• Histomorphometric Analysis of Structural and Bone Remodeling Parameters in the Underloaded Ovine Calcaneus

      Power, Jon; Hughes, Stephen F.; Lister, Max (University of Chester, 2018-07-24)
      Osteoporosis is a disease that affects over three million people in the UK (NHS, 2016), and is categorized by a reduced bone mass leading to decreased bone strength and increased fragility. Clinical features of osteoporotic fractures include increased morbidity (physical impairment, reduced quality of life, pain), greater risk of new fractures and increased mortality (Geusens, 2008). During the lifetime of a typical human, bones are their strongest whilst a person is in their early-mid 20’s. As one ages bone loss begins to occur around the age of 35. One important causal factor leading to osteoporosis is lack of weight-bearing physical activity, which might impact the elderly human population at sites such as the femoral neck resulting in fragility fractures. Around 70,000-75,000 hip fractures occur in the UK each year, additionally every year an increase in incident rates has been observed partly due to an aging population (NHS, 2016). The relationship between a decreased mechanical load and resulting in reduced bone mass is well established. The structural and cellular consequences of mechanical underloading within a temporal animal model are yet to be fully explored. The objective of the current study was to determine the temporal structural changes occurring due to the influence of mechanical under-loading (experienced at day 0/baseline, week 4 and week 16) within an ovine skeletal model. Additionally, this experimental system provided insight into the cellular activity (in terms of bone remodeling) associated with a reduced mechanical loading environment. Within this model by week 16 of mechanical under-loading, an increase in cortical porosity (4%, p=0.017) within the dorsal region and reduced cortical thickness (19.7%, p=0.025) across all combined regions (as well as a regional decrease of 15% and 23% within the medial and ventral regions respectively) was observed. These changes indicating a reduction in bone mass were accompanied by increased cortical remodeling medially (58%;p=0.028) as evidenced by an increase in the proportion (%) of canals undergoing bone formation within that anatomical region. These data demonstrate a reduction in bone mass and increased bone remodeling associated with reduced mechanical load within this skeletal site. Additionally, the data presented here of decreased mechanical load appear to support the observed bone loss and elevated remodeling occurring within the osteoporotic human femoral neck. This investigation,therefore, validates the underloaded ovine calcaneus as a suitable experimental model to investigate the possible pathological events associated with disuse osteoporosis.
    • Clinical psychologists’ experience of trauma and trauma-related disclosure: perspectives and experiences from the profession

      Kiyimba, Nikki; Middlebrook, Laura J. (University of Chester, 2018-04)
      A high percentage of individuals will experience a trauma in their life time. A clinical psychologist’s work is often to provide intervention for those experiencing high levels of distress following a trauma. However, understanding of psychologists’ own experiences of trauma and trauma disclosure within the profession are unknown. This dissertation focuses on gaining deeper understanding of trauma-related experiences, and how clinical psychologists make sense of trauma within the profession. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and data was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). This study found that trauma of psychologists was rarely spoken about and complex interactions between anticipated, internalised and perceived stigma were evident. Anticipated stigma presented as the most dominant in influencing disclosure of trauma by clinical psychologists. This research recommends psychologists consider their own levels of openness about their personal trauma and experiences of trauma related disclosure. Psychologists need the understanding and support that psychologists offer to their clients, removing stigma and promoting openness in the profession is a vital step to supporting psychologists who have experienced trauma, with the profession as a whole learning from each others’ experiences.
    • Tears, blushes and beating hearts: Masculinity, emotions and feelings in Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South, Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd and Sara Jeannette Duncan's The Imperialist.

