• Parental attachment style and young persons’ adjustment to bereavement

      Sochos, Antigonos; Aleem, Sadia; University of Bedfordshire (Springer, 2021-05-26)
      Background: Previous clinical and theoretical work supports the idea that parental attachment style and complicated grief affect young persons’ mental health, but empirical research investigating their impact on young person’s adjustment to bereavement is lacking. Objective: This study investigated the impact of parental attachment style and complicated grief on young person’s adjustment to bereavement. It was hypothesised that a) parental attachment anxiety, avoidance, and complicated grief would moderate the link between bereavement experience and psychological distress in young persons and b) parental attachment style would moderate the link between parental complicated grief and psychological distress experienced by bereaved young persons. Method: This was a questionnaire-based case control study, involving two participant groups: 133 parents of young persons who had experienced the loss of the loved one and 101 parents of young persons with no bereavement experience. Results: Bereaved young persons experienced greater externalising and internalising problems than the non-bereaved only when they were raised by an anxiously attached parent, but when parental attachment anxiety was low, bereaved children had fewer problems than the non-bereaved. When parental attachment avoidance was low, bereaved children also had fewer externalising problems than the non-bereaved. Among the bereaved, high levels of parental attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance amplified the link between parental complicated grief and child post-traumatic stress, while in the presence of low parental anxiety, complicated grief was negatively associated with an immediate distressing response and numbing-dissociative symptomatology. Conclusions: Psychological vulnerability in bereaved young persons was associated with an insecure parental attachment style.
    • Evaluation of an collision-involved driver improvement scheme

      Guppy, Andrew; Adams-Guppy, Julie Rachel (Emerald, 2021-03-01)
      The purpose of this study was to compare driver knowledge, attitudes and perceptions (in terms of hazard, risk, accident, offence detection and driving skill perceptions) and self-reported driving style in a sample of 461 drivers before and after attending a UK Driver Improvement Scheme for culpable collision-involved drivers, in order to inform future directions in the design of driver retraining programmes. Participants were a sample of 461 drivers attending a UK 1.5 day Driver Improvement Scheme course for culpable collision-involved drivers. The course contained classroom-based training and a practical driving component. Participants completed a Driver Improvement Scheme Questionnaire (DISQ) before and immediately after attending the 1.5 day course, and again 3 months later. Results indicated significant pre and post course effects in terms of increased driving safety with respect to driving knowledge, perceptions of control, perceived likelihood of accident-involvement, hazard perception and reported risk-taking. Key positive effects of reduced risk-taking and nearmisses persisted three months after course completion. One limitation of this study is that at the 3-month follow-up there was a reduction in the response rate (44.69%) which included significantly fewer young drivers. Results indicate positive behavioural, perceptual and behavioural changes, along with specific age, gender and driving experience effects which have implications for the design of future driving courses. This study has implications for community safety through enhanced road safety training measures. The analysis of age, gender and driving experience effects of the impact of this Driver Improvement Scheme will allow targeted training methods for specific groups of drivers.
    • The effect of HVP training in vowel perception on bilingual speech production

      Kangatharan, Jayanthiny; Giannakopoulou, Anastasia; Uther, Maria; University of Winchester; University of Bedfordshire; University of Wolverhampton (Conscientia Beam, 2021-02-25)
      Prior investigations (Giannakopoulou et al., 2013) have indicated high variability phonetic training intervention can help L2 English adult learners change the perception of vowels such that they shift their attention to primary cues (spectral features) rather than secondary cues (e.g. duration) to correctly identify vowels in L2. This experiment explores if high-variability training impacts on L2 adult learners’ production of L2 speech. Production samples from a prior experiment were used to conduct ratings of accuracy (Giannakopoulou, 2012). In the current experiment, the production samples were transcribed and rated for accuracy by twenty native English listeners. The intelligibility levels of L2 learners’ speech samples as indexed by higher accuracy in transcription were observed as having been rated higher following training than prior to training. The implications of the results are considered with regard to theories on the connection between speech production and perception, and Flege’s (1995) Speech Learning Model.
    • An exploration of ending psychotherapy: the experiences of volunteer counsellors

