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  • Young children’s conceptions of computing in an African setting

    Oyedoyin, Mayowa; Sanusi, Ismaila Temitayo; Ayanwale, Musa Adekunle; University of Chester; University of Eastern Finland; University of Johannesburg (Taylor & Francis, 2024-02-11)
  • A longitudinal study of an embodied-self-concept and its potential impact upon adjustment and acceptance in chronic non-specific lower back pain in female adults

    Reeves, Andrew; Mintz, Rita; Patel, Kim (University of Chester, 2023-07-18)
    Aim: Analgesia and surgical interventions have little impact in reducing the unpleasantness and intensity of chronic non-specific low(er) back pain (CLBP) and access to Pain Management Programmes is limited with inconsistent results. Individuals need to learn to live with their pain and this study explores how one's self-concept (in relationship with/to their body i.e., an embodied-self-concept) and pain might influence an individual’s perceived ability to accept/adjust to their CLBP and if this changes over time. Receiving support may influence adjustment/acceptance of CLBP, and this study seeks understanding of what those with CLBP want/need when their pain is self-managed outside of specialist pain services as these are currently unknown. Acceptance of CLBP is associated with improved life quality and a new dynamic model of change in CP which can accommodate the changing embodied-self and allow for movement between CP-acceptance/adjustment, non-acceptance/non-adjustment and anti-acceptance/non-adjustment over time is required to inform psychological practice. Methodology: A longitudinal multiple-case-series over 19 months using mixed-methods triangulation convergence/corroboration of three female participants explored the (potentially) changing embodied-self, from the pre-pain self to the present. Each meeting at approximately 9-monthly intervals consisted of semi-structured interviews and two measures: one explored CP-acceptance (Chronic Pain Acceptance Questionnaire: CPAQ) the other, dissonance between self-aspects (Possible Selves Measure in Chronic Pain: PSM-CP). Findings: Changes in the embodied-self-concept and related behaviours (e.g., task-persistence) were motivated by participants’ self-concept goals in growthfull and not-for-growth directions, thus self-acceptance and CP-acceptance are inextricably linked. The participants’ painful body part was placed ‘outside’ of the self as a separate entity demanding care and attention. The participants were often fearful and experienced shame, blame and two experienced suicidal ideation. However, counselling was not advocated by GPs and was not a consideration by participants. Conclusion: Counsellors in private practice and primary care with the necessary skills and knowledge are well placed to work with CP. Cultural and societal shifts in a non-dualistic understanding of CP and its treatment/management may make counselling a more acceptable adjunct. A new model of change in CP has been developed highlighting the role of psychological agility, choice junctions and self-re-evaluation as key components to/in change in both growthfull and non-growthfull directions. The wholesale adoption of the Buddhist-informed definition of CP-acceptance has been challenged.
  • Exploring Footedness, Throwing Arm, and Handedness as Predictors of Eyedness Using Cluster Analysis and Machine Learning: Implications for the Origins of Behavioural Asymmetries

    Rodway, Paul; Rodway, Curtis; Schepman, Astrid; University of Chester (MDPI, 2024-02-02)
    Behavioural asymmetries displayed by individuals, such as hand preference and foot preference, tend to be lateralized in the same direction (left or right). This may be because their co-ordination conveys functional benefits for a variety of motor behaviours. To explore the potential functional relationship between key motor asymmetries, we examined whether footedness, handedness, or throwing arm was the strongest predictor of eyedness. Behavioural asymmetries were measured by self-report in 578 left-handed and 612 right-handed individuals. Cluster analysis of the asymmetries revealed four handedness groups: consistent right-handers, left-eyed right-handers, consistent left-handers, and inconsistent left-handers (who were left-handed but right-lateralized for footedness, throwing and eyedness). Supervised machine learning models showed the importance of footedness, in addition to handedness, in determining eyedness. In right-handers, handedness was the best predictor of eyedness, followed closely by footedness, and for left-handers it was footedness. Overall, predictors were more informative in predicting eyedness for individuals with consistent lateral preferences. Implications of the findings in relation to the origins and genetics of handedness and sports training are discussed. Findings are related to fighting theories of handedness and to bipedalism, which evolved after manual dexterity, and which may have led to some humans being right-lateralized for ballistic movements and left-lateralized for hand dexterity.
  • Reshaping the Ethical Framework: New Lenses for a Different Time?

