the reader. Stance concerns writer-oriented features of interaction which can be presented by four interpersonal categories. These categories are boosters, e.g. ‘clearly’, hedges, e.g. ‘may’, self-mentions, e.g. ‘I’ and attitude markers, e.g. ‘interesting’. A big number of corpus-based studies have been conducted to analyse stance markers in both L1 and L2 writer’s transcripts from the view that texts are independent of specific contexts and outside the personal experiences of authors and audience. This view does not go along with the idea that texts are instances of interaction between the writer and their audience. Therefore, the current study sought to fill this gap in research by adopting a more subjective view through stressing the actions and perceptions of the text writers to better understand them. The aim of this study is to have a more complete picture of the writer-reader interaction by investigating the three elements of interaction: The text, the text writers and the audience. Adopting Hyland’s (2005b) Model of Interaction, a corpus of 80 discussion chapters written by both MA postgraduate Egyptian students (English L2) at Egyptian universities and their British student peers (English L1) at UK universities, were searched both electronically using the Text Inspector tool and manually by two raters to identify more than 200 stance markers in students’ academic scripts. Moreover, the study explored the perceptions of twenty of the text writers’ (both Egyptian and British) about the functions of certain stance markers and the factors that could affect their understanding and use of these linguistic features. Characteristics of successful stance-taking were suggested after interviewing four expert writers. The quantitative results found no statistically significant differences in the total number of stance markers, boosters and self-mentions used by students in the two writer groups, but the L1 corpus contained statistically significant more hedges and attitude markers than the L2 one. Furthermore, the L1 texts included noticeably more types of stance markers than the L2 scripts. vi The discourse-based interviews conducted indicated that both L1 and L2 writers were aware of the functions of stance markers. However, some of the interviewees (both L1 and L2) had narrow or even faulty conceptions of certain stance markers, e.g. possibility versus probability devices and other attitude markers, e.g. ‘important’ and ‘significant’. These features of academic discourse had not been made more conspicuous to them, and this could have affected their employment of these linguistic features. The findings revealed that in addition to the lingua-cultural aspect, writer’s personal linguistic preferences, supervisor’s and other lecturers’ feedback, previous education and instruction, and the writer’s self-confidence were key factors that have played a considerable role in students’ lexical decision-making. For instance, L2 students might have used fewer types of stance markers than L1 students due to their lack of confidence and their reluctance to use certain types of devices that they did not master or practised enough. The study, also, suggested that the higher density of stance markers is not absolutely an indication of a better ability in writing or a feature of a well-written academic text. The epistemological stance of the study and the contextual factors do play a significant role in the quantity and type of the stance markers used.
    • A multidimensional inquiry into Chinese outbound tourism to Western Europe: the visitation of Chinese millennial students to the Netherlands.

      De Vrieze-McBean, Ethel Rose (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-06-26)
      This research focuses on the multidimensionality of Chinese outbound tourism to Western Europe and particularly highlights the visitation of Chinese millennial students to the Netherlands. The contributions made to knowledge construction are first of all, to establish a propaedeutic research agenda for which this current research serves as a framework. Simultaneously, seven discernable dimensions have been identified as archetypal to the Chinese tourist, especially regarding their key interests and behaviour when visiting Western European destinations. These being competitive, demographic, economic, technological, cultural, natural and political. Within this construct, the researcher drew from Urry’s ‘The Tourist’s Gaze’, and Pearce et al., reconstruction of this, in their article in Tourism Recreation Research on “Puzzles in Understanding Chinese Tourist Behaviour: Towards a Triple-C Gaze”, to create the Quadruple-C Gaze in depicting the Chinese millennial tourist’s behaviour. (Quadruple-C is in reference to Confucianism, Capitalism, Communism, and Consumerism). The latter is a proposition for the establishment of a propaedeutic research agenda, which is derived from this study. In exercising an interpretative research methodology, the researcher attempted to gain a comprehensive understanding of the key interests of Chinese millennial tourists to the Netherlands and juxtapose them to Chinese millennial students as tourists to the Netherlands. At the same time, an investigation was carried out into the implications of these visits for the Dutch tourism industry as well as the Dutch higher education board. Semi-structured interviews were conducted among experts from the Dutch tourism industry as well as from the Dutch higher education board and experts from Dutch universities. Likewise, focus groups meetings were held among five different groups of Chinese millennial students from universities in the Netherlands as well as students from a university in