• A sociological analysis of who volunteers are, and why they volunteer in sport and non-sport organisations

      Bloyce, Daniel; Mead, Rebecca (University of Chester, 2009)
      The aim of this study was to explore, from a figurational perspective, 1) the similarities and differences between individuals who volunteer in a sporting environment and those that volunteer in other volunteering environments, and 2) the shared and distinct issues that might exist within each area of the voluntary sector. There is a reasonable amount of literature on volunteering generally, including some from a sociological perspective; however, there is much less available concerning volunteering in a sporting context. Furthermore, voluntary Sports Organisations are a substantial provider of services and opportunities for participation and central government include goals of increasing sport participation through them (Game Plan, 2002). The study was based in the county of Flintshire in North Wales. Using a combination of research approaches both questionnaires and interviews were used. The questionnaires aimed to produce demographic information about both sports and non-sports volunteers. For the most part, both groups of volunteers were above the age of 45 and well educated. Sports volunteers were more likely to be employed in full time roles. Non-sports volunteers were more likely to be female, where as sports volunteers were more likely to be male. Individuals from both groups were likely to undertake more than one role for their organisation. The purpose of conducting interviews was to provide a more in depth analysis of the views and perceptions of volunteers themselves, that is, what it is that they do and think about volunteering. For non-sports volunteers, their primary motivation was helping others, although when explored more closely, this was also aligned to the satisfaction gained from helping others often coupled with a number of other internal functions, such as, the socialising aspects and gaining a sense of purpose. For sports volunteers their motivation was very much aligned with their love of sport itself. This study found that for the sports volunteers interviewed, their voluntary activity was a way of them engaging with their sports. For some it was a necessary function in order to keep the club they played for going, for others it was a way of maintaining their connection with the sport. Non-sports volunteers made a proactive choice to volunteer where as, for the most part sports volunteers gradually became involved in the running of the organisation as a consequence of their membership. Both groups considered frustrations with their voluntary activity, for the most part non-sports volunteers discuss fund raising and bureaucracy. Sports volunteers frustrations were around a lack of commitment from others and difficulty in recruiting new members as well as funding. I have argued that it is the networks of figurations in which individuals are involved that influences behaviour. These networks have both constraining and enabling elements that either support or limit volunteering behaviour. Further, these networks influence the types of activity one in which one engages. The conclusions from this study have implications for both the methodology and future research questions. What is clear is that there is much more research to be undertaken reflecting on volunteering in sport and from a sociological perspective.
    • A sociological investigation in to the dynamic power balance between the Football League and Football Association: Using the Football League Cup as a window for exploration

      Bloyce, Daniel; Hopkins, Gareth (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2008)
      This thesis suggests that the Football League Cup was introduced as part of a wider social policy to challenge the Football Association’s position in power. Therefore, testing the figurational perspective and, using the Football League Cup as a window for exploration, this thesis has investigated the dynamic power relationship between the Football Association and Football League and, later, on to the emerging relationship with international football governing bodies – FIFA and UEFA. Therefore, this investigation has; (1) Traced the development, sociologically, of the Football League Cup and; (2) investigated the fluctuating relationship between differing football governing bodies. Such analysis is unique in that academics have failed to recognise the sociological significance in that football is the only sport in England governed by two separate authorities and, as such, this is the first dedicated investigation of its kind. Furthermore, this is the first sociological study to examine England’s ‘secondary’ football cup competition – the Football League Cup. Documentary analysis was the chosen research method for investigation. Specifically, to investigate the controversy surrounding the Football League Cup, newspaper analysis was conducted using two online resources – The Times Digital Archive and NewsBank Info Web. To help understand the shifting power balance between the FA and Football League, research took place at the FA headquarters in Soho, London – here, a systematic analysis of FA minutes and literature within the FA library took place. This thesis has identified that the Football League Cup was introduced as part of an ulterior motive to challenge the position of the Football Association. In fact, this dissertation highlights that the FA have been in conflict with other associations since before their advent in 1863. Furthermore, this investigation has contradicted the claim, made by some, that the Football League Cup is ‘pointless’ or ‘worthless’. In fact, this investigation has found that the Football League cup has proven to be extremely useful to the lesser sides that have a second opportunity to draw a ‘bigger’ club (as they already have this opportunity in the FA Cup) and, also, the tournament is an important asset to the Football League who were able to use the competition as a ‘tool’ for negotiation. Nevertheless, although the FA has been challenged throughout their existence, the organisation remains the number one authority for English professional football, formally speaking.
    • Soldier bee

