• Safeguarding Children who are Exposed to Abuse Linked to Faith or Belief

      Oakley, Lisa; orcid: 0000-0001-8909-7889; Kinmond, Kathryn; Humphreys, Justin; Dioum, Mor (Wiley, 2019-02-18)
    • A Quantitative Sensory Testing Approach to Pain in Autism Spectrum Disorders

      Vaughan, Sarah; McGlone, Francis; Poole, Helen; Moore, David; University of Chester; Liverpool John Moores University (Springer Verlag, 2019-02-15)
      Sensory abnormalities in autism has been noted clinically, with pain insensitivity as a specified diagnostic criterion. However, there is limited research using psychophysically robust techniques. Thirteen adults with ASD and 13 matched controls completed an established Quantitative Sensory Testing (QST) battery, supplemented with measures of pain tolerance and central modulation. The ASD group showed higher thresholds for light touch detection and mechanical pain. Notably, the ASD group had a greater range of extreme scores (the number of z-scores outside of the 95% CI >2), dynamic mechanical allodynia and paradoxical heat sensation; phenomena not typically seen in neurotypical individuals. These data support the need for research examining central mechanisms for pain in ASD and greater consideration of individual difference.
    • Gestural repertoire size is associated with social proximity measures in wild chimpanzees.

      Roberts, Anna I; orcid: 0000-0003-1185-7897; Chakrabarti, Anwesha; Roberts, Sam G B (2019-02-01)
      Studying the communication systems of primates can provide insights into the evolutionary origins of human language. Some theories propose that language evolved to help meet the demands of managing complex social relationships. Examining the associations between sociality and communication in the great apes can help to identify the specific selection pressures that may have been important for language evolution. In particular, gestural communication is believed to be important because it is a relatively recent trait seen only in primates and particularly in the great apes. However, the extent to which more complex gestural communication plays a role in managing social relationships, as compared to less complex gestural communication, is not well understood. Using social network analysis, we examined the association between complex gesturing (indexed as repertoire size) and complexity of social relationships indexed as proximity (the duration of time spent within 10 m, per hour spent in same party) in wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii). Repertoire size (the total number of gesture types a focal subject produced toward other individuals) and dyadic repertoire size (the number of gesture types produced toward the dyad partner, per hour spent within 10 meters) were positively associated with proximity at the level of the group (centrality in the proximity network) and the dyad (proximity duration between dyads), respectively. Further, the repertoire size of visual and auditory short-range gestures was positively associated with proximity, while the repertoire size of tactile gesture was negatively associated with proximity. Overall these results suggest that gestural repertoire size has important implications for maintaining social relationships in wild chimpanzees and more broadly that gestural communication may have played an important role in language evolution. [Abstract copyright: © 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.]
    • The high prevalence of pre-existing mental health complaints in clients attending Saint Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre: implications for initial management and engagement with the Independent Sexual Violence Advisor Service at the Centre

      Manning, Daisy; Majeed-Ariss, Rabiya; Mattison, Michelle Louise Ann Marie; White, Catherine; University of Manchester Medical School; Saint Mary's Sexual Assault Referral Centre; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2019)
      Background: The Saint Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre has a unique service delivery model whereby it provides an integrated physical and psychological support services to clients, women men and children, living in Greater Manchester. The service is available to those who have reported rape or sexual assault, whether this is recent or historic. Clients living in surrounding areas of Cheshire are provided with forensic and medical services at Saint Mary’s Centre, with follow-up care provided locally, as appropriate. Aims: The primary objective was to identify the prevalence of self-reported pre-existing mental health complaints amongst adult clients who attended Saint Mary’s Centre for a forensic medical examination. The secondary objective was to consider levels of engagement with the Centre’s Independent Sexual Violence Advisor service by comparing clients who reported a mental health complaint to clients who did not. Method: One-hundred and eighty sets of client’s notes from 2016 were retrospectively analysed. Client inclusion criteria were that they were (a) over the age of 18 years when attending the Centre, (b) had attended for a forensic medical examination. Results: 69% of clients analysed reported a pre-existing mental health complaint. The time taken for clients to present to Saint Mary’s Centre following a reported assault tended to be later for the clients with self-reported mental health problems than those without. However, there was no difference in the long-term engagement with the Centre’s Independent Sexual Violence Advisor service at the Centre between the two groups. Conclusion: Prevalence of self-reported pre-existing mental health complaints is extremely high in clients presenting at Saint Mary’s Centre as compared to national and regional prevalence rates for mental health complaints in the general population. The vulnerability of this client group should be considered when they attend a SARC and support provided should be appropriate and accessible to their needs. Staff should have adequate training and supervision to be able to respond in this way.
    • Registered nurses’ experiences of communicating respect to patients: influences and challenges