China. Data was also generated from discourse analysis. The outcome of the thematic analysis performed resulted in seven pronounced themes, which are: the cultural values of Chinese millennial travellers; their motivations for visiting the Netherlands; the Netherlands and its higher educational institutes; Chinese millennial students in the Netherlands; the travel interests and behaviours of Chinese millennial students in/through Europe; the Chinese millennial students and their surroundings; and the implications of Chinese millennial students on their exhibited behaviour and on the Netherlands. A future propaedeutic research agenda is therefore proposed that examines “The Quadruple-C Gaze of Chinese outbound tourism and its relevance in defining the key interests and behaviour of the Chinese millennial tourists from second-and-third-tier VIII A Multidimensional Inquiry into Chinese Outbound Tourism to Western Europe: The Visitation of Chinese Millennial Students to The Netherlands cities in China”. In carrying out such a study, three relatively innovative methodologies are suggested: Complexity Theory, which is a set of concepts that attempts to explain a complex phenomenon not explainable by traditional or mechanic theories. The second is via Visual Analysis, which applies graphic prompts to assess the motivational considerations that guide visitors from different cultural backgrounds to select their travel destination(s). And thirdly, by way of Netnography - a current research method that uses online conversations as data. By applying one or more of the above-mentioned methodologies, a fresh insight will be gained into the quadruple-C gaze of Chinese millennial tourists from second and third-tier cities from Mainland China. Finally, when approaching China as a prospective source market for Chinese millennial tourists/students, both Dutch tourism providers and the Dutch higher education need to adopt a holistic approach to understanding the multi-dimensions postulated in this inquiry.
    • Theorising marketing communications practices in the context of small businesses in emerging markets

      Kuzmina, Ekaterina (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-05)
      As part of the main research contribution this study raises the substantive theory on Marketing Communications (MCs) in the novel context of the Russian market and small ‘organic’ skincare businesses by this building the foundations for further research studies in this area of SMEs with intangible attributes and markets with emerging marketing practices. This research explores how small businesses in organic skincare industry in Russia practice MCs; and specifically focuses on what contextual factors impact on ‘inside-out’ and ‘outside-in’ approaches to marketing communications. While the ‘inside-out’ approach represents a more company-controlled and brand-informed marketing, the ‘outside-in’ approach mainly focuses on a customer-centric and considering that MCs have mostly been investigated in the context of large scale companies with advanced marketing practices, it is worthwhile to provide more insight into how small businesses with emerging marketing practices understand MCs and implement its core principles of customer and brand orientation. In this sense a salient example is the Russian market, where marketing as a discipline initiated its development only after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 90-ies. MCs will be investigated in the context of organic skincare products. Local skincare companies in Russia extensively label their brand ‘organic’ to gain a competitive advantage on the market. Despite that, there is a lack of insight into how the ‘organic’ concept and its characteristics are communicated to the local audience and whether they are consistent with a customer’s locally constructed perception of ‘organic’. In response to that, this research aims to fill in this gap and to shed the light on whether and how local small companies in the industry manage to create a consistent customer-centric brand identity. The research consists of two sets of data collection methods: the analysis of online consumers’ discourses on organic skincare (netnography) and the interviews with the small organic skincare companies in Russia, which respectively provide insight into a customer’s local perception of ‘organic’ in skincare and the company’s communicated ‘organic’ brand identity. The present study is informed by the grounded theory methodology with the social constructivist and symbolic interactionism dimensions that guide and support the subsequent substantive theory on MCs in the defined context. As part of the main contribution the research introduces the concept of the business self (the owner-manager’s perception of the business) as the main constituent that defines MCs practices. In the case of the ‘restricted business self’ the company describes itself as a business with restricted resources and limited ability to invest into customer-informed marketing practices. The main focus of the company is on communicating a consistent brand identity, which is however hardly supported by a customer insight. Thus, this practice demonstrates more of the brand orientation and the ‘inside-out’ MCs. Conversely, in the case of the ‘desired business self’, where the company envisions itself in a favourable market situation, it expresses the ‘desire’ to invest into rigorous primary customer research and customer relationship management (CRM) to achieve a higher level of customer centricity to inform its brand identity. Thus, the case of the ‘desired business self’ demonstrates the shifts towards the customer orientation and the practice of ‘outside-in’ MCs.