      Ling, Lydia Success; Stathopoulou, C. Haroula; (Wiley Blackwell, 2020-12-27)
      Background/aims: Literature suggests that the ending phase of therapy can be difficult and challenging for counsellors. Despite this, there is limited research in this area and no study has specifically looked at the experiences of volunteer counsellors. This is the first study to explore the experiences and challenges of volunteer counsellors and the impact of ending therapeutic relationships. Method/design: A verbatim account of semi-structured interview data was analysed using thematic analysis. The participants were six volunteer counsellors working in a mental health charity. Findings: Three main themes were identified during the analysis—length of therapy, impact of organisational structure and strategies for managing challenges. Discussion: The counsellors perceived the fixed number of eight sessions as insufficient to address the presenting issues and problematic with regard to managing endings. The organisational structure (most likely influenced by the commissioning contracts) had a particular impact on these experiences. Endings were generally experienced as challenging; however, some of the participants perceived the time-limited therapy as helpful in working with less difficult and complex issues. Clinical implications: The study highlighted the need for an ongoing consideration of the impact of inflexible regulations/structure by counselling organisations and funding bodies in order to empower and enable these clinicians to practice and manage endings effectively. There is need for therapeutic settings to consider flexibility of therapy length and allow volunteer counsellors to offer their services with some degree of autonomy. Services could think of creative ways of offering interventions based on clients’ needs and complexity of presenting problems.
    • Effects of cognitive behavioural therapy on insomnia in adults with tinnitus: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials

      Curtis, Ffion; Laparidou, Despina; Bridle, Christopher; Law, Graham R.; Durrant, Simon J.; Rodriguez, Alina; Pierzycki, Robert H.; Siriwardena, Aloysius N.; ; University of Lincoln; et al. (Elsevier, 2020-12-01)
      Insomnia is common in patients with tinnitus and negatively affects tinnitus symptoms and quality of life. This systematic review aimed to synthesise evidence of the effectiveness of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) based interventions on insomnia in adults with tinnitus. We conducted a comprehensive database search (MEDLINE, CINAHL, Web of Science, CENTRAL, ClinicalTrials.gov and PROSPERO) for published, unpublished and ongoing randomised controlled trials of CBT in adults with tinnitus. Five trials met the inclusion criteria for the systematic review, with four of these providing data for the meta-analysis. This demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in Insomnia Severity Index (a standard diagnostic questionnaire of insomnia used in clinical settings) following CBT (−3.28, 95% CI -4.51, −2.05, P=<0.001). There was no evidence of statistical heterogeneity (I2 = 0%). Risk of bias was considered low in all categories except blinding of participants, personnel, and/or the assessment of outcomes. Here, for the first time, we demonstrate that CBT-based interventions can significantly improve sleep in adults with tinnitus.
    • Investigating the validity of the Wong and Law Emotional Intelligence Scale in a Nepali student sample

      Sochos, Antigonos; Regmi, Murari Prasad; Basnet, Dess Mardan (Wiley, 2020-11-26)
      This paper investigates the cross‐cultural validity of the Wong and Law Emotional Intelligence Scale. Two samples of university students were recruited: 504 from a Nepali university and 260 from a UK university. In relation to culture, structural equation modelling analyses provided support for the scale's configural invariance and the configural, metric, and scalar invariance of two if its subscales. Evidence for measurement invariance was also found in relation to gender in both samples. Tentative analyses suggested that the correlation between self and other emotion appraisal was stronger among UK participants and that UK participants scored higher on the Other Emotion Appraisal subscale. No gender differences on emotional intelligence were found in the Nepali sample, while among UK students, males scored higher on Regulation of Emotion and lower on Other Emotion Appraisal than females. In the Nepali sample, science students scored lower on various aspects of emotional intelligence than humanities students.
    • The advantage of low and medium attractiveness for facial composite production from modern forensic systems

      Richardson, Beth H.; Brown, Charity; Heard, Priscilla; Pitchford, Melanie; Portch, Emma; Lander, Karen; Marsh, John E.; Bell, Raoul; Fodarella, Cristina; Taylor, Sarah Ashley; et al. (Elsevier Inc., 2020-09-28)
      Recognition following long delays is superior for highly attractive and highly unattractive faces (cf. medium-attractive faces). In the current work, we investigated participants’ ability to recreate from memory faces of low, medium, and high physical attractiveness. In Experiment 1, participants constructed composites of familiar (celebrity) faces using the holistic EvoFIT system. When controlling for other variables that may influence face recognition (memorability, familiarity, likeability, and age), correct naming and ratings of likeness were superior for composites of low attractiveness targets. Experiment 2 replicated this design using the feature-based PRO-fit system, revealing superiority (by composite naming and ratings of likeness) for medium attractiveness. In Experiment 3, participants constructed composites of unfamiliar faces after a forensically relevant delay of 1 day. Using ratings of likeness as a measure of composite effectiveness, these same effects were observed for EvoFIT and PRO-fit. The work demonstrates the importance of attractiveness for method of composite face construction.
    • The psychosocial hazards of academic work: an analysis of trends

      Wray, Siobhan; Kinman, Gail (Routledge, 2020-07-22)
      This study examines the psychosocial hazards experienced by academic staff working in UK institutions over time. A risk assessment framework developed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was used to measure seven key hazards: demands, control, support from managers and colleagues, relationships, role and change management. Data were obtained from three waves of a national survey of academic staff across the UK (2008, n = 6,203; 2012, n = 7,068; 2014, n = 3,952). Mean scores for each hazard were compared with HSE benchmarks from the UK working population and changes over the three waves were examined. Apart from job control, none of the benchmarks was met and the risk associated with demands, manager and peer support, role and change was particularly high. An increase in most of the psychosocial hazards was found over time, particularly for job demands, control, role and relationships, showing clear cause for concern. How the findings could be used to monitor the wellbeing of academic staff over time and develop targeted interventions is considered.
    • The role of child-keyworker attachment in burnout among Saudi residential staff

      Sochos, Antigonos; Aljasas, Najla Abdulrahman; University of Bedfordshire; University of Shaqra (Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2020-07-02)
      Research on the impact of the keyworker-child relationship on residential staff is scarce. This longitudinal study investigated the potential moderating effects of child and keyworker attachment styles on the link between child behavioural problems and staff burnout and the moderating effects of child attachment style on the link between keyworker attachment style and keyworker burnout. Participants included 261 children and 59 residential child care workers, from 5 orphanages in Saudi Arabia. Five self-report measures were utilised: The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, the Security Scale, the Coping Strategies Questionnaire, the Maslach Burnout Inventory and the Experiences in Close Relationships Questionnaire. Keyworkers caring for relatively non-avoidant children and those with an avoidant attachment style themselves experienced relatively high burnout a year later. Relatively high burnout was also reported by avoidant keyworkers who cared for avoidant and generally insecure children, while anxiously attached keyworkers reported relatively high burnout when they cared for children with any type of insecure attachment style. The present findings highlight essential interpersonal processes involved in the development of burnout in residential child care workers and call for the employment of attachment-focused interventions as measures of burnout prevention.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Stress and wellbeing in prison officers

      Clements, Andrew James; Kinman, Gail; Hart, Jacqui Ann (Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd., 2020-03-01)
      Prison officers are at greater risk of work-related stress than most other occupations in the UK (Johnson, et al, 2005). The rates of mental health problems and burnout in the profession are also comparatively high (Kinman et al., 2016; Kunst, 2011). Challenges to the wellbeing of prison staff include heavy workloads, lack of autonomy and support, low resources, role stressors and exposure to aggression and violence (Finney et al,. 2013).  In this chapter we draw on research conducted by ourselves and others that identifies the key stressors experienced by UK prison officers and the implications for their wellbeing and job performance. Particular focus is placed on our research that has utilised the Health and Safety Executive Management Standards framework to diagnose the psychosocial hazards experienced by prison staff, but other stressors, such as personal experiences of aggression and violence, poor recovery opportunities and presenteeism, are also considered.  We argue that carefully targeted, multi-level interventions are needed to address the challenges faced by the sector and identify priorities for future research.
    • 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.
    • 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. 
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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). 
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Novel epigenetic, quantitative and qualitative insights on the socialness of autism [commentary]

      Brown, William Michael; Foxley-Webb, Ewan; University of Bedfordshire (Cambridge University Press, 2019-07-23)
      Three complementary points to Jaswal & Akhtar are raised: (1) As a person with autism, I desire sociality despite vulnerability to others’ antisocial behaviour; (2) Asperger’s conflation of autism with psychopathy (Czech 2018) likely caused clinicians to disregard social motivation among those with autism; and (3) adverse experiences cause social-engagement diversity to develop in all people, not just those on the spectrum.