• What Factors Impact the Mental Health of Transgender People?

      Lafferty, Moira E.; Cartwright, Tim (University of Chester, 2017)
      Gender dysphoria is a major cause of distress for transgender people, however the very nature of being transgender brings numerous other factors that cause stress and anxiety which can impact mental health. To identify and further understand these factors, 167 participants took part in an online survey which sought to understand their experiences and feelings surrounding various aspects of their transgenderism. Qualitative analysis of the responses revealed 37 lower order themes or factors that appear to impact the mental health of transgender people. These can be placed into 6 key dimensions; their feelings towards the initial development of their gender dysphoria; the extent in which they are accepted and understood by family, friends, and society; how successful they are at aligning their appearance with their gender identity; the quality of professional services received, including the effects of hormone treatment and surgery; the quality of their personal and sexual relationships before and after transition; their current feelings towards being transgender. Recommendations from the data include the necessity of social support from family and friends, as well as more societal education. Furthermore, more professional support is advocated as well as improvements in clinical and professional settings to speed up treatments for transgender people. Finally, transgender people may benefit from an intervention programme which considers these 6 key areas and seeks to ameliorate any negative psychological effects that are directly caused by the abovementioned factors.
    • What is the impact of a peer counselling approach to help vulnerable children during lunchtimes?

      Tindall, Angela M. (University of Chester, 2008-11)
      There are many forms of peer support and collaboration projects and they are becoming increasingly popular throughout the world in both secondary and primary school. Peer counselling is individualised and palliative and this study examines the impact of four trained Year 5 and Year 6 counsellors on four Year 4 and Year 5 vulnerable, marginalised children with an extremely low sociometric status, who would become the focus group. The aim of the study was to increase prosocial interactions of the focus group. Sociometric testing was used before the project in order to identify the focus group and counsellors. Sociometric testing was used after the project to assess the impact of the intervention. Behavioural observations and questionnaires were also used to provide variable support for the projects effectiveness. Although two of the focus group left before the end of the project, the outcome was that positive interactions with peer counsellors and other children in the playground during lunchtimes very gradually increased. One child of the two remaining had a higher social status at the end of the project. Peer counselling proved a very useful model for a healthier world outside the classroom and a useful supplement to existing pastoral and inclusive strategies.
    • Where Ghosts are No More: Exploring Abandoned Lanscapes and Mnemonic Tendencies Through Material Culture in the Villages of Imber and Tyneham

      Williams, Howard; Rodriguez-Franco, Christina (University of Chester, 2017)
      There are many ways in which society accommodates and remembers historical events: however, one of the most commonly used forms of remembering is in the construction of physical monuments or memorials. These memorials are said to be designed and determined by the community and the shared memory of a person or event, yet in the creation of these spaces of remembrance and memorialization there are, according to Moriarty (1997, p. 125) and Dross (2012), dominant and dominated forms of memories: memories and memorials that exist with approval by agencies of power (dominant) and those which are created by spontaneity and devotion (dominated). Gabriel Moshenska (2010) also mentions this power of selectiveness by stating how some narratives are expressed while others are marginalized or suppressed by a dominant force. Moshenska goes further to say that in this selectiveness and power struggle the past and the landscape are re-imagined. Because of the selectiveness in how -and who- an object, person, or event is represented in permanent states is dictated by a powerful force, society tends to believe that those are the only versions of the history in existence. But the standard forms of memorialization through paint, concrete, marble, or bronze are not the only conduits to remembering the past.
    • Who am I as a teacher? The professional identity of teachers and its implications for management of the “Every Child Matters” agenda