    • ‘How would a child see it?’ exploring the impact when a parent downloads IIOC

      Thornhill, Lisa Marie (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-05)
      This thesis explored the impact on children when their father is arrested for downloading indecent images of children (IIOC). There is existing research which identifies the risk posed by people who download IIOC, however there is no research which explores the risk fathers present to their biological children. There is limited guidance for practitioners responsible for risk management in a family setting. As such, there is a danger that families will receive inconsistent responses from intervening agencies. This is the first piece of research which specifically explored how children who have a parent who downloads IIOC are affected. An inductive thematic analysis was undertaken. Data collection involved qualitative interviews with nine fathers who had been arrested for downloading IIOC, three mothers who had children with a man arrested for downloading IIOC, one step mother in a relationship with a man who had downloaded IIOC and one 17-year-old girl whose father had been convicted of downloading IIOC. The adults in this study are connected (as a parent or step parent) with a combined total of 27 children, 19 of whom were under the age of 18. The research was underpinned by the following theoretical frameworks: resilience, risk, the social construction of childhood and symbolic interactionism. The research provides a unique insight into the journey of the child, starting from when their father is arrested, followed by exploration of what they are told (if anything) about their father’s offending and how the entire experience impacts on them. The data revealed a wide variety of risks to the child in this context, for example: the risk the child has been exposed to the images, the risk that they will be told about the offence in a way that is emotionally harmful to them, the risk either parent would attempt or commit suicide, the risk that the child has been sexually abused or will be in the future, the risk that the offence will feature in the media and the child will become isolated and bullied, the risk of harm caused by separation from their parent and the risk that the non-offending parent will not be able to cope. The families shared valuable insights about their experience of intervening agencies. The thesis concludes with recommendations for practice, policy, and the development of materials for children, as well as raising further questions which may be addressed in future research. ix policy, and the development of materials for children, as well as raising further questions which may be addressed in future research.
    • An investigation into assessing ESL learners pragmatic competence at B2-C2 levels

      Ficzere, Edit (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-04-30)
      As the number of overseas students and employees in English-speaking countries has increased exponentially over the last decade, the importance of pragmatic competence in the successful social integration of L2 speakers has been highlighted and the need for assessing it has become more pressing. Most currently available pragmatic tests are based on Speech Act Theory as a theoretical framework and use discourse completion tasks as test instruments. However, both of these have been criticized lately for overlooking the importance of the discursive side of pragmatics, which requires the use of on-line processing skills (see e.g. Roever, 2011). The aim of this research was, therefore, to contribute towards the assessment of B2-C2 level learners’ pragmatic competence in extended oral discourse by identifying some criterial features defining the level of B2-C2 ESL learners’ pragmatic competence and by examining the extent to which a monologic and a dialogic task format allows these learners to display aspects of their pragmatic competence. Data were collected from thirty international university students at B2-C2 levels with a range of L1 backgrounds, who performed four monologic and two dialogic test tasks. This was then followed by a semistructured interview to gain the participants’ perspectives on the given contexts. Performance of the tasks was video recorded, transcribed and analysed quantitatively, using selected coding categories from Blum-Kulka et al. (1989) and Barron (2003), as well as qualitatively using a Conversation Analytic framework. The results indicate that with increasing language competence ESL learners used a wider range of pragmalinguistic devices and used them more frequently. The data from the semi-structured interviews also highlighted that with increasing proficiency there was a greater depth of analysis of the different contexts. However, the comparison of participants’ evaluation of the contexts and their actual language use indicated that only C2 level participants had the capacity to adjust their language to reflect their pragmatic intentions.
