• Managing relationship decay: Network, gender and contextual effects.

      Roberts, Sam G. B.; Dunbar, Robin I. M.; University of Chester; University of Oxford (Springer, 2015-10-21)
      Relationships are central to human life strategies and have crucial fitness consequences. Yet, at the same time, they incur significant maintenance costs that are rarely considered in either social psychological or evolutionary studies. Although many social psychological studies have explored their dynamics, these studies have typically focused on a small number of emotionally intense ties, whereas social networks in fact consist of a large number of ties that serve a variety of different functions. In this study, we examined how entire active personal networks changed over 18 months across a major life transition. Family relationships and friendships differed strikingly in this respect. The decline in friendship quality was mitigated by increased effort invested in the relationship, but with a striking gender difference: relationship decline was prevented most by increased contact frequency (talking together) for females but by doing more activities together in the case of males.
    • Manipulation of glycemic response with isomaltulose in a milk-based drink does not affect cognitive performance in healthy adults

      Dye, Louise; Gilsenan, Mary B.; Quadt, Frits; Martens, Vanessa E. G.; Bot, Arjen; Lasikiewicz, Nicola; Camidge, Diana; Croden, Fiona; Lawton, Clare (Wiley, 2010-04-07)
      Previous research suggests that glucoregulation and nutrient interventions, which alter circulating glucose, impact cognitive function. To examine the effect of modulating glycemic response using isomaltulose on cognitive function 24 healthy male adult participants consumed energy and macronutrient-matched milk-based drinks containing 50 g isomaltulose, 50 g sucrose or a water control in a counterbalanced within-subject design. Interstitial glucose was measured continuously in 12 subjects and all provided 9 capillary measures on each test day. A 30-min cognitive test battery was administered before and twice (+35 and +115 min) after drink ingestion. Immediate, delayed, recognition, verbal and working memory, and psychomotor performance were assessed. Glycemic profiles induced by the drinks differed significantly during the first but not the second post-drink test battery. Neither administration of the sucrose nor isomaltulose drinks produced consistent effects on verbal or working memory, or psychomotor performance. This study used isomaltulose as an investigative tool to lower glycemic response. Importantly, it demonstrates a lack of effect of modulating glucose on cognitive performance based on reliable, continuously measured glycemia. It refutes the hypothesis that glycemia is associated with cognitive performance and questions the suggestion that isomaltulose has an effect on cognitive performance.
    • Many Roads Can Lead to Rome – Supervisors perspectives on successful supervision and the challenges.

      Lafferty, Moira E.; Hemmings, Brian; Katz, Jonathan; Cunliffe, Matthew; Eubank, Martin; University of Chester, University of Greenwich, Liverpool John Moores University (British Psychological Society, 2019-09-30)
      The article focuses directly on the stories of supervision and supervision in practice at the micro level by drawing on the views and experiences of three supervisors, two (Brian and Jonathan) with numerous years supervisory experience and one newly qualified supervisor (Matt). Brian and Jon, supervise their QSEP candidates through a combined group and individual supervisory programme in contrast, Matt adopts an individual approach with all his supervisees. In the remainder of this article, these three supervisors present their thoughts and personal experiences on three core areas, developing the supervisory relationship, challenges to supervision and the concept of continued development as a supervisor.
    • Measuring deviant sexual interest in Adolescents using the emotional Stroop task.

      Price, Shelley A.; Beech, Anthony R.; Mitchell, Ian J.; Humphreys, Glyn W.; University of Chester, University of Birmingham, University of Birmingham, Oxford University (SAGE, 2014-10)
      Adolescent sexual abusers are a heterogeneous group of offenders that often receive generic assessment and treatment services that are modeled on research findings from adult sex offender samples. The emotional Stroop task has been used to measure deviant sexual interest in adult samples. The purpose of the present study was to test whether the emotional Stroop task could also be used to assess deviant sexual interest in adolescent samples. Three groups of adolescents (a) sexual abusers (n = 24); (b) offending controls (n = 21); and (c) nonoffending controls (n = 21) completed two emotional Stroop tasks related to deviant sexual interest and tests of executive function. Adolescent sexual abusers were significantly slower to color-name some word stimuli than both adolescent offending controls and adolescent nonoffending controls. However, the task was unable to differentiate between the groups on most of the Stroop word categories. Very little research has been conducted with adolescent offender samples and the emotional Stroop task. Reaction time (RT) and Stroop bias outcome data for adolescent samples appear to be more unsystematic and weaker than has been observed in previous adult data. Based on potential difficulties with reading and development, the emotional Stroop task may not be a task suitable for measuring deviant sexual interest in adolescent samples.
    • Mental health nurses' experiences of schizophrenia rehabilitation in China and India: A preliminary study

