• Attachment provision in the Saudi orphanages: exploring the narratives of residential staff

      Sochos, Antigonos; Al-Jasas, Najla (Wiley, 2020-01-27)
      This qualitative study explored the accounts of 50 residential childcare staff in Saudi Arabia, aiming to identify ways in which staff and residential institutions may function as attachment objects for the children in their care. Rather than conducting a formal attachment assessment, a semi‐structured interview schedule was utilised, intending to generate novel insights into the child–carer relationship. Informed by attachment theory, thematic analysis suggested that keyworkers' narratives were organised around three conceptual dichotomies – social rejection versus social acceptance , distress versus containmen t and development of the self versus bonding . The accounts also indicated that staff and institutions might encounter significant challenges in providing emotional security to the orphans, challenges touching upon all three levels – individual, dyadic and collective.
    • Evaluating follow-up and complexity in cancer clinical trials (EFACCT): an eDelphi study of research professionals' perspectives

      Jones, Helene Markham; Curtis, Ffion; Law, Graham A.; Bridle, Christopher; Boyle, Dorothy; Ahmed, Tanweer; University of Lincoln; United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust; University of Bedfordshire; South East Scottish Cancer Research Network (SESCRN) (BMJ Publishing Group, 2020-02-18)
      To evaluate patient follow-up and complexity in cancer clinical trial delivery, using consensus methods to: (1) identify research professionals' priorities, (2) understand localised challenges, (3) define study complexity and workloads supporting the development of a trial rating and complexity assessment tool (TRACAT). A classic eDelphi completed in three rounds, conducted as the launch study to a multiphase national project (evaluating follow-up and complexity in cancer clinical trials). Multicentre online survey involving professionals at National Health Service secondary care hospital sites in Scotland and England varied in scale, geographical location and patient populations. Principal investigators at 13 hospitals across nine clinical research networks recruited 33 participants using pre-defined eligibility criteria to form a multidisciplinary panel. Statements achieving a consensus level of 70% on a 7-point Likert-type scale and ranked trial rating indicators (TRIs) developed by research professionals. The panel developed 75 consensus statements illustrating factors contributing to complexity, follow-up intensity and operational performance in trial delivery, and specified 14 ranked TRIs. Seven open questions in the first qualitative round generated 531 individual statements. Iterative survey rounds returned rates of 82%, 82% and 93%. Clinical trials operate within a dynamic, complex healthcare and innovation system where rapid scientific advances present opportunities and challenges for delivery organisations and professionals. Panellists highlighted cultural and organisational factors limiting the profession's potential to support growing trial complexity and patient follow-up. Enhanced communication, interoperability, funding and capacity have emerged as key priorities. Future operational models should test dialectic Singerian-based approaches respecting open dialogue and shared values. Research capacity building should prioritise innovative, collaborative approaches embedding validated review and evaluation models to understand changing operational needs and challenges. TRACAT provides a mechanism for continual knowledge assimilation to improve decision-making.
    • Investigating effects of emoji on neutral narrative text: evidence from eye movements and perceived emotional valence

      Robus, Christopher M.; Hand, Christopher J.; Filik, Ruth; Pitchford, Melanie; University of Bedfordshire; Glasgow Caledonian University; University of Nottingham (Elsevier, 2020-04-03)
      Digital images of faces such as emoji in virtual communication have become increasingly popular, but current research findings are inconsistent regarding their emotional effects on perceptions of text. Similarly, emoji effects on reading behaviours are largely unknown and require further examination. The present study (N = 41) investigated how the position and emotional valence of emoji in neutral narrative sentences influenced eye movements during reading and perceptions of sentence valence. Participants read neutral narrative sentences containing smiling or frowning emoji in sentence-initial or sentence-final positions and rated the perceived emotional valence of the sentence. Results from linear mixed-effects models demonstrated significantly longer fixations on sentence-final emoji and longer sentence reading times when emoji were in sentence-final positions. These findings are comparable to sentence ‘wrap-up’ effects witnessed in the processing of lexical units during sentence reading, providing new evidence towards the way readers integrate emoji into contextual processing. However, no impact of emoji valence or position on first-pass target word processing or sentence-valence ratings were found. This would refute previous suggestions that digital faces influence text valence, raising questions about reader preference for emoji or sentence sentiment, the influence of sentence formatting, and delivery/display mechanism on these effects.
    • An oral history of health psychology in the UK