    Morahan, Marita; Reeves, Andrew; British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy; University of Chester
    BACP's Ethical Framework is currently going through a process of development and re-structure. This article looks at the key factors informing the reshaping of this key document that informs practice for all 67,000 members of BACP. Specifically, it considers the importance of adopting a decolonizing approach to ethics, as well as embedding Relational Ethics into the new Framework. Some of the challenges of this are discussed and explored.
  • Discourses of Psychological Trauma

    Buxton, Christina; Kiyimba, Nikki; Shuttleworth, jo; Pathe, Emily; University of Chester; Bethlehem Institute, Tauranga, New Zealand; Manchester University; Glasgow Caledonian University (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022-07-01)
    Offers a critical perspective of the dominant discourses within the field of psychological trauma Provides a challenge to normative western constructs Unsettles assumptions about accepted notions of universality and the nature of trauma
  • Student-Parents' experiences of academic and non-academic support in UK Higher Education

    Todd, Andrea; University of Chester
    This report analyses the findings of a nationwide study of students who are also parents (student-parents). Carried out between May and August 2023, the study builds on previous small-scale research projects into the needs of student-parents1 and was undertaken in the context of: • the introduction of a new UCAS question inviting student-parents to self-identify when applying to university; and • the introduction of the Office for Students’ (OfS) Equality of Opportunity Register (EORR). This report explores participants’ experiences of pastoral and academic support at university. It exposes systemic failures in such support for student-parents across the sector which pose a significant risk to their retention, progression and success. Parental responsibility is not currently identified by OfS as a standalone characteristic likely to place students ‘at risk’ at university. However, the findings of this study reveal that student-parents are in fact vulnerable to five of the six ‘on course’ risks identified in the EORR. This three-part clickable report provides a compelling evidence base to support the inclusion of parental responsibility in the EORR list of student characteristics.
  • Media - Reflection on BBC's Uncanny

    Egeli, Cemil; University of Chester
    Prompted by the BBC Radio 4 podcast Uncanny's recent TV release, Cemil Egeli reflects on its relevance to supernatural phenomena in counselling.
  • Negotiating recovery following sudden bereavements: An autoethnographic approach to making sense of historical personal cumulative grief in the context of Covid-19

    Reeves, Andrew; West, William; Sweeney, Susan (University of Chester, 2023-09)
    We are all likely to experience bereavement during our lifetime. The impact of the loss is determined by many variables including age, intensity of relationship to the deceased, and social support systems. Traumatic sudden bereavement features additional causative factors of unfinished business, being unable to say goodbye, and sense of an incomplete life. The trauma of repeated sudden unexpected bereavement results in a potentially long-lasting disintegration of self that may lead to prolonged or complicated grief. The purpose of this qualitative study is to contribute to understanding of the lived experience of sudden bereavement and cumulative grief, what is meant by recovery and how it might manifest. It explores the impact of multiple losses, how sudden death can leave a traumatic imprint, and how each may be mitigated through life choices. This study aims to inform professionals and the bereaved in their understanding of sudden, unexpected bereavement in the context of widespread Covid-19 grief. An autoethnographical approach was used to explore the researcher’s lived experience as a young adult of sudden bereavement of three primary family members within a relatively short time span of seven years. All were traumatic losses, with one bereavement especially so. The resulting cumulative grief is investigated along with the researcher’s perception of progress and relapse in terms of recovery and sense-making of historical personal grief. The concept of posttraumatic recovery is explored in the context of the researcher’s personal experiences and linked to current sociological collective encounters with unprepared for, sudden death experienced by many during the Covid-19 pandemic. Data collection and analysis is a constantly changing interplay of interpretation and discovery. Continuous reflection of memories and emotional responses to the autoethnographic and personal journal writing, poems, and image-making provided data through which unexpected themes emerged, expanded, and evolved, leading to an increased level of sense-making that had been previously absent. This thesis adds to the limited extant literature on sibling and parental bereavement experienced by young adults aged 19-26 years, particularly that of multiple, sudden bereavement and cumulative grief. An individual’s experience of grief is profoundly personal and there is no definitive period of recovery that can be applied. The researcher’s isolating journey of historic traumatic bereavements is viewed within a culture where traumatic loss became an everyday occurrence during the Covid-19 pandemic. This proliferation changed the rhetoric from an individual to a shared experience, permitting the previously silenced to become heard, assisting readers to navigate their own experiences of grief, loss, and recovery through the lens of a more grief-informed society, and to inform professionals and affected others in their understanding and support of sudden ‘unprepared for’ bereavement during Covid related deaths and beyond.
  • Supporting people with social care needs on release from prison: A scoping review

    Tucker, Sue; Buck, Deborah; Roberts, Amy; Hargreaves, Claire; University of Manchester; University of Chester; Lancaster University (International Long Term Care Policy Network, 2024-02-13)
    Context: Social care need in prisons is increasing in many countries. However, the delivery of social care in prisons has been (at best) inconsistent and there has been no previous review to inform provision for people on release. Objective: To identify and synthesise what is known about the social care needs of people on release from prison and how best to meet these. Method: A scoping review encompassing systematic searches of 26 electronic databases (January 2010-July 2021) included a wide range of literature. No exclusions were made on the basis of study design, method or quality. Findings were organised according to their contribution to the research questions. Findings: Forty-six documents met the review criteria of which 27 were from the UK. Just two focused specifically on the topic of interest and most of the extracted material was descriptive in nature. Almost no information was found on the number of people released from prison in need of social care. However, the challenges of providing care for this group appeared well understood. Although there were many examples of good practice and widespread consensus about its enablers, outcome information was lacking. Limitations: In keeping with the nature of the review, the quality of the literature was not formally assessed. Implications: The review identified several promising initiatives ranging from prison buddy schemes to pre-release training in everyday living skills and personalised pathway documents. Conclusions: Policy makers and researchers must now shift their attention to the effectiveness of particular interventions in improving social care outcomes.
  • An exploration of the emotional support needs of grandparents whose grandchild has had a childhood cancer diagnosis

    Gubi, Peter; Hill, Lynda A. (University of Chester, 2023-09)
    Little research has been conducted relating to the psychological impact on grandparents of grandchildren with cancer despite evidence to suggest that this can be challenging (Wakefield et al., 2014). This research explores the lived experiences of grandparents whose grandchild has had a childhood cancer diagnosis, taking specific interest in narrative relating to symptoms of distress, coping mechanisms, perceived emotional support needs, potential barriers to support and signs of post-traumatic growth. The impact of COVID-19 is also examined. Twelve grandparents were interviewed using semi-structured questions. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, an approach that is understood via examination of meanings people impress upon their experience. Five Group Experiential Themes are presented: role; impact; coping strategies and support needs; barriers to emotional support and lastly, hope, followed by their respective Personal Experiential Themes. Grandparents, without question, resume their parental role as their adult children retreat towards their childhood ‘nest’ to be protected and cared for. They also change their ‘hat’ to that of ‘parent’ to siblings of their poorly grandchild. This becomes a dominant role, often without warning, impacting greatly on their normal routine. Their own suffering is intentionally suppressed to give full attention to their child and family. Grandparents struggle to articulate their own needs as they automatically place themselves second. However, when pushed, there is a sense of wishing to be acknowledged as taking an active, primary care-giving role within their family, together with permission to process their own emotions in a way that suits their needs. A grandchild’s childhood cancer diagnosis can lead to signs of traumatic stress for grandparents. Yet they suppress their emotional support needs as their ‘parental nest’ is temporarily filled again. It is suggested that cancer support services work with parents to ensure that grandparents are also included in support-offers as a matter of course.
  • Exploring local perspectives on flood risk: A participatory GIS approach for bridging the gap between modelled and perceived flood risk zones

    Bullen, James; Miles, Andrew; University of Chester; Transport for West Midlands (Elsevier, 2024-01-05)
    As cities continue to expand and climate change exacerbates flooding, development within flood risk zones becomes an increasingly pressing concern. Engineered solutions alone cannot fully address the risks to individuals and communities, especially when local officials and residents have conflicting understanding of the risk. Participatory GIS (PGIS) offers a unique opportunity to bridge this gap by engaging with communities to better understand their perceptions of flood risk. While PGIS has traditionally been used in developing nations as an alternative to numerical flood models, its potential for use in developed nations is largely unexplored. This paper presents a case study of survey-based PGIS conducted in Reading, a large town in Berkshire, UK. Findings suggest that local residents possess a surprisingly accurate understanding of flood risk zones, but discrepancies with modelled flood risk were also identified. These discrepancies may be due to issues with cartographic representation, but also raise concerns about the accuracy of numerical flood models. By examining local perceptions of flood risk, this study highlights the importance of considering community perspectives in flood risk management and offers valuable insights for practitioners seeking to bridge the gap between modelled and perceived flood risk zones.
  • Breaking the Boundaries Collective – A Manifesto for Relationship-based Practice