      Haig, Francesca; Blaney, Robert (University of Chester, 2009)
    • Soldier Endurance and the First World War Trench Press

      Craggs, Neal (University of Chester, 2018-09-19)
      Soldiers in the First World War, began publishing trench journals shortly after the German and Allied Armies entrenched along the Western Front. Although, they were not limited to the Western Front, and by the end of the war were present in many theatres. They were of varying quality, sometimes printed, sometimes hand-drawn. They constitute a unique collection of literature, poetry, and journalism, and give voice to a culture that, however briefly, emerged in the trenches of the Great War, and vanished with the signing of peace. These journal provide exceptional insight into the lives and thoughts of the inhabitants of the trenches. They are by no means a flawless historical source. They were subject to censorship, both official and self-imposed; the soldiers who wrote them were undoubtedly, in some ways, prejudiced and ignorant; they were written for an audience whose interests were particular and restrictive. Therefore, the soldier newspapers do not provide a comprehensive or uncomplicated view into the First World War, or the trench system. Nevertheless, they do represent an independent, unique, and under researched source of trench literature. This dissertation will comprise a limited study of a selection of trench journals, with the intention of analysing the ways in which these newspapers may have been beneficial to the soldier in the trenches. This analysis will be undertaken with a view to ascertaining ways in which soldiers were able to endure the harshness of trench warfare for years. It will consist of four chapters, the first being a source analysis and literature review combined, and the next three chapters will look into the ways that the trench journals present soldiers' perceptions of the trenches, the home front, and the enemy, respectively.
    • “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.
    • South Asian women’s views and experiences of weight, diet and physical activity changes before, during and after pregnancy

      Mellor, Duane; Brignall, Kathryn (University of Chester, 2013-09)
      Being pregnant and becoming a parent is a crucial time when lifestyle behaviours may change and weight gain and retention may occur. This point in the life cycle presents a critical opportunity to advise and support South Asian women, who have a high risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus at lower BMIs, in order to reduce health inequalities, prevent ill health and improve health outcomes in this group. However, interventions necessitate an understanding of the factors affecting weight during this time, yet, to date, there is a lack of evidence in this field. The retrospective exploration of South Asian women’s views and experiences of weight, diet and physical activity changes before, during and after pregnancy and the possible implications of these changes for healthcare services and interventions. Ten South Asian women with a child between 7-24 months of age, living in Bolton, Greater Manchester, participated in a semi-structured, one-to-one interview. The interviews developed a detailed insight into weight, diet and physical activity changes before, during and after pregnancy and the factors impacting on these. Transcripts were analysed using phenomenological approaches. Respondent validation was used to confirm the findings. Interviews primarily took place in participants’ homes, although health, community and children’s centres were also utilised. The findings helped to develop an understanding of the factors influencing weight, diet and physical activity changes before, during and after pregnancy in a group of South Asian women. The findings suggested that views and experiences, and hence motivators and barriers, of change are not static across pregnancy and the post-partum period. Prior to conception, women felt in control of their weight and therefore following a healthy lifestyle was of little importance. During pregnancy, healthy behaviours were difficult to make and sustain and weight gain was perceived to be uncontrollable. The post-partum period was an important time to make positive behaviour changes but women also faced significant barriers to change during this time, particularly when breastfeeding, and South Asian women appeared to face additional cultural barriers. A lack of advice and support from healthcare professionals during and after pregnancy was also reported and consequently important opportunities to encourage positive behaviour change and overcome barriers to change in this group were missed. Conclusion: Maternity services which aim to advise and support South Asian women in the areas of weight, diet and physical activity before, during and after pregnancy must consider the factors influencing them during this time.
    • Space creation dynamics in basketball: A comparison between British and Spanish leagues