      Higgins, Louise; Dey-Ghatak, Priya; Davey, Gareth; University of Chester (Wiley, 2007-01-12)
      This article reports on preliminary open-ended discussions with mental health nurses in China and India in order to gain insights into the cultural and social issues that surround social rehabilitation of patients with schizophrenia.
    • Metacognitive beliefs as psychological predictors of social functioning: an investigation with young people at risk of psychosis

      Bright, Measha; Parker, Sophie; French, Paul; Fowler, David; Gumley, Andrew I.; Morrison, Anthony P.; Birchwood, Max; Jones, Peter B.; Stewart, Suzanne L. K.; Wells, Adrian; et al. (Elsevier, 2017-09-14)
      Poor social functioning has been found to be present in those at risk for psychosis. This study aimed to examine metacognitive beliefs as potential predictors of structured activity (measure of social functioning) in those with an At Risk Mental State (ARMS). Regression and correlation analyses were conducted. The sample included 109 young people. Age was found to be positively correlated to structured activity. Metacognitive beliefs concerning uncontrollability and danger of worry were found to negatively predict structured activity. This was after controlling for age, gender, treatment allocation, cognitive schemas, positive symptom severity, social anxiety, and depression. Metacognitive danger items were most important. Age was the only control variable found to be an independent predictor of structured activity in the regression model, despite negative bi-variate relationships with structured activity found across three cognitive schema subscales and social anxiety. This is the first study to find that higher negative metacognitive beliefs about uncontrollability and danger predict lower social functioning in an ARMS sample, and that the perception of thoughts being dangerous was of particular importance. Psychological interventions should consider targeting this metacognitive dimension to increase social functioning. Future longitudinal research is required to strengthen findings in this area.
    • The moderating role of psychopathic traits in the relationship between period of confinement and criminal social identity in a sample of juvenile prisoners

      Boduszek, Daniel; Dhingra, Katie; Debowska, Agata; University of Huddersfield; SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Katowice, Poland; Leeds Beckett University; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2016-03)
      The main aim of the current study was to examine how primary psychopathy may interact with period of confinement to predict Criminal Social Identity (CSI) scores, while controlling for covariates. Methods: The Measure of Criminal Social Identity, Levenson Self-report Psychopathy Scale, and the Measure of Criminal Attitudes and Associates were administered to 126 male juvenile offenders incarcerated in prisons in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Results: Results indicated no significant direct relationship between period of confinement and CSI scores. However, as expected, a significant moderating effect of primary psychopathy on the association between period of confinement and CSI scores was observed while controlling for covariates. Specifically, the significant effect of period of confinement on CSI was observed only for those participants who scored higher (1 SD above the mean) on primary psychopathy (affective and interpersonal features). Conclusion: For incarcerated juveniles with greater primary psychopathic traits, the formation and/or intensification of CSI may be an adaptive response to incarceration.
    • Modifying self-blame, self-esteem, and disclosure through a cooperative cross-age teaching intervention for bullying among adolescents

      Boulton, Michael J.; Boulton, Louise; University of Chester (Springer, 2017-05-17)
      Bullying is common among school students, and some victims hold self-blaming attributions, exhibit low self-esteem, and do not seek social support. A wait-list control pre/post-test experimental design, with random allocation, was used to assess the effects of a novel cross-age teaching of social issues intervention (CATS) on the latter three variables among peer-identified victims of bullying (N = 41, mean age = 14.5 years). In small co-operative groups of classmates, participants designed and delivered a lesson to younger students that informed them that bullies not victims are in the wrong, victims have no reason to feel bad about themselves and that seeking help can be beneficial. CATS led to a significant improvement on all three dependent variables with mostly large effect sizes, these positive effects were even stronger with a bigger dose of intervention (six versus four hours), and changes in self-blame, and separately changes in self-esteem, mediated the positive effect of the intervention on help-seeking. The theoretical and practical implications of these results were discussed, especially in terms of supporting a highly vulnerable sub-group of adolescents.
    • More than zero tolerance? Burnout and tolerance for patient aggression amongst mental health nurses in China and the UK