      Quinn, Francis; Chater, Angel M.; Morrison, Val (Wiley, 2020-04-20)
      Abstract Purpose An oral history of the development of health psychology in the United Kingdom. Methods Standard oral history methods produced interviews with 53 UK health psychologists, averaging 92 min in length. All interviewees entered the field from the 1970s to the 2000s, representing all four countries in the United Kingdom. A reconstructive mode of analysis, along with the few existing sources, was used to create a narrative of the history of health psychology in the United Kingdom. Audio recordings and transcripts will be archived for use by future researchers. Findings In the 1970s, medical schools in London recruited psychologists to teach, while also conducting pragmatic research on issues in healthcare. At the same time, some clinical psychologists began to work with physical health conditions in general hospitals. Partly influenced by developments in the United States and Europe, an identity of ‘health psychology’ developed and spread to researchers and practitioners doing work in psychology and health. In the 1980s, the field continued to attract researchers, including social psychologists working with health behaviours and outcomes, and clinical psychologists working in health care settings. During this time, it became formalized as a scientific field with the creation of the BPS Health Psychology Section, courses, and journals. In the 1990s, the field moved towards professional practice, which was controversial with other BPS divisions. However, it continued to grow and develop through the 2000s and 2010s. Conclusion Reflections on the development of UK health psychology represent the first historical narrative produced from oral testimony of those who were present at the time.
    • The impact of misleading information on the identifiability of feature-based facial composites

      Pitchford, Melanie; Green, Danielle; Frowd, Charlie D.; University of Bedfordshire; University of Winchester; University of Central Lancashire (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., 2017-11-02)
      The misinformation effect demonstrates that when eyewitnesses are exposed to details of a crime that are incorrect, they are less accurate in their later recall of those details. Research has also shown that misinformation has a measurable effect on recall and construction of a target face using a mechanical but now-outdated feature-based composite system. In a laboratory-based psychology experiment, we demonstrate that misinformation has a detrimental effect on the construction of a facial composite produced by a modern, computerized feature-based system. Participants were shown a target face and constructed a composite of it the following day using PRO-fit software. Composites were less identifiable when, prior to face construction, participants were exposed to misinformation-in this case, by reading a description of an inaccurate identity: a face that was different to theirs (relative to participants who read a description of the same identity, or did not read a description at all). This is important for criminal justice systems and security services as facial composites constructed under such circumstances would appear to be less identifiable, thus limiting the effectiveness of this type of forensic evidence.
    • Supporting students of diverse cultures and faiths - experiences from a university perspective

      Gale, Jill; Thalitaya, Madhusudan Deepak (Medicinska Naklada Zagreb, 2017-09-01)
      Background: University of Bedfordshire is a large University with over 24000 students from over 100 countries. The main religions recorded are Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jewish and Sikhism amongst others. Around 45% of them do not have any recorded religion. The Mental Health Advisor will come across a wide range of students from different backgrounds each with their own unique presentation of mental health distress. It is well known that people of different communities and cultures experience signs and symptoms of mental distress in different ways. This is very important for clinicians to be aware of the nuances around cultures and traditions in the context of mental illness in order to assist clinicians more accurately diagnose, support and manage them. In an effort to improve diagnosis and care to people of all backgrounds, the 5th edition of the Diagnosis and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) incorporates a greater cultural sensitivity throughout the manual. This includes a reflection of crosscultural variations in presentations and cultural concepts of distress. Role of the Mental Health Advisor: The mental Health Advisor is available to help with practical support to assist students to manage their mental health and study. This includes support with an initial assessment, structures support, assisting with making reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act (2010), support students to access Disabled Student's Allowances and reasonable adjustments to enable them to study effectively and achieve their potential and where necessary, making appropriate referrals to internal and/or external services. One of the main roles of the advisor is to support students with mental health difficulties which are impacting on their studies. This support may include anxiety management, motivation, relaxation techniques, study plans and understanding the impact of medication. Discussion: This paper will look at some of the experiences faced by the mental health advisor and will also reflect on understanding the finer nuances of cultural aspects of mental health in different student communities. This paper will also reflect on the learning gained by these experiences which will help better support and assist the student population at the University of Bedfordshire.
    • What motivational processes underpin student engagement with employability? : a critical review