      Clucas, Claudine; Chapman, Hazel Margaret; Lovell, Andrew; University of Chester (SAGE Publications, 2019)
      Background: Respectful care is central to ethical codes of practice and optimal patient care, but little is known on influences on and challenges in communicating respect. Research question: What are the intra- and inter-personal influences on nurses’ communication of respect? Research design and participants: Semi-structured interviews with 12 hospital-based United Kingdom registered nurses were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis to explore their experiences of communicating respect to patients and associated influences. Ethical considerations: The study was approved by the Institutional ethics board and National Health Service Trust. Findings: Three interconnected superordinate themes were identified: ‘private self: personal attitudes’, ‘outward self: showing respect’ and ‘reputational self: being perceived as respectful’. Respectful communication involved a complex set of influences, including attitudes of respect towards patients, needs and goals, beliefs around the nature of respectful communication, skills and influencing sociocultural factors. A tension between the outward self as intended and perceived presented challenges for nurses’ reputational self as respectful, with negative implications for patient care. Discussion: The study offers an in-depth understanding of intra- and interpersonal influences on communicating respect, and sheds light on challenges involved, helping provide practical insights to support respectful care.
    • Participant Concerns for the Learner in a Virtual Reality Replication of the Milgram Obedience Study

      Gonzalez-Franco, Mar; Slater, Mel; Birney, Megan E.; Swapp, David; Haslam, S. Alexander; Reicher, Stephen D.; Microsoft Research; University College London; University of Barcelona; University of Chester at University Centre Shrewsbury; University of Queensland; University of St. Andrews (Public Library of Science, 2018-12-31)
      In Milgram’s seminal obedience studies, participants’ behaviour has traditionally been explained as a demonstration of people’s tendency to enter into an ‘agentic state’ when in the presence of an authority figure: they attend only to the demands of that authority and are insensitive to the plight of their victims. There have been many criticisms of this view, but most rely on either indirect or anecdotal evidence. In this study, participants (n = 40) are taken through a Virtual Reality simulation of the Milgram paradigm. Compared to control participants (n = 20) who are not taken through the simulation, those in the experimental conditions are found to attempt to help the Learner more by putting greater emphasis on the correct word over the incorrect words. We also manipulate the extent to which participants identify with the science of the study and show that high identifiers both give more help, are less stressed, and are more hesitant to press the shock button than low identifiers. We conclude that these findings constitute a refutation of the ‘agentic state’ approach to obedience. Instead, we discuss implications for the alternative approaches such as ‘engaged followership’ which suggests that obedience is a function of relative identification with the science and with the victim in the study. Finally, we discuss the value of Virtual Reality as a technique for investigating hard-to-study psychological phenomena.
    • What’s in a name? Family violence involving older adults

      Benbow, Susan M.; Bhattacharyya, Sharmi; Kingston, Paul (Emerald, 2018-12-10)
    • Patient-reported outcomes of sexual and gender minority cancer survivors in Australia

      Lisy, Karolina; Ward, Andrew; Schofield, Penelope; Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas; Bishop, Jim; Jefford, Michael; Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne; The Social Research Centre, Melbourne; Swinburne University, Melbourne; University of Chester, UK; Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Melbourne; University of Melbourne (Wiley, 2018-12-03)
      Five key points: This is the first population‐based survey of Australian cancer survivors to include lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex (LGBTI) identity. Few respondents (1.6%) identified as LGBTI, less than half the reported prevalence in Australia. LGBTI respondents were more likely to be younger, employed, and born in Australia. LGBTI people may experience more problems with anxiety/depression, body image and financial benefits, and greater needs for diet and lifestyle information. Commonly used patient‐reported outcome measures may not be sensitive to LGBTI issues; areas for future enquiry are proposed.
    • Body Part Removal: A Thematic Exploration of U.K. Homicide Offenses.

