• Eating Disorders Impact on Vigilance and Decision Making of a Community Sample of Treatment Naive Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Young Adults

      Nazar, Bruno Palazzo; Trindade, Amanda Pompeu; Leslie, Monica; Malloy-Diniz, Leandro Fernandes; Sergeant, Joseph; Treasure, Janet; Mattos, Paulo; Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; King's College London; Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais; University Amsterdam; D'Or Institute for Education and Research
      Although impulsivity is suggested as a possible link to explain the association of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with an Eating Disorder (ED), there is little research on how clinical and cognitive/neuropsychological functioning might change when this comorbidity occurs. ADHD individuals are at a higher of developing ED and also obesity. Some research has described the impact of ADHD in clinical treatment-seeking samples of ED patients. Consequently, we investigated how ED impacted on clinical and cognitive variables of a community sample of treatment-naive ADHD individuals. Ninety college students arranged in three groups (ADHD+ED, ADHD only and Controls) were analyzed using semi-structured interviews for ADHD (K-SADS), the Iowa Gambling Task, the Conner's Continuous Performance Test, Digit and Visual span, as well as rating scales for anxiety (STAI), depression (BDI) and impulsivity (BIS-11), and binge eating (BES). We found that ADHD+ED individuals significantly differed from both groups, presenting with a higher body mass index; more hyperactivity-impulsivity symptoms; higher binge eating scores; more omission errors on the Continuous Performance Test; disadvantageous choices on the Iowa Gambling Task. Also, we demonstrated through a moderation/mediation analysis that a greater level of binge eating mediated the increases in body mass index on our sample. There were no significant paths to explain binge-eating severity through changes on any of the neuropsychological tests used. The presence of an ED in normal weight in a community sample of ADHD individuals is associated with higher body mass index and a worse cognitive functioning.
    • The effect of male incarceration on rape myth acceptance: Application of propensity score matching technique

      Debowska, Agata; Boduszek, Daniel; Dhingra, Katie; DeLisi, Matthew; University of Chester ; University of Huddersfield ; Manchester Metropolitan University ; Iowa State University (Taylor & Francis, 2016-03-17)
      The aim is to assess the effect of imprisonment on rape myth acceptance. The research used a sample of male prisoners incarcerated for non-sexual crimes (n = 98) and a sample of males drawn from the general population (n = 160). Simple linear regression did not indicate a significant effect of incarceration on rape myth acceptance. After controlling for background covariates using propensity score matching, analysis revealed a positive significant effect of incarceration on rape myth acceptance. Although further research is required, results indicate that being subject to incarceration has a significant positive effect on stereotypical thinking about rape.
    • The effect of Steiner, Montessori, and national curriculum education upon children's pretence and creativity

      Kirkham, Julie A.; Kidd, Evan; University of Chester ; The Australian National University; University of Chester; The Australian National University (Wiley, 2015-03-15)
      Pretence and creativity are often regarded as ubiquitous characteristics of childhood, yet not all education systems value or promote these attributes to the same extent. Different pedagogies and practices are evident within the UK National Curriculum, Steiner and Montessori schools
    • The Effect of Superstitious Thinking on Psychosocial Stress Responses and Perceived Task Performance

      Lasikiewicz, Nicola; Teo, Wan Yee; University of Chester; James Cook University Singapore (Wiley, 2018-02-18)
      Abstract Previous research on superstition, a subset of paranormal belief, suggests that people tend to invoke luck-related superstitions in stressful situations as an attempt to gain an illusion of control over outcomes. Based on this, the current study examined whether luck-related superstition, in the form of a ‘lucky’ pen, could influence the psychological response to a psychosocial stressor. Participants (N =114) aged between 17 and 59 years (M = 22.98, SD = 4.57) from James Cook University Singapore, were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: (1) no-stress with no ‘lucky’ pen; (2) no-stress with a ‘lucky’ pen; (3) stress with no ‘lucky’ pen; (4) stress with a ‘lucky’ pen. The results revealed that participants provided with a “lucky” pen experienced lower state anxiety when exposed to the stressor. Further, participants provided with a ‘lucky’ pen perceived their performance to be better than those without it. However, superstitious belief did not significantly change following exposure to stress. Taken together, the present findings add some support to the suggestion that belief in transferable luck may facilitate coping with a stressor. However, further research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms behind the potential benefits of superstitious belief.
    • Effects of intranasal oxytocin on the attentional bias to emotional stimuli in patients with bulimia nervosa