      Abletshauser, Alexandra C. (University of Chester, 2017-11)
      This dissertation explores the relationship between masculinity, emotions and feelings in Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South (1855), Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd (1874) and Sara Jeannette Duncan’s The Imperialist (1904). The Introduction gives an overview of gender theory and the ideology of masculinity in general, explains the terms ‘emotion’ and ‘feeling’ and discusses the relationship between the ideology of masculinity, emotions and feelings in the nineteenth century. Chapter One examines the relationship between masculinity, emotions and feelings in the industrial setting of North and South and studies the tension or discrepancy between them. In addition, it demonstrates the different functions of the display of emotions and feelings. Furthermore, it challenges the assumption that the expression of male emotions and feelings automatically emasculates a man. Chapter Two looks at the depiction of masculinity and emotions in relation to nature descriptions, such as landscape, weather and animals, in the rural setting of Far from the Madding Crowd. It further shows how the display of emotions changes in the second half of the nineteenth century to an indirect expression through nature descriptions. At the same time, this chapter indicates that emotions and feelings are natural for men and that their suppression can have destructive consequences. The final chapter investigates masculine identities in the imperial setting of The Imperialist. It shows how at the-turn-of-the 20th century the expression of male emotions and feelings is replaced by an increasing self-control. The Conclusion indicates the realignment of gender identities that are defined through the inclusion of feminine and masculine characteristics and demonstrate their application in further nineteenth-century texts.
    • Exploring the relationship between personal and perceived public attitudes of mental health difficulties and professional help seeking: Does self-compassion play a role?

      Evans, Gemma; Jones, Rebecca (University of Chester, 2017-11)
      Previous literature suggests that there is a relationship between mental health stigma and help seeking attitudes. There are however mixed results when determining the effects of specific elements of stigma: personal stigma and perceived public stigma. There is also limited research into the effects of self-compassion on this relationship, with initial studies suggesting increased self-compassion has a positive impact on the reduction of stigma. The current survey based study of 40 students examined the relationship between personal and perceived public attitudes of mental health difficulties and professional help seeking. The study also examined the role of self-compassion in this relationship. The findings revealed a significant relationship between perceived family and community views of mental health and help seeking. No correlation was found between personal attitudes towards mental health and help seeking. Self-compassion was significantly correlated with personal attitudes towards mental health but not help seeking. Findings indicate that perceived public stigma is an important barrier towards mental health help seeking attitudes and should be the focus of future interventions. Results also suggest that an increased level of self-compassion is associated with more positive personal attitudes towards mental health, indicating that compassion-based therapy is an important and promising tool for reducing stigma and its impacts.
    • A New Predictor-Corrector Method for Solving Nonlinear Fractional Differential Equations with Graded Meshes

      Yan, Yubin; Leedle, Natasha (University of Chester, 2017-10-09)
      In this dissertation we consider the numerical methods for solving non-linear fractional differential equations. We first review the predictor-corrector methods for solving the nonlinear fractional differential equation with uniform meshes and discussed in detail how to prove the error estimates. The convergence orders of the predictorcorrector methods for solving nonlinear fractional differential equations available in the literature are only O(h1+α ), where α ∈ (0, 1) denotes the fractional order and h is the step size. It will take a long time to obtain the good approximate solutions by using such method. Therefore it is necessary to construct some higher order numerical methods to solve the nonlinear fractional differential equations. We construct a higher order numerical method with the convergence order O(h1+2α) by approximating the Riemann-Liouville fractional integral with the quadratic interpolation polynomials. The graded meshes can be used in the numerical methods to capture the singularity of the problem. Numerical examples are given to show that the numerical results are consistent with the theoretical results.
    • Group Algebras and Their Applications

      Gildea, Joe; O'Neill, Harrison T. (University of Chester, 2017-10-09)
      Let RG be the group ring of the group G and the ring R. If R is a field, we usually refer to RG as a group algebra. We initially describe the unit group of the group algebra F2 kD8 where F2 k is a Galois Field of 2k elements and D8 is the dihedral group of order 8. We then describe the unitary unit group of F2 kD8. Furthermore, we show the connection between unitary units in group rings and self-dual codes. Finally, we construct certain self-dual codes from the unitary units of the group algebra F2 kD8.
    • Optimization Methods and Applications on problem solving with MATLAB in the presence of Randomness