      Worsfold, Paul R.; Crum, Phillip (University of Chester, 2013-09-30)
      The most important states for the basketball offence are the ones that produce a rupture in the defence; these are referred to as space creation dynamics (SCD). The British League (BBL) currently falls out of the top 20 domestic leagues in Europe. Spanish Liga ACB is currently ranked the highest league outside of North America. The purpose of this study is to compare the SCD classes used between the BBL and the Liga ACB. The SCD classes are Space Creation with Ball Dribbled, Space Creation with Ball not Dribbled, Perimeter Isolation, Post Isolation, Space Creation Without Ball, On Ball Screen and Out of Ball Screen. Each SCD class occurrence was recorded on a location grid. Twelve games from both the BBL and the Liga ACB were analysed. A total of 3793 possessions were analysed. Intra- and inter-rater reliability was performed using the Cooper et al (2007) method. The results identified several differences between the SCD classes used between the BBL and Liga ACB; Space Created ball Dribbled, On the ball Screen and Off the Ball Screen in the percentage of usage between the BBL and the Liga ACB. A statistical difference was found between the two leagues. BBL used 31.6% on space created with ball dribbled compared to Liga ACB 18.5%. Liga ACB used 19.5% of possessions using on the ball screen compared to BBL 7.5%. Liga ACB used 11.8% with out of ball screen compared to BBLs 5.4%. The practical implications of this study should be primarily aimed at the coaches and then secondly aimed at the players. Developing the BBL to use multiple solutions to create a rupture in the defence would lead to a more developed league which could mimic the tactical play of the Liga ACB.
    • Stability of alignment during extended hold times in the aiming phase of elite archers

      Marsden, Lewis (University of Chester, 2015-09)
      The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences in the stability of alignment in elite archers when hold times in the aiming phase are increased. Eight elite archers (age = 21 ± 2.3 year, height = 1.79 ± .13m, mass = 78.35 ± 7.27kg) took part in the study (two females and six males). Participants shot six arrows under three separate conditions: 100%, 200% and 300% of average hold times in the aiming phase. The velocities of the key anatomical landmarks of alignment (LRSP, LLHE, LAP, RAP, RMHE, RRSP) were measured under all conditions and arrow score was recorded as a measure of performance. One-way repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) and bonferroni post-hoc statistical analysis were adopted for kinematic variables. Friedman’s test of differences betweem repeated measures and Wilcoxen signed-rank test were adopted for arrow score. It was found that velocities at five of the six kinematic variables increased significantly as HT increased (LRSP: p < .001, LLHE: p = .022, LAP: p <.001, RMHE: p = .001, RRSP: p < .001). Arrow scores decreased significantly as HT increased (p = .02). It was concluded that increasing HTs during the aiming phase decreases the stability of alignment and subsequently reduces arrow score.
    • Stability regions of numerical methods for solving fractional differential equations

      Yan, Yubin; Nwajeri, Kizito U. (University of Chester, 2012-09)
      This dissertation deals with proper consideration of stability regions of well known numerical methods for solving fractional differential equations. It is based on the algorithm by Diethelm [15], predictor-corrector algorithm by Garrappa [31] and the convolution quadrature proposed by Lubich [3]. Initially, we considered the stability regions of numerical methods for solving ordinary differential equation using boundary locus method as a stepping stone of understanding the subject matter in Chapter 4. We extend the idea to the fractional differential equation in the following chapter and conclude that each stability regions of the numerical methods differs because of their differences in weights. They are illustrated by a number of graphs.
    • Stabilizing a nonlinear system by using feedback control

      Yan, Yubin; Kareem, Rasaq (University of Chester, 2010)
      This dissertation considers how to stabilize a nonlinear system by using feedback control. To stabilize a nonlinear system, we first need to find the unstable steady state. Then we consider the linearized problem at this steady state and solve the Riccati equation using the linear quadratic regulator (lqr). We then design the feedback controller on the linearized system,. Finally, we apply the feedback controller on the original nonlinear system. We use the forward Euler method, backward Euler method and Trapezoidal method to consider the discretization of the nonlinear system. We design the algorithm and consider two numerical examples of ecological models and verify that the results obtained are in accordance with theoretical results.
    • Staff and student perceptions of sustainability and its integration into university curricula

