• Activity-related parenting practices: development of the parenting related to activity measure (PRAM) and links with mothers' eating psychopathology and compulsive exercise beliefs

      Haycraft, Emma; Powell, Faye; Meyer, Caroline; (John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 2014-11-06)
      This is a two-study paper that developed a measure to assess parenting practices related to children's physical activity and explored maternal predictors of such parenting practices. Study 1: A self-report measure of parents' activity-related practices (the Parenting Related to Activity Measure) was developed, and a principal component analysis was carried out using data from 233 mothers of 4.5- to 9-year-old children. The results supported a six-factor model and yielded the following subscales: Responsibility/monitoring; Activity regulation; Control of active behaviours; Overweight concern; Rewarding parenting; and Pressure to exercise. Study 2: Mothers (N = 170) completed the Parenting Related to Activity Measure, alongside measures of eating psychopathology and compulsive exercise, to identify predictors of activity-related parenting practices. Mothers' eating psychopathology and exercise beliefs predicted activity parenting practices with their sons and daughters, but different predictors were seen for mothers of daughters versus sons. Mothers' eating and exercise attitudes are important predictors of their activity-related parenting practices, particularly with girls. Identifying early interactions around activity/exercise could be important in preventing the development of problematic beliefs about exercise, which are often a key symptom of eating disorders.
    • Adolescent attachment in Nepal: testing the factorial validity of two scales

      Sochos, Antigonos; Lokshum, Chetana; University of Bedfordshire; Centre for Learning and Children’s Rights, Nepal (Psychology Press Ltd, 2016-10-04)
      Attachment theory is an important framework in the psychology of human development and has direct relevance to the study of adolescence. The cross-cultural validity of attachment constructs and measures has been the subject of lively debate among experts. Using confirmatory factor analysis, the present study tested the factor structure of the Adolescent Attachment Questionnaire and the Adolescent Unresolved Attachment Questionnaire in a sample of 279 Nepali adolescents. The hypothesised models had a good fit and further tests established the measurement invariance of the two instruments. The cross-cultural validity of the measures was supported but areas of cultural variation were also highlighted.
    • 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.
    • Analgesic effects of self-chosen music type on cold pressor-induced pain: Motivating vs. relaxing music

      Garcia, Rebecca; Hand, Christopher J.; Glasgow Caledonian University; University of Bedfordshire (Sage Publications, 2015-09-07)
      The attenuation of perceived pain through exposure to music is known as music analgesia. The present study used a mixed-methods design, investigating whether self-chosen music moderated participants' psychological and physiological responses to pain during cold pressor (CP) tasks. Thirty participants took part (14 males, 16 females; M-age = 27.77 years). Three levels of musical stimulation were employedrelaxing music, motivating music and a silent control condition. Dependent variables included: CP tolerance time, Profile of Mood score, visual analogue pain ratingintensity and unpleasantness (VAS-I & VAS-U), blood pressure and pulse rate. Qualitative semi-structured interviews further investigated perceived differences between musical stimulation types. Results demonstrated a significant effect of musical exposure on VAS-U scores [F (2, 56) = 3.60, p = .034]. Pairwise comparisons revealed that VAS-U scores were significantly lower after exposure to relaxing music than after silence. Qualitative analyses of interview transcripts revealed dominant themes of distraction, absorption and context-dependent memory induction, with the most-preferred condition being motivational music. Results of the current study suggest that active listening to music reduces pain unpleasantness ratings, and that individual preference is an important determinant of the overall emotional and distraction properties of musical stimuli.
    • Appearance-focused Internet use and the thin-beauty ideal