      Whittington, Richard; Higgins, Louise; University of Liverpool ; Chester College of Higher Education (Blackwell, 2002-06-18)
      This article discusses attitudes toward patient aggressive behaviour amongst mental health nurses in China and the UK and the relationship between these attitudes and burnout.
    • Mothers and Fathers Attending the International Child Development Programme in Norway

      Clucas, Claudine; Skar, Ane-Marthe Solheim; Sherr, Lorraine; von Tetzchner, Stephen; University of Chester; University of Oslo; University College London (SAGE, 2014-08-19)
      Fathers are understudied in parent training studies. This study investigates whether mothers and fathers benefit equally from participating in the International Child Development Programme (ICDP) implemented as a community-wide programme in Norway in their parenting behaviour, perceived child difficulties and their psychosocial health. The questionnaire study used a pre-post design comparing 105 mothers and 36 fathers who attended a regular ICDP course. Results showed that the mothers and fathers differed on parenting behaviours prior to the course but showed similar changes, including on emotional and regulative aspects of parenting and autonomy supportive behaviours. However, only the mothers perceived a decrease in their child’s difficulties after the course while the fathers showed a greater increase in behaviours assumed to support the child’s meaning-making and in self-efficacy, and a greater decrease in anxiety after the course. ICDP courses appear to be a useful tool for supporting both mothers and fathers in their parenting role.
    • Negative cognition, affect, metacognition and dimensions of paranoia in people at ultra-high risk of psychosis: A multi-level modelling analysis

      Morrison, Anthony P.; Shryane, Nick; Fowler, David; Birchwood, Max; Gumley, Andrew I.; Taylor, Hannah E.; French, Paul; Stewart, Suzanne L. K.; Jones, Peter B.; Lewis, Shôn W.; et al. (Cambridge University Press, 2015-04-08)
      Background: Paranoia is one of the commonest symptoms of psychosis but has rarely been studied in a population at risk of developing psychosis. Based on existing theoretical models, including the proposed distinction between ‘poor me’ and ‘bad me’ paranoia, we test specific predictions about associations between negative cognition, metacognitive beliefs and negative emotions and paranoid ideation and the belief that persecution is deserved (deservedness). Methods: We used data from 117 participants from the EDIE-2 trial of cognitive behaviour therapy for people at high risk of developing psychosis, comparing them with samples of psychiatric inpatients and healthy students from a previous study. Multi-level modelling was utilised to examine predictors of both paranoia and deservedness, with post-hoc planned comparisons conducted to test whether person-level predictor variables were associated differentially with paranoia or with deservedness. Results: Our sample of ARMS participants was not as paranoid, but reported higher levels of “bad-me” deservedness, compared to psychiatric inpatients. We found several predictors of paranoia and deservedness. Negative beliefs about self were related to deservedness but not paranoia, whereas negative beliefs about others were positively related to paranoia but negatively with deservedness. Both depression and negative metacognitive beliefs about paranoid thinking were specifically related to paranoia but not deservedness. Conclusions: This study provides evidence for the role of negative cognition, metacognition and negative affect in the development of paranoid beliefs, which has implications for psychological interventions and our understanding of psychosis.
    • Neural Correlates of Theory of Mind Are Preserved in Young Women with Anorexia Nervosa

      Leslie, Monica; Halls, Daniel; Leppanen, Jenni; Sedgewick, Felicity; Smith, Katherine; Hayward, Hannah; Lang, Katie; Fonville, Leon; Simic, Mima; Mandy, William; et al.
      People with anorexia nervosa (AN) commonly exhibit social difficulties, which may be related to problems with understanding the perspectives of others, commonly known as Theory of Mind (ToM) processing. However, there is a dearth of literature investigating the neural basis of these differences in ToM and at what age they emerge. This study aimed to test for differences in the neural correlates of ToM processes in young women with AN, and young women weight-restored from AN, as compared to healthy control participants (HC). Based on previous findings in AN, we hypothesised that young women with current or prior AN, as compared to HCs, would exhibit a reduced neural response in the medial prefrontal cortex, the inferior frontal gyrus, and the temporo-parietal junction whilst completing a ToM task. We recruited 73 young women with AN, 45 weight-restored young women, and 70 young women without a history of AN to take part in the current study. Whilst undergoing a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan, participants completed the Frith-Happé task, which is a commonly-used measure of ToM with demonstrated reliability and validity in adult populations. In this task, participants viewed the movements of triangles, which depicted either action movements, simple interactions, or complex social interactions. Viewing trials with more complex social interactions in the Frith-Happé task was associated with increased brain activation in regions including the right temporo-parietal junction, the bilateral medial prefrontal cortex, the cerebellum, and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. There were no group differences in neural activation in response to the ToM contrast. Overall, these results suggest that the neural basis of spontaneous mentalising is preserved in most young women with AN.
    • Neuroticism and extraversion mediate the relationship between having a sibling with developmental disabilities and anxiety and depression symptoms