    Darley, Danica; Blundell, Peter; Cherry, Lisa; Wong, Jock; Wilson, Ann-Marie; Vaughan, Sarah; Vandenberghe, K.; Taylor, Bethan; Scott, K.; Ridgeway, T.; et al. (Taylor & Francis, 2024-02-23)
    We are a group of service users, professionals and services who began a project called Breaking the Boundaries Collective. This project advocates and campaigns for relationship-based practice (RBP). We offer resources and guidance for ways to achieve it. We encourage and foster discussions and debates on aspects of RBP that challenge hegemonic notions of professional boundaries.
  • An exploration of the ways in which person-centered counselors’ diagnoses of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can challenge or support their practice

    Lewis, Megan; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2023-12-22)
    Little or no research has been conducted to explore the experiences of counselors who have a diagnosis of Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The purpose of this research, therefore, was to explore and better understand the challenges and opportunities that a diagnosis of ADHD can present for these practitioners in order to inform counseling practice, supervision and training. This qualitative study utilized semi-structured interviews to obtain data from three participants, who were all person-centered counselors with ADHD. This data was then analyzed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis, which revealed five Group Experiential Themes (GETs). Each of these themes helped to illustrate both the challenges that participants faced as a result of their ADHD, such as inattention, impulsive disclosures, and emotional dysregulation, as well as the opportunities that it presented such as heightened curiosity and greater unconditional positive regard. This research addressed a gap within the literature and serves to enhance understanding of the ways in which a counselor’s diagnosis of ADHD can impact person-centered practice. It is hoped that this understanding can encourage greater support and acceptance of counselors with ADHD within the profession.
  • Local Voice Framework Co-production Definition and Principles

    White, Holly; Ross, Kim; University of Chester
    This is a report handout which include the principles and definition of co-production. This should be considered alongside the Local Voices Framework Research Report 1.
  • Local Voices Research Report 1

    White, Holly; Ross, Kim; University of Chester
    This report presents the first stage of the Local Voices Framework project. Included in the report are findings from a systematic literature review that sought to explore existing definitions of co-production as well as a review of local projects which have included co-production. In addition to this, the report also includes findings from workshops and semi-structured interviews which have shaped a definition of co-production as well as 8 key principles.
  • Gambling, cryptocurrency, and financial trading app marketing in English Premier League football: A frequency analysis of in-game logos

    Torrance, Jamie; Heath, Conor; Andrade, Maira; Newall, Philip; Swansea University; University of Chester; University of East London; University of Bristol; CQ University (Akadémiai Kiadó, 2023-11-27)
    The gamblification of UK football has resulted in a proliferation of in-game marketing associated with gambling and gambling-like products such as cryptocurrencies and financial trading apps. The English Premier League (EPL) has in response banned gambling logos on shirt-fronts from 2026 onward. This ban does not affect other types of marketing for gambling (e.g., sleeves and pitch-side hoardings), nor gambling-like products. This study therefore aimed to assess the ban's implied overall reduction of different types of marketing exposure. Methods: We performed a frequency analysis of logos associated with gambling, cryptocurrency, and financial trading across 10 broadcasts from the 2022/23 EPL season. For each relevant logo, we coded: the marketed product, associated brand, number of individual logos, logo location, logo duration, and whether harm-reduction content was present. Results: There were 20,941 relevant logos across the 10 broadcasts, of which 13,427 (64.1%) were for gambling only, 2,236 (10.7%) were for both gambling and cryptocurrency, 2,014 (9.6%) were for cryptocurrency only, 2,068 (9.9%) were for both cryptocurrency and financial trading, and 1,196 (5.7%) were for financial trading only. There were 1,075 shirt-front gambling-associated logos, representing 6.9% of all gambling-associated logos, and 5.1% of all logos combined. Pitch-side hoardings were the most frequent marketing location (52.3%), and 3.4% of logos contained harm-reduction content. Discussion & Conclusions: Brand logos associated with gambling, cryptocurrency, and financial trading are common within EPL broadcasts. Approximately 1 in 20 gambling and gambling-like logos are subject to the EPL's voluntary ban on shirt-front gambling sponsorship.
  • The role of prosocial behaviour, personality and general mental health in predicting emoji use and preference

    Carroll, Janine; University of Chester (SAGE Publications, 2023-12-07)
    Emojis are prevalent in text-based communication, but the factors that influence our use and preference emojis remains unclear. This study investigated how emoji use and preference could be explained by three factors; mental health, personality and prosocial behaviour. A questionnaire consisting of five measures was completed by 222 participants and both Pearson correlations and multiple regressions were conducted on the data. The results showed prosocial behaviour significantly related to frequency, attitudes and motivations towards emoji use as well as to positive emoji preference. Agreeableness related to the frequency of emoji use. Extraversion related to both positive and negative emoji preference while conscientiousness and emotional stability significantly related to negative emoji preference only. General mental health significantly related to negative emoji preference. The regressions found all of the factors identified in the correlations predicted emoji use and preference with the exception of extraversion. Further research is needed to explore how the impact of the emotions depicted by emojis on these factors and to investigate how emojis are used by people with specific mental health conditions
  • ‘Chances are you’re about to lose’: new independent Australian safer gambling messages tested in UK and USA bettor samples