    • Drivers' attitudes, perceptions and situation awareness in relation to driving and accident experience

      Cavendish, Paul James (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-03-31)
      Road traffic accidents are among the biggest contributors to mortality rates and injury, especially young people, in developed countries. Research investigating how the human factor of driving has contributed to these accidents and early research focused on the skill of the driver as a contributory cause. Later studies have shown that it is not a lack of driving skill that causes accidents, per se, but that driving style may play a bigger role. However, the apparent relationship between driving skill, self-reported driving style and accident involvement is hampered by research not controlling for exposure and determining culpability for accidents. Similarly, research is by no means unequivocally differentiating drivers on the basis of their type of accident involvement. Therefore, the continued investigation of these factors should provide further evidence to help determine this relationship. In addition, the role of situation awareness (SA) in driving has been of interest in recent years, and poor SA caused by factors such as distraction and inattention has been shown to be a contributory factor in road traffic accidents. Current measures of SA are administered either during or after a specific, simulated task and as such are limited in their applicability. To this end, a 20 item driving specific questionnaire was developed to record drivers’ self-reported levels of situation awareness in a driving context which has provided an original contribution to the field of SA in driving research. Despite the number of traffic accidents recorded each year, they are still, on a per driver basis, rare events and as such determining the effects of skill vs. style and SA factors can be a challenge. Near-misses (also referred to as near-accidents and close calls) have also been used in place of recorded accidents and as the frequency of near-misses while driving is much higher than actual accidents, should act as a useful proxy variable in place of them. The aim of Study One was to methodically determine culpability in drivers and investigate which factors best distinguish these culpable accident and near miss involved drivers from the non-culpable and non-involved drivers, once demographic and experience variables had been controlled for. Drivers were surveyed using online survey software and self-reported accident and near miss culpability was investigated using attribution theory. The results included an Exploratory factor Analysis (EFA) of the Driver Situation Awareness (DSA) questionnaire which identified four factors that distinguished drivers on the basis of their accident and near miss involvement. Culpable drivers were lower in self-reported attention, concentration and vigilance. Culpable drivers also reported worse driving styles and attitudes that favoured riskier driving behaviours, and were also high in extraversion. Study two was a follow up study which surveyed a sub set of drivers from Study one and the same factors of interest were investigated. The aims of Study Two were to investigate differences over time in the factors previously investigated in a subset of drivers from Study One, and to explore the accident and near miss history of the same drivers to see if the differences seen between these groups still existed on those same factors. The results revealed that those differences seen in Study One were not apparent in Study Two, most likely due to a much smaller sample size masking any significant effects. The primary aim of Study Three was to explore differences between accident involved drivers from Study Two on different types of hazard and their precursors on a driving simulator and recording eye movements. This was a replication and extension of the methodology of Crundall et al. (2012). The second aim investigated whether there were any differences between drivers on different types of hazard precursor when having previously been exposed to an active hazard of the same type. The third aim involved further validating the DSA on both objective and online measures of situation awareness, and to explore the contribution of the DSA in distinguishing drivers based on their accident involvement. While the results showed no differences between the driver groups on fixating the different types of hazard overall, non-accident involved drivers fixated on more behavioural predictor precursors than culpable drivers. Culpable drivers also fixated less on precursors following an active hazard of the same type. Finally, higher levels of attention and vigilance as measured by the DSA were related to fewer fixations on Dividing and Focusing precursors and faster fixations on Behavioural Predictor precursors. The results from these studies are discussed in light of current models of driving behaviour.
    • Performance and practice in higher education: an ethnomethodological study of everyday academic work.