      Murray, Lindsay; O'Neill, Linda P.; 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.
    • New paradigms for BRCA1/BRCA2 testing in women with ovarian cancer: results of the Genetic Testing in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer (GTEOC) study

      Plaskocinska, Inga; Shipman, Hannah; Drummond, James; Thompson, Edward; Buchanan, Vanessa; Newcombe, Barbara; Hodgkin, Charlotte; Barter, Elisa; Ridley, Paul; Ng, Rita; et al. (2016-05-12)
      Background: Over recent years genetic testing for germline mutations in BRCA1/BRCA2 has become more readily available because of technological advances and reducing costs. The Genetic Testing in Epithelial Ovarian Cancer (GTEOC) Study explored the feasibility and acceptability of offering genetic testing to all women recently diagnosed with epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). Methods: From 1st July 2013 to 30th June 2015 women newly diagnosed with EOC were recruited through six sites in East Anglia, UK. Eligibility was irrespective of patient age and family history of cancer. The psychosocial arm of the study utilised self-report, psychometrically validated questionnaires (Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale, DASS-21; Impact of Event Scale, IES) and cost analysis was performed. Results: 232 women were recruited and 18 mutations were detected (12 in BRCA1, 6 in BRCA2) giving a mutation yield of 8% which increases to 12% in unselected women <70 years (17/146) and 1% in unselected women >70 years (1/86). IES and DASS-21 scores in response to genetic testing were significantly lower than equivalent scores in response to cancer diagnosis (p<.001). Correlation tests indicated that whilst older age is a protective factor against any traumatic impacts of genetic testing, no significant correlation exists between age and distress outcomes. Conclusion: The mutation yield in unselected women diagnosed with EOC from a heterogeneous population with no founder mutations was 8% in all ages and 12% in women under 70. Unselected genetic testing in women with EOC was acceptable to patients and is potentially less resource-intensive than current standard practice.
    • No evidence against Sketch Reinstatement of Context, Verbal Labels or the use of Registered Intermediaries for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Response to Henry et al. (2017)

      Dando, Coral J.; Ormerod, Thomas C.; Cooper, Penny; Marchant, Ruth; Mattison, Michelle L. A.; Milne, Rebecca; Bull, Ray; University of Westminster; University of Sussex; City, University of London; Triangle Services; University of Chester; University of Portsmouth; University of Derby (Springer Verlag, 2018-02-13)
      Recently, Henry et al. (2017) found no evidence for the use of Verbal labels, Sketch Reinstatement of Context and Registered Intermediaries by forensic practitioners when interviewing children with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. We consider their claims, noting the limited ecological validity of the experimental paradigm, the impacts of repeated interviewing where retrieval support is not provided at first retrieval, question the interviewer/intermediary training and their population relevant experience, and comment on the suppression of population variances. We submit that rejecting these techniques on the basis of this study is completely unwarranted and potentially damaging, particularly if used in legal proceedings to undermine the value of testimony from children with ASD, who continually struggle to gain access to justice.
    • Nothing by mere authority: Evidence that in an experimental analogue of the Milgram paradigm participants are motivated not by orders but by appeals to science

      Haslam, S. Alexander; Reicher, Stephen D.; Birney, Megan E.; University of Queensland; University of St. Andrews; University of Exeter (Wiley-Blackwell, 2014-09-04)
      Milgram’s classic research in which people follow experimental instructions to continue administering shocks to another person is widely understood to demonstrate people’s natural inclination to obey the orders of those in authority. However, analysis of participants’ responses to prods that Milgram’s Experimenter employed to encourage them to continue indicates that the one that most resembled an order was the least successful. The present study examines the impact of prods more closely by manipulating them between-participants within an analogue paradigm in which participants are instructed to use negative adjectives to describe increasingly pleasant groups. Across all conditions, continuation and completion were positively predicted by the extent to which prods appealed to scientific goals but negatively predicted by the degree to which a prod constituted an order. These results provide no support for the traditional conformity account of Milgram’s findings, but are consistent with an engaged followership model which argues that participants’ willingness to continue with an objectionable task is predicated upon active identification with the scientific project and those leading it.
    • A Novel Approach for Autism Spectrum Condition patients with Eating Disorders: Analysis of Treatment Cost-savings

