Masters dissertations which achieved a mark of over 60% pre September 2016, and 70% post September 2016.

Recent Submissions

  • A Heuristic Study of Counsellors’ Understanding and Experience of the Nature of Shame and the Impact of Shame on Therapeutic Contact.

    Mintz, Rita; Carr, Antoinette (University of Chester, 2016-06)
    The aim of this qualitative heuristic research study was to provide insight into the lived experience of shame and the impact of shame on the therapeutic relationship. The experience of the researcher is found within the study, integrating her own experience with the personal accounts of the participants and the literature on shame. Semi-structured interviews were conducted using four experienced, qualified therapists who were grounded in their understanding of shame. A latent thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. As this was a heuristic study the researcher also kept a reflective journal throughout the process. The following five themes emerged: understanding of shame; physiology of shame; socially constructed aspects of shame, impact of shame and shame and therapy. Shame was found to be innately felt by humans with specific physical characteristics including blushing, downcast eyes and feeling small. The content of what is perceived as shameful can be culturally, gender and experientially specific. Shame is established as an intrinsic part of society in establishing norms and boundaries. However, excess of shame is indicated as a factor in P. T. S. D., mental health problems, social isolation and violence against self or others. In this study silence, negative self-talk and resistance were found to be both characteristic behaviour developed as defence against further shaming and combined with support, compassion and connection factors in reparative growth. There is potential for shame to cause a rupture in the therapeutic relationship. However, where shame is worked with in therapy it can be a source of therapeutic growth. Counsellor awareness of shame processes, self-regulation and self-care were indicated as important for working with shame to ensure modelling a grounded presence for the client. All four participants work on shame had influenced their choice of therapy as a career. However, none of the participants had received any training about shame during their initial training. The findings emphasised the need for including working with personal shame in both professional development and counselling training courses. This research supports previous research and provides opportunities for further research.
  • All Emotions Matter: A Literature-Based Exploration into the Value of Emotions that can have Negative Connotations in Today’s World

    Colam, Veronica (University of Chester, 2019-05)
    This research explores the value of integrating all emotions for well-being, including those that can have negative connotations in today’s world. Contemporary Western culture, possibly influenced by the positive psychology movement, has placed emphasis on the pursuit of happiness. Emotions that may be classified as negative can be rejected, distorted or denied as they may be viewed as undesirable or harmful. This study has the potential to contribute to the understanding of the vital functions that emotions with negative connotations can serve. The basic emotions of anger and sadness are highlighted for closer examination. The study is literature-based using thematic analysis as the qualitative research method. The key findings indicate support for emotions with negative connotations such as anger and sadness making a constructive contribution to the maintenance of healthy, close interpersonal relationships. Influences on how emotions are experienced and expressed are diverse and can include the following: biological, historical, cultural, social and gender role stereotypes. Assertively expressing emotions can be beneficial whereas chronic suppression may be detrimental to health and well-being. The ability to choose flexibly between both expression and suppression of emotions is the most valuable approach, depending on the context, relationship and the individual. The main conclusion drawn from the study is that the experience and expression of emotions that can have negative connotations can contribute to our health and well-being, when used intelligently. This dissertation recommends promoting the potential value of emotions that can have negative connotations through emotional intelligence competencies, emotion regulation and therapy.
  • Exercise and physical activity practices of males in an Irish prison and its impact on quality of life.

    Fallows, Stephen; Dooley, Fiona (University of Chester, 2018-09-03)
    People in prison are generally deemed to be at a higher risk of several physiological and psychological conditions due to demographic factors and the prison environment, where overcrowding, lack of cleanliness and unhealthy lifestyle practices are common. In response to these influences prisoners tend to have lower quality of life and health related quality of life scores compared to the general population. While exercise provision is in place in prisons, sedentary behaviour is very common among prisoners. Physical inactivity such as this is described as a key modifiable risk factor for several health conditions. Exercise and physical activity has been widely recognised to be effective in managing an individuals’ health and the same is true in a prison perspective. Prison-based exercise programmes have increased the overall quality of life scores of prisoners most notably in the domains of physical and mental health. Cardiovascular and resistance training programmes have produced significant improvements in the cardiovascular health of prisoners reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Various exercise and sport interventions have also significantly improved the psychological wellbeing of prisoners reducing levels of depression, anxiety, stress and improving self-esteem.
  • A qualitative exploration of therapists’ experience of working therapeutically pre-trial within the Crown Prosecution Service guidelines with adult clients who have reported sexual violence

