• Safeguarding children who are exposed to Abuse Linked to Faith or Belief

      Oakley, Lisa; University of Chester, StepsSA, Thirtyone:eight, Victoria Climbie Foundation (John Wiley & Sons, 2019-02-18)
      Cases of child abuse linked to faith or belief (CALFB) continue to be documented. However, there is limited research and understanding of CALFB. Further, there is a lack of clarity of definition. These factors then impact upon effective practice. Recognising this, the National Working Group for CALFB called for research on which to develop evidence-based practice. This paper reports on key findings from a mixed-method online survey which was completed by 1361 participants from a range of practitioner and community groups. The participants identified the importance of policy and multiagency working in this area, but they acknowledged the complexity and challenges associated with developing and implementing good practice. Recommendations from the study include a review of relevant policy to evaluate its application to CALFB, the development of faith literacy training for frontline practitioners and the creation of a space in which statutory, faith and community groups can dialogue.
    • “Safer homes”: An evaluation of a reorganization to deal with domestic Burglary within a UK police force

      Warren, Jeremy J.; Hogard, Elaine; Ellis, Roger; University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007-07-25)
      This paper describes an evaluation of an initiative to improve performance regarding domestic burglary in a police force in the North of England. The force was not performing well in respect of domestic burglary detections and was required to make considerable changes in order to improve levels of performance. The force undertook substantial organizational restructuring to implement the scheme. The evaluation focussed on the process, outcomes and stakeholder views of the initiative. The changes had a significant effect on burglary detection rates, a moderate effect on numbers of incidents and partnership working at practitioner level, but little effect on relationships with partner agencies at a strategic level.
    • School peer counselling for bullying services as a source of social support: A study with secondary school pupils

      Boulton, Michael J.; University College Chester (Routledge, 2005)
      99 school pupils were interviewed to ascertain their views of the peer counselling for bullying service in their own school, with a focus on the issue of social support for bullying-related problems, were conducted. Three themes were addressed: willingness to use the service relative to other potential sources of support; preferred gender and age of peer counsellor; and disclosure of using the service to friends.
    • Secondary school pupils’ views of their school peer counselling for bullying service

      Boulton, Michael J.; Trueman, Mark; Bishop, Samantha; Baxandall, Emma; Holme, Abigail; Smith, Sarah-Louise; Vohringer, Fernanda; Boulton, Louise; University of Chester ; Keele University ; Keele University ; Keele University ; Keele University; Keele University; Keele University; Keele University (Routledge, 2007-08-10)
      This article discusses a study of 99 interviews with pupils from two secondary schools in the UK on their views and experiences of the peer counselling for bullying service set up in their school. They were asked about various things concerning the characteristics of the service and service providers that they valued and their reasons for not using the service.
    • ‘Section 28’ and the pre-recording of cross-examination: What can advocates expect in 2018?

      Cooper, Penny; Mattison, Michelle L. A.; City, University of London; University of Chester (Lexisnexis Butterworths, 2018-01-05)
      In 2018, so long as the recently identified technological issues are remedied (rumoured to be about storage capacity for the recordings), pre-recorded cross-examination will be rolled out across Crown Courts in England and Wales. The process evaluation report (MoJ, 2016) for the pilot of section 28 Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 (YJCEA 1999) was encouraging as well as realistic; it acknowledged that findings might not be replicated on roll-out because courts in the study might not being representative of courts in general. The authors believe that the success of the scheme substantially rests in the hands of judges and practitioners. Here we briefly summarise the background to the roll-out, highlight some important aspects of the new guidance in the Criminal Practice Directions (CPD), illustrate practice with real case studies, and discuss the implications for professional development.
    • Sexuality in the Therapeutic Relationship: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of the Experiences of Gay Therapists

      Porter, James; Hulbert-Williams, Lee; Chadwick, Darren; University of Wolverhampton; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2014-10-17)
      Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) clients have reported experiencing heterosexist/homophobic attitudes from heterosexual therapists, but this has seldom been discussed for gay therapists. Such experiences could impact the therapeutic process and a gay therapist’s willingness to self-disclose their sexuality. Self- disclosure of sexuality can be therapeutically beneficial for LGBTQ or heterosexual clients. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven gay male therapists and analyzed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Five themes emerged: affinity for work- ing with LGBTQ clients, heterosexual males’ resistance to the therapeutic process, the impact of homophobia within the therapeu- tic relationship, empathy through shared humanity, and utilizing therapist sexuality as a tool within the therapeutic relationship.
    • Shared liking and association valence for representational art but not abstract art