      Alexander, Roy; Hunt, Tamara; Evans, Martin; Lerczak, Alex (University of Chester, 2014-09)
      In the world today, an awareness and consideration of sustainability and sustainable development is becoming increasingly important. Education and public awareness have been identified as critical components of the transition to sustainability. A great deal of responsibility is now placed on universities in order to achieve a sustainable future due to their heavy influence on students’ skills and attitudes. This dissertation investigates staff and student perceptions and understandings of, and attitudes towards, sustainability and its integration into university curricula. The study also explores the sustainability of student lifestyles and the factors influencing their views and behaviour. The project’s data was collected using in-depth student questionnaires, six interviews with Programme Leaders, and three senior support staff members at the University of Chester. The project revealed that there is greater awareness of sustainability among staff and students as well as engagement with the issue. Although sustainability-related content is being increasingly integrated within university curricula, the extent of its integration varies significantly between disciplines due to staff perceptions.
    • 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.
    • Storm troopers and trench raiders: Innovation and perception of German and Canadian specialized assault units in the First World War

      Zimmermann, Simon (University of Chester, 2013)
      The initial approach of the German Army on infantry tactics before 1914 was antiquated at best. There are three distinctive attributes which can be applied to the German infantry of 1914 during the outbreak of First World War and the first engagements in Belgium and France: order, discipline and cohesion. The Canadian militia and its contribution to the war in Europe, the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF), on the other hand were completely different in almost every regard in comparison to the Imperial German Army.
    • Strength training and bone mineral density of active postmenopausal women

      Fallows, Stephen; Hunt, Tracey (University of Chester, 2006-09-26)
      Rationale: Osteoporosis is a global problem that affects one in three women and one in 12 men. More deaths are caused each year by osteoporosis than are caused by breast cancer, uterine cancer and ovarian cancer combined. Due to recent claims that exercise can help prevent and even treat osteoporosis, numerous studies have recruited people to be involved in many different types of exercise. However, no study has looked at the effect of a 15 minute strength training programme on already active postmenopausal women. The main focus of this study is to assess the benefit of adding three sessions of 15 minutes strength training to an already active population with low bone mineral density. Methods: Initially 31 women were recruited for the study. However, due to numerous reasons 19 subjects completed the 12 week study. Bone mineral density was measured and the subjects were randomly assigned to either the control of exercise group. The exercise group completed 12 weeks of strength training (three sessions per week working at 80% of their 1 rep max) in addition to their normal activities. The control group continued their normal activities for the 12 week study. Exercise programmes were adapted every four weeks to ensure subjects were still working at the desired intensity. At the end of the study bone density was measured again and data assessed using SPSS for Windows, Release 13.0. Results: The age range for this study was 46 years of age to 70 years of age. For the purpose of this study Low bone density was categorised as having T-scores below -1. All subjects with a t-score above -1 were excluded at the initial testing stage. Overall, mean bone mineral density for the control group was 91.83% ±13.6 and for the exercise group was 85.19% ± 15.58. However, there was no significant difference between the two groups at the initial stage. Following the 12 weeks study the mean bone mineral density for the control group was 91.69% ± 11.176 and for the exercise group was 88.09% ± 19.62. There was found to be no significant change in bone mineral density for the control group at the end of the study. However, the exercise group were found to have significantly increased bone mineral density following 12 weeks of strength training (p = 0.002). In addition, the exercise group also showed significant strength increases following the study (p = 0.02). Conclusion: This study has important, and positive, findings not only for individuals wishing to improve their bone density and quality of life, but also for health care professionals trying to reduce the huge £1.8 billion annual cost of osteoporosis related injuries. Although the results of this study are encouraging, more research is needed in this area.
    • Stress in midwifery: An empirical study

      Somerville, David; Birch, Linda (University of Liverpool (Chester College of Higher Education)National Health Service, 2000-09)
      To examine stress amongst a group of midwives, and establish whether perceived occupational stress actually originates from sources not connected to the work environment. Although many research projects have looked at stress within the N.H.S. very little research has previously been done addressing midwives. Midwives working in an N.H.S. Trust maternity unit. The sickness rates amongst this group were believed to have increased during a recent period of organisational restructuring, with "stress" cited as the main cause for absence. A random sample of one hundred midwives completed three questionnaires. One on basic demographic data, a second on stress analysis - The professional life scale (Fontana 1989), and a third on life style and experiences, which may contribute to stress and anxiety (Holmes and Rahe 1967). Only 6% of midwives scored high on the stress questionnaire. 47% scored low and 47% scored moderately. However, 25% scored high on the life style and experiences questionnaire. The results indicate a predisposition to ill health as a consequence of stress and life changes. There was no correlation between stress and life change scores. High stress scores were not associated with life changes or problems exclusively at home. The replies may suggest a need to analyse personality and individual coping mechanisms as a predisposing factor in relation to stress. Stress was related to organisational change and also to home - work conflicts. Personality and/or individual coping mechanisms may be a major contributing factor in determining the way an individual perceives and copes with a potentially stressful situation. It is possible that the personality characteristics of the midwives are the most important determining factors for their perception of, and experience of, stress. Whilst the total amount of life changes itself does seem to influence the stress level, the amount of change required to produce a physiological stress response in each person appears to be dependent on the individual's perception and coping mechanisms. The sickness rate is measured by management every week, and the absence reported by staff as being due to stress has increased dramatically since the organisational changes were introduced. The current way of thinking within this and possibly other large organisations appears to be the employment of stress counsellors and staff support workers. From these results, this may not appear to be the most appropriate way to deal with the issue of stress.
    • Striving towards inclusion ‘utopia’: The implementation of a disability sport inclusion programme in a sports development unit in Flintshire, Wales