    Kiyimba, Nikki; Nixon, Madelyn A. (University of Chester, 2019-01-24)
    This research is one of the first qualitative studies to explore the lived experience of therapists who were working pre-trial, within the Crown Prosecution Service guidelines with adult clients who had reported sexual assault. The aim of the study was to obtain a detailed account of the therapists’ experience in order to acquire a deeper understanding of how the participants created meaning from their practice. Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis was chosen as an appropriate approach to analyse the data gathered. Semi-structured interviews took place with six therapists. Upon analysis five super-ordinate themes emerged which were, i) the differences between pre-trial therapy and generic therapy, ii) the psychological impact of working with this client group, iii) the complexity of the work, and competency of the therapists, iv) the dilemmas and conflicts inherent in the work, and v) an expression of a loss of faith in the Criminal Justice System. These findings illustrated the complexities that therapists are faced with when working with clients’ pre-trial. A discussion is provided relating to the extensive research that has been carried out since the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) guidelines were written in 2001 into the fallibility of memory following a traumatic incident, and the developments that have taken place in therapeutic techniques. In light of recent research and developments in therapy, it is suggested that there is potentially an argument for the need for a review and update into the current CPS guidelines into the provision of therapy for vulnerable or intimidated adults prior to trial. It is also recommended that further research is needed into whether the fallibility of memory following a traumatic incident improves after the person has undertaken an appropriate evidence-based trauma-specific treatment, and the possible need for a central register of therapists that are qualified to offer pre-trial therapy.
  • Attachment and Self-Esteem as Predictors of Anxiety and Depression in Adults with Divorced Parents

    O'Neill, Linda; Penk, Andrew (University of Chester, 2018)
    Research within the parental divorce literature shows that adults who have experienced parental divorce experience higher levels of anxiety and depression. Attempts have been made to identify specific mediating factors associated with anxiety and depression and mixed findings have been reported. This study investigated whether attachment and self-esteem predicted anxiety and depression in an attempt to clarify the role of these factors in the complicated mechanisms associated with the relationship between parental divorce and anxiety and depression. A cross-sectional, between-subjects, survey design was used to assess levels of anxiety and depression (HADS), attachment to significant others (ECR), and self-esteem (RSES) in 329 participants. Significant differences were found in individuals whose parents were divorced, as they showed higher levels of anxiety, depression and avoidance-related attachment, and lower levels of self-esteem when compared to those whose parents’ marriage remained intact. Self-esteem was found to be a unique predictor of anxiety and depression in participants with divorced parents, but attachment to a romantic partner, mother and father was not. Identifying self-esteem as a predictor of anxiety and depression following divorce, provides an opportunity for practitioners to utilise interventions to sustain and build self-esteem around the time parental divorce occurs, as a way to reduce the developmental change that leads to anxiety and depression in the long-term.
  • Parental Wellbeing: Stress, Parental Sense of Competence, Social Support and Hope in parents of children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder

    O'Neill, Linda; Keane, Kerry (University of Chester, 2018)
    Parents of children raising a child with a disability, including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), often report higher levels of stress than parents of typically developing (TD) children. Much research focuses on the psychological impact of caring for a child with additional needs, with little providing a more inclusive insight into the overall effect on parental functioning. The current study used multiple self-report measures to explore stress, parental sense of competence, social support and hope in parents raising a TD child compared to those raising a child with a disability or ASD. Results showed significant differences between the groups. Parents raising a child with ASD reported the highest level of stress, and alongside parents raising a child with a disability, had significantly higher levels than parents raising a TD child. Additionally, parents of children with a disability and ASD had significantly lower perceived parental competence, social support and hope than parents of TD children. Further variations between the groups were discussed. The results highlighted that raising a child with a disability or ASD is a unique and variable experience, shaped by a body of factors that need to be reviewed comprehensively to support positive parental adjustment. Implications and suggestions for future research were also discussed.
  • The relationship between pretend play skills and language development in children aged three to five

