• An exploration of the tensions experienced by bisexual men in long-term, monogamous, mixed-orientation relationships, whose bisexuality is known to their partners: Implications for counselling

      Gubi, Peter; Neath, Michael (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2019-10)
      This research explores the tensions encountered by bisexual men who are in a long-term monogamous relationship with someone who does not identify as bisexual, in the circumstance of their bisexuality being known to their partner. It was anticipated that tensions and partner anxieties would arise from preconceptions of bisexual men, as described in the literature. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six bisexual men. The interview transcripts were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The analysis uncovered three main themes: formative experiences; fear and longing; and the relationship. Within these themes, the participants revealed how formative experiences have left them aware that a part of them which they experience as fundamental may be met with rejection, stigma, denial, incomprehension, and misconceptions. The second theme revealed how the tension between the desire to be known and live authentically on the one hand, and the desire to be safe from rejection and stigma on the other, creates situations of living with partial disclosure, vigilance and caution, and inauthenticity. In the third theme, romantic relationships were shown to bring opportunities for being known and accepted; the possibility of rejection; further restrictions to living authentically; and the onus of answering to partner anxieties. Additionally, an incongruence was observed between participants’ averred feelings about their relationships and implicit feelings about the terms of their acceptance. The implications of the findings for counselling are considered from a person-centred perspective.
    • What Can Politics Academic Practice Learn from the Experience Politics Students Have of Expressing Their Political Views?

      D'Artrey, Meriel P. (University of Chester, 2015-11)
      The aim of the research is to identify implications for the practice of Politics academics from the experience their students have of expressing their political views. This exploratory study is set within the wider debate of power and performativity in the HE classroom. It is situated in a study of practice and perceptions in one Department at the University of Chester and conducted through a review of the literature and empirical qualitative research with both Politics students and Politics academics. The research found that while Politics students wish to express their political views, these may not be their actual political views. Politics students indicate that the Politics academic can affect their expression of political views. They prefer academics who express their own political views and they do not like politically neutral academics. They may wish to know an academic’s political views in order to gain advantage for themselves. Knowing an academic’s political views enables the student to avoid expressing political views which some Politics academics find offensive. The research highlights the part played by power and performativity in the expressing of the Politics student’s political views and identifies some of the complexities arising from this. The practice outcomes provide guidance on how Politics academics can approach the issue of the Politics student’s expression of political views. This single case study’s value lies in these contributions to wider practice. Research is identified which will explore the findings further.
    • Client Perspectives and Experiences of Congruence

      Savic-Jabrow, Pamela (University of Chester, 2015-04)
      This small scale enquiry looks at the value of Rogers’ concept of congruence from the perspectives and experiences of clients rather than those of the counsellor, as, it is the view of the author that the value of congruence is only established if it is perceived so by clients. It contributes to the debate about Rogers’ definition of congruence and offers a research informed perspective, relevant to a range of therapeutic interventions, of the nature and function of congruence in the counsellor-client relationship. The study involved me as the researcher and six participants from two cultural backgrounds who had responded to a leaflet after having experienced therapy with a qualified counsellor other than me. A pilot study was carried out followed by six semi-structured, face-to-face and telephone interviews that were transcribed and analysed using a qualitative, thematic analysis approach. A decision was made to divide participants into those who had experienced person-centred counselling and those who had experienced CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) or integrative therapy. This was not an original decision but one that was made during the study in order to compare the presence and the importance of congruence in different models of therapy. Results revealed that there were terms that were central to, related to and unrelated to Rogers’ definition of congruence. Factors that were centrally related to congruence were: connection and demeanour. Therapist facilitative factors that were tangentially related to congruence were: respect; understanding; empathy; self-disclosure; trust; body language; conveying emotion and caring. Participants also referred to non-related facets such as therapist competence. Due to the majority of codes being related to congruence, this led to the conclusion that participants held a wide definition of the concept, implied by proxy (as a substitute). Participants confirmed the value of congruence, suggesting that Rogers’ theory, that is, that therapist congruence is necessary for positive growth to occur in clients, is important in counselling (Rogers, 1957). Congruence therefore cannot be described as an outdated theory or professional ideology but as a key concept that is prized and valued in modern day therapy. This study offers an original contribution to knowledge and professional practice because it provides not professionals but clients with the opportunity to have their voices heard. It allows service-users to put into words their experiences, thereby offering a better understanding of the phenomenon of congruence. The study has therefore allowed the provision for a more empowering, research-informed counsellor-client experience. A second claim to the study being unique and a valid contribution to knowledge is that the research has a particular focus on Rogers’ definition of congruence and enquires if this is relevant for service-users as opposed to service-providers.
    • Dyslexia and time: A comparison of speed and accuracy of young dyslexics and non-dyslexics on time recognition and time management by adult dyslexics