      Clements, Andrew James (Springer, 2019-10-08)
      There are concerns that students fail to engage with employability soon enough in their studies, and do not seek the best available support.  This chapter explores the role that motivation plays in students’ career management behaviours, notably career exploration, decision-making, and job search.  The literature highlights the crucial role played by self-efficacy, i.e. belief in one’s ability to perform a task, which is informed by personal experience and feedback.  Time spent on career exploration (i.e. reflecting on one’s own qualities and exploring opportunities) is associated with greater confidence in making career decisions.  Job search behaviours, such as effort, is associated with better career outcomes.  However, there is a gap in the literature regarding how earlier exploration and decision activities inform the job search.  This chapter identifies opportunities for addressing this gap, and the potential value of exploring student job search strategies.  Yet while attention to motivation may inform how we work with individual students, it remains necessary to consider environmental conditions in the labour market.
    • Identifying wellbeing challenges and solutions in the police service using the World Café method

      Clements, Andrew James; Sharples, Adrienne; Kinman, Gail; University of Bedfordshire (SAGE, 2020-01-10)
      Police work presents risks to mental and physical health for officers and civilian staff. We report a project that involved police employees in identifying wellbeing challenges and potential solutions. We facilitated ‘World Café’ events in which approximately 180 officers and civilian staff participated. Qualitative data were collected and thematically analysed drawing upon the Job Demands-Resources model. We identified themes relating to workload, management practices, occupational health processes, and continuing mental health stigma. Our analyses suggest an environment in which resources are insufficient to meet demands. The resulting pressures may contribute to management behaviours that can impair subordinate wellbeing.
    • Film clips smoking behavior and nicotine craving: the interrelationship between stress, smoking cues and craving

      Kasdovasilis, P.; Alikari, V.; Zyga, S.; Guppy, Andrew; Theofilou, P.; University of Bedfordshire; University of Peloponnese; Ministry of Health, Athens (Hellenic Psychiatric Association, 2019-06-01)
      Αn abundance of research has demonstrated that substance addicted individuals, when they are exposed to a substance related stimulus, show a positive correlation between physiological measurements, such as an increase in heart rate and sweating, and behavioral reactions, that include craving and substance use or consumption. Films depicting smoking behavior are regarded as cues to induce smoking behavior. The current study aimed to investigate the effects of smoking behavior portrayed in movies on actual craving experienced by smokers who watch on screen actors consume tobacco products. In addition, the effects of receiving orally administered nicotine (chewing gum), a regular chewing gum or no additional intervention were examined. In particular, the study aimed to investigate how these factors impact nicotine craving as well as the heart rate and sweating. The majority of the participants were University of Bedfordshire students and staff. Thirty smokers (12 males and 18 females) having received a nicotine gum, a regular chewing gum or no gum, were exposed to a digital video clip showing actors smoking. The participants chose the type of chewing gum they wanted. Heart rate (HR) and galvanic skin response (GSR) were measured during the course of the experiment. Prior to and after watching the movie clip participants completed the Brief Questionnaire of Smoking Urges (QSU-Brief) and the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). According to the results, the craving was increased when compared to the baseline score (t=-3.76, p<0.001). Additionally, a correlation was found between the baseline level of craving and perceived stress before and after the movie (r=0.39). Nicotine chewing gum was found to have a significant impact on participants' heart rate (p<0.05) but not on GSR. A significant difference was found in participants in the normal chewing gum condition reporting higher levels of craving than the other two groups (p<0.05). Age was found to positively related to post-measures of nicotine craving which was found to be higher for young respondents (r=-0.47, p<0.01). The data further show that the depiction of smoking behavior in the media is likely to have a significant impact on smoking craving, smoking behavior and nicotine consumption. The current study confirms and replicates some of the previous findings within the field of smoking behavior and nicotine craving such as high susceptibility of younger adults to media influence.
    • The effects of dream rebound: evidence for emotion-processing theories of dreaming