      Antonopoulou, Dimitra; Taylor, Daniel (University of Chester, 2017-10-07)
      A review of iterative methods used to nd optimal solutions to large sparse linear systems including methods based on line search descent algorithms and Krylov subspace methods. We also detail how to use the MATLAB optimization toolbox to solve a variety of optimization problems including linear and non-linear problems in Chapter 2. A review of the classical Travelling Salesman Problem (TSP) is provided in Chapter 3 with examples of solved problems. In Chapter 4 we used a MATLAB program to investigate the effect that randomness has on a system of ODE's namely the equation of a harmonic pendulum, we demonstrate these effects with a number of plots in the phase-plane and with respect to the time t.
    • Giving a Voice, Healing Trauma: Exploring the Usefulness of Art Therapy with Refugee Children

      Lovell, Andy; Lowndes; Akthar, Zahra (University of Chester, 2017-10)
      Children who seek refuge to the United Kingdom have experienced a journey witnessing many traumatic events, separation and losses. These experiences can have a profound effect on a child’s well-being and resettlement in the host country. Art therapy is an avenue which can help these children to heal their trauma, and explore the feelings and changes that arise with becoming a refugee. This research set in an interpretive paradigm, informed by hermeneutic phenomenology explores the usefulness of art therapy with refugee children. It aims to investigate this enquiry through the lens of art therapists to gain insights from lived experiences and stories. Three semi-structured interviews were conducted, which were explored and analysed through using thematic analysis, which discovered five key themes these were identified as: (1) Giving Voice, (2) Rebuilding Trust, Opening Wounds, (3) Sharing Stories, Healing Pain, (4) Exploring Identity, Discovering New- Self, and (5) Understanding Art Therapy. Upon reflection, the four initial findings merged together highlighting the two key usefulness of art therapy, these were established as: (a) providing refugee children with a safe space to heal and discover new-self, and (b) giving refugee children a voice to express, and share their stories. Despite the last theme (understanding art therapy) being established as a limitation, this created an area for future research to help inform art therapy practice. From the findings discovered, it was concluded that art therapy is a useful form of psychotherapy for refugee children. Art therapy provides these children with a safe space to heal, and gives them a voice to express and be heard.
    • Numerical Methods for Solving Nonlinear Fractional Differential Equations with Non-Uniform Meshes

      Yan, Yubin; Broadbent, Emma (University of Chester, 2017-10)
      In this dissertation, we consider numerical methods for solving fractional differential equations with non-uniform meshes. We first introduce some basic definitions and theories for fractional differential equations and then we consider the numerical methods fro solving fractional differential equation. In the literature, the popular numerical methods for solving fractional differential equation include the rectangle method, trapezoid method and predictor-corrector methods. We reviewed such methods and the ways to prove the stability and the error estimates for these methods. Since the fractional differential equation is a nonlocal problem, the computation cost is very long compared with the local problem. Therefore it is very important to design some higher order numerical methods for solving fractional differential equation. In this dissertation, we introduce a new higher order numerical method for solving fractional differential equation which is based on the quadratic interpolation polynomial approximation to the fractional integral. To capture the singularity near the origin we also introduce the non-uniform meshes. The numerical results show that the optimal convergence order can be recovered by using non-uniform meshes even if the data are not sufficiently smooth.
    • Effect of n-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation in Hyperlipidemic Patients Taking Statins on Lipid Profile, Including Small Dense LDL: A Randomized Controlled Trial

      Mushtaq, Sohail; Dogay, Gediz (University of Chester, 2017-10)
      Background: Epidemiological and clinical evidence suggests that high-dose intake of long-chain OM-3 FA have a favourable role in altering blood TAG and non-HDL-C when combined with statins in hyperlipidemic patients. Their efficacy in altering LDL-C particle size and concentration is yet to be confirmed. Aim: This study evaluated the effects of adding 4/day EPA+DHA to stable statin therapy on non-HDL-C, TAG, HDL-C, LDL-C and small&dense LDL-C particle concentration in a group of hyperlipidemic patients. Methods: In this randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind parallel group study, 44 subjects who were already on statin therapy for >8 weeks and had non-HDL-C levels above the National Lipid Association Recommendations were randomized into two groups. For 8 weeks, together with their prescribed atorvastatin, the intervention group received 4 g/day EPA+DHA (in ethyl ester form) while the control group received 4 g/day olive oil (placebo). Baseline measurements of non-HDL-C, TAG, TC, HDL-C, LDL-C, VLDL-C and LDL-C particle concentration were repeated at week 8. Differences in dietary intake was assessed with a weighted 3-day food diary at week 4. Primary outcome measures were the percent change in LDL-C III non-HDL-C and particle concentration from baseline. Results: At the end of treatment, the median percent change in LDL-C III particle concentration was significantly greater with OM-3 FA plus atorvastatin compared with placebo plus atorvastatin (-67.5% vs -0%, respectively; P <0.001). OM-3 FA plus atorvastatin was associated with significant reductions in non-HDL-C (-9.5% vs 4.7%, P<0.01), TAG (-21.5% vs 6.2%, P <0.001) and VLDL-C (-36.9% vs 4.0%, P<0.001) and TC (-6.6% vs 2.1%, P<0.001). Between the groups, no significant difference in percent change in LDL-C, HDL-C, as well as LDL-C I and LDL-C II particle concentration was observed. Conclusion: In these adult, white patients with hyperlipidemia, P-OM3 plus atorvastatin improved LDL-C phenotype, non-HDL-C and other lipid and lipoprotein parameters to a greater extent than atorvastatin alone.
    • Viral marketing in the music industry: How independent musicians utilise online peer-to-peer communications

      Marmion, Maeve; George, Sam (University of Chester, 2017-10)
      The aim of this research was to critically examine the use of viral marketing within the music industry. Specifically, how peer to peer communications can be utilised to gain a higher following. This was achieved by researching the uses of peer-to-peer communications through social media, the role of branding in the music industry and how specific audiences can be targeted through online platforms. Although there has been substantial research into the use of online peer-to-peer communications throughout various industries, there has been limited academic insight into how viral marketing is utilised within the music industry. However, with the use of online peer-to-peer communications becoming increasingly prevalent, it is a critical area for academics to consider. Due to this gap in literature, this research may be regarded as innovative. To ensure that the full context surrounding the research question was considered, the study was approached from an interpretivist stance and qualitative methods were used. By conducting semi-structured interviews, the researcher was able to collect deep and insightful data based on the narrative of each participant. Although there were key differences throughout the data, there were several themes that were consistent throughout. As social networks are a lucrative platform from utilising a viral marketing strategy, several participants suggested that it is essential for musicians to use a variety of them. The results showed that throughout the music industry it is crucial to develop a strong brand image and remain consistent within this. The research also suggested that consumers who are engaged with a brand are more likely to engage in peer-to-peer communications. As the most likely demographic to engage in peer-to-peer communications, this research suggested that millennials would be the most beneficial group to target a viral marketing strategy towards. As the sample contained participants from various roles within the music industry, each of whom had different motivations, performed separate styles of music and were at various stages of their career, it could be argued that this research contained too many variables and therefore, lacked depth. However, the aim of this research was to analyse the similarities and differences between a variety of roles within the music industry, therefore, collecting a multitude of data was the intention of the researcher. During the time of conducting, this research could have been considered innovative, due to not only the gap in literature, but also because of the relevance of the current uses of technology. However, due to the constant evolutions in modern technology, what may have been considered current at the time of research, may not be as relevant in future years. Therefore, similar research may need to be considered in future years.
    • Exploring the effectiveness of remote line-management: A case-study at MWH IT

      Walford, Robert; Fox, Katherine (University of Chester, 2017-10)
      Globalisation of organisations is increasing (Bell & Kozlowski, 2002) and with that, as are the existence of globally distributed teams (Global Workplace Analytics, 2016). The IT department at the engineering firm MWH, now part of Stantec has a number of globally distributed teams which means that the line-manager of each employee is often not based in the same office or even geographical region. This research uses semi-structured in-depth interviews with members of the IT department at MWH to build a qualitative case-study with an interpretivist phenomenological epistemology and subjectivist ontological paradigm. The research answers the question: ‘To what extent can globally remote line-management be as effective as local line-management for IT at MWH?’. The effectiveness of line-management is established by exploring the motivation and engagement of employees through their responses to interview questions. The findings show that line-managers can be equally effective when either local to their employees or in a different geography, but that there are additional challenges when remote. The research identifies methods to maximise the effectiveness of remote line-management, such as the usage of metrics. Recommendations are made based on the results of the research.
    • An exploration of the impact of the death of a child sexual abuser on the grief process of adult survivors who are counsellors