    Kirkham, Julie; Nowell, Rebecca (University of Chester, 2018)
    Pretend play is a crucial component within child development, especially with regards to language. Pretend play and language both share commonalities which involve symbolic abilities (Lewis, Boucher, Lupton, & Watson, 2000). This study examined the influence that cognitive and affective aspects of pretend play and symbolic play has on expressive and receptive language development and whether these pretend play domains uniquely predict language development. This study also assessed whether age and sex effects pretend play and language development. A convenience sample of 50 children age three to five years old was used to collect the data. The Preschool Language Scale (Zimmerman, Steiner & Pond, 1997) was used to assess Auditory and Expressive Communication, the Affect in Play Scale – Brief Rating Version (Cordiano, Russ & Short, 2008) was used to measure cognitive and affective pretend play, and the Pretend Actions Task was used to measure symbolic play (Overton & Jackson, 1973). The results suggest that cognitive and affective pretend play and symbolic play did not uniquely predict expressive and receptive language. Only symbolic play was found to be a positive significant unique predictor of expressive language. There was also a significant effect of age on all three pretend play scores and expressive and receptive language, with five year olds scoring higher than four year olds and four year olds scoring higher than three year olds. There was no effect of gender on the play tasks. However, boys scored significantly higher on the receptive language test than girls. These findings demonstrate that pretend play is an important component for language development; however it may not be the only predictor. The results suggest that more research needs to be done in order to gain a greater understanding of the relationship between cognitive and affective pretend play and expressive and receptive language.
  • How to catch a liar: The Effect of Communicative Channels on Accuracy in Detecting Deception in High-Stakes Situations

    Wright, Clea; Murphy, Molly (University of Chester, 2018)
    Much past research states people are generally quite poor at detecting deception, with meta-analytic findings reporting an average accuracy rating of 54% (Bond & DePaulo, 2006). However, the majority of these previous findings stem from the use of ‘low-stakes’ lies as stimuli. This current study used real-life video clips of a ‘high-stakes’ nature, investigating the effects of three different communicative channels on a novice lie detector’s ability to detect deception; an Audio-Visual channel, a Visual-Only channel and an Audio-Only channel. The effects on both participant accuracy and participant confidence scores were analysed, with further investigation into a potential relationship between participant accuracy and confidence. On reviewing previous literature, the current study hypothesized the following; participant accuracy in detecting deception across all modalities will score above the level of chance; the highest accuracy scores will be found within the Audio-Visual condition; the Audio-Only condition will produce higher levels of accuracy than those found in the Visual-Only condition; the Audio-Visual condition will produce the highest confidence ratings; no relationship will be found between overall levels of accuracy and confidence ratings reported. The current study also explored what behavioural cues are relied upon by novice lie detectors in their attempts to identify deception. No hypothesis was generated for the justification of decisions i.e. (the cues participants report using). However, information provided will help identify what behavioural cues members of the general public rely upon when detecting deception. A total of 60 participants were recruited for the current study, with an equal number of participants observing video-clips within each presentation modality (n=20). 8 video-clips were shown, all involving real-life ‘high-stakes’ situations i.e. an appeal for a missing relative. Half of the clips involved innocent individuals (telling the truth and not involved in the crime) and the other half were deceitful (involved in the crime and attempting to deceive observers). Overall, participant accuracy scored significantly above the level of chance (M=55, t(59)=2, p=0.05.). No statistically significant differences were found in participant accuracy and participant confidence between the three presentation modalities F(2,57)=.36, p=.70, n2=0.01; F(2, 57)=.58, p=.84, n2=0.02. Nor was a significant relationship observed between participant accuracy and participant confidence r(60)=.11, p=.43. Participants reported relying on behavioural cues involving ‘Nervous Behaviours’ and ‘Fake Emotion’ when determining a sender’s veracity. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.
  • The influence of the position of the lower jaw on human performance in athletes