      Malinowski, Josie; Carr, Michelle; Edwards, Christopher; Ingarfill, Anya; Pinto, Alexandra; University of East London; Swansea University; University of Bedfordshire (Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2019-03-12)
      Suppressing thoughts often leads to a “rebound” effect, both in waking cognition (thoughts) and in sleep cognition (dreams). Rebound may be influenced by the valence of the suppressed thought, but there is currently no research on the effects of valence on dream rebound. Further, the effects of dream rebound on subsequent emotional response to a suppressed thought have not been studied before. The present experiment aimed to investigate whether emotional valence of a suppressed thought affects dream rebound, and whether dream rebound subsequently influences subjective emotional response to the suppressed thought. Participants (N = 77) were randomly assigned to a pleasant or unpleasant thought suppression condition, suppressed their target thought for 5 min pre-sleep every evening, reported the extent to which they successfully suppressed the thought, and reported their dreams every morning for 7 days. It was found that unpleasant thoughts were more prone to dream rebound than pleasant thoughts. There was no effect of valence on the success or failure of suppression during wakefulness. Dream rebound and successful suppression were each found to have beneficial effects for subjective emotional response to both pleasant and unpleasant thoughts. The results may lend support for an emotion-processing theory of dream function.
    • People are unable to recognize or report on their own eye movements

      Clarke, Alasdair D.F.; Mahon, Aoife; Irvine, Alex; Hunt, Amelia R.; University of Aberdeen; University of Cambridge (SAGE, 2017-11-01)
      Eye movements bring new information into our visual system. The selection of each fixation is the result of a complex interplay of image features, task goals, and biases in motor control and perception. To what extent are we aware of the selection of saccades and their consequences? Here we use a converging methods approach to answer this question in three diverse experiments. In Experiment 1, participants were directed to find a target in a scene by a verbal description of it. We then presented the path the eyes took together with those of another participant. Participants could only identify their own path when the comparison scanpath was searching for a different target. In Experiment 2, participants viewed a scene for three seconds and then named objects from the scene. When asked whether they had looked directly at a given object, participants' responses were primarily determined by whether or not the object had been named, and not by whether it had been fixated. In Experiment 3, participants executed saccades towards single targets and then viewed a replay of either the eye movement they had just executed or that of someone else. Participants were at chance to identify their own saccade, even when it contained under- and overshoot corrections. The consistent inability to report on one's own eye movements across experiments suggests that awareness of eye movements is extremely impoverished or altogether absent. This is surprising given that information about prior eye movements is clearly used during visual search, motor error correction, and learning.
    • The role of attention in eye-movement awareness

      Mahon, Aoife; Clarke, Alasdair D.F.; Hunt. Amelia R.; University of Aberdeen; University of Bedfordshire; University of Essex, (Springer, 2018-07-02)
      People are unable to accurately report on their own eye movements most of the time. Can this be explained as a lack of attention to the objects we fixate? Here, we elicited eye-movement errors using the classic oculomotor capture paradigm, in which people tend to look at sudden onsets even when they are irrelevant. In the first experiment, participants were able to report their own errors on about a quarter of the trials on which they occurred. The aim of the second experiment was to assess what differentiates errors that are detected from those that are not. Specifically, we estimated the relative influence of two possible factors: how long the onset distractor was fixated (dwell time), and a measure of how much attention was allocated to the onset distractor. Longer dwell times were associated with awareness of the error, but the measure of attention was not. The effect of the distractor identity on target discrimination reaction time was similar whether or not the participant was aware they had fixated the distractor. The results suggest that both attentional and oculomotor capture can occur in the absence of awareness, and have important implications for our understanding of the relationship between attention, eye movements, and awareness.
    • Effectiveness of non-pharmacological interventions for insomnia in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis

      Keogh, Sophie; Bridle, Christopher; Siriwardena, Niroshan A.; Nadkarni, Amulya; Laparidou, Despina; Durrant, Simon J.; Kargas, Niko; Law, Graham A.; Curtis, Ffion; Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust; et al. (Public Library of Science, 2019-08-22)
      Background Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a set of neurodevelopmental disorders characterised by behavioural, communication and social impairments. The prevalence of sleep disturbances in children with ASD is 40–80%, with significant effects on quality of life for the children and carers. This systematic review aimed to synthesise evidence of the effects of behavioural interventions to improve sleep among children with ASD. Methods Databases (MEDLINE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, ScienceDirect, Autism Data, CENTRAL, ClinicalTrials.gov and Current Controlled Trials) were searched for published, unpublished and ongoing randomised controlled trials evaluating the effect of non-pharmacological interventions for insomnia in children with autism spectrum conditions. Results Three studies met the inclusion criteria, one provided actigraphy data, one Children’s Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ) data, and one both actigraphy and CSHQ data for use in meta-analyses. There were significant differences between the behavioural intervention and comparison groups (actigraphy data) for total sleep time (24.41 minutes, 95% CI 5.71, 43.11, P = 0.01), sleep latency (-18.31 minutes, 95% CI -30.84, -5.77, P = 0.004) and sleep efficiency (5.59%, 95% CI 0.87, 10.31, P = 0.02). There was also a favourable intervention effect evident for the subjective CSHQ data (-4.71, 95% CI -6.70, -2.73, P<0.00001). Risk of bias was low across several key domains (randomisation, allocation concealment and reporting), with some studies being unclear due to poor reporting. Conclusions There are very few high quality randomised controlled trials in this area. Here we provide initial synthesised quantitative evidence of the effectiveness of behavioural interventions for treating sleep problems in children with ASD.
    • The face of early cognitive decline? Shape and asymmetry predict choice reaction time independent of age, diet or exercise

      Brown, William Michael; Usacka, Agnese; University of Bedfordshire (MDPI, 2019-10-29)
      Slower reaction time is a measure of cognitive decline and can occur as early as 24 years of age. We are interested if developmental stability predicts cognitive performance independent of age and lifestyle (e.g., diet and exercise). Developmental stability is the latent capacity to buffer ontogenetic stressors and is measured by low fluctuating asymmetry (FA). FA is random – with respect to largest side – departures from perfect morphological symmetry. Degree of asymmetry has been associated with physical fitness, morbidity and mortality in many species, including humans. We expected that low FA (independent of age, diet and exercise) will predict faster choice reaction time (i.e., correct keyboard responses to stimuli appearing in a random location on a computer monitor). Eighty-eight university students self-reported their fish product consumption, exercise, had their faces 3D scanned and cognitive performance measured. Unexpectedly, increased fish product consumption was associated with worsened choice reaction time. Facial asymmetry and multiple face shape variation parameters predicted slower choice reaction time independent of sex, age, diet or exercise. Future work should develop longitudinal interventions to minimize early cognitive decline among vulnerable people (e.g., those who have experienced ontogenetic stressors affecting optimal neurocognitive development). 
    • Emotional demands, compassion and mental health in social workers

      Kinman, Gail; Grant, Louise (Oxford Journals, 2020-01-31)
      Background: Compassion, described as the act of providing care based on empathy, dignity and respect, is intrinsic to effective health and social care.  Although delivering compassionate care has wide-ranging benefits for service users, more insight is needed into its effects on health and social care professionals. The emotional demands of ‘helping’ work can engender compassion fatigue that may impair wellbeing, whereas compassion satisfaction and feelings of compassion towards the self could be protective.  Aims: To examine the effects (direct and indirect) of compassion satisfaction, compassion fatigue and self-compassion on mental health in a cohort of social workers. Methods: We used validated scales to measure emotional demands, compassion satisfaction and fatigue, and self-compassion and the General Health Questionnaire-12 to assess mental health. We tested the main and moderating effects of emotional demands and the three facets of compassion using hierarchical regression analysis. Results: The study sample comprised 306 social workers (79% female). Participants who reported higher levels of compassion satisfaction and self-compassion tended to report better mental health, whereas compassion fatigue was a significant risk factor for wellbeing. The models explained 44% - 53% of the variance in mental health symptoms.  We found some evidence that compassion satisfaction and self-compassion buffer the negative effects of emotional demand on mental health, contributing 2% and 3% respectively to the incremental variance. Conclusions:  Our findings suggest that evidence-based interventions are needed to reduce compassion fatigue and enhance compassion satisfaction and self-compassion in social care work. We consider ways to accomplish this using targeted interventions. 
    • Examining the dark tetrad and its links to cyberbullying