      Wheeler, Timothy J.; Reynolds, David; Ellis, Antony R. (University of Chester, 2013-08)
      This research describes two invesitgations into temporal processing by dyslexics. Firstly, the accuracy and speed of response that dyslexic children and matched controls demonstrate on three types of time comparison task was explored. The participants were 96 boys and 24 girls, divided into three age bands: 7:0 - 7:11; 11:0 - 11:11 and 14:0 - 14:11 years of age of whom 60 were dyslexic and 60 non-dyslexic. Dyslexics in all age bads took longer and made fewer correct responses than non-dyslexics in time telling. Younger dyslexics were differentially disadvantaged when compared to older dyslexics in speed and correctness. Both groups showed improved accuracy and speed with age. The dyslexic cohort aged 14 years improved in accuracy from age 11, though with only marginal improvement in reaction time speed. Complex time perception proved most difficult for both groups. Reason for these differences are discussed with reference to limited sort-term memory problems affecting performance especially for dyslexics. The research substantiates particular theories of dyslexia and a new model helps to explain the process. Practical implications are suggested for parents, teachers and examiners concerned with dyslexic children. Secondly, the time management skills of dyslexic and non-dyslexic adults were examined for 43 dyslexic and 41 non-dyslexic particpants who answered an online questionnaire about their time management skills. The adult questionnaires revealed that dyslexics find time management, estimation, planning and sticking to a schedule particualrly difficult, resulting in task delay or incompletion, and heightened levels of stress as time pressures increase. Questions revealed lack of confidence in time management techniques amongst dyslexics. Many dyslexics had found these difficulties placed severe contraints on career choices, areas of employment and lifestyle. Possible reasons for these diffierenecs are discussed with an accompanying model that stresses the contraints caused by poor working memory.
    • Great expectations: A qualitative examination of restorative justice practices and victim interaction

      Dutton, Kathryn; Armstrong, Jac R. B. (University of Chester, 2012-10)
      This thesis presents original empirical research concerning a restorative justice practice currently operating within England. Specifically, it examines the expectations and experiences of victims participating in a restorative practice. It establishes the extent to which victims‘ expectations may impact upon their experiences of the restorative justice process. Throughout this research, original empirical data is presented which demonstrates that victims possess a limited understanding of restorative principles and practices, which persists despite preparatory meetings. This research suggests victims place almost exclusive reliance upon gatekeepers of the process, specifically the police or restorative facilitator, in both the formation of their expectations of the process and in their decisions to participate. This thesis argues that the existence of restorative practices as complex interactionary processes enables victims to experience aspects of the process negatively, whilst continuing to view the process as beneficial. It is submitted that negative experiences can arise from an expectation-reality gap, which the preparatory meetings fail to rectify. Throughout the restorative process, this research demonstrates that victims continue to possess a punitive perspective and continue to rely upon aspects of the traditional criminal justice system and courtroom imagery. Such reliance exists in contradiction to central themes of restorative justice theory, including victim rejection of an empowered decision making role during the process, and the irrelevance of offender remorse.
    • Rural livelihoods and inequality under trade liberalisation: A case study of southern Vietnam

      Degg, Martin; Boran, Anne; Zhang, Heather; Evans, Martin; Besemer, Kirsten L. (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2012-03)
      The purpose of this mixed-methods case study research is to discover how, in relation to trade liberalisation in Vietnam's Mekong Delta, intangible assets affect livelihood outcomes of the ethnic majority Kinh and the ethnic minority Khmer people. Methods used include a random survey of 150 ethnic majority (Kinh) rice farmers combined with focus group data from Khmer ethnic minority people. Data shows that lack of access to information about the changing economic circumstances generated by trade reform has caused farmers to take sub-optimal decisions about the diversification of their crops. The economic outcomes on Khmer farmers have also been negatively affected by a lack of information, compounded by rigid gender roles, lack of education, discrimination, language problems and isolation from the majority ethnic group. These factors have contributed considerably to the negative outcomes of liberalisation, including loss of land, and have impeded people's ability to make use of emerging opportunities, including better access to markets and new ways of making a livelihood. This research shows that intangible assets interact with trade liberalisation to exacerbate existing inequalities.
    • Anxiety and depression symptomatology in adult siblings of disabled individuals: The role of perceived parenting, attachment, personality traits and disability types