      Stanley, Tyne; Barnes, Jim; Short, Emma; University of Bedfordshire (Red Fame, 2015-07-24)
      Websites featuring appearance-focused content are a medium for constant appearance comparisons, addiction and pressure to meet existing beauty-ideals. This study investigated a sample of 264 males and females who use appearance-focused websites, with a view to determining the relationship with appearance dissatisfaction and self-worth. Data collection involved posting links to online questionnaires on popular social networking sites. Internet appearance exposure was found to correlate with a greater drive for thinness in females, suggesting that exposure to the thin-ideal body images presented online reinforces women’s desire to achieve the cultural expectations of body shape and weight. Furthermore the study highlighted that internet addiction was associated with a drive for thinness and low self-esteem in both males and females, with differences exhibited in regards to body-esteem. These findings emphasise the need for pathological internet use to be incorporated into media literacy programs and to encourage a critical stance toward current beauty standards.
    • Are we failing young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs)? a systematic review and meta-analysis of re-engagement interventions

      Mawn, Lauren; Oliver, Emily J.; Akhter, Nasima; Bambra, Clare L.; Torgerson, Carole; Bridle, Christopher; Stain, Helen J.; ; Newcastle University; Durham University; et al. (BioMed Central Ltd., 2017-01-25)
      Background: Youth comprise 40% of the world's unemployed, a status associated with adverse wellbeing and social, health, and economic costs. This systematic review and meta-analysis review synthesises the literature on the effectiveness of interventions targeting young people not in employment, education, or training (NEET). Methods: Randomised and quasi-randomised trials with a concurrent or counterfactual control group and baseline equivalence are included. Cochrane collaboration tools are used to assess quality, and a narrative synthesis was undertaken. The primary outcome is employment; secondary outcomes were health, earnings, welfare receipt, and education. Results: Eighteen trials are included (9 experimental and 9 quasi-experimental), sample sizes range from 32 to 54,923. Interventions include social skills, vocational, or educational classroom-based training, counselling or one-to-one support, internships, placements, on-the-job or occupational training, financial incentives, case management, and individual support. Meta-analysis of three high-quality trials demonstrates a 4% (CI 0.0-0.7) difference between intervention and control groups on employment. Evidence for other outcomes lacks consistency; however, more intensive programmes increase employment and wages over the longer term. Conclusions: There is some evidence that intensive multi-component interventions effectively decrease unemployment amongst NEETs. The quality of current evidence is limited, leaving policy makers under-served when designing and implementing new programmes, and a vulnerable population neglected. Systematic review registration: PROSPERO CRD42014007535
    • Assessment of the validity of a Computerised Assessment Technique compared with equivalent paper and pencil tests on executive functions in 7-9 yr old children

      Ertubey, Candan; Roberts, P.; Teoh, Kevin; Cavendish, P.; Robertson, I.; University of Bedfordshire (2011-01-01)
    • Attachment - beyond interpersonal relationships

      Sochos, Antigonos (British Psychological Society, 2015-12-01)
      Antigonos Sochos considers whether a familiar concept can be extended to social groups, ideological systems and social institutions.
    • Attachment and representational change in cognitive analytic therapy: developing a taxonomy

      Sochos, Antigonos; University of Bedfordshire (BPS, 2005-03-01)
      A number of studies suggest that the couple relationship is a crucial aspect of the individual's supportive network, playing an important role in the maintenance of mental health and the recovery from psychological disorder. The aim of this study was to investigate how Cognitive Analytic Therapy may change the patients' understandings of their couple relationships and, possibly, the relationships themselves. Eleven outpatients presenting mostly with neurotic and personality disorders were interviewed before and after treatment about their current couple relationships, while clinical improvement was also assessed on a number of scales. A qualitative analysis was conducted on the patients' accounts, revealing that the patients experienced their interpersonal space as being defined by three dichotomies: self vs. other, autonomy vs. relatedness, and dependent vs. depended-on positions. Moreover, the patients' perception of autonomy tended to change in reference to the dependent position, while that of relatedness did so in reference to the depended-on. In addition, post-therapy changes regarding autonomy were asymmetrical, with the self being presented as strengthened and the other as relatively weakened; in contrast, changes regarding relatedness were symmetrical, presenting both partners either as more, or as less emotionally available. On the basis of differences in change, three types of patients were identified. As the findings were considered within the framework of attachment theory three research questions were formulated for further investigation: (a) the patients' subjective experience may have revealed information about their deeper attachment representations; (b) changes in that experience may have suggested shifts in the patients' security of attachment; and (c) different types of change in that experience may have suggested diverse pathways through which shifts in attachment security may have been attained. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)
    • 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.
    • Attachment security and the social world