      Almond, Louise; Pell, Connor; McManus, Michelle (2018-11-28)
      Body part removal (BPR) is a rare homicide phenomena, which emerges as a result of a variety of motives. Fifty-eight BPR U.K. homicide cases were analyzed. Findings indicated key characteristics within BPR murder offenses, with most offenders males; aged around 31 years; knew their victims; with presence of alcohol, drugs, and mental health issues; and more than two thirds of the sample had previous convictions, more than 50% for theft. Offense behaviors showed "multiple wounds" and "victim naked" as highest frequency, with the head as the most frequently removed body part. Smallest space analysis (SSA) identified two behavioral themes (expressive and instrumental) with 62.1% of cases classified as one of these. The study has provided the largest U.K. sample of BPR homicide, furthering understanding this type of offense and the offenders who commit it.
    • Shared meaning in children’s evaluations of art: A computational analysis

      Schepman, Astrid; Rodway, Paul; Kirkham, Julie A.; Lambert, Jordana; Locke, Anastasia; University of Chester (American Psychological Association, 2018-11)
      Art appreciation is often considered highly individual, but research has shown that there is also a shared element, which may be due to shared meanings and associations triggered by artworks. In the current analysis, we examined semantically based justifications given to aesthetic evaluations of abstract and representational artworks provided by 80 primary schoolchildren, aged 4, 5, 8, and 10 years. Using a computational semantic similarity analysis technique (UMBC Ebiquity), the authors found that children showed evidence for shared meaning in response to representational but not abstract art. The effect was present from age 4 through to age 10. In addition, it was found that the presence of semantic elements in the justifications boosted aesthetic appreciation, especially of abstract artworks. This suggests that individually constructed meaning is key to aesthetic appreciation and is, to an extent, independent from the meaning that might be assumed to be inherent in artworks, particularly if it is representational. The authors evaluate their findings in relation to aesthetic and developmental theories and make suggestions for future research. They argue that the current data, alongside calibrating analyses that apply their randomization and semantic analysis protocol to children’s picture naming responses, further demonstrate the robustness of the computational semantic similarity analysis method, with great potential for further studies in semantic interpretation of art or other types of stimuli.
    • Persistence in gestural communication predicts sociality in wild chimpanzees.

      Roberts, Anna Ilona; email: s.g.roberts1@ljmu.ac.uk; Roberts, Sam George Bradley (2018-10-19)
      A key challenge for primates is coordinating behaviour with conspecifics in large, complex social groups. Gestures play a key role in this process and chimpanzees show considerable flexibility communicating through single gestures, sequences of gestures interspersed with periods of response waiting (persistence), and rapid sequences where gestures are made in quick succession, too rapid for the response waiting to have occurred. The previous studies examined behavioural reactions to single gestures and sequences, but whether this complexity is associated with more complex sociality at the level of the dyad partner and the group as a whole is not well understood. We used social network analysis to examine how the production of single gestures and sequences of gestures was related to the duration of time spent in proximity and individual differences in proximity in wild East African chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii). Pairs of chimpanzees that spent a longer duration of time in proximity had higher rates of persistence sequences, but not a higher rate of single gestures or rapid sequences. The duration of time spent in proximity was also related to the rate of responding to gestures, and response to gesture by activity change. These results suggest that communicative persistence and the type of response to gestures may play an important role in regulating social interactions in primate societies.
    • Neuroticism and extraversion mediate the relationship between having a sibling with developmental disabilities and anxiety and depression symptoms

      Murray, Lindsay; O'Neill, Linda; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2018-09-17)
      Background Children growing up with a sibling with disabilities report higher levels of depression and anxiety symptoms as adults. Here, we examined whether personality characteristics also play a part in mediating this relationship. Method We tested for differences in personality traits between 132 individuals who have a sibling with developmental disabilities and 132 closely matched comparisons. Results Differences in Big Five factors of personality were demonstrated across the disability groups and between the disability groups and the comparisons, especially in Extraversion, Neuroticism and Openness. Individuals growing up alongside a sibling with developmental disabilities have a higher tendency to experience anxiety and depression symptoms, and this research is the first demonstration that personality traits mediate this relationship. Specifically, Neuroticism is a strong mediator of anxiety while both Neuroticism and Extraversion contribute mediating effects toward the development of depression. Limitations Our study made use of self-report methodology which, although having recognized limitations, is more reliable than parental reports. Given the cross-sectional nature of our design, we were not able to examine pre-existing developmental factors that may have influenced the participant’s propensity to particular personality traits and affective disorders. However, we obtained a large sample and closely matched participants to examine differences between those with a sibling with disabilities and those without. Conclusions As such, differences in personality traits have important implications for the understanding and treatment of siblings presenting with anxiety and depression symptoms. We recommend that intervention should target those high in Neuroticism among individuals who have a sibling with disabilities, and that more social support is put in place for siblings to mitigate their tendency towards introversion and buffer them against psychological maladjustment.
    • Investigating the celebrity effect: the influence of well-liked celebrities on adults' implicit and explicit responses to brands