      Murray, Lindsay; Scott, David; O'Neill, Linda P. (University of Liverpool (University of Chester)University of Chester, 2011-11)
      Objectives: (1) To ascertain whether adult siblings of disabled individuals are more prone to anxiety and depression symptomatology than a closely matched control group. (2) To examine the contribution that perceived parenting styles, attachment styles and personality traits play in the long-term affective outcome of these siblings. (3) To consider if the type of disability has a role in sibling affective outcome. Design: A cross-sectional, closely matched study design, with data collected through self-report. One-way ANOVAs, correlational analyses, moderation and mediation analyses were applied. Participants: Adult siblings of disabled individuals (SDI), were initially contacted through support groups, such as SIBS, the Down’s Syndrome Association, the National Autistic Society and the Prader-Willi Association (UK) and responded to a postal or e-mailed questionnaire; 150 participants returned the completed questionnaire. The 150 control group participants were closely matched on the variables of gender, age, marital status and when possible socio-economic status, in order to compare like with like. This group was contacted through friends, family, work colleagues and local businesses. Measures: All the participants completed a range of demographic questions; the SDI were additionally asked questions regarding their disabled sibling. The established measures used included the Hospital and Anxiety Depression Scale (Zigmond & Snaith, 1983), Experiences in Close Relationships (Brennan, Clark & Shaver, 1998), an adapted measure of the Descriptions of Parental Caregiving Style (DPCS, Hazan & Shaver, 1986) and the International Personality Item Pool (Goldberg, 1999). Results: The majority of SDI reported no increased anxiety or depression symptomatology, however, when compared the SDI did report higher levels of anxiety and depression symptomatology than the control group; also higher levels of perceived inconsistent mothering, attachment-related anxiety and neuroticism, with lower levels of extraversion than the control group. These variables mediated the path between having a disabled sibling and anxiety and depression, with the notable exception of perceived inconsistent mothering. This variable showed no association with any of the established measures for the SDI group; however, there were associations consistent with previous research for the control group. There was no moderation effect on anxiety or depression between the demographic variables and SDI. The autistic spectrum disorder siblings reported similar levels of anxiety symptomatology to Prader-Willi siblings but higher than Down’s syndrome siblings and the control group and they also reported the highest levels of depression symptomatology. Conclusions: The adult SDI’s higher propensity towards anxiety and depression is a cause for concern; particularly when explained through heightened levels of attachment-related anxiety, high levels of neuroticism and low levels of extraversion. The lack of association with perceived inconsistent mothering requires further investigation. These results can help guide interventions or clinical therapies; the emotional well-being of SDI is paramount as they will possibly be among the first group to assume responsibility for their disabled siblings.
    • An incongruous duality?: Care, control & the social world of the mental health worker

      Ogden, Cassandra A.; Morley, Sharon; Mason, Tom; Smith, Catrin; Taylor, Paul J. (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2011-01)
      The contemporary mental health profession is facing a crisis of recruitment and retention. Services provided are complex, practically and conceptually. On one hand, assessments and treatments are provided, but on the other, staff become responsible for the administration of coercive security discourses and arrangements. This complex phenomenon can leave mental health personnel vulnerable to criticisms in exactly how best they should discharge their duties within an occupational remit of duality. Working in the correct or most appropriate way is a constant challenge for staff as they must meet with approval from both managers and colleagues negotiating a path between formal rules and informal norms. This exploratory study was undertaken within a mental health NHS Trust in the North of England. It interviewed twenty participants from a range of areas of work, namely hospital wards, occupational therapy departments and the community setting. A narrative interviewing technique has been used to collect occupational histories and stories which have been used in an attempt to illuminate the contemporary issues facing clinical staff. Findings suggest that their contemporary care delivery is much more complex than previously known and that there is a diverse range of background and conceptual challenges which workers face in addition to their organisationally prescribed practical mandates of work. Six normative orders of work have emerged from data that has been collected; bureaucracy, risk management, competence, morality, physical environment and care versus control. Participant reflections on professional autonomy and responsibility shed light on the perceived rationality of policies and procedures and 'governance at a distance' taking place in response to bureaucratic and risk reduction imperatives. Indeed, such work is demanding and the management of a professional 'performance', and the self regulating and adaption of emotion have been seen to be an important dimension in the observation of occupational competence and work-based socialisation processes. Furthermore, personnel are engaged in a complex and fluid role duality where they must personally reconcile their role as care provider whilst also maintaining levels of physical security in a contemporary and technologically advanced healthcare environment. In this thesis, it is argued that these normative aspects of work typify the social nature of mental health work and, in addition, take place under the auspices of Goffmanesque theorisations of the 'total institution', 'mortification of self and 'social contamination'. These findings draw particular attention to an under acknowledged aspect of mental health based inquiry where the formal and informal spheres of work are observed to co-mingle within the environment of psychiatry. In doing so, questions arise over the rationality of some systems of work which 'shop-floor' staff are engaged within, yet, at times, have very little opportunity to shape as individual practitioners.
    • Social and environmental influences on the welfare of zoo-housed spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi rufiventris)