      Sochos, Antigonos (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014-12-31)
      With an overview of the existing attachment theory literature and new contributions to the field, this book proposes that social groups seek protection and security as they collectively construct their ideologies and social institutions. In doing so, the book extends attachment theory to show how it can inform wider socio-cultural phenomena.
    • Attachment style and interpersonal difficulties in immigrants with coronary heart disease

      Sochos, Antigonos; Biskanaki, F.; Tassoulas, E.; (North American Journal of Pyschology, 2006-03-01)
      The aim of this study was to investigate the role of interpersonal factors and immigration in the development and management of coronary heart disease (CHD). In a cross-sectional design, three groups matched on age and gender were compared on attachment style and interpersonal difficulties: a group of 20 Greek-Cypriot immigrants with CHD, a group 20 Greek-Cypriot immigrants without CHD, and a group of 18 Greek-Cypriots with the disease living in Cyprus, without a history of immigration. Three self-report questionnaires were used: the Interpersonal Problems, the Relationship Questionnaire, and the Hostility Scale. According to the findings, a dismissive attachment style in couple relationships and difficulties indicating lack of general interpersonal engagement were associated with the presence of CHD. Although the association between dismissing attachment and CHD was indicated irrespective of immigrant status, general interpersonal problems were related to the disease only when such a status was also present. Examined in the context of the relevant literature, these findings suggested that attachment and interpersonal difficulties may play a role in the development and/or successful management of CHD. Such a role may be particularly evident in social groups experiencing additional psychosocial stressors, such as the immigrants. Future studies are needed to explore the issue further.
    • Attachment style and relationship difficulties in parents of children with ADHD

      Sochos, Antigonos; Yahya, Fatahyah; University of Bedfordshire; University of Malaysia Sarawak (Springer, 2015-04-07)
      Previous studies report that parents of children with ADHD often experience difficulties in their couple relationship. The present study investigated the role of adult attachment style in relation to problems with dyadic adjustment and conflict communication. A cross-sectional design was employed, involving 98 parents of children and adolescents with ADHD and 153 parents of offspring without the disorder (age range in 3 to 19). Participants completed the following: Experiences in Close Relationships Questionnaire-R, Communications Pattern Questionnaire, Dyadic Adjustment Scale, and Conner's Parent Rating Scale–48. According to the findings, the two parental groups differed regarding relationship difficulties only when attachment style was controlled for. Moreover, attachment avoidance moderated the impact of having a child with ADHD on dyadic adjustment while attachment anxiety moderated such an impact on conflict communication. Also, parents of children with less severe ADHD symptoms were more likely to experience relationship problems, while having a child with ADHD moderated the effects of gender on the roles taken in demand-withdraw communication. Considering adult attachment style may provide useful insights into how parents of children with ADHD relate to each other and may inform supportive interventions.    
    • Authoritarianism, trauma, and insecure bonds in the Greek economic crisis

      Sochos, Antigonos; University of Bedfordshire (Springer, 2019-01-10)
      This correlational study investigated the link between authoritarian attitudes, psychosocial trauma, and attachment insecurity in the context of a significant community and personal threat – the recent economic crisis in Greece. The study utilised a large community sample and five self-report measures - Right-Wing Authoritarianism Scale-S, Social Group Attachment Scale, Relationship Questionnaire, Perceived Cohesion Scale, and Impact of Events Scale-R. It was hypothesised that authoritarianism would be independently linked with insecurity in two types of bond (person-to-person and person-to-state) via the experience of post-traumatic stress and perceptions of social cohesion. Structural Equation Modelling indices suggested that the model had a very good fit.
    • Awareness facts: the view and attitudes of faith based communities towards HIV positive and AIDS in Milton Keynes

      Ncube, Z.; Ertubey, Candan; University of Bedfordshire (TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2008-09-01)
    • Behaving badly online: establishing norms of unacceptable behaviours, media and communication

