Recent Submissions

  • Mental health disorders and recidivism among incarcerated adult offenders in a correctional facility in South Africa: a cluster analysis.

    Shishane, Kwanele; John-Langba, Johannes; Onifade, Eyitayo; ; University of Bedfordshire; University of KwaZulu-Natal; Clark Atlanta University (Plos One, 2023-01-19)
    The contribution of mental illness, substance use, and appetitive aggression to recidivism has significant policy and practice implications. Offenders with untreated mental illness have a higher recidivism rate and a greater number of criminogenic risk factors than those without mental illness. Previous research has demonstrated that the likelihood of appetitive aggression increases in violent contexts where individuals perpetrate aggressive acts. Using the Ecological Systems Theory, this study investigated the association between mental health disorders and recidivism among incarcerated adult offenders in South Africa, and the intervening role of appetitive aggression and substance use. Using a cross-sectional quantitative research design, a sample of 280 incarcerated male and female adult offenders aged 18-35 with no known psychiatric disorders were sampled at a correctional facility in South Africa. The re-incarceration rate, mental health disorders, substance use, and appetitive aggression symptomology were assessed using the Hopkins symptoms checklist, the CRAFFT measure of substance use, and the appetitive aggression scale. Findings indicate a 32.4% recidivism rate (n = 82). Cluster analysis indicated that the combination of anxiety, depression, substance use, and appetitive aggression increased the likelihood of recidivism. Appetitive aggression median differences between clusters 2 and 3 played a key role in distinguishing recidivism risk among recidivist and non-recidivist participants. Chi-square analysis highlighted group differences in education levels among the established clusters [x2 (3, n = 217) = 12.832, p = .005, which is < .05] as well as group differences in the type of criminal offence [x2 (3, n = 187) = 24.362, p = .000, which is < .05] and cluster membership. Combined factors that increase the likelihood of recidivism provide a typology for classifying offenders based on particular recidivism risk determinants, which offers insights for developing tailored interventions that address a combination of factors.
  • Promising programmes to prevent and respond to child sexual abuse and exploitation

    Radford, Lorraine; Allnock, Debra; Hynes, Patricia; Unicef; University of Central Lancashire; University of Bedfordshire (Unicef, 2015-12-31)
    The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has estimated that 120 million girls globally under the age of 20 (about 1 in 10) have experienced forced sexual intercourse or other forced sexual acts. Girls typically report rates of sexual abuse at least three times higher than rates reported by boys, although boys are also at risk. Child sexual abuse and exploitation is a widespread problem with significant adverse consequences for children’s health, well-being and life chances. Nearly half of adolescent girls experiencing sexual abuse never tell anyone; 7 out of 10 never seek help. The global costs of physical, psychological and sexual violence towards children are between 3–8 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP).
  • The 'virtuous' cycle of parental empowerment: partnering with parents to safeguard young people from exploitation

    Hickle, Kristine; Shuker, Lucie; University of Sussex; University of Bedfordshire (Wiley, 2022-11-18)
    When young people are sexually exploited, parents and professionals alike can feel uncertain about how to balance the need to protect the child's rights to agency and autonomy while also reducing the risk of harm. Despite the shared interest in keeping young people safe, there remains a substantial gap in the research literature about how practitioners engage parents to increase capacity to safeguard their children, particularly within the context of a child protection system ill-equipped to address forms of extrafamilial harm such as child sexual exploitation. This paper aims to contribute to understanding how professionals effectively engage parents by drawing upon evidence from research evaluations of two programmes in rural/urban North and urban South locations in England, both providing specialist support to parents/carers of sexually exploited children and young people. Through interrogating elements of effective support work evidenced across both programmes, a set of emerging key themes are presented, proposing that parent support and engagement can create a ‘virtuous’ cycle, whereby families are strengthened and are better able to protect their children from sexual exploitation and other forms of extrafamilial harm.
  • Epidemia e Tragédia: Tramas Políticas, Reconexões Humanas

    Almeida, Joana (Editora RedeUnida, 2020-01-01)
  • Strategies of complementary and alternative medicine practitioners to achieve occupational closure within healthcare in Portugal

    Almeida, Joana (2015-04-11)
    The aim of this paper is to analyse the main strategies of closure that have been enacted by CAM practitioners in order to achieve occupational control over work domains in the Portuguese healthcare market since the late 1990s. Abbott’s jurisdictional vacancy theory, Neo-Weberian occupational closure theory, and Light’s countervailing power concept, are proposed as a framework for analysis. Acupuncture and homeopathy will be presented as case studies. Data are derived from in-depth interviews with 10 traditional acupuncturists and 10 traditional homeopaths. The data analysis suggested that expressing ‘countervailing values’, professionalising and forming alliances with the medical profession have been the main strategies used by CAM practitioners in an attempt to achieve inclusion and hence closure. It will be argued that a further outcome of these strategies is the promotion of CAM treatments and solutions to human problems, sometimes as complementary, other times as alternative, to medical solutions. The promotion of CAM can thus impact on the medicalisation process of certain conditions, and its sociological analysis can contribute to take the medicalisation debate towards unexplored theoretical grounds.
  • 'People here are their own gods': the migration of South African social workers to England