      Schaffner, Colleen; Davis, Nicolas (University of Liverpool (University of Chester)Chester Zoo, 2009-05)
      The aim of this thesis was to provide a better understanding of the needs of spider monkeys (genus: Ateles) kept in zoological parks in order to provide an appropriate environment, which enhances the physical and emotional wellbeing of the individuals. This series of studies adopted primarily a physiological approach that entailed measuring cortisol in urine samples collected over a seven year period to assess the impact of a variety of social and environmental conditions. My studies also involved behavioural observations and a questionnaire study to collect information from other zoological parks that maintain groups of spider monkeys. In order to address the aims of my research I first validated an enzyme immunoassay for urinary cortisol which allowed for the activity of the HPA axis to be measured to assess the physiological stress responses in spider monkeys. The first study assessed the impact of visitors on spider monkeys by comparing levels of urinary cortisol collected with visitor numbers and I found an increase in visitor numbers was associated with an increase in cortisol. This was the first time the physiological impact of visitors was investigated and supports behavioural researcher that visitors adversely impact on primates in zoos. The second study I carried out involved a questionnaires to investigate frequency, direction and intensity of aggression in zoo-housed spider monkeys in 55 other zoos around the world. The pattern of aggressions reported indicated severe and lethal aggression was relatively frequent among captive spider monkeys. Adult males were the most frequent actors of aggression and sub adult males were the most frequent targets, contradicting reports from wild spider monkeys. This aggression could be a condition of the management of spider monkeys in the zoos whereby males and normally transferred between zoos contradicting reports from the wild spider monkeys in which females would emigrate on reaching maturity. Next I investigated aggression, reproductive and separation stressors in the spider monkeys housed at Chester Zoo over a seven year period and measured their effects via changes in urinary cortisol prior to, at and following each event. Aggression had the largest effect, with targets and bystanders having the highest levels of cortisol on the day of aggression for severe and lethal aggression, respectively. When examining the reproductive events, cortisol levels were significantly elevated in the mother the week prior to and the day or birth, but were highest for bystander females on the day of birth. In the case of separations, cortisol was elevated when an individual was separated for longer than 24 hours for separations and less than 24 hours for reintroductions. Finally I investigated the replacement of the breeding male in the spider monkeys at Chester Zoo. Although a significant behavioural effect was identified in the adult females, there was little evidence of an increase in urinary cortisol among them. In addition, there were no instances of aggression between the adult males and the juvenile male in the group. Overall conclusions from this study indicate that the group of spider monkeys did demonstrate a varying stress response to a variety of social and environmental stressors associated with elevated cortisol levels and behavioural changes. However, there was no evidence of long term chronic stressors which are normally associated with poor welfare. This indicated that the environmental provided for this particular group of zoo-housed spider monkeys generally allowed for the individuals within the group to cope and adapt. In light these findings the study also makes a number of recommendations regarding the enclosure design, relocated of individuals and the gradual introduction of spider monkeys in zoos. The findings of this study are important as it contributes to our understanding of the physiological responses to stressors in a zoo environment and therefore has implications for animal management. It also identifies potential species specific requirements for the spider monkey that should be considered.
    • The quaternary evolution of the Rio Alias southeast Spain, with emphasis on sediment provenance