      Warhurst, Russell; Black, Kate (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2008-06-01)
      Changes within national and local government following the 2003 Every Child Matters agenda which fashioned the 2004 Children’s Act and recent 2007 Children’s Plan, is requiring professionals across children’s services, until now working in isolation, to work inter-professionally for the well-being of the child. As the fragmented discourse of service provision in England and Wales is replaced by an integrated, holistic approach, this will, it is suggested, have significant implications for all professionals working with children, young people and their families. Exploring the imperative through the lens of teachers’ professional identity, this research considers how its precepts might risk the agenda’s management and success. The research design takes constructivism as an epistemological stance and adopts a sequential mixed methods approach. Grounded within the literature of professional identity and inter-professional working, it works abductively with the data and draws upon the insights of the established socio-psychological theorising, approached from the theoretical constructs of social identity theory, also the paradigmatically divergent communities of practice and activity theory, to explore the interactions between teacher identity and current public service policy reform. Conducted with a sample of teachers from Secondary Schools from within Cheshire and Wirral (N=40), this small-scale, triangulated, empirical research maps, through survey and interviews, perceptions of teacher identity and the Every Child Matters (ECM) imperative. The data collected, both quantitative and qualitative, reveals that whilst teachers perceive their identities differently, they hold considerable strength of identity, possibly a coping mechanism as they are forced into an unfamiliar socio-cultural context. With influencing factors, especially those of gender, teaching life phase and subject taught, demonstrated to influence both perceptions of teacher identity but also their approach to the ECM agenda and inter-professionalism, this pragmatic aspect is of paramount practical importance for change interventionists. As such, this research has value in elucidating how teachers perceive their professional identity and its implications for the facilitation of inter-professionalism. Such it is hoped will be of value for Leaders/Managers in supporting teachers as they implement this change.
    • Who built St Oswald's? A study of land ownership and the physical development of Chester's northern suburb from the 17th century to the present

      Gaunt, Peter; Bird, Polly (University of Liverpool (Chester College of Higher Education), 1998-11)
      This dissertation discussed the development of the Chester suburb of St. Oswald's from 1641-1998, focusing on the physical development of the area and land ownership.
    • 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.
    • Whole brain teaching and learning in an infant classroom: An empirical study

      Dukes, Kathryn (University of Liverpool (Chester College of Higher Education), 1996-07)
      The study explores the validity and applicability of ideas deriving from what is known as 'integrative learning'. The investigation took place over a twelve week period with a class of Reception and Year One children in an urban primary school situated in a family stress area. The research focuses on activities associated with 'right brain thinking'. 'Circle time' and other activities designed to encourage a positive self-concept in the children and positive interpersonal relationships were trialled along with scripted fantasy, which was introduced with a view to enhancing the children's imagination and the quality of their language work. Evidence is provided of particular positive effects resulting from the introduction of the activities; these include more positive interpersonal relationships, improvement in academic achievement and increase in motivation.
    • Why all the Anxiety? Exploring ‘the Horror’ of the Darkest Interior in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and the Adventure Narrative

      Hall, Leonora (University of Chester, 2015)
      This dissertation sets out to prove that anxiety in Heart of Darkness arises because ‘heroic’ behaviour abroad inevitably transgresses the values which inform Victorian masculine identities, thereby undermining them. The premise is based on the strong links between fin-de-siècle adventure stories set within the empire and notions of Victorian masculinity, with the main focus on Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (1899), whilst drawing on late-nineteenth-century texts from Stevenson, Rider Haggard, Kipling, Conan Doyle and Stoker, as well as the real-life derring-do of Henry Morton Stanley. This dissertation shows that degenerative behaviour set within the colonial space, where empire and masculine authority ‘permitted’ violence, is a necessary part of the male hero’s rite de passage, and such behaviour can be viewed as attractive and forgivable. The conventional/transgressive identity of colonial adventurers is explored through Marlow, with Kurtz offering Marlow the opportunity to experience, in extremis, the dilemmas and struggles which reside within the ‘self’. This dissertation shows how the anxiety in Heart of Darkness is not just discovering and embracing the ability to transgress, but it arises from the undoing of an idealised fiction of heroic masculinity by offering a horrific alternative: the ‘triumphant darkness’ within. In extending the reasoning of reverse colonization so that the returning hero becomes the agent of decay on home soil, this dissertation claims that anxiety is manifold in fin-de-siècle imperial adventure narratives, not only from embracing transgressive behaviour which undermines the ideals of the Victorian adventure hero’s identity, but also from the threat to the very foundations of society, because the returning hero brings his barbarian behaviour home with him and, either in action, through finding his new identity no longer fits within societal norms, or through the intended reader; he corrupts his society.
    • ‘With whom shall I identify?’: Nineteenth-Century Representations of Parental Influences and Adolescent Identity Formation

