• 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.
    • Building resilience in early-career social workers: evaluating a multi-modal intervention

      Kinman, Gail; Grant, Louise; University of Bedfordshire (Oxford University Press, 2016-12-12)
      It is widely recognised that social workers need to increase their emotional resilience to protect their wellbeing and enhance the quality of their professional practice, but there is little evidence-based guidance on how this might be achieved. This study evaluated a multi-modal intervention that aimed to improve emotional resilience and wellbeing in newly-qualified social workers from children’s services in England. More specifically, it examined whether the intervention enhanced several personal resources associated with resilience (emotional self-efficacy, reflective ability, self-compassion and compassion satisfaction/fatigue) together with the overall level of mental health. A repeated measures wait-list controlled design was utilised. Twenty-five social workers in their first year of qualified practice in children’s statutory services received training over a two-month period. The control group comprised 31 early career social workers also working in statutory children’s services. An online survey obtained data before the intervention and two months afterwards. Evidence was found that the intervention was effective in enhancing some personal resources, as well as psychological wellbeing more generally. The finding that psychological distress and compassion fatigue increased during the study period for the control group raises some concerns. The potential of the findings to inform sustainable, evidence-based interventions to protect and promote wellbeing in early career social workers is discussed.
    • Burnout, occupational stressors, and social support in psychiatric and medical trainees

      Sochos, Antigonos; Bowers, Alexis (European Journal of Psychiatry, 2012-07-01)
      Background and Objectives: Although previous research reports that psychiatrists experience greater work-related distress than other specialties, very little is known about how psychiatric trainees compare to their medical colleagues. The aim of this study was to compare psychiatric and general medical trainees in burnout, work stressors, and social support and investigate potential buffering effects of social support. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 112 psychiatric and 72 general medical trainees, based in the UK. Participants completed three questionnaires on-line: Maslach Burnout Inventory, Specialist Doctors' Stress Inventory, and Social Support Scale. Results: According to the findings, psychiatric trainees reported less burnout, fewer time demands, more consultant and emotional support but less family support than general medical trainees. In addition, social support moderated the effects of specialty on burnout, as it substantially reduced depersonalisation in medical but not in psychiatric trainees. Conclusions: Findings may reflect recent changes in psychiatric training in the UK. Factors contributing specifically to medical trainees' burnout and factors potentially preventing psychiatric trainees from utilising social support need to be explored in future research. The cross-sectional design and the low response rate were the main limitations of the study.
    • Cannabis use and abstention in first-episode psychosis: the participants’ view

      Seddon, Jennifer L.; Copello, Alex; Birchwood, Max (Taylor & Francis, 2012-02-13)
      Cannabis use has been identified as a prognostic factor for poor outcome in first-episode psychosis (FEP). The research aimed to understand the factors that motivate or inhibit the use of cannabis in people with first-episode psychosis. Thirty first-episode psychosis patients (18 cannabis users and 12 abstainers) were interviewed using qualitative semi-structured methods in order to investigate the self reported factors perceived to influence cannabis abstention, initiation, continued use and consumption change. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using grounded theory based methods. Psychosis specific reasons were not found to be motivationally salient for the initiation or continued use of cannabis, but were found to be important for decreased consumption and cessation. Mental health concerns, such as the impact of cannabis on relapse and psychotic symptom exacerbation were also found to motivate abstention. Psychosis related reasons do not appear to motivate the initial or continued use of cannabis, although thedeleterious effect of cannabis to mental health may promote decreased cannabis consumption, cessation and abstinence following the onset of psychosis. Therefore substance use early interventions for this population should aim to increase emphasis on the potential harms of cannabis to mental health.
    • Cannabis use is associated with increased psychotic symptoms and poorer psychosocial functioning in first-episode psychosis: a report from the UK National EDEN Study

      Seddon, Jennifer L.; Birchwood, Max; Copello, Alex; Everard, Linda; Jones, Peter B.; Fowler D; Amos, Tim; Freemantle, Nick; Sharma, Vimal; Marshall, Max; et al. (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2015-11-04)
      OBJECTIVE: The use of cannabis during the early stage of psychosis has been linked with increased psychotic symptoms. This study aimed to examine the use of cannabis in the 12 months following a first-episode of psychosis (FEP) and the link with symptomatic course and outcome over 1 year post psychosis onset. DESIGN AND SETTING: One thousand twenty-seven FEP patients were recruited upon inception to specialized early intervention services (EIS) for psychosis in the United Kingdom. Participants completed assessments at baseline, 6 and 12 months. RESULTS: The results indicate that the use of cannabis was significantly associated with increased severity of psychotic symptoms, mania, depression and poorer psychosocial functioning. Continued use of cannabis following the FEP was associated with poorer outcome at 1 year for Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale total score, negative psychotic symptoms, depression and psychosocial functioning, an effect not explained by age, gender, duration of untreated psychosis, age of psychosis onset, ethnicity or other substance use. CONCLUSION: This is the largest cohort study of FEP patients receiving care within EIS. Cannabis use, particularly "continued use," was associated with poorer symptomatic and functional outcome during the FEP. The results highlight the need for effective and early intervention for cannabis use in FEP.
    • The changing workplace