      Kim, Youl-Ri; Eom, Jin-Sup; Leppanen, Jenni; Leslie, Monica; Treasure, Janet; Inje University; Chungbuk National University; King's College London
      Background: Bulimia nervosa (BN) is characterized by binge eating and emotional dysregulation including increased negative affectivity (anger, anxiety). The aim of this study was to examine the effect of oxytocin on attentional processes towards anger in patients with BN. Method: The study design consisted of a double-blind, placebo-controlled within-subject crossover, single dose experiment. Sixty-four women (31 patients with BN and 33 healthy comparisons) completed self-reported measures to evaluate emotional difficulties and were administered a single dose of intranasal oxytocin (40IU) or placebo followed by a visual probe detection task to examine attentional orienting to angry or happy faces. Results: Patients with BN reported higher emotional dysregulation and more difficulties in controlling anger compared to the healthy comparison group. Patients with BN and the healthy women exhibited similar attentional bias to angry faces in the placebo condition. Intranasal oxytocin reduced the attentional bias towards angry faces in both the BN patients and the healthy women. Conclusions: We found that a single dose of oxytocin reduced vigilance towards angry faces in patients with BN as well as healthy women. The results showed that patients with BN are not different from healthy women in terms of vigilance towards threat.
    • The effects of victim of bullying reputation on adolescents’ choice of friends: Mediation by fear of becoming a victim of bullying, moderation by victim status, and implications for befriending interventions

      Boulton, Michael J.; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2013-01)
      This article discusses the effects of victim of bullying reputation on friendship formation.
    • Embraces and grooming in captive spider monkeys

      Schaffner, Colleen; Aureli, Filippo; University of Chester ; Liverpool John Moores University (Springer, 2005-10)
    • Embraces for infant handling in spider monkeys: Evidence for a biological market?

      Slater, Kathy; Schaffner, Colleen; Aureli, Filippo; University of Chester : University of Chester : Liverpool John Moores University (Elsevier, 2007-08-22)
      This article discusses infant handling among wild female spider monkeys.
    • The Emotional Face of Anorexia Nervosa: The Neural Correlates of Emotional Processing

      Halls, Daniel; Leslie, Monica; Leppanen, Jenni; Sedgewick, Felicity; Surguladze, Simon; Fonville, Leon; Lang, Katie; Simic, Mima; Nicholls, Dasha; Williams, Steven; et al.
      Social-emotional processing difficulties have been reported in Anorexia Nervosa (AN), yet the neural correlates remain unclear. Previous neuroimaging work is sparse and has not used functional connectivity paradigms to more fully explore the neural correlates of emotional difficulties. Fifty-seven acutely unwell AN (AAN) women, 60 weight-recovered AN (WR) women and 69 healthy control (HC) women categorised the gender of a series of emotional faces while undergoing Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging. The mean age of the AAN group was 19.40 (2.83), WR 18.37 (3.59) and HC 19.37 (3.36). A whole brain and psychophysical interaction connectivity approach was used. Parameter estimates from significant clusters were extracted and correlated with clinical symptoms. Whilst no group level differences in whole brain activation were demonstrated, significant group level functional connectivity differences emerged. WR participants showed increased connectivity between the bilateral occipital face area and the cingulate, precentral gyri, superior, middle, medial and inferior frontal gyri compared to AAN and HC when viewing happy valenced faces. Eating disorder symptoms and parameter estimates were positively correlated. Our findings characterise the neural basis of social-emotional processing in a large sample of individuals with AN.
    • Empirical Advances in Studying Relational Networks

      McLoughlin, Shane; Stewart, Ian; University of Chester; National University of Ireland, Galway (Elsevier, 2016-11-29)
      The relating of relations is a key feature of the development of complex relational networks. Despite this, thus far there has been little empirical study of this phenomenon, outside of analogy. The latter, which involves coordination of relational networks, is indeed an important example of the relating of relations but there are other examples that can also be involved in complex relational framing. Experiment 1 extended previous research by exploring non-coordinate relating of relations in adult participants. First, Crel functions of YES, NO, SAME, DIFFERENT, and OPPOSITE were established in arbitrary stimuli using a multi-stage Relational Evaluation Procedure (REP). Then participants were tested for the evaluation of various forms of relating of relations including deriving coordination, distinction and opposition relations between relations. Three out of four participants showed predicted patterns of behavior. In Experiment 2, these same three participants showed transformation of contextual control functions via the relating of relational networks. Implications and future research directions are discussed.
    • Enhanced threat detection in experienced riot police officers: Cognitive evidence from the face-in-the-crowd effect