      Brown, William Michael; Hazraty, Sana; Palasinski, Marek (Mary Ann Liebert, 2019-07-12)
      Cyberbullying is a growing problem in the fast-evolving world of social media.  Although this problem has been studied extensively, there is relatively little research examining it from the angle of the dark tetrad (i.e., Psychopathy, Machiavellianism, Sadism and Narcissism), especially across different ethnicities.In other words, this research makes original contribution by exploring the predictive ability of the dark tetrad traits in individuals of different ethnicities and their subsequent willingness to engage in cyberbullying.  The study (N=1464) explores whether there is a positive association between the dark tetrad personality traits and cyberbullying.  The results reveal that all four traits predict cyberbullying in participants from across three different ethnicities (Asian, Black and White). Furthermore, female participants score less than their male counterparts across all four traits.  Researchers, academics and legislators might potentially benefit from this research by considering focusing their interventions on helping offenders minimize the display of certain personality traits, thus taking steps towards cyberbullying reduction.  
    • How are Iranian gay men coping with systematic suppression under Islamic law? a qualitative study

      Yadegarfard, Mohammadrasool; University of Bedfordshire (Springer, 2019-05-20)
      The existence of gay men is undeniable in Iran; however, Iran’s Islamic law considers same sex relationships a crime punishable by the death penalty. The aim of this study is to use a qualitative approach to gain a more in-depth understanding of the coping strategies adopted by gay men living in Iran under systematic suppression based on each individual’s subjective experiences, feelings, intention and beliefs. A semi-structured interview in Farsi (Persian) language was used to gather the qualitative data. Twenty-three men who identified themselves as gay and who currently live in Iran were interviewed for this study. Transcripts of the interviews were subjected to analysis using thematic analysis. The key themes that emerged as coping strategies were: risk taking; internalized oppression; travelling/leaving the country; social networks and family of choice; mental health and psychological therapy and medication; social class; and developing a new identity. The implications of these findings are discussed.
    • ‘It’s my secret space’: the benefits of mindfulness for social workers

      Kinman, Gail; Grant, Louise Jane; Kelly, Susan (Oxford Academic Press, 2019-06-10)
      Social workers are at high risk of job-related stress that can impair their wellbeing and professional practice. Although organisational support is a fundamental requirement, it has been argued that social workers need to develop emotional resilience to help them manage the demands of the job.  This mixed-method study examines the effects of an eight-week mindfulness training course on several resources previously found to underpin resilience in social workers (emotional self-efficacy, psychological flexibility, reflective ability and self-compassion) together with aspects of wellbeing relevant to the role (compassion fatigue, compassion satisfaction and perceived stress).  Participants’ perceptions of the benefits of mindfulness for their wellbeing and professional practice are further explored via the content analysis of open-ended questions and semi-structured interviews. Emotional self-efficacy, psychological flexibility and compassion satisfaction increased following the intervention and compassion fatigue and perceived stress were reduced. No significant changes were found in reflective ability and self-compassion.  The qualitative data provided greater insight into the potential benefits of mindfulness for the wellbeing and job performance of social workers and factors that might encourage and discourage its use.
    • Wellbeing in academic employees– a benchmarking approach

      Kinman, Gail; Wray, Siobhan (Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, 2019-04-27)
      Research from several countries indicates that university lecturers and researchers are particularly vulnerable to work-related stress from various sources. This chapter draws on the findings of research conducted by the authors in the United Kingdom (UK) over several years to highlight the value of a benchmarking approach in monitoring the wellbeing of academic employees.  The literature on the stressors and strains experienced by academics is initially reviewed.  The findings of three studies using a well-established framework to assess psychosocial hazards in the university sector in the UK are then presented and discussed.   Except for job control, respondents reported lower wellbeing for each of the seven specified hazards than recommended, with evidence of deterioration over time in some areas. The implications of these findings and the value of supplementing the benchmarking approach with hazards reflecting the current working context are discussed. Priority areas for interventions to enhance wellbeing among academic employees are identified and topics for future research proposed.