      Begum, P.; Cleaver, S.; Doyle, N.; Maskell, J.; De Mascia, S.; Royle, K.; Marsh, T.; Clements, Andrew James; Kinman, Gail; McDowall, Almuth (British Psychological Society, 2017-11-01)
      Six contributions consider how the pace of economic, technological, social and environmental change requires a re-evaluation of how we work now and in the future.
    • Climbing out of the valley

      Penn-Jones, Catrin Pedder (British Psychological Society, 2019-02-28)
      Catrin Pedder Jones on challenges facing PhD students.
    • Couple attachment and relationship duration in psychotherapy patients: exploring a new methodology of assessment

      Sochos, Antigonos (Taylor and Francis, 2013-10-25)
      The couple relationship is an essential source of support for individuals undergoing psychological treatment and the aim of this study was to apply a new methodology in assessing the quality of such support. A theoretically informed thematic analysis of interview transcripts was conducted, triangulated by quantitative data. Twenty-one brief psychotherapy outpatients were interviewed on their couple relationships before they embarked on cognitive analytic therapy. Patients suffered from a variety of psychological difficulties, including anxiety, depression and personality disorder. Thematic analysis captured empirically eight components of couple attachment as proposed by theory. Thematic analysis also suggested that these components defined four overarching relationship themes, indicating different types of relational difficulties experienced by the patients. Triangulation with quantitative data suggested that relationship themes were unrelated to severity and type of patient pathology but were associated with the duration of the relationship. A stage theory of couple attachment formation may provide a useful framework for understanding the findings. © 2013 © 2013 Taylor & Francis.
    • Cultural modifications of cognitive behavioural treatment of social anxiety among culturally diverse clients: a systematic literature review

      Jankowska, Maja; University of Bedfordshire (Cambridge University Press, 2019-01-09)
      The aim of this study was to conduct a systematic literature review to ascertain whether cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for social anxiety disorder (SAD) can be successfully used in non-Western contexts and demonstrate sufficient effectiveness. This area is largely under-researched with conflicting evidence presented in quantitative studies, with virtually no qualitative studies published. This review utilized realist review methodology and focused on qualitative case studies presented by clinicians. A systematic search of EBSCO HOST, The Cochrane Library Database, Google, Google Scholar and reference mining, using various combinations of terms relating to: (1) CBT, (2) social anxiety and (3) cultural diversity were employed. Seven case studies of cultural adaptations of CBT treatment for culturally diverse SAD sufferers were included. The treatment outcomes were generally promising in all cases (reporting significant decrease of SAD symptoms, maintained over time) and the success of therapy was often attributed to culturally specific modifications introduced. CBT can be an acceptable and effective treatment for culturally diverse SAD sufferers with ‘modest’ modifications, without major diversions from the original CBT models and protocols, but this finding must be treated with caution and more methodologically rigorous research (qualitative and quantitative) is needed to more fully understand what works, for whom and in what circumstances.
    • Culture and health

      Dogra, Nisha; Li, Shuangyu; Ertubey, Candan (Lancet Publishing Group, 2015-02-14)
    • Cyber victimisation of people with chronic conditions and disabilities: a systematic review of scope and impact

      Alhaboby, Zhraa Azhr; Barnes, Jim; Evans, Hala; Short, Emma; University of Bedfordshire; National Centre for Cyberstalking Research (SAGA journal, 2017-07-05)
      The victimization of individuals with chronic conditions or disabilities is prevalent with severe impact at psychological and physiological levels. With the increasing use of technology these experiences were further reshaped. This systematic review aimed at scoping the experiences of cyber-victimization of people living with chronic conditions or disabilities and examine the documented impact on them. Following a four-stage search strategy in several databases including MEDLINE, Embase, PsychINFO, CINAHL, Cochrane and snowballing of references, a total of 2,922 studies were scanned and 10 studies were eventually included. Quality assessment was done in two phases using tools specific to observational studies and cyber-victimization research. A narrative synthesis of reported results covered a total of 3,070 people. Sample size ranged between 42 and 823 participants, and the age range was 6-71 years with a majority of White ethnic backgrounds. Most studies (n=9) were cross sectional. The prevalence range of cyber-victimization was 2%-41.7% based on variable definitions, duration and methods. Targeted conditions included physical impairments, intellectual disabilities and specific chronic diseases. The most common documented impact was psychological/psychiatric, mainly depression followed by anxiety and distress. Somatic health complaints and self-harm were also reported. We concluded that people with chronic conditions and disabilities were consistently at higher risk of victimization with devastating health complications. Research gaps were identified such as the need to address more conditions and acknowledge differences between heterogeneous health conditions. Other recommendations include allowing flexibility and accountability to patients/victims in research design, education on victimization and health consequences, and improving primary care.
    • Dealing with comparability problem of cross-cultural data

      Ertubey, Candan; Russell, R.J.H.; University of Bedfordshire (PSYCHOLOGY PRESS, 1996-01-01)
    • The defining constituents of adult attachment and their assessment