    Hakak, Yohai; Onokah, Shirley; Shishane, Kwanele (Oxford University Press, 2022-11-12)
    The migration of social workers has become an established trend internationally. Existing research largely ignored the impact of culture on this migration. The study presented here focused on the experiences of social workers who were trained in South Africa and migrated to England. South African-trained social workers had to adjust to significant cultural differences, ranging from the place of religion, the characteristics of the family and parenting, forms of interpersonal communication and what is considered polite and impolite behaviour. Whilst these issues have a wide societal impact, they also shape the daily reality of practising social workers. Implications for practice are discussed, and pre-migration education about the host country’s structures, a systemic induction process, mentorship and supervision with an emphasis on culture, is recommended.
  • Everything old is "neo" again: towards a Marxist hermeneutic approach to political economy

    Hoctor, Tom; University of Bedfordshire (Routledge, 2022-09-20)
    This article sets out the contours of a Marxist hermeneutic approach to political economy. It begins by outlining how such a critique of political economy would function, with a particular emphasis on approaches which understand the discipline of economics as theory. It further claims that critique is over-reliant on the concept neoliberalism; that the categories proper to economic critique are value, time and space and that the innovation of a hermeneutic approach would be to reintroduce a sphere for antagonism through the analysis of the relationship of economic theory to value. To substantiate this argument, I offer an analysis of some important trends in recent scholarship on neoliberalism, notably the regulation school and the work of Wendy Brown. The article concludes by arguing that a reorientation towards value is timely and necessary, given the serious global recession precipitated by the Coronavirus and the economic reorganisation which will ensue.
  • 'Letting you share when you need to share': navigating the potential and precarity of friends and peers for UK young people after sexual abuse in adolescence

    Warrington, Camille; Allnock, Debra; Soares, Claire; Beckett, Helen; ; University of Bedfordshire (Wiley, 2022-11-18)
    This article explores the rarely considered role of friends and peers supporting young people after sexual abuse experienced in adolescence, drawing on participatory research with 32 young people in the UK with lived experience. The article considers ways in which relationships with friends and peers interplay with recovery from abuse. This includes friends and peers as recipients of disclosure, conduits to professional support, sources of emotional support and distraction, and embroiled in often challenging, precarious peer cultures that young people navigate post-abuse. The article explores young people’s rationale for, and experiences of, reaching out to friends and peers. It considers what young people seek and gain from these relationships in the aftermath of abuse, while acknowledging complex risks and precarity of these relationships. It argues that support from friends offers something distinct to family and professionals. It explores benefits of these relationships, but also potential for peer responses to undermine wellbeing if not sufficiently supportive or informed. The article ends by arguing for professionals to better recognise and respond to these relational contexts and consider whether there are safe and appropriate ways to ‘support young people to support’ without responsibilisation, and recognising welfare needs of those providing such support.
  • #mothersday: Constructions of motherhood and femininity in social media posts

    Capdevila, Rose; Dann, Charlotte; Lazard, Lisa; Roper, Sandra; Locke, Abigail; Open University; University of Northampton; University of Bedfordshire; Keele University (SAGE Publications Ltd, 2022-08-03)
    Images and representations of parenting, and particularly mothering, have become commonplace on social media platforms over the past decade. These displays, however, take place in the context of popular contemporary discourses around gender and parenting that are in many ways prescriptive. This paper explores the constructions of mothering online through an analysis of posts about mothers on Mother’s Day from 2018 to 2020. Data were collected from Instagram and Twitter using hashtags such as #mothersday, #happymothersday and #motheringsunday. Both content and thematic analyses were conducted. This paper will consider three main themes that were identified in the data: “Beauty & biology”; “Grief & loss” and “Care (& COVID)”, with a focus on constructions of gendered parenting and family through the explicit celebration of the lives and roles of mothers. The findings provide insight into normative constructions of gender and how these are mediated through the affordances of social media platforms in a neoliberal context.
  • ‘I know how it sounds on paper’ : risk talk, the use of documents and epistemic justice in child protection assessment home visits