      Millar, Julie A. (University of Chester, 2017-10)
      The purpose of this research study was to explore the intersection of bereavement and child sexual abuse focussing on the specific experience of an adult survivor’s grief process when the abuser dies. Both bereavement and child sexual abuse have been extensively researched, however there is a lack of research on the intersection between these two fields. The literature search highlighted established theory from bereavement, child sexual abuse and trauma research, including complicated grief, disenfranchised grief, continuing bonds, attachment behaviour, and identity. This reflects the complexity of the impacts of the experience of the death of a child sexual abuser on the adult survivor. The research sample consisted of four counsellors/counselling students who had experienced childhood sexual abuse, and the abuser had died more than five years ago. Data was collected using semi structured interviews and analysed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. This process placed the focus on the experience of the participant as the key data. The research found complicated grief reactions to the death of the abuser. Exploration of the death of the abuser activated responses to other losses in childhood associated with the abuse, and identified consequences in adult life. Disenfranchised grief for the losses associated with the abuse was found. No continuing bonds were found, and this was significant in terms of identity and meaning making. Attachment issues and family context were explored in the findings. Disclosure, personal meaning making and counselling were also found to be important. These findings indicate that the experience of the death of a child sexual abuser for the adult survivor implicates many established theories, and that the constellation of loss is different for each survivor. The research indicates that counsellors working with survivors of child sexual abuse when the abuser dies may need to be aware of a wide range of theoretical positions, whilst maintaining awareness of the uniqueness of each survivor’s experience.
    • Can procurement deliver strategic value? An exploratory study within the UK higher education sector

      Ward, Anthony J.; Yu, Ai Chuin (University of Chester, 2017-10)
      Since the turn of the 21st century, the UK higher education (HE) sector has been facing increased political and fiscal pressures brought about by economic uncertainty, austerity and enhanced student expectations. By giving rise to a hypercompetitive environment, it is posited that today’s HE institutions seek to fulfil their societal responsibilities by achieving teaching excellence and ensuring long-term and financial sustainability. This paper postulates that the sector’s quest is attainable by realising value of strategic relevance (SV) and that it is axiomatic for the role of procurement to deliver it. To determine whether procurement can achieve this, this study examines its role and the concept, relevance and influencing forces of SV. This research comprises a cross-sectional exploratory study with procurement influencers, leaders, practitioners and senior stakeholders representing 14 organisations within UK HE. The research methodology is based on a subjective ontology that follows an interpretivist epistemology allied to pragmatism. The conceptual nature of the research problem is examined through a qualitative research design. Review of literature facilitates appreciation of the enigma of the research problem whilst empirical findings gathered through a series of 23 semi-structured interviews, emphasise the symbiotic relationship between the role of procurement and its stakeholders. Conclusions reveal that the ability of procurement to deliver SV within UK HE is significantly influenced by stakeholders’ perceptions of its role. Moreover, it is contingent on institutions’ ascription of SV and overcoming internal challenges that are affected by the dynamic juxtapositioning of macro-environmental forces outside the influence of individual institutions. In exploring a number of attributes, this study makes recommendations as to how the role of procurement within UK HE may be enhanced to deliver SV. It is envisaged that this study may supplement existing research or contribute towards future discussions on the role of procurement within the UK HE sector.
    • Evaluation and Improvement of the Design Process within Henrob Ltd

      Chandler, Keith; McFarland, Damien (University of Chester, 2017-10)
      Henrob is a large engineering organisation that specialises in the manufacture of joining technology for use in the automotive sector. The company has recently been acquired by the large industrial organisation Atlas Copco Group. As part of this acquisition, Henrob has been tasked with the implementation of lean manufacturing methods to firstly evaluate and then improve product development lead time within the UK design team. The role of lean management methods within manufacturing organisations is very well understood. However, the role of lean within new product development is less well so. If Henrob could employ the well-known benefits of lean thinking like waste reduction and information flow and be aware of the complex and intangible nature of the product development stage, leading to reduced product lead times and improved process efficiency, then this could represent a substantial competitive advantage over its competitors. This research is a quantitative cross-sectional study using the experimental research method to test a series of hypotheses. The research initially used process mapping to uncover inefficiencies within the design process that were subsequently addressed by further research. The research experiments were based around the use of new CAD templates designed to reduce errors and improve work flow through the design office. The research was partially successful with regards to lead time reduction and increasing design output. However, improved information flow and higher quality, more cost-effective designs were considered more important outcomes of the research.
    • Investigating the poor financial performance of Disneyland Paris