      Sochos, Antigonos (Springer, 2013-06-04)
      Reviewing the major issues regarding the definition of adult attachment and the nature of the attachment representations, this paper points out that attachment theory approaches intimate interpersonal processes using three fundamental dichotomies: self versus other, autonomy versus relatedness, and dependent versus depended-on positions. When these three dichotomies are intersected, eight components emerge to define the attachment representation: the autonomy and relatedness requests and autonomy and relatedness provisions of self and other. Moreover, as the main methodologies assessing adult attachment are also reviewed, it is argued that these have not yet provided an exhaustive empirical assessment of these eight components individually. It is suggested that such an approach to assessment may yield interesting findings. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.
    • Disowned recollections: denying true experiences undermines belief in occurrence but not judgments of remembering

      Mazzoni, Giuliana; Clark, Andrew; Nash, Robert A.; University of Hull; University of Surrey (Elsevier, 2013-12-15)
      Recent research findings have illustrated that false memories induced in the laboratory can be dissociated from the beliefs that the events had in fact occurred. In this study we assessed whether this dissociability is a quality peculiar to false memory, or whether it represents a general characteristic of autobiographical memory. To this end we examined whether people can be induced to stop believing in memories for true experiences. Participants observed and performed simple actions, and were later falsely informed that they had not performed some of them-that false memories for these actions had been implanted through the use of fabricated evidence. Before and after receiving this misinformation, participants rated their belief in and memory of performing those actions, other actions that they had also performed, and actions that they had not performed. Whereas the misinformation substantially undermined participants' beliefs in the specific performed actions about which they had been misinformed, it had little effect on their endorsement of remembering those actions. The misinformation thus boosted the proportion of occasions in which participants rated their memories as stronger than their beliefs, and it weakened the correlation between belief and memory ratings. Thus, this study provides the first experimental demonstration of non-believed memories of true experiences. We discuss our findings with reference to the small literature concerning the use of socially-communicated misinformation to undermine event memories, and with reference to the structure of autobiographical memory. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
    • Drink wise, age well; reducing alcohol related harm among people over 50: a study protocol

      Seddon, Jennifer L.; Wadd, Sarah; Wells, E.; Elliott, L.; Madoc-Jones, I.; Breslin, J.; University of Bedfordshire; Drink Wise, Age Well Programme; Glasgow Caledonian University; Glyndŵr University (BioMed Central Ltd., 2019-02-28)
      Background: Evidence suggests that the use of alcohol among older adults (defined as those aged 50+) has increased in recent years, with people aged 55-64 now more likely to exceed the recommended weekly guidelines than any other age group. Methods/ design: This is a quasi-experimental study with a before-after design. A postal questionnaire will be sent to 76,000 people aged 50 and over registered with a general practice in five different 'demonstration' (intervention) and control areas in the UK. Multiple interventions will then be delivered in demonstration areas across the UK. At the end of the programme, a postal questionnaire will be sent to the same individuals who completed it pre-programme to establish if there has been a reduction in alcohol use, at-risk drinking and alcohol related problems. Qualitative interviews with clients and staff will explore how the interventions were experienced; how they may work to bring about change and to identify areas for practice improvements. Discussion: This study protocol describes a multi-level, multi-intervention prevention-to-treatment programme which aims to reduce alcohol-related harm in people aged 50 and over.
    • The effect of ANKK1 Taq1A and DRD2 C957T polymorphisms on executive function: a systematic review and meta-analysis

      Klaus, Kristel; Butler, Kevin; Curtis, Ffion; Bridle, Christopher; Pennington, Kyla; ; University of Lincoln (Elsevier Ltd, 2019-03-02)
      Research in healthy adults suggests that C957T polymorphism of the dopamine D2 receptor encoding DRD2 and the Taq1A polymorphism of the neighbouring gene ankyrin repeat and kinase domain containing 1 (ANKK1) alter dopaminergic signalling and may influence prefrontally-mediated executive functions. A systematic review and meta-analysis was carried out on the evidence for the association of DRD2 C957T and ANKK1 Taq1A polymorphisms in performance on tasks relating to the three core domains of executive function: working memory, response inhibition and cognitive flexibility in healthy adults. CINAHL, MEDLINE, PsycARTICLES and PsychINFO databases were searched for predefined key search terms associated with the two polymorphisms and executive function. Studies were included if they investigated a healthy adult population with the mean age of 18–65 years, no psychiatric or neurological disorder and only the healthy adult arm were included in studies with any case-control design. Data from 17 independent studies were included in meta-analysis, separated by the Taq1A and C957T polymorphisms and by executive function tests: working memory (Taq1A, 6 samples, n = 1270; C957 T, 6 samples, n = 977), cognitive flexibility (C957 T, 3 samples, n = 620), and response inhibition (C957 T, 3 samples, n = 598). The meta-analyses did not establish significant associations between these gene polymorphisms of interest and any of the executive function domains. Theoretical implications and methodological considerations of these findings are discussed.