      Damjanovic, Ljubica; Pinkham, Amy E.; Clarke, Philip; Phillips, Jeremy; University of Chester; Southern Methodist University (Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2013-10-24)
      We explored how varying levels of professional expertise in hostile crowd management could enhance threat detection capabilities as assessed by the face in the crowd paradigm. Trainee police officers and more experienced police officers specialized in, and having extensive experience with, riot control, were compared with participants with no experience in hostile crowd management on their search times and accuracy levels in detecting angry and happy face targets against a display of emotional and neutral dis- tractor faces. The experienced officers relative to their trainee counterparts and nonpolice controls showed enhanced detection for threatening faces in both types of display along with a greater degree of inhibitory control over angry face distractors. These findings help to reinforce the ecological validity of the face in the crowd paradigm and provide a new theoretical link for the role of individual differences on the attentional processing of socially relevant stimuli.
    • Enhancing primary school children’s knowledge of online safety and risks with the CATZ co-operative cross-age teaching intervention: Results from a pilot study

      Boulton, Michael J.; Boulton, Louise; Camerone, Eleonora; Down, James; Hughes, Joanna; Kirkbride, Chloe; Kirkham, Rachel; Macaulay, Peter; Sanders, Jessica; University of Chester (Mary Ann Liebert, 2016-10-01)
      Children are heavy users of the internet and prior studies have shown that many of them lack a good understanding of the risks of doing so and how to avoid them. This study examined if the Cross-Age Teaching Zone (CATZ) intervention could help children acquire important knowledge of online risks and safety. It allowed older students to act as CATZ tutors to design and deliver a lesson to younger schoolmates (tutees), using content material about online risks and safety provided by adults. Students in Year 6 (mean age = 11.5 years) were randomly assigned to act as either CATZ tutors (n= 100) or age-matched controls (n = 46) and students in Year 4 (mean age = 9.5 years) acted as either CATZ tutees (n = 117) or age-matched controls (n = 28) (total N = 291). CATZ tutors but not matched controls scored significantly higher on objective measures of knowledge of both online risks and safety, and CATZ tutees but not matched controls did so for online safety. Effect sizes were moderate or large. CATZ was highly acceptable to participants. The results suggest that CATZ is a viable way to help school students learn about online dangers and how to avoid them.
    • Evaluating process and effectiveness of a low-intensity CBT intervention for women with gynaecological cancer (the EPELIT Trial)

      Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J.; Hulbert-Williams, Lee; Flynn, Ryan J.; Pendrous, Rosina; MacDonald-Smith, Carey; Mullard, Anna; Swash, Brooke; Evans, Gemma; Price, Annabel; University of Chester; North Wales Cancer Treatment Centre; Ysbyty Gwynedd; Addenbrooke's Hospital Cambridge
      Background: Improving survival from gynaecological cancers is creating an increasing clinical challenge for long-term distress management. Psychologist-led interventions for cancer survivors can be beneficial, but are often costly. The rise of the Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP) workforce in the UK might offer a cheaper, but equally effective, intervention delivery method that is more sustainable and accessible. We aimed to test the effectiveness of a PWP co-facilitated intervention for reducing depression and anxiety, quality of life and unmet needs. Methods: We planned this trial using a pragmatic, non-randomised controlled design, recruiting a comparator sample from a second clinical site. The intervention was delivered over six-weekly sessions; data were collected from participants at baseline, weekly during the intervention, and at one-week and three-month follow-up. Logistical challenges meant that we only recruited 8 participants to the intervention group, and 26 participants to the control group. Results: We did not find significant, between-group differences for depression, quality of life or unmet needs, though some differences at follow-up were found for anxiety (p<.001). Analysis of potential intervention mediator processes indicated the potential importance of self-management self-efficacy. Low uptake into the psychological intervention raises questions about (a) patient- driven needs for group-based support, and (b) the sustainability of this intervention programme. Conclusions: This study failed to recruit to target; the under-powered analysis likely explains the lack of significant effects reported, though some trends in the data are of interest. Retention in the intervention group, and low attrition in the control group indicate acceptability of the intervention content and trial design; however a small baseline population rendered this trial infeasible in its current design. Further work is required to answer our research questions, but also, importantly, to address low uptake for psychological interventions in this group of cancer survivors.
    • Evaluating the impact of COVID-19 on supportive care needs, psychological distress and 3 quality of life in UK cancer survivors and their support network.

      Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J.; Leslie, Monica; Hulbert-Williams, Lee; Smith, Eilidh; Howells, Lesley; Pinato, David J; University of Chester; Maggie's Cancer Centres; Imperial College London
      Objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic is having considerable impact on cancer care, including restricted access to hospital-based care, treatment and psychosocial support. We investigated the impact on unmet needs and psychosocial wellbeing. Methods: 144 participants (77% female), including people with cancer and their support networks, were recruited. The most prevalent diagnosis was breast cancer. Forty-one participants recruited pre-pandemic were compared with 103 participants recruited during the COVID-19 pandemic. We measured participants’ unmet supportive care needs, psychological distress and quality of life. Results: Half of our patient respondents reported unexpected changes to treatment following pandemic onset, with widespread confusion about their longer-term consequences. Although overall need levels have not increased, specific needs have changed in prominence. People with cancer reported significantly reduced anxiety (p=.049) and improved quality of life (p=.032) following pandemic onset, but support network participants reported reduced quality of life (p=.009), and non-significantly elevated anxiety, stress and depression. Conclusion: Psychological wellbeing of people with cancer has not been detrimentally affected by pandemic onset. Reliance on home-based support to compensate for the lost availability of structured healthcare pathways may, however, explain significant and detrimental effects on the wellbeing and quality of life of people in their support and informal care networks.
    • Evaluating unmet needs in patients undergoing surgery for colorectal cancer: A patient reported outcome measures (PROMS) study

      Sutton, Paul; Bourdon-Pierre, R; Smith, Carly M.; Appleton, Nathan; Lightfoot, Tina; Gabriel, Claire; Richards, B.; Mohamed, S.; Mason-Whitehead, Elizabeth; Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J.; et al. (Wiley, 2019-03-03)
      Aim Patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) are self-reported measures of patients’ health status or health related quality of life at a single point in time. We aimed to evaluate the use of a colorectal PROM, and conducted a focus group to further explore this and other unmet needs in our patient population treated surgically for colorectal cancer. Method A multidisciplinary research group consisting of colorectal surgeons, nurse specialists, psychologists, sociologists and patient representatives devised a composite tool of new and existing outcome measures which was piloted in our local population (n=35). Participants were subsequently invited to attend a semi-structured focus group during which the PROM was reviewed and an unmet needs analysis performed. Thematic analysis of focus group transcripts was undertaken for emergent themes. Results Initial consensus was for a tool including the EQ-5D, FACT-C, the distress thermometer, a validated measure of stigma, an unmet needs analysis, and questions assessing the psychological impact of cancer. Median and IQR values suggested all metrics were discriminatory with the exception of FACT-C. All participants agreed the tool was acceptable, and reflected the current state of their health and emotions. Thematic analysis of focus group transcripts identified four major themes: Physical symptoms, emotional response, information provision and coping mechanisms. Conclusion Through expert consensus, local piloting and patient focus groups we have evaluated a novel PROM for colorectal cancer. Furthermore, through our direct engagement with patients we have identified several unmet needs which we are currently exploring within the clinical service.
    • Evaluation of Follow-Up Effects of the International Child Development Programme on Caregivers in Mozambique

      Skar, Ane-Marthe Solheim; Sherr, Lorraine; Clucas, Claudine; von Tetzchner, Stephen; University of Chester (2014-04)
      Parenting programs have been used to good effect in many settings, yet few are systematically introduced and evaluated in developing countries. This study explores the relative long-term effect of participation in the International Child Development Programme (ICDP) in a group of caregivers in Mozambique. A quasi-experimental design was used to compare caregivers who had completed an ICDP course (n = 75) with a sociogeographically matched comparison group participants (n = 62) who had not followed any parenting program. Both groups completed a questionnaire about parenting, attitudes toward the child and the child’s behavior, self-efficacy, life quality, and mental health. The ICDP group reported better parenting skills, fewer conduct problems in their children, and better child adjustment than the comparison group, as well as a shift in physical punishment away from hitting. The ICDP group had higher self-efficacy scores, better health and life quality, and lower scores on mental health difficulties. The follow-up differences between caregivers who had and had not attended the ICDP course indicate that course attendance may result in observable benefits in parenting and mental health scores. The data are cross-sectional and the caregivers were interviewed postintervention only, and more research is therefore needed.
    • An Evaluation of Shared Reading Groups for Adults Living with Dementia: Preliminary Findings