      Bolam, Caroline (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-03)
      It is widely accepted that Higher Education (HE) has gone through significant changes within the last sixty years. The effects of such phenomena as managerialism, marketization and performativity are well documented in the literature (Deem et al 2007, Molesworth et al 2011, Hussey and Smith 2010, Bell et al 2009). Often, such terms are introduced and accepted as truth without fully exploring what such phenomena really mean to the members of that community. However, policy and purpose (impact) may differ from practice, as illustrated by Weider (1974). This research uses ethnomethodology (EM) as its focus, to explore this issue further. EM is a method of inquiry which concentrates on the members’ methods to understand how they make meaning of their work environment through their daily practices. This research applies a documentary approach to lecturing, to see it as a document of accomplishment. It also draws on the method of conversation analysis (CA) and examines discussions with academic members of two post 1992 universities, which are seen to be the most affected by the neoliberal phenomena mentioned. This is to understand how they accomplish their performance of being an academic. The use of EM allows a greater appreciation of the shared understanding of the use of the social space of the university and how the organisational daily objectives are achieved by its members. Evidence from this research shows that performativity (Lyotard 1984) causes misunderstandings of purpose, and marketized approaches have increased assymetries in student-academic interactions.
    • Independent dancers and the choreographic process: a study into the working conditions of the 21st century dancer

      Farrer, Rachel (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-03)
      The UK independent dance sector is generating increasing interest from within the academic community, with a discourse emerging that is concerned with the work of those working in self-employed capacities as dancers. This role often involves varied responsibilities spanning performance, choreographic, teaching and project management work, and generally means dancers working on a project basis, as opposed to being employed by a single organisation or company. The aim of this research is to better understand the working conditions of the independent sector and how dancers operate to navigate themselves within it. It focuses on how dancers use their roles as performers within different choreographic projects to support this activity, in order to feed and sustain their careers. To examine this area, I draw upon existing research and literature about the independent dance communities, in addition to writing in the fields of sociology, economics, philosophy and dance science to anchor the study, and contextualise the conditions of independent dancers’ work. An in-depth autoethnographic study was undertaken, in which I worked with three professional dancers on two choreographic projects to experience and observe their practice. The findings were furthered during interviews with a separate group of independent dancers who were questioned about their careers in the sector. Together, they provide first-hand accounts of the work that independent dancers do, interpreted through my constructivist perspective as a dancer and academic. 4 The findings provide new evidence of working conditions in the contemporary dance sector, from the dancers’ perspective. From this, a model is distilled that articulates how the dancers in this study engaged with five key areas of practice to support their roles within different chorographic projects and navigate their world of work: Adaptation, Relationships, Continued learning, Identity and Exchange. In providing new insights into independent dancers’ work, this study forges a new direction for how their roles can be understood and valued within the wider contemporary sector.
    • Attitudes and perceptions of HIV-infected pregnant women towards the use of antiretroviral therapy in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria

      Major, Puremeluan Baldwin (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2019-02-20)
      Background Despite several initiatives, the number of HIV-infected pregnant women receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) to prevent mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV in Nigeria remains low. In 2016, only 32% of HIV-infected pregnant women received ART to prevent MTCT of HIV. Evidence suggests that attitudes and perceptions of pregnant women with HIV influence their use of ART. However, limited evidence exists about HIV-infected pregnant women’s attitudes and perceptions towards ART in Nigeria. Aim This study aims to improve the understanding of the attitudes and perceptions of HIV-infected pregnant women towards the use of antiretroviral therapy for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Method The study utilises an exploratory sequential mixed methods design, consisting of qualitative and quantitative phases. In the first phase, 24 HIV-infected antenatal attendees were purposively selected. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted for all 24 participants. Interviews explored pregnant women’s attitudes and perceptions towards the use of ART for PMTCT. All the interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed using a thematic approach. In the second phase, a sample size of 264 was statistically determined. Simple random sampling was used to select the 264 participants who attended antenatal clinics during the period the study was conducted. A survey questionnaire was administered, 260 participants responded to the questionnaire. The survey examined how pregnant women’s attitudes and perceptions influence their use of antiretroviral therapy, as well as the influence of socio-demographic factors on their attitudes towards ART. Statistical analysis was done using SPSS.