      Ravenscroft, Michelle D. (University of Chester, 2018-11-26)
      This inter-disciplinary research considers cultural influences, such as religion and education, on adolescent identity formation and parental role-models in nineteenth-century texts. Definitions and representations of constructed identities are explored in relation to the influence of cultural factors using twentieth-century psychological, sociological and psychiatric theories surrounding adolescent and parental identity. Representations of adolescent experiences and parental influences within the home and society reflect changing attitudes towards shifting gender boundaries throughout the century. The conflict of changing family dynamics, in relation to parental roles and authority, are also considered with regards to how these influence the adolescent during this critical life-stage. The conflict and crisis involved in the process of adolescent identity formation is linked to the need for the adolescent to identify with a successful role-model. The analysis of representations of socially constructed role-models in the nineteenth-century suggests there are many factors that determine the success or failure of an adopted identity. This research supports the theory that the concept of a problematic adolescence is not borne out of the inability of adolescents to form an identity, rather the inability of nineteenth-century parents to provide a stable, positive and successful role-model, and the adolescent’s increasing awareness of this instability and their need for an individual identity. Representations support the argument that the growing pressure of individual responsibility for life-choices throughout the nineteenth century also increases the conflict and crisis of the adolescent experience and creates an adolescent desire for autonomy to realise their full potential.
    • Working with suicide: An exploration of the tensions that may exist if counsellors’ beliefs and agency suicide policy conflict

      Jones, Elaine (University of Chester, 2015-10)
      This research explores the experiences of counsellors working with suicidal clients with a focus on how counsellors respond to, and are affected by, a suicide policy with which they have disagreements. A comprehensive review of the literature was conducted. Four counsellors who have tensions with their agency’s suicide policy were interviewed and their experiences explored. The data was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The research concludes that counsellors who would otherwise feel confident in their work with suicidal clients feel anxious and concerned for the safety of their clients as a result of working within a policy that feels inadequate. The research also demonstrates that counsellors feel isolated when in this position and points to the need for counsellor organisations, such as the BACP, to provide a forum in which such issues can be addressed. The research has also resulted in the production of suggestions as to how policy could be improved and demonstrated that the implementation of these changes would alleviate the stress felt by counsellors and provide more support to clients experiencing a suicidal crisis. In addition the conclusions of the research suggest, controversially, that it is ethical for counsellors to breach policy if they believe that the policy does not have the best interest of the client at its heart, and if it does not protect the client in times of crisis.
    • The year of mutinies: An analysis of the naval mutinies at Spithead and the Nore in 1797

      Mackie, Philip D. (University of Chester, 2010)
      The so-called "great naval mutinies of 1797" marked a significant turning point in Royal Navy history. The events of that year sent shockwaves through the navy and fundamentally altered the attitudes of officers towards their crews, and vice versa, giving ordinary seamen a new voice over issues concerning their pay, victuals, and treatment by those above.
    • Young people's perceptions of their experience of counselling in a school setting: A qualitative study