      Short, Emma; Stanley, Tyne; Baldwin, Mick; Scott, Graham G.; University of Bedfordshire; University of the West of Scotland (Red Fame, 2015-01-13)
      Victims of online abuse suffer measurable negative effects equivalent to survivors of traumas such as bombings and sexual assaults but it has been suggested that the general population view such online behaviour as acceptable, with victims consequently receiving little support. This is an issue of increasing import as the number and accessibility of online communication apps, and their incorporation into our everyday lives, increases the opportunity for Deviant Online Behaviours (DOBs) to be perpetrated. In order to better understand individuals’ attitudes to specific DOBs 118 psychology undergraduate students rated 11 examples of DOBs on a scale of severity. Individual difference measures of online cognitions and interpersonal sensitivity were also collected. A factor analysis revealed 3 emerging online behaviour types: use of false information (theft of identity, tricking others), unsolicited behaviour (unsolicited e-mailing/messaging), and persistent communication (frequent contact and use of multiple identities). ‘Persistent communication’ was viewed as more unacceptable than ‘unsolicited behaviour’ and ‘false information’, though all contained behaviours which have been demonstrated to cause severe harm to victims. These findings attempt to demonstrate how individuals categorise deviant online behaviours in terms of severity and individual differences that may be associated with these perceptions.
    • Being an immigrant academic

      Gaitan, Alfredo; Jankowska, Maja; University of Bedfordshire (Lifewide Education Community, 2016-07-01)
      It was estimated that in 2014, almost a third of all academics working in Higher Education in UK were non-UK nationals (HEFCE, 2016). Many more are non-UK born. The presence of these academics in the UK offers both opportunities and challenges to them, their colleagues, their students and the higher education institutions they work for (Hosein, Shu-Hua Yeh, Rao N., & Kinchin, in preparation). We are two of those academics who left their countries of birth and have worked at the same university in the UK for some time. This article is based on conversations we have had over several years and, more specifically, a recent one that started when one the authors (MJ) shared an article with the other (AG) entitled ‘Pathways through life: Development at the junctions, inflections, disruptions and transitions of life' (Jankowska, 2016). The manuscript, which was initially part of MJ's ‘personal learning ecology’ (Jackson, 2016), served as the ‘learning object’ around which we could converse. It afforded further joint co-construction of knowledge and a new shared understanding of what it is like to be an immigrant academic. Through our conversations we have come to recognise some striking similarities, as well as some differences, in our experiences prior to and during our working lives in the UK. The broad and complex range of experiences we have had in the in this country relate to the concept of 'cosmopolitanism', understood as 'a perspective, a state of mind, or to take a more processual view- a mode of managing meaning', which 'entails first of all an orientation, a willingness to engage with the Other’ (Hannerz, 1990, pp. 238-239). Although we work in higher education, a sector that accepts many kinds of Others (staff and students) and prides itself on being diverse and gaining from diversity, as individuals, we have always had to work to understand this way of doing things (the British way) and of being academics, while at the same time, being aware of that other way of being academic that is rooted in our backgrounds and our surviving links. We want to draw on the notions of 'articulation' and 'dislocation' to try to elucidate our experiences and relationships with people, institutions and knowledge. We use these notions to examine the extraordinary opportunities to see the world from multiple perspectives and grow personally and professionally open to immigrant academics, but also want to highlight the psychological cost for such individuals.  
    • Bicultural Iranians’ political tendency: in between two cultures