    Haughey, John (University of Chester, 2019-03-04)
    Mouth guards are widely used by athletes for the protection of the orofacial region from trauma during training and competition. A mouth guard will change the position of the lower jaw of the athlete when worn. This literature review looked at the findings of current research on the effect of mouth guard use on athletic performance. Studies which investigated the possibility of a negative impact on performance from wearing a mouth guard generally concluded that there is no negative impact on performance. Some other studies suggested there is no impact on performance with mouth guard use in sport and a larger number of studies observed positive influences on performance. The position of the lower jaw during mouth guard use in comparison to wearing no mouth guard is the common reason given for the positive improvement observed in performance. There is a lack of consensus in the current research of the mechanism or connection between lower jaw position and performance. This literature review raises the question, does the position of the lower jaw affect human performance?
  • Does an Acute, Single Dose of Beetroot Juice Decrease 1000m Rowing Ergometer Time to Completion in Recreationally Active Females

    Nicholas, Ceri; Fildes, Jonathan G. (University of Chester, 2018-04-17)
    Beetroot juice (BR) has gained considerable research interest for its ergogenic effects in regards to improving exercise and sports performance. This increased interest is due to BR, which is rich in inorganic nitrate (N03 − ), providing an alternative pathway for increasing the pools of bioavailable nitric oxide (NO) in the body. The literature has investigated the effects of BR in a variety of exercise and sporting scenarios. Of such, the vast majority has focused on trained populations in aerobic scenarios with chronic and acute dose protocols, while other research has focused on recreationally active populations. The outcomes of the research have not always been consistent, with many studies demonstrating significant ergogenic benefits of BR and others unable to provide favourable outcomes. It is clear from the research reviewed that BR can be used as an ergogenic aid in recreationally active, trained and clinical subjects. Although not all studies agree, performance outcomes range from reduced time to completion (TTC) and oxygen uptake (V̇O2) and increased power output (PO) and exercise tolerance, all of which have been demonstrated in well controlled study designs. Research is vast, particularly in trained populations, with this leading to a need for further research in recreationally active populations. In addition, the overwhelming majority of these studies have been conducted on males, both recreationally and trained, which opens up a requirement for specific female focused studies within the literature.
  • Relationship Patterns between Self-esteem, Self-respect and Cognitive Effort as Measured by Story Recall and the Eye Tracker

    Clucas, Claudine; Kelecsenyi, Hedvig (University of Chester, 2018)
    High levels of self-esteem has been associated with success for decades, while at the same time its utility to predict achievement-related behaviours has been questioned. This controversy brought self-respect (an independent, theoretically grounded construct) defined as a person’s positive, affective self-regard for being a moral, principled, and honourable person, to the forefront of empirical research. Accordingly, the current study intended to examine the relationship between self-report measures of self-respect, self-esteem and cognitive effort as measured by story recall and eye tracker measures of eye fixation with pupil dilation while reading a morally neutral and a morally charged story. A total of 40 participants, comprising of 11 males and 29 females, with a mean age of 34, from a convenience sample completed the study. A stronger positive relationship was expected between self-respect and measures of cognitive effort than between self-esteem and the same measures. Also, there was an anticipation of a stronger interaction between self-respect and the type of story tested, because higher self-respect might have implications for the processing of moral information. Four repeated measures of ANCOVA analyses demonstrated significant negative relationship between self-respect and cognitive effort. They also revealed a strong trend towards a negative relationship between self-esteem and cognitive effort. The results quite interestingly are contrary to the declared hypotheses of the study with regards to the direction of the relationship. Findings indicate that the interaction between self-respect and story type on recall and eye tracker measures were not significant. Hence, failing to support the theory that high levels of self-respect enhances sensitivity to moral information through the link to the moral self. The outcome also highlights the possibility that certain factors undermine the effort or more meaningful engagement is needed, perhaps, through a more complex task. It would help to establish not only relationship patterns, but determine whether self-respect is unique enough as an independent construct that could add to the prediction of cognitive effort above and beyond what is explained by self-esteem.
  • Brexit and its psychological impact: A qualitative study on the well-being of EU-citizens based in the UK