      Tchanturia, Kate; Dandil, Yasemin; Li, Zhuo; Smith, Katherine; Leslie, Monica; Byford, Sarah; King's College London; South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust; Illia University (Wiley, 2020-07-10)
      Objective: In the current economic context, it is critical to ensure that eating disorder (ED) treatments are both effective and cost-effective. We describe the impact of a novel clinical pathway developed to better meet the needs of autistic patients with EDs on the length and cost of hospital admissions. Method: The pathway was based on the Institute for Healthcare’s Model of Improvement methodology, using an iterative Plan, Do, Study, Act format to introduce change and to co-produce the work with people with lived experience and with healthcare professionals. We explored the change in length and cost of admissions before and after the pathway was introduced. Results: Preliminary results suggest that the treatment innovations associated with this pathway have led to reduced lengths of admission for patients with the comorbidity, which were not seen for patients without the comorbidity. Estimated cost-savings were approximately £22,837 per patient and approximately £275,000 per year for the service as a whole. Conclusion: Going forward, our aim is to continue to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of investment in the pathway to determine whether the pathway improves the quality of care for patients with a comorbid ED and autism and is good value for money.
    • 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 J.; Ormerod, Thomas C.; 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.
    • Online information and support needs of women with advanced breast cancer: A qualitative analysis

      Kemp, Emma; Koczwara, Bogda; Butow, Phyllis N.; Turner, Jane; Girgis, Afaf; Schofield, Penelope; Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J.; Levesque, Janelle V.; Spence, Danielle; Vatandoust, Sina; et al. (Springer, 2018-04-24)
      Purpose: Women with advanced breast cancer (ABC) face significant adjustment challenges, yet few resources provide them with information and support, and attendance barriers can preclude access to face to face psychosocial support. This paper reports on two qualitative studies examining (i) whether information and support-seeking preferences of women with ABC could be addressed in an online intervention, and (ii) how an existing intervention for patients with early stage cancer could be adapted for women with ABC. Methods: Women with ABC participated in telephone interviews about their information and support- seeking preferences (N = 21) and evaluated an online intervention focused on early-stage cancer (N = 15). Interviews were transcribed and underwent thematic analysis using the framework method to identify salient themes. Results: Participants most commonly sought medical, lifestyle-related, and practical information/support; however, when presented with an online intervention, participants most commonly gave positive feedback on content on coping with emotional distress. Difficulty finding information and barriers to using common sources of information/support including health professionals, family and friends, and peers were reported; however, some women also reported not wanting information or support. All participants evaluating the existing intervention gave positive feedback on various components, with results suggesting an online intervention could be an effective means of providing information/support to women with ABC, given improved specificity/relevance to ABC and increased tailoring to individuals circumstances and preferences. Conclusions: Adaptation of an existing online intervention for early stage cancer appears a promising avenue to address the information and support needs of women with ABC.
    • Pain Processing in Psychiatric Conditions: A systematic review

      Vaughan, Sarah; Poole, Helen M.; Forshaw, Mark J.; McGlone, Francis; Failla, Michelle D.; Cascio, Carissa J.; Moore, David J.; University of Chester, Liverpool John Moores University, Vanderbilt University Medical Centre (American Psychological Society, 2019-04-29)
      Objective: Pain is a universal, multidimensional experience with sensory emotional, cognitive and social components, which is fundamental to our environmental learning when functioning typically. Understanding pain processing in psychiatric conditions could provide unique insight into the underlying pathophysiology or psychiatric disease, especially given the psychobiological overlap with pain processing pathways. Studying pain in psychiatric conditions is likely to provide important insights, yet, there is a limited understanding beyond the work outside depression and anxiety. This is a missed opportunity to describe psychiatric conditions in terms of neurobiological alterations. In order to examine the research into the pain experiences of these groups and the extent to which a-typicality is present, a systematic review was conducted. Methods: An electronic search strategy was developed and conducted in several databases. Results: The current systematic review included 46 studies covering five DSM-5 disorders: autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorder and eating disorders, confirming tentative evidence of altered pain and touch processing. Specifically, hyposensitivity is reported in schizophrenia, personality disorder and eating disorder, hypersensitivity in ADHD and mixed results for autism. Conclusions: Review of the research highlights a degree of methodological inconsistency in the utilisation of comprehensive protocols; the lack of which fails to allow us to understand whether a-typicality is systemic or modality-specific.