      France, Derek; Maher, Elizabeth (University of Liverpool (University of Chester), 2005-12)
      This study aims to determine the late-Quaternary evolution of an ephemeral, transverse river system developed in southeast Spain, with particular reference to sediment provenance variation. The Rio Alias drains two inter-montane east-west orientated Neogene sedimentary basins; the Sorbas and Almeria basins. Pliocene to present transpressional tectonics has led to inversion of the sedimentary basins and incision of the developing fluvial system. Fluvial incision has led to the preservation of a suite of alluvial terraces recording the late-Quaternary development of the Rio Alias. Fluvial system inauguration began in the Plio-Pleistocene epoch. The primary fluvial system developed as a consequent river later becoming superimposed and transverse to structure. The drainage basin of the Rio Alias has been sub-divided into 4 sub-basins; The Lucainena, Polopos, Argamason and El Saltador sub-basins. Each basin is structurally controlled. The impact of climate, tectonics, river-capture and eustatic sea-level variation on the fluvial system evolution varies both spatially and temporally across the sub-basins of the Rio Alias. Across the region alluvial aggradation is thought to relate to global glacial periods and incision to interglacial periods. The Lucainena sub-basin is largely controlled by climatic variation related to glacial interglacial cycles with slight modification due to local small scale river-capture and regional epeirogenic uplift. The Polopos sub-basin is also largely controlled by climatic variation, however a major river-capture event c.70ka beheaded the Rio Alias of c.70% of its drainage area. Following the loss of drainage the beheaded Rio Alias system lost stream power, this is reflected in the decrease in size of bedform geometry and the reduced incisional capacity of the fluvial system of the post-capture terrace sequence. In the Argamason sub-basin the Rio Alias crosses the Carboneras Fault Zone, a left-lateral strike slip fault. Late-Quaternary tectonic activity has significantly modified the climatically generated signal. Large tortuous meanders developed in response to normal tectonic activity and continued tectonically driven base-level lowering led to abandonment of terraces and local incision. The El Saltador sub-basin is located at the seaward end of the system and the climate generated phases of aggradation and incision have been greatly complicated by eustatic sea-level variation related to glacial/interglacial cycles. The lowering of base-level due to sea-level regression initially led to pronounced incision along steep gradients and to the development of meander loops in the seaward end of the Rio Alias, during what regionally was a climate driven phase of aggradation. Analysis of the alluvial sediment using a combination of field based clast analysis and laboratory analysis (petrology, SEM, magnetic analysis) allows a detailed picture of sediment provenance variation to be established throughout the evolution of the Rio Alias. Provenance analysis provides information on the timing and extent of river-capture related loss of drainage area, the relative timing of local tectonic activity and also provides new information regarding sediment source area variation throughout the development of the fluvial system. Detailed analysis of the terrace sediments and the modern channel indicates that as the fluvial system incises, local input of sediment from the steepening valley sides grows increasingly dominant. The coupling between the hillslopes and the channel thus changes through time. Sediment provenance analysis has increased our understanding of the long-term fluvial evolution of the Rio Alias, identifying not only sediment provenance variation due to river-capture and changing geology but to fluvial system development.
    • Correctness and speed of dyslexics and non-dyslexics on the four mathematical operations

      Miles, T. R.; Wheeler, Timothy J.; Turner Ellis, Sonia A. (University of Liverpool (Chester College of Higher Education), 2002-10)
      This research describes an investigation of the correctness and speed of response that dyslexic children and matched controls perform on mathematical calculations involving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The participants were 120 boys divided into three age bands ranging from 9:5 - 11:4, 11:5 - 13:4 and 13:5 - 15:4 years of age of whom 60 were dyslexic and 60 non-dyslexic. Two sets of 144 multiplication sums, two sets of 75 addition and 75 subtraction sums and one set of 144 division sums were presented. In the case of multiplication and division, the numbers ranged from 1 to 12; in the case of addition and subtraction two separate effects were examined, viz. sums involving high and low addends / subtrahends in combination with sums that did and did not cross the ten barrier. Results showed that dyslexics in all age bands took longer and made fewer correct responses than non-dyslexics on all four mathematical operations. The performance of the younger dyslexics was differentially disadvantaged when compared to non-dyslexics and older dyslexics on speed and correctness. The dyslexics performed less well when no obvious algorithm was available to them and when answering questions that involved crossing the ten barrier. The dyslexics were less able, in all age bands, than non-dyslexics to respond instantaneously. The overall trend with both groups was an increase in scores with age; however on some occasions the dyslexics in the old age band did not perform as well as those in the middle-age band suggesting practice and automaticity effects. The order of difficulty (from greatest to least) of the four mathematical operations for dyslexics, as judged by number of correct responses was: division, subtraction, multiplication and addition. For the non-dyslexics this was: subtraction, division, multiplication and addition. For speed the order for both the dyslexics and non-dyslexics was: subtraction, addition, division and multiplication.