    Shepman, Astrid; Reimers, Kristin (University of Chester, 2018)
    Research on the relationship between well-being and environmental factors demonstrated that adverse living conditions and extreme life events can have temporary or longer lasting effects on the well-being of individuals, depending on the severity of the event and the resilience of those affected. This qualitative study aimed to investigate how Brexit impacted the well-being of EU-citizens living in the UK. By applying thematic analysis, 43 testimonies of individuals who shared their personal Brexit story, were analysed, revealing three main themes: ‘living with uncertainty’, ‘experiencing discrimination’ and ‘identity questioned’. Discussing these themes in light of previous research, this study suggests Brexit affected contributor’s subjective, psychological and social well-being negatively and was potentially traumatising for individuals of vulnerable groups. Although the majority of EU-citizens are likely to recover to their former level of well-being after Brexit, further studies on this population are needed to investigate how many EU-citizens are in need of professional help to overcome the psychological impact Brexit had on their lives. “Brexit means Brexit” for Theresa May but what it means for EU-citizens living in the UK seems to be defined by their current living situation and their resilience.
  • Understanding right from wrong: A quantitative study exploring accidental bullying in British school children.

    Boulton, Michael; Pritchard, Jessica (University of Chester, 2018)
    This study aimed to investigate a controversial new sub-type of bullying known as accidental bullying, which claims to explain why some children and young people can unknowingly bully others. This study did this by exploring possible causes including individual’s abilities to recognise bullying, and levels of kindness and moral disengagement. A total of 421 participants (females: n = 19, males: n = 180, undisclosed: n = 48) completed questionnaires within Primary and Secondary British schools. The data was subjected to several forms of analyses that included Pearson’s correlations, simple linear regression’s, a hierarchical multiple regression, and a series of two-way between subjects ANOVA’s. The findings identified that 84 % of the participants had previously accidentally bullied, and that primary school students were more likely to accidentally bully than secondary school students. In addition to this, an individual’s poor ability to recognise bullying behaviours was found as a significant negative predictor of accidental bullying. Furthermore, if individuals have low levels of kindness and high levels of moral disengagement, they are more likely to have a poor ability to recognise bullying behaviours. In conclusion, this study identified that it is possible that accidental bullying is taking place within British schools at a higher frequency than traditional bullying. Future studies may wish to further understand the complexities of accidental bullying to support educators to identify and address this often hidden form of bullying.
  • Issues, response and support needs of parents if their child had self-harmed, from a parents and professionals perspective

    Heath, Hannah; Ruck, Samantha (University of Chester, 2018)
    Self-harm for young people has been considered to be a significant health concern (Byrne et al., 2008) and is understood to be typical amongst young people (Hawton et al., 2002). Parents experience an array of overwhelming emotions on finding out about their child’s self-harm (Raphael et al., 2006). To date, little attention has been paid to exploring the understanding and experiences of parents whose children have not self-harmed or looking at the role of mental health (MH) professionals supporting parents from the professional view point. The aim of this research was to understand from both a parents and professionals perspective, what the perceived issues for parents are if their child self-harmed; how would/do parents respond to self-harm; and what support needs do the parents have. A multiple qualitative perspectives design was used. Seven parents were interviewed, alongside two focus groups and one interview with six Mental Health (MH) Professionals and were analysed with Thematic Analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006). The results indicated that parents had a perceived lack of knowledge about self-harm and available support services. How parents respond to a child’s self-harm is influenced by their lack of understanding, how they find out and their natural desire to protect their child. Education about self-harm, strategies for parents and peer support group were identified as key mechanisms for professionals to provide support to parents. Parents and professionals both highlighted the lack of knowledge parents have about self-harm and their desire for support to help their child. There is a future research need to explore the processes which parents follow to seek information and help regarding self-harm and the impact of parent peer support in both community and clinical settings.
  • Factors associated with the detection of the signs of child sexual abuse