      Ullah, Farid; Yu, Irene H. H. (University of Chester, 2017-10)
      Never judge a book by its cover. Never judge a beautiful theme park resort by its exterior, as well. Those whom have visited Disneyland Paris might have admired the appealing architecture and landscape of the park and not know that financially it is not doing well. This dissertation aims to investigate why Disneyland Paris is not financially successful when the Disney brand is so popular worldwide and its sister parks in the USA and Tokyo are making profits. Despite it being the most visited theme park resort in France and Europe, it had to ask its parent company, The Walt Disney Company, to bail it out at least three times. Recently, in July 2017, The Walt Disney Company, took over Euro Disney S.C.A., the company that manages Disneyland Paris. The research question is answered through a mixed methods approach, which collects both qualitative and quantitative data and analysed together to provide more solid explanations and results. Financial accounts, annual and quarterly reports, press releases, journal articles and relevant independent annual reports on theme parks worldwide supplemented with relevant theories namely, Hofstede’s cultural dimensions and customer centric culture model, are used to help to draw a clearer understanding of the underlying reasons of what caused the financial issues at Disneyland Paris. The Disney brand is so popular and well-established worldwide. How a famous and seemingly attractive theme park is not profitable is intriguing. From the data collected and analysed, it was fairly clear that the root cause of Disneyland Paris’s poor financial performance is due to its poor management and financial strategies. The management should look for internal solutions instead of frequently accepting external investments to fix its financial problems. It is recommended to look at targeting international students studying in Europe as potential customers.
    • The relationship between compulsive overeating behaviour and self-harm: An analysis of YouTube videos

      Heath, Hannah; Wyatt, Claire (University of Chester, 2017-09)
      Self-harm behaviour and the relatively unrecognised behaviour of compulsive overeating are secretive and isolating in nature. Compulsive overeating behaviour is under-researched and frequently misaligned with Binge Eating Disorder due to a lack of understanding and knowledge. Research investigating self-harm behaviour exists, although qualitative research is limited. This study looked to address the research question, ‘How do those who have compulsive overeating behaviour differ from those who self-harm?’ The design of the study was a qualitative Thematic Analysis based on Braun and Clarke’s (2006) six stages of analysis. Twenty participants’ describing their personal experience of compulsive overeating and self-harm behaviour, through the platform of YouTube, were analysed, revealing 18 main themes. The findings illustrate similarity in the psychological, emotional and behavioural processes of self-harm and compulsive overeating behaviour, although several differences were identified relating to the research question. Key differences identified were the age of onset of behaviour, with existing research and the results of this study showing the prevalent onset of self-harm behaviour in adolescence whereas the results suggest compulsive overeating emerges at a much younger age. Differences were also highlighted in the participants experience and response to life events, their need to belong, in the formation of self-esteem and in the recovery process. Future research furthering intrapersonal and interpersonal understanding of compulsive overeating behaviour as a disorder may inform the design of better prevention and treatment, in addition to exploring the concept of compulsive overeating behaviour as a method of self-harm. Further qualitative research exploring the self-harm recovery process is recommended, to further develop preventative measures and treatment.
    • General public's attitudes towards people who self-harm: Perceived dangerousness and desired social distance