      Schepman, Astrid; Rodway, Paul; Pullen, Sarah J.; Kirkham, Julie A.; University of Chester (Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), 2015-04)
      We examined the finding that aesthetic evaluations are more similar across observers for representational images than for abstract images. It has been proposed that a difference in convergence of observers' tastes is due to differing levels of shared semantic associations (Vessel & Rubin, 2010). In Experiment 1, student participants rated 20 representational and 20 abstract artworks. We found that their judgments were more similar for representational than abstract artworks. In Experiment 2, we replicated this finding, and also found that valence ratings given to associations and meanings provided in response to the artworks converged more across observers for representational than for abstract art. Our empirical work provides insight into processes that may underlie the observation that taste for representational art is shared across individual observers, while taste for abstract art is more idiosyncratic.
    • Shared meaning in children’s evaluations of art: A computational analysis

      Schepman, Astrid; Rodway, Paul; Kirkham, Julie A.; Lambert, Jordana; Locke, Anastasia; University of Chester (American Psychological Association, 2018-11-31)
      Art appreciation is often considered highly individual, but research has shown that there is also a shared element, which may be due to shared meanings and associations triggered by artworks. In the current analysis, we examined semantically based justifications given to aesthetic evaluations of abstract and representational artworks provided by 80 primary schoolchildren, aged 4, 5, 8, and 10 years. Using a computational semantic similarity analysis technique (UMBC Ebiquity), the authors found that children showed evidence for shared meaning in response to representational but not abstract art. The effect was present from age 4 through to age 10. In addition, it was found that the presence of semantic elements in the justifications boosted aesthetic appreciation, especially of abstract artworks. This suggests that individually constructed meaning is key to aesthetic appreciation and is, to an extent, independent from the meaning that might be assumed to be inherent in artworks, particularly if it is representational. The authors evaluate their findings in relation to aesthetic and developmental theories and make suggestions for future research. They argue that the current data, alongside calibrating analyses that apply their randomization and semantic analysis protocol to children’s picture naming responses, further demonstrate the robustness of the computational semantic similarity analysis method, with great potential for further studies in semantic interpretation of art or other types of stimuli.
    • Shared meaning in representational and abstract visual art: an empirical study

      Schepman, Astrid; Rodway, Paul; University of Chester (American Psychological Association, 2019-09-12)
      A longstanding and important question is how meaning is generated by visual art. One view is that abstract art uses a universal language whereas representational art is tied to specific knowledge. This view predicts that meaning for abstract is shared across viewers to a greater extent than for representational art. This contrasts with a view of greater shared meaning for representational than abstract art, because of shared associations for the entities depicted in representational art, as supported by recent empirical findings. This study examined the contrasting predictions derived from these two views. 49 nonexpert adult participants wrote brief descriptions of meanings that they attributed to 20 abstract and 20 representational artworks, generating a corpus of 1918 texts. Computational analyses (semantic textual similarity, latent semantic analysis) and linguistic analysis (type-token ratio) provided triangulated quantitative data. Frequentist and Bayesian statistical analyses showed that meanings were shared to a somewhat greater extent for representational art, but that meanings for abstract artworks were also shared above baseline. Triangulated human and machine analyses of the texts showed core shared meanings for both art types, derived from literal and metaphoric interpretations of visual elements. The findings support the view that representational art elicits higher levels of shared meaning than abstract art. The empirical findings can be used to enhance theoretical and computational models of aesthetic evaluation, and the rigorous new methodologies developed can be deployed in many other contexts.
    • Short-term longitudinal relationships between children's peer victimization/bullying experiences and self-perceptions: Evidence for reciprocity

      Boulton, Michael J.; Smith, Peter K.; Cowie, Helen; University of Chester ; University of London ; University of Surrey (SAGE, 2010-06-11)
      This study tested transactional models to explain the short-term longitudinal links between self-perceptions and involvement in bullying and victimization among 115 9- to 10-year-old children.
    • The Six Dimensions of Personality (HEXACO) and their Associations with Network Layer Size and Emotional Closeness to Network Members

      Molho, Catherine; Roberts, Sam G. B.; de Vries, Reinout; Pollet, Thomas; VU Amsterdam, University of Chester, University of Twente (Elsevier, 2016-05-14)
      Previous work has examined how specific personality dimensions are associated with social network characteristics. However, it is unclear how the full range of personality traits relates to the quantity and quality of relationships at different network layers. This study (N = 525) investigates how the six HEXACO personality dimensions relