• 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.
    • 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.  
    • ‘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.
    • 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.
    • Introduction: Special section on well-being in academic employees

      Kinman, Gail; Johnson, Sheena; University of Bedfordshire; University of Manchester (American Psychological Association, 2019-05-31)
    • 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.
    • Effort-reward imbalance in academic employees: examining different reward systems

      Kinman, Gail; University of Bedfordshire (APA, 2019-05-01)
      This study draws upon the effort-reward imbalance (ERI) model of job stress to predict mental and physical health in academic employees working in UK universities. It examines the main and interactive effects of extrinsic efforts over time and the three reward systems of the ERI model independently (i.e. promotion, esteem and security rewards). The main and interactive effects of intrinsic effort (known as overcommitment) in predicting health status are also examined. A sample of 458 academic employees completed ERI scales at baseline and the health measures 14 months later. The results showed that higher extrinsic effort, lower esteem and security rewards and an imbalance between efforts and esteem rewards assessed at Time 1 predicted mental health status on follow-up. Physical health symptoms were predicted by higher extrinsic effort and lower security rewards. Overcommitment was an independent risk factor for both mental and physical health. No further contribution was made to the variance in either outcome by the other effort-reward ratios independently or by their interactions with overcommitment. Interventions are suggested that have potential to reduce extrinsic and intrinsic efforts and increase rewards in the university sector.
    • 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.