    Wright, Clea; Goddard, Nick (University of Chester, 2018)
    Child sexual abuse (CSA) is a major international societal concern, with up to 48% of women and 29% of men having experienced it, often with severe resultant psychological issues. The utility of offender management programs in reducing CSA is disputed and the reporting rate of CSA is low, so the ability to detect sexually abusive relationships between adults and children is of increased importance. However, media propagation of child sex offender stereotypes inhibits their detection. This study used a vignette-based online questionnaire to explore if the signs of abuse can be detected in a child’s relationship with their football coach and if the ‘dirty old man’ age stereotype impacts detection. Whether adults already trained in detecting CSA rated the potential for sexual abuse differently than untrained adults in scenarios where it was included was also explored. The analyses indicated a significantly higher rating for CSA in ‘abuse’ scenarios than ‘no-abuse’ scenarios across all participants, with a large effect size. However, there was no significant difference in rating based on abuser age (none given, 19, 50). Additionally, CSA trained participants did not rate abuse scenarios significantly differently than untrained participants. Lack of trust in the media, extensive reporting of high-profile cases that did not include a stereotypically-aged sex offender, and the personal experiences of participants were considered as potential mitigating factors for the age stereotype. The focus of existing CSA training on symptoms rather than relationships is considered as a potential explanation for similar ratings between trained and untrained participants.
  • Exploring the relationship between act variables and sleep disorders in predicting suicidal ideation

    Hochard, Kevin; Fanioudaki, Venetsiana (University of Chester, 2018)
    Suicidal Ideation (SI) is undoubtedly a major risk factor for suicide which is a fundamental public health phenomenon as every year in all regions of the world nearly one million individuals end their own lives. Sleep disorders, such as insomnia and nightmares are risk factors of SI and ACT has been shown to decrease SI. The study aimed to investigate the moderating role of ACT components (measured with the AAQ-II and CompACT) in the relationship between sleep disorders (insomnia and nightmares) and suicidal ideation. The study employed correlational quantitative analysis and conducted four hierarchical linear regressions. Findings from the e-survey (n= 274) showed that sleep disorders did not significantly predict SI beyond the effects of anxiety, stress and depression. However, ACT components decreased SI scores after controlling for depression, anxiety, stress, insomnia and nightmares (β = -.31, p < .001). In addition, ACT variables (measured with the AAQ-II) moderated the relationship between insomnia, but no nightmares, and SI by decreasing SI scores (β= -.09, p < .05). Taken together, these findings provide support for the protective role of psychological flexibility against SI and the effectiveness of ACT components in decreasing suicidal thoughts and behaviors in individuals with high scores of insomnia symptoms. The study suggests that an ACT based intervention could benefit individuals with insomnia from developing SI. Further evaluation of the relationship between sleep disorders and SI and possible mediators is warranted.
  • Explore the Issues Faced by Family Caregivers of Dementia Patients and Their Use of Online Forums

    Whelen, Liz; Bell, Katherine (University of Chester, 2018)
    This qualitative study looks at the primary issues faced by dementia family caregivers and their uses of online forums. The previous literature finds that there are an array of psychological issues that are faced by dementia caregivers, including depression, anxiety, social isolation and psychological morbidity. The literature also analyses the potential causes of these problems. The research was conducted through the Thematic Analysis of 50 forum posts to interpret the content of what the caregivers were posting about in the forums and analyse how the caregivers made use of this platform. The results found three overarching themes to show the primary psychological problems that the caregivers were complaining of: anxiety, psychological morbidity and social isolation. The results also found two main reasons that the forums were being used, the need for help from others, and the desire for more knowledge on dementia. The causes that contribute to these issues are discussed in the present study, alongside the benefits and limitations of this method of research and the benefits of anonymity on online discussion forums. Ultimately, it is established that there is a need for more professional help to become available to dementia family caregivers and for further research into specific issues faced by forum users and the causes of these.
  • Who cares for the carer: the impact of supporting those who self-harm on professional carers.

    Heath, Hannah; Armstrong, Laura (University of Chester, 2018)
    Self-harm is a serious health issue in the UK. One of the most vulnerable populations for self-harm is thought to be young people who are removed from their families and live in group home settings. There is existing literature about the effects and attitudes of medical professionals who care for those who self-harm, however very little that looks at self-harm from the prospective of residential care workers. From ten semi-structured interviews with residential care workers, analysed with Thematic Analysis, similar attitudes that have been reflected in recent studies with medical professionals were reflected in the residential care worker’s accounts. Participants felt it is necessary for better and more robust self-harm training for staff, and more available and structured organisational and colleague support. Additionally, over time, the care workers became accustomed to the behaviours, with some becoming emotionally disconnected from the care they provided. The study explores the previously unheard voices of the residential care workers and highlights the need to provide better support for residential care workers.
  • Sugar Reduction in Sponge Cakes: Physical and Sensory Properties of Sponge Cake with Sugar Alternatives - Maltitol /Steviol glycosides/Polydextrose/ Inulin

    Li, Weili; Mao, Kuangqi (University of Chester, 2019-01-31)
    Challenges in reducing sugar in foods have been serious global issues as an excessive intake of sugar causes negative effects on human health, even though sugar plays a key role in the structural and sensory attributes of food products. Therefore, it is urgent for food industries to find an alternative to reduce the sugar content of foods without any noticeable effect, such as using sugar replacements to substitute the role of sugar in high-sugar foods. The first aim of this study was to verify the function of sugar in sponge cakes. The second was to compare the effects between sugar and sugar alternatives on sponge cakes in order to explore feasible sugar replacements. In current study, the effects of sugar on physical properties of sponge cake and batter were first studied in terms of different concentrations. Then the effects of replacement by maltitol, polydextrose, inulin and steviol glycosides were extensively studied using the same concentrations with regarding to sugar. Batter viscosity and specific gravity were analysed before baking. Cake physical properties were also studied through image analysis, specific gravity, height, weight loss and firmness. In addition, sensory testing was also carried out to explore the feasible sugar replacement. Experimental results showed that sugar truly exerted crucial functions in cakes manufacture, like increasing the batter viscosity and the cake volume. Significant improvement in physical properties of cakes, especially in terms of specific gravity and specific volume, can be found as the sugar level reached by 140% (P<0.05). In regard to sugar-free sponge cakes, best results in physical properties can be obtained from cakes elaborated with maltitol when the containing level was 140%. Compared with sugar, closest results can be achieved by maltitol due to the similar structure and properties. Meanwhile, cakes elaborated with maltitol got the highest overall liking level in sensory evaluation. Cakes with polydextrose showed a relatively worse performance in physical property testing and sensory evaluation due to the weaker bulking function and sweetness of polydextrose. However, the addition of steviol glycosides can improve the sensory properties to some extent. In addition, inulin appeared to be unfeasible to replace sugar according to the result obtained in this study because it led to the lowest quality of sponge cakes in physical properties or sensory attributes.
  • “Some are gay, some are straight, no one actually cares as long as you’re there to play hockey”: Women’s field hockey players’ engagement with sexual identity discourses

    McEvilly, Nollaig; Whitehouse, Lauren E (University of Chester, 2019-02-13)
    This research investigates the discourses that have impacted recreational women’s hockey players’ perspectives and experiences surrounding sexual identity. Furthermore, the participants’ engagement with sexual identity discourses and through what discursive practices and disciplinary techniques sexual identities became dominant or alternative is examined. The experiences of and towards non-heterosexual sportspeople is a developing area of research, though little research focuses on recreational level sport that is not identified as a ‘gay sport space’. This study contributes to sexuality and sport research by investigating a recreational women’s team which is not restricted to the ‘gay sport space’ label to develop understandings of the dynamics and complexities that sexual identity discourses have on both heterosexual and non-heterosexual sportspeople. A poststructural, Foucaultian theoretical framework underpins this study with the utilisation of Foucault’s work on discourses, techniques of power and the technologies of the self. Data is generated from semi-structured interviews with seven hockey players, who discuss their experiences regarding sexual identity at Castle Ladies Hockey Club. By analysing the participants’ talk through discourse analysis, discourses of acceptance and inclusivity towards non-heterosexual identities are found. Firstly, non-heterosexual identities are regarded as ‘normal’, secondly, the focus was on if the player was a good team player rather than sexual identity, and thirdly, there was an increased acceptance of sexual fluidity leading to decreased tolerance towards homophobia. This research highlights that players engage with multiple discourses associated with sexual identity, often complexly. This raises questions surrounding the dominance of heteronormativity, as non-heterosexual identities are not presented as marginal.

View more