      Hochard, Kevin D.; Ellis, Jacob (University of Chester, 2017-09)
      Public attitudes towards self-harm are critically important, yet relatively unexplored. They can moderate or further exacerbate social and emotional difficulties that instigated initial self-harming episodes and considerably influence help-seeking behaviour. Participants from the general public (N = 109) answered a repeated measures self-report questionnaire that assessed desired social distance and perceived dangerousness towards individuals depicted in eight hypothetical vignettes, which varied between gender (male, female), presence of self-harm (no, yes) and self-harm intent (without suicidal intent, suicidal intent, ambivalent intent). Regarding desired social distance, evidence was identified to suggest that people who engage in self-harm without suicidal intent are perceived more negatively than individuals who do not have a history of self-harm (p < .001, d = 1.55). Numerous factors were identified to further adversely affect desired social distance from individuals who engage in self-harming behaviour. Males tended to have more negative attitudes towards people who self-harmed (p = .015, d = .48) and both genders displayed more negative attitudes towards male self-harmers (p < .001, d = .55). Both males (p = .004, d = .57) and females (p < .001, d = 1.31) who indicated suicidal intent received more negative responses than those who self-harmed without suicidal intent. Overall, perceptions of dangerousness were positively correlated with desired social distance (r = .36, p = < .001), however, gender and intent-specific attitudes contributed conflicting evidence to this relationship. These findings provide foundations for research into public attitudes towards individuals who self-harm, which could potentially inform public awareness campaigns.
    • The state of Christianity in Cheshire: A critical survey of churches' places of worship 1990 to 2015

      Baker, Christopher T. H.; Rainbow, Michael R. (University of Chester, 2017-09)
      The aim of the investigation was to ascertain whether the number of churches in Cheshire being closed is exceeding the number of new churches being opened - indicating continuing secularisation, or conversely, whether in fact openings are exceeding closures - indicating areas of stability or minor resurgence; and also to question what proportion of churches in Cheshire which own their place of worship, have extended or modernised their building - demonstrating confidence in future growth. To answer these questions, a survey of every Christian church, active between 1990 and 2015, within the four unitary boroughs of Cheshire (Warrington, Cheshire East, Cheshire West & Chester, and Halton), was carried out by personal visit, or website exploration in the cases of churches which hired public buildings for worship. Every gain and loss of an active church over the 25 year time frame was recorded in order to reveal the reality of the situation overall and the trends which have occurred. The research results revealed that 22 of the 105 so-called closures were actually strategic replacement or relocation decisions (inferring growth not decline) which casts doubt on the validity of national closure statistics and on the conclusions of commentators who have (historically) been misled by ambiguous statistics. Of 118 new, mostly Pentecostal churches, 60 (51%) were hidden in hired public buildings such as schools, giving an erroneous impression of fewer churches. A second economic trend was evident from the 25 Local Ecumenical Partnerships found, which had enabled various denominational combinations to share buildings. As well as an increase in all indicators of growth and social reconnection, there was a marginal net gain over 25 years of 13 new churches (Halton -4, CHE +2, CW&C -1, Warrington +16) - a modest, but positive outcome, which indicated stability overall.
    • A comparison of varied and generalised mindfulness interventions on cold-induced pain in healthy adults

      Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J.; Fleming, Suzanne (University of Chester, 2017-09)
      Mindfulness is becoming increasingly popular, not only in mainstream culture, but in a therapeutic context as well. Current research has shown that mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) can be used to manage pain as well as psychological distress. This raises fundamental questions about how interventions should be standardised and delivered. The aim of this study was to trial two MBIs, a ‘varied’ approach against a ‘generalised’ approach, and compare their efficacy. Twenty-two participants completed a battery of self-report questionnaires to establish baseline levels of mindfulness before completing a cold-pressor task designed to measure their pain tolerance. After completing either of the 15 minute mindfulness training, participants’ mindfulness levels and pain tolerances were reassessed. It was thought that after receiving one of these mindfulness-based interventions, participants would experience an increase in pain tolerance, as measured by a cold-pressor. It was also theorised that mindfulness training would have a positive effect on participants’ self-reported mindfulness. Contrary to expectations, the results did not reveal any significant interaction between either mindfulness interventions on pain tolerance nor self-reported mindfulness. Although the hypotheses were not supported, existing research recognises the complexities in defining and generalising mindfulness. Further work is needed to explore the underlying mechanisms of mindfulness and to establish the viability of providing therapist-free mindfulness training as method of pain-reduction.