      Longden, Eleanor; Davis, Philip; Carroll, Janine; Billington, Josie; Kinderman, Peter; CRILS (Davis, P and Billington, J), The University of Liverpool (Longden, E and Kinderman, P) and The University of Chester (Carroll, J) (Emerald, 2016-06-20)
      Purpose – Although there is a growing evidence base for the value of psychosocial and arts based strategies for enhancing wellbeing amongst adults living with dementia, relatively little attention has been paid to literature-based interventions. This service evaluation assesses the impact of Shared Reading (SR) groups, a programme developed and implemented by The Reader Organisation, on quality of life for care home residents with mild/moderate dementia. Design/methodology/approach – Thirty one individuals were recruited from four care homes, which were randomly assigned to either reading-waiting groups (three months reading, followed by three months no reading) or waiting-reading groups (three months no reading, followed by three months reading). Quality of life was assessed by the DEMQOLProxy and psychopathological symptoms were assessed by the NPI-Q. Findings – Compared to the waiting condition, the positive effects of SR on quality of life were demonstrated at the commencement of the reading groups and were maintained once the activity ended. Low levels of baseline symptoms prevented analyses on whether the intervention impacted on the clinical signs of dementia. Limitations – Limitations included the small sample and lack of control for confounding variables. Originality/value – The therapeutic potential of reading groups is discussed as a positive and practical intervention for older adults living with dementia.
    • Evidence that zoo visitors influence HPA activity in spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyii rufiventris)

      Davis, Nicolas; Schaffner, Colleen; Smith, Tessa E.; University College Chester (Elsevier, 2005-02)
      This article discusses the relationship between visitor numbers to a zoo and activity in the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis of the animals.
    • Examining the relationship between autism traits and sleep duration as predictors of suicidality

      Hochard, Kevin D.; Pendrous, Rosina; Mari, Tyler; Flynn, Samantha; University of Chester; University of Warwick
      Short sleep duration is a known risk factor for suicidality in the general population, yet it is unclear how short sleep interacts with autism traits in predicting suicidality. In this cross-sectional online study, a general population sample (N = 650) completed measures assessing autism traits, suicidal ideation, and sleep duration. Moderated hierarchical regressions demonstrated that higher autism traits and shorter sleep were independent predictors of increased suicide ideation. However, sleep duration did not significantly moderate the autism trait to suicide ideation relationship. Future work should explore this relationship longitudinally using objective measures before intervention work to increase sleep duration in those with elevated autism traits be consider.
    • Exploration of basal diurnal salivary cortisol profiles in middle-aged adults: Associations with sleep quality and metabolic parameters

      Lasikiewicz, Nicola; Hendrickx, Hilde; Talbot, Duncan; Dye, Louise (Elsevier, 2007-09-27)
      The use of saliva samples is a practical and feasible method to explore basal diurnal cortisol profiles in free-living research. This study explores a number of psychological and physiological characteristics in relation to the observed pattern of salivary cortisol activity over a 12-h period with particular emphasis on sleep. Basal diurnal cortisol profiles were examined in a sample of 147 volunteers (mean age 46.2177.18 years). Profiles were constructed for each volunteer and explored in terms of the area under the curve (AUC) of the cortisol-awakening response with samples obtained immediately upon waking (0, 15, 30 and 45 min post waking) and at 3, 6, 9 and 12 h post waking to assess diurnal decline. Diurnal mean of cortisol was based on the mean of cortisol at time points 3, 6, 9 and 12 h post waking. Psychological measures of perceived stress and sleep were collected with concurrent biological assessment of fasting plasma glucose, insulin, blood lipids and inflammatory markers. Blunted cortisol profiles, characterised by a reduced AUC, were observed in the majority (78%) of a middle-aged sample and were associated with significantly poorer sleep quality and significantly greater waist-hip ratio (WHR). Blunted cortisol profiles were further associated with a tendency to exhibit a less favourable metabolic profile. These findings suggest that reduced cortisol secretion post waking may serve as an additional marker of psychological and biological vulnerability to adverse health outcomes in middle-aged adults.