      Bloyce, Daniel; Bullivant-Evans, Donna (University of Chester, 2014-10)
      During the course of the past few decades there has been an increasing shift towards the protection of the rights of disabled people within UK policy (Barnes & Mercer, 1998; Thomas & Smith, 2009). Houlihan and Lindsey (2013) highlighted how there have been significant developments in British sport policy since 1990, and a wealth of literature which has explored sport policy and development (Houlihan & White, 2002; Bloyce & Smith, 2010; Bergsgard et al, 2007; Houlihan, 1991; 1997; 2005; 2012; Houlihan & Green, 2011; Houlihan & Lindsey, 2013). However, there does not seem to be the equivalent level of academic interest within disability sport policy. Thomas and Smith (2009) and Smith and Haycock (2011) outlined that whilst disability sport exists within policy; policy and political interest remains marginal and the practical responsibility for the coordination and development of disability sport opportunities will remain with disability sport organisations and be ‘kept at arm’s length from direct government involvement’ (Smith & Haycock, 2011, p. 98). In this context, this thesis examines the policy implementation process of a disability sport inclusion programme from a figurational sociological perspective, in a local authority sports development unit in Flintshire, Wales. The thesis was based on semistructured interviews with Disability Sport Wales’ Partnership Manager and Sport Flintshire’s Manager, and focus groups with ten Sports Development Officers from Sport Flintshire. It was found that there had been a shift towards inclusion being the group ‘habitus’ over a period of time, possibly due to the way in which the development team was managed and led. Whilst evident that policy implementation is a complex, multi-level ‘game’, ‘insport’, a Welsh disability sport inclusion programme was perceived to be a key tool which could potentially support the lengthening chains of interdependence of the disability sport figuration, and help local authorities strive towards inclusion ‘utopia’. However, it was recommended that further research should be undertaken at a later stage of the ‘insport’ development programme in order to gain greater sociological understanding of the policy implementation process.
    • Students perceptions of service quality at University of Chester Seaborne Library

      Webb, Paul; Velayudhan, Satish (University of Chester, 2009-11)
      Delivering high levels of service is becoming increasingly important in a number of settings, particularly if an organisation is facing increased competition. This report examines the issue of how service quality can be assessed and delivered within the context of a library setting. It achieves this by examining the literature regarding service quality measurement and delivery. It then implements a modified version of the SERVQUAL / libQUAL+ instrument in order to identify the levels of service quality being delivered in specific library - the University of Chester Seaborne library. From this, conclusions are made regarding the suitability of the modified instrument for service quality measurement, and the particular service issues that University of Chester Seaborne library faces. The report concludes by making recommendations for service improvement, based on the findings of the literature review.
    • A study into user acceptance of new technology: British Airways ground transport department Heathrow Terminal 5