    Bostock, Lisa; Koprowska, Juliet; ; University of Bedfordshire; University of York (SAGE, 2022-10-01)
    Social workers carry much of the frontline authority to define risk to children and discuss it with families. Assessment reports and other institutional documents record professional views about family information, and also have the potential to convey the ‘voice’ of the family to institutions. Social workers have responsibility for sharing these documents with families, yet little is known about how they do this. This paper focuses on episodes when social workers introduce institutional documents in home visits, and on the family responses elicited. These are high-stakes encounters which, when they go seriously wrong, emerge in the press as tragedies and scandals. For families, these documents carry an emotional depth-charge as intimate, potentially shaming, and sometimes inaccurate details of their lives are inscribed in them by and for others. Latour’s (1996) concept of interobjectivity sheds light on the use of documents, while concepts of epistemic authority (Heritage and Raymond, 2005) and epistemic injustice (Fricker, 2007) are employed to examine how social workers respond to parental testimony about themselves and their children. Learning how to present institutional documentation in ways that reduce the risk of emotional reactivity and treating family perspectives with epistemic justice may enhance social work practice. At a policy level, the design of documents warrants review, so that they facilitate rather than obstruct social workers’ efforts to build what are already fragile relationships with families.
  • Why does systemic supervision support practitioners’ practice more effectively with children and families?

    Bostock, Lisa; Patrizo, Louis; Godfrey, Tessa; Forrester, Donald; ; University of Bedfordshire; Frontline; University of Cardiff (ELSEVIER, 2022-08-30)
    The importance of supervision for social work practice is widely accepted. This paper focuses on one specific type of supervision: systemic group supervision or “systemic supervision”. Systemic social work practice is a group-based, multi-disciplinary model of service delivery that aims to work therapeutically with the whole family. Central to this model is the use of systemically-informed group supervision. This has been shown to impact positively on the quality of direct practice with families, but what is it about this type of supervision that supports frontline practitioners to practice more skillfully? This paper is based on interviews with 49 frontline staff across five children’s services departments in the UK. It identifies the key features of systemic supervision and explores why workers think that developing collective, group-based understandings of risk to children supports them to intervene more effectively with families in contact with children’s services. These findings contribute to a growing body of knowledge about the practice shaping function of supervision within child and family social work.
  • ‘It’s like a much deeper understanding and you kind of believe them more…’: the value of peer support for young people affected by sexual violence

    Cody, Claire; Bovarnick, Silvie; Peace, Delphine; University of Bedfordshire (Wiley, 2022-09-05)
    Research demonstrates that relationships are key when working to support young people affected by sexual violence. Within these relationships young people show a preference for non-judgemental, flexible, consistent and informal support. Peer support - defined here as support provided by those with similar experiences - is however an uncharted area for assisting young people affected by sexual violence. This paper draws on interviews with 25 respondents with knowledge and experience of setting up, supervising and/or participating in peer support initiatives for young people impacted by different forms of sexual violence in Europe and North America. The article highlights how one form of peer support, peer or ‘survivor’ mentoring, can provide emotional and social support; create space for ‘normality’; and give choices to young people. It outlines three unique dimensions to the support provided by peers more generally; relatability, credibility and translatability. The discussion reflects on what this might mean for traditional support provided by professionals. It also draws attention to the significance of recognising both the variety of experience and identity of young survivors of sexual trauma and the impact this may have on promoting relatability within relationships.
  • A scoping review of empirical literature on people with intellectual disability in Nigeria

    Sango, Precious Nonye; Deveau, Roy; ; University of Bedfordshire; University of Kent (MDPI, 2022-08-19)
    Intellectual disability (ID) is an emerging field of research in Nigeria. This review seeks to identify what has been published in order to describe the evidence and to identify the major gaps in knowledge and practice. A systematic search of five databases and an African disability journal yielded 15 papers that reported on empirical studies related to people with ID in Nigeria. Fifteen studies across the databases and journal searched met the inclusion criteria. The participants included adults and children with ID and their families. Twelve of the papers employed quantitative methods, two were qualitative and one was a mixed methods study. There is a paucity of empirical research on people with ID in Nigeria, thus emphasising the need for more primary research about people with ID living in Nigeria. Nigeria is estimated to have the largest population of people with disabilities in Africa; however, this review found limited empirical work regarding their lives, prevalence and care. This limited evidence hinders the understanding of the challenges people with an intellectual disability face and potentially inhibit the creation of policy-oriented solutions to their plights in a globalised world.
  • Looked after young people and CSE: a view from Northern Ireland

    Beckett, Helen (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013-09-06)
    Exploration of relationship between looked after young people and child sexual exploitaiton, drawing on research from Northern Ireland
  • Growing pains: developing safeguarding responses to adolescent harm

    Beckett, Helen; Lloyd, Jenny (Jessica Kingsley, 2022-03-21)
    Overview of the ways in which safeguarding responses to different forms of adolescence can compound or alleviate harm

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