    Newall, Philip; Torrance, Jamie; Russell, Alex M. T.; Rockloff, Matthew; Hing, Nerilee; Browne, Matthew; University of Bristol; Experimental Gambling Research Laboratory, Sydney; University of Chester; Swansea University; CQUniversity (Taylor & Francis, 2023-11-21)
    Current industry-developed safer gambling messages such as ‘Take time to think’ and ‘Gamble responsibly’ have been criticized as ineffective slogans. As a result, Australia has recently introduced seven independently-developed safer gambling messages. The UK Government intends to introduce independently-developed messages from 2024 onwards, and this measure could be similarly appropriate for the US states where sports betting has been legalized and gambling advertising has become pervasive. Given this context, the current study recruited race and sports bettors from the UK and USA to elicit their perceptions of the seven Australian safer gambling messages. Participants (N = 1865) rated on a Likert-scale seven newly introduced messages and two existing ones (‘Take time to think’ and ‘Gamble responsibly’) using seven evaluative statements. Participants also reported their levels of problem gambling severity. For most statements in both jurisdictions, the new messages performed significantly better than the existing ones. Specifically, the new messages were deemed more attention grabbing, applicable on a personal level, helpful to gamblers, and more likely to encourage cutbacks in gambling. The message that included a specific call to action (‘What are you prepared to lose today? Set a deposit limit’) was one of the best performing messages. Interaction effects observed in relation to jurisdiction, age, gender, and problem gambling severity were generally small enough to counteract the argument that different populations might benefit from substantially different messages. These findings add to previous research on the independent design of effective safer gambling messages.
  • Resilience and mental toughness as predictors of anxiety, depression, and mental well-being

    Naden, Emma; Schepman, Astrid; Bilton, Gareth; Rodway, Paul; University of Chester (PAGEPress, 2023-10-09)
    To examine how strongly the attributes of resilience and mental toughness predicted levels of anxiety, depression, and mental well-being, a quantitative online survey of 281 adults was employed. The survey was conducted in the United Kingdom (April to June 2021) using opportunity sampling. Resilience, mental toughness, and mental well-being were measured by the 10-item Connor-Davidson resilience scale, the 10-item mental toughness questionnaire, and the 14-item Warwick-Edinburgh mental well-being scale, respectively. In addition, the hospital anxiety and depression scale (HADS) measured anxiety and depression, and the patient health questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) was used to measure depression. Hierarchical multiple regression was used to analyze which attribute was the strongest predictor of mental health. Mental toughness was found to be a significantly stronger predictor of well-being (β=0.54) than resilience (β=0.21), of anxiety (β=-0.70 versus 0.02, respectively), of HADS depression (β=-0.52 versus -0.15), and of PHQ-9 depression (β=-0.62 versus -0.09). We propose that mental toughness may predict well-being more strongly than resilience because it is a broader construct, incorporating proactive traits that enhance well-being. The findings suggest that training and interventions that enhance mental toughness in non-clinical populations may be more effective at promoting mental well-being and reducing anxiety and depression than those that enhance resilience. Further research is required to test these practical implications and to clarify why mental toughness is a stronger predictor than resilience for positive mental health.
  • Responding well to Spiritual Abuse: practice implications for counselling and psychotherapy

    Oakley, Lisa; Kinmond, Kathryn; Blundell, Peter; University of Chester; Birmingham City University; Liverpool John Moores University
    This paper presents the findings of a survey exploring people’s understandings and experiences of Spiritual Abuse (SA) in a Christian faith context. The online survey was completed by 1591 individuals from the UK, 1002 of whom identified as having experienced SA. Inclusion criteria were: membership of the Christian faith, being or having been, a Church attender or member of a Christian organisation and to have heard of the term SA. Participants detailed the features of an effective response to disclosures of SA and many of these are directly relevant to counselling and psychotherapy practice. Additionally, the research findings echo repeated calls in previous research for the necessity to include discussions of religion and faith in initial training and continuing professional development for counsellors and psychotherapists. Finally, the paper suggests a next step would be the establishment of a network of counsellors with training and knowledge about SA.

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