      Kaviani, Hossein; Kinman, Gail; Salavati, Mojgan; University of Bedfordshire; Psychological Counselling Office, Tehran (OMICS, 2017-06-10)
      The present study aimed to examine differences in a range of psychosocial variables and  political tendencies across three groups, namely Iranian new-comers (who have lived in the UK for less than two years), bicultural Iranians (born and raised in the UK or raised in the UK since they were under 10 years old), and UK citizens (bicultural participants were excluded). The target variables measured in the present study consisted of empathy, Theory of Mind (ToM), flexibility, suggestibility, openness to experiences, normative identity style, interpersonal trust, prosocial behaviour, egalitarian sex role, authoritarianism and adherence to democracy. A series of MANOVAs revealed significant main group effects for most of variables. The results of post hoc and polynomial tests yield an incremental linear trend on empathy, theory of mind, interpersonal trust, openness, prosocial behaviour and adherence to democratic values for groups ordered as Iranian new comers, bicultural and British; a decreasing trend was also observed on normative identity style, suggestibility, and authoritarianism. The between-two cultures’ findings of bicultural group might be explained by learning through political socialization. This provides support for the fact that being raised in a different cultural setting can have a vivid impact on people’s psychological characteristics and socio-political tendency.
    • Bovine colostrum supplementation and upper respiratory symptoms during exercise training: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials

      Jones, Arwel; March, Daniel S.; Curtis, Ffion; Bridle, Christopher (BioMed Central Ltd., 2016-07-26)
      Background: Bovine colostrum is proposed as a nutritional countermeasure to the risk of upper respiratory symptoms (URS) during exercise training. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to estimate the size of the effect of bovine colostrum supplementation on URS. Methods: Databases (CDSR, CENTRAL, Cinahl, ClinicalTrials.gov, Current Controlled Trials, DARE, EMBASE, Medline, PROSPERO and Web of Science) of published, unpublished and ongoing studies were searched for randomised controlled trials of healthy adults (≥18 years), evaluating the effect of oral bovine colostrum supplementation compared to a concurrent control group on URS. Results: Five trials (152 participants) met the inclusion criteria, all of which involved individuals involved in regular exercise training. Over an 8-12 week follow-up period, bovine colostrum supplementation when compared to placebo significantly reduced the incidence rate of URS days (rate ratio 0.56, 95 % confidence intervals 0.43 to 0.72, P value < 0.001) and URS episodes (0.62, 0.40 to 0.99, P value = 0.04) by 44 and 38 % respectively. There were limited data and considerable variation in results of included studies for duration of URS episodes hence a meta-analysis of this outcome was deemed inappropriate. The risk of bias assessment in this review was hindered by poor reporting practices of included studies. Due to incomplete reporting of study methods, four of the five studies were judged to have a moderate or high risk of overall bias. Our findings must be interpreted in relation to quantity and quality of the available evidence. Conclusions: The present systematic review and meta-analysis provides evidence that bovine colostrum supplementation may be effective in preventing the incidence of URS days and episodes in adults engaged in exercise training. The fact that the majority of included studies did not report significant effects on URS outcomes mitigates concerns about publication bias. The point estimates of the random-effects meta-analyses are greater than the smallest clinically important difference, but the low precision of the individual study estimates means the evidence presented in this review needs to be followed up with an appropriately designed and adequately powered, randomised control trial.
    • Brain activation in highly superior autobiographical memory: the role of the precuneus in the autobiographical memory retrieval network

      Mazzoni, Giuliana; Clark, Andrew; De Bartolo, Adriana; Guerrini, Chiara; Nahouli, Zacharia; Duzzi, Davide; De Marco, Matteo; McGeown, William; Venneri, Annalena; University La Sapienza; et al. (Elsevier, 2019-03-05)
      This is the first study to examine functional brain activation in a single case of Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM) who shows no sign of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). While previous work has documented the existence of HSAM, information about brain areas involved in this exceptional form of memory for personal events relies on structural and resting state connectivity data, with mixed results so far. In this first taskbased functional magnetic resonance Imaging (fMRI) study of a normal individual with HSAM, dates were presented as cues and two phases were assessed during memory retrieval, initial access and later elaboration. Results showed that initial access was very fast, did not activate the hippocampus, and involved activation of predominantly posterior visual areas, including the praecuneus. These areas typically become active during later stages of elaboration of personal memories rather than during initial access. Elaboration involved a balanced bilateral activation of most of the autobiographical network areas, rather than the more typical shifts observed in people without HSAM. Overall, the pattern of brain activations, which rests on repeated observations in a single individual, highlights a strong involvement of the praecuneus and an idiosyncratic initial access to personal memory representations. Implications for the nature of personal memories in HSAM are discussed.