      Rowley, Martin; Gilman, Hayley; Sherman, Susan Mary; Keele University (American Psychological Association, 2018-08-20)
      Celebrities are used within advertisements in an attempt to impact positively on consumers’ attitudes toward brands, purchase intentions, and ad believability. However, the findings from previous research on the effects of celebrity liking on brand evaluations have been mixed. In the study presented here, explicit and implicit responses to brands were more positive after pairing with well-liked celebrities (p < .01) and more positive than for brands paired with noncelebrities (p < .001). Participants also demonstrated a preference for celebrity-paired brands in their brand choices (p < .001). Participants’ general accuracy-based advertising skepticism was negatively correlated with explicit celebrity brand preferences (p < .05), whereas affect-based skepticism was negatively correlated with implicit (p < .05) preferences. These results are discussed in relation to the contextual and attitudinal factors that might trigger resistance to the effects of celebrity endorsement as well as the underlying psychological processes involved in responding to ads.
    • One step forward and two steps back? The ‘20 Principles’ for questioning vulnerable witnesses and the lack of an evidence-based approach.

      Cooper, Penny; Dando, Coral; Ormerod, Thomas; Mattison, Michelle L. A.; Marchant, Ruth; Milne, Rebecca; Bull, Ray; Birkbeck University of London; University of Westminster; University of Sussex; University of Chester, Triangle, University of Portsmouth, University of Derby (SAGE Publications, 2018-08-19)
      It is a widely held belief that questioning vulnerable witnesses is a specialist skill. In England and Wales vulnerable witness advocacy training built around ‘20 Principles’ has been developed and is being delivered. The 20 Principles do not cite a tested theoretical framework(s) or empirical evidence in support. This paper considers whether the 20 Principles are underpinned by research evidence. It is submitted that advocacy training and the approach to questioning witnesses in the courtroom should take into account the already available research evidence. The authors make recommendations for revision of the training and for a wider review of the approach taken to the handling of witness evidence.
    • Development and Validation of the Retrospective Childhood Fantasy Play Scale

      Kirkham, Julie A.; Lloyd, Julian; Stockton, Hannah; University of Chester (SAGE Publications, 2018-08-16)
      This article describes the development and initial psychometric properties of the Retrospective Childhood Fantasy Play Scale (RCFPS), a brief 11-item retrospective self-report measure of reference for, and engagement with, fantasy play during childhood. Five studies were conducted to (a) develop the initial items for the scale (n =77), (b) determine the underlying factor structure (n = 200), (c) test the fit of the model (n= 530), and (d) and (e) ascertain construct validity (n = 200) and convergent validity (n = 263). Overall, the results suggest that the RCFPS is a unidimensional measure with acceptable fit and preliminary validity. The RCFPS may prove useful in educational and developmental research as an alternative to longitudinal studies to further investigate how childhood fantasy play relates to individual differences in adulthood (e.g., in the areas of creativity, theory of mind, and narrative skills).
    • Sleep duration and psychotic experiences in patients at risk of psychosis: A secondary analysis of the EDIE-2 trial

      Reeve, Sarah; Nickless, Alecia; Sheaves, Bryony; Stewart, Suzanne L. K.; Gumley, Andrew; Fowler, David; Morrison, Anthony; Freeman, David; University of Oxford; Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust; University of Chester; University of Glasgow; University of Sussex; University of Manchester (Elsevier, 2018-08-16)
      Sleep disturbance is common among individuals at risk of psychosis, yet few studies have investigated the relationship between sleep disturbance and clinical trajectory. The Early Detection and Intervention Evaluation (EDIE-2) trial provides longitudinal data on sleep duration and individual psychotic experiences from a cohort of individuals at risk of psychosis, which this study utilises in an opportunistic secondary analysis. Shorter and more variable sleep was hypothesised to be associated with more severe psychotic experiences and lower psychological wellbeing. Mixed effect models were used to test sleep duration and range as predictors of individual psychotic experiences and psychological wellbeing over the 12-24 months (with assessments every 3 months) in 160 participants. Shorter sleep duration was associated with more severe delusional ideas and hallucinations cross-sectionally and longitudinally. The longitudinal relationships did not remain significant after conservative controls were added for the previous severity of psychotic experiences. No significant relationships were found between the sleep variables and other psychotic experiences (e.g. cognitive disorganisation), or psychological wellbeing. The results support a relationship between shorter sleep duration and delusional ideas and hallucinations. Future studies should focus on improving sleep disturbance measurement, and test whether treating sleep improves clinical trajectory in the at-risk group.
    • Piloting a brief relational operant training program: Analyses of response latencies and intelligence