      McCool, Clare K. (University of Chester, 2009-05)
      This project was conducted with the help and encouragement of British Airways (BA) management. It was carried out at Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5 (T5) where a new Resource Management System (RMS) that is based upon Internet Protocol (IP) has been implemented. RMS has replaced traditional pen and paper and radio systems for allocating work tasks to 4,000 airport operational staff. This research project studied one application of the RMS system; the allocation of tasks to the coach drivers in the Ground Transport Services (GTS) department. The user acceptance of the RMS system by the drivers was evaluated. In the previous 20 years, user acceptance theories have been developed which have shown that increased user acceptance of new Information Technology (IT) projects significantly reduces costs and improves efficiency (Davis, 1980). The most comprehensive theory is that of Sun and Zhang (2006) who identify critical factors regarding individual user acceptance (gender, age, experience, cultural background and intellectual capability). This research project used a case study methodology: three days were spent airside at T5 observing and interviewing a sample of drivers. The project research question was: 'Can the degree of RMS acceptance by the GTS end-users be determined by factors identified in user acceptance theories?' Essentially, it was not possible to answer this question because of two reasons. First there was little difference in level of user acceptance; it was very high for all users. Second there was also very little difference in the sample and population. The drivers were all male, over 90% between 42 and 65 years of age, with similar levels of experience regarding the RMS technology and computers in general. In addition, it was not possible to measure any difference between the intellectual capabilities of the participants. A difference in the cultural background was identified; there were two ethnic groups, Asian and Caucasian. However, detailed analysis of the responses to the questionnaire demonstrated that there was no evidence of different levels of user acceptance of these groups. Recommendations to improve the testing of user acceptance theories are included in this report.
    • A study investigating the effects of the PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies) curriculum on the child's emotional and behavioural development as perceived by the child's class teacher

      Mintz, Rita; Cairns, Dianne (University of Liverpool (Chester College of Higher Education)Flintshire Primary Care Service for Children, 2002-11)
      Recent reports detail the growing concern of mental health difficulties among children and adolescents (DfES 2001, NAfW Everybody's Business, 2001). Schools are considered an ideal location for the prevention, early identification and treatment of children's difficulties. Increasingly schools are using counsellors to help work with children with emotional and behavioural difficulties. However, there is limited information around the effectiveness of school-based interventions. The PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies), (Greenberg & Kusche, 1994) Curriculum is a comprehensive programme for promoting emotional and social competencies and reducing aggression and behaviour problems in primary school-aged children. Designed to be delivered by class teachers to primary school aged children, evaluations have demonstrated significant improvements in children's emotional and behavioural development on a variety of sites in America but to date, to the author's knowledge, there is no published research in the UK. This study examines the short-term effectiveness of the PATHS curriculum as perceived by the child's class teacher. The study is a pre and post intervention study comprising of 5 schools, 13 teachers and 313 children. The authors of PATHS advise delivery of the programme to be at least 2-3 times per week, throughout the child's primary school education. The majority of the teachers in this study were only able to deliver the programme once a week, and the intervention period was brief, (October 2001- July 2002). However, despite these limitations, the findings indicate improvements on teacher ratings of emotional awareness, behavioural difficulties, peer relationships and children's self esteem. The results are discussed in terms of the efficacy of the measures, the limitations of the study and the implications for teachers, counsellors and future research.
    • The study of factors affecting breastfeeding uptake and duration within Somali women

      Psarou, Katie; Diab, Huda (University of Chester, 2010-04)
      It is widely recognized that human breast-milk is optimal for the normal healthy growth and development of the infant. A wide range of literature is available with evidence clearly demonstrating the benefits of breastfeeding and the impact of exclusive breastfeeding on the baby. Despite this breastfeeding initiation rates in the UK remain amongst the lowest in Europe and especially in the North West of England. The basis of this research was to unveil the factors which relate to breastfeeding uptake and duration, and also to find out whether or not these agree with previous findings. Participants were recruited from ‘Somali Women’s’ community centres in Liverpool. Results were obtained through two focus groups. Findings from focus group 1 show that although most women choose to breastfed initially, half of the participants had to stop within six months due to starting another pregnancy. In some cases the women felt mix-feeding was more efficient because the baby appeared to remain hungry between feeding times when fed solely on breast milk. A combination of both self determination and family support lead to a longer breastfeeding duration amongst this group. Results from focus group 2 were similar but most participants spoke very poor English leading to a language barrier between them and the hospital staff. All participants were of Muslim faith; and religion played a key factor in their determination to continue breast feeding up to six months and longer. Findings from this study in line with previous investigations, illustrated the need for better communication, with and education of, pregnant mothers to give them a greater understanding of the benefits of breast feeding. Findings show that there are many determinants to long-term breastfeeding and parents need to work together when infant feeding choices are made. Antenatal support influences long-term decisions. Private places for women need to be made more readily available for breastfeeding women outside of their homes, and further flexibility provided for working mothers.