      Le'Surf, Anne; Bassett, Linda (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2007-10)
      This study examines young peoples’ experiences of counselling in a school setting. Five young people who received counselling in their school were interviewed individually and their responses analysed using the constant comparative method. The results highlight four particular areas that would be helpful to address if a school were considering setting up a counselling service. The findings emphasise the importance young people place on autonomy around the disclosure of the fact they are attending counselling, as well as the actual content of counselling sessions. They suggest that many young people would prefer to have counselling in their school, rather than at another venue. The young people interviewed identify certain qualities in the counsellor that facilitate an effective counselling relationship, and finally how many of their peers were unaware of the nature and existence of a counselling service in their school. The relevance of the outcomes to the effective counselling of young people are discussed.
    • Young, single and treated for breast cancer: Making sense of my sexuality - An exploration of women’s stories

      Gubi, Peter M.; Shortt, Susan (University of Chester, 2014-10)
      This qualitative study explores the experiences of four young, single women, who were diagnosed with breast cancer, and examines the impact of this on their sexuality, during and post-treatment. The data was gathered using semi-structured interviews, and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Emerging themes included identity loss during treatment, differing degrees of adjustment to an altered body post-treatment, and concerns around dating and new relationships. Although each participant was clearly moving forward in positive ways, ongoing emotional losses were also described, including those related to fertility. Findings largely support earlier work in this area, although there have been very few studies with this particular sub-group of women. One finding that differed from other research was the universal acceptance by prospective partners of participants’ altered bodies.
    • "You’re in the boxing ring and it’s just the two of you and it’s sort of survival" - The quest for excitement in professional female Muay Thai boxing

      Pritchard, Ian; Phipps, Catherine (University of Chester, 2013-09)
      Using a figurational sociological approach, this research analyses the motivations of professional female Muay Thai boxers in training and competition, and ways in which they negotiate their elite status in a male-associated sport. To do this, I draw on fourteen semi-structured interviews to analyse the extent to which females in Muay Thai experience a quest for excitement. It is suggested females are motivated to participate as the sport acts as an emotional and physical outlet and is used as a means to gain mimetic satisfactions which men have originally acquired through sports. The participants in this study experienced pleasurable, de-routinising satisfactions associated with taking part in an activity that is considered male-dominated and masculine. Female Muay Thai boxers’ experiences of the quest for excitement also incorporate a desire for gender equality by resisting traditional female roles which are often more routinised, and feminine-appropriate sports which can lack in physical contact. Although they experienced enjoyment through their involvement in a male-associated sport, participants often placed emphasis on their femininity to counteract their success. Overall it is argued females can experience a specifically gendered quest for excitement in Muay Thai which differs to men’s experiences. This research supplements the minimal existing research on females in martial arts and serves as a comparison to literature on men’s and women’s experiences of the quest for excitement.
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      Rowland, Caroline; Shaw, Peter A. (University of Chester, 2011-06)
      This is the supporting documentation submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy by publication. The research issues addressed were the extent to which the four Vs of vision, values, value-added and vitality are pre-requisites for an individual to be able to step up successfully into demanding leadership roles, and at times of major change, what are the key requirements that enable an individual to continue to step up into demanding, leadership roles successfully and sustain that success? The proposition which has been tested in a wide range of contexts is that leaders step up successfully if they apply a balance of the four Vs of vision, values, value-added and vitality. The research concluded that continuing to step up successfully and sustaining that success involves a clear focus on coherence, context, courage and co-creation. It is the active interplay between these two sets of requirements which determine whether a leader is able to cope successfully with demanding leadership challenges in a sustained way. This relationship is illustrated in the diagram below. The research was based on an exploratory approach which was inductive whereby the perspectives of a wide range of senior leaders were sought both in terms of their experiences and what was observed. The research also included an element of auto-ethnography. The approach of the four Vs was published in the book, “The Four Vs of Leadership: vision, values, value-added and vitality”. This framework was tested with a wide range of senior level leaders in different sectors. The rigorous use of this framework was then applied to develop clarity of thinking in areas such as career choices, decision-making, business coaching and the taking on of new opportunities which were set out in a sequence of subsequent books. The interplay of the four Vs and four Cs has contributed to the leadership impact of a range of senior leaders at times when they have been handling rapid change. The work furthers understanding about sustaining leadership effectively through times of turbulence.