      McLoughlin, Shane; Tyndall, Ian; Pereira, Antonina; University of Chester; University of Chichester (Taylor & Francis, 2018-08-06)
      Previous research suggests that training relational operant responding using the SMART (Strengthening Mental Abilities with Relational Training) program over several months can result in improved performance on cognitive intelligence tests. This study aimed to investigate whether engaging in a 3-week relational training program would improve (i) scores and (ii) reaction times on a standardised intelligence test, and (iii) to pilot a new multiple exemplar training procedure targeting complex analogical operant responding (SMARTA; SMART for Analogy). We administered the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (KBIT-2) to eight adults across four time points. Control: Time 1–4: No intervention. Experimental: Time 1–2: No intervention. Time 2–3: SMART relational operant training. Time 3–4: SMARTA analogical relational operant training. Experimental participants demonstrated greater improvements in terms of both (i) response latencies and (ii) response fluencies on the Verbal Knowledge subscale of the KBIT-2.
    • Behavioural measures of listening effort in school-aged children: Examining the effects of SNR, hearing loss, and amplification

      McGarrigle, Ronan; Gustafson, Samantha; Hornsby, Benjamin; Bess, Fred; University of Chester; Vanderbilt University Medical Center (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2018-06-13)
      Objectives: Increased listening effort in school-age children with hearing loss (CHL) could compromise learning and academic achievement. Identifying a sensitive behavioral measure of listening effort for this group could have both clinical and research value. This study examined the effects of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), hearing loss, and personal amplification on two commonly-used behavioral measures of listening effort: dual-task visual response times (visual RTs) and verbal response times (verbal RTs). Design: A total of 82 children (aged 6 – 13 years) took part in this study; 37 children with normal hearing (CNH) and 45 CHL. All children performed a dual-task paradigm from which both measures of listening effort (dual-task visual RT and verbal RT) were derived. The primary task was word recognition in multi-talker babble in three individually selected SNR conditions: Easy, Moderate, and Hard. The secondary task was a visual monitoring task. Listening effort during the dual-task was quantified as the change in secondary task RT from baseline (single-task visual RT) to the dual-task condition. Listening effort based on verbal RT was quantified as the time elapsed from the onset of the auditory stimulus to the onset of the verbal response when performing the primary (word recognition) task in isolation. CHL completed the task aided and/or unaided to examine the effect of amplification on listening effort. Results: Verbal RTs were generally slower in the more challenging SNR conditions. However, there was no effect of SNR on dual-task visual RT. Overall, verbal RTs were significantly slower in CHL versus CNH. No group difference in dual-task visual RTs was found between CNH and CHL. No effect of amplification was found on either dual-task visual RTs or verbal RTs. Conclusions: This study compared dual-48 task visual RT and verbal RT measures of listening effort in the child population. Overall, verbal RTs appears more sensitive than dual-task visual RTs to the negative effects of SNR and hearing loss. The current findings extend the literature on listening effort in the pediatric population by demonstrating that, even for speech that is accurately recognized, school-age CHL show a greater processing speed decrement than their normal-hearing counterparts; a decrement that could have a negative impact on learning and academic achievement in the classroom.
    • Assessment of metacognitive beliefs in an at risk mental state for psychosis: A validation study of the Metacognitions Questionnaire-30

      Bright, Measha; Parker, Sophie; French, Paul; Morrison, Anthony P.; Tully, Sarah; Stewart, Suzanne; Wells, Adrian; University of Manchester; Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust; University of Chester (Wiley, 2018-06-07)
      Aim: The Metacognitions Questionnaire-30 (MCQ-30) has been used to assess metacognitive beliefs in a range of mental health problems. The aim of this study is to assess the validity of the MCQ-30 in people at risk for psychosis. Methods: One hundred and eighty-five participants meeting criteria for an at risk mental state (ARMS) completed the MCQ-30 as part of their involvement in a randomised controlled trial. Confirmatory and exploratory factor analyses were conducted to assess factor structure and construct validity. Results: Confirmatory factor analyses confirmed the original 5-factor structure of the MCQ-30. Examination of principal component analysis and parallel analysis outputs also suggested a 5-factor structure. Correlation analyses including measures of depression, social anxiety and beliefs about paranoia showed evidence of convergent validity. Discriminant validity was supported using the normalising subscale of the beliefs about paranoia tool. Conclusions: The MCQ-30 demonstrated good fit using the original 5-factor model, acceptable to very good internal consistency of items was evident and clinical usefulness in those at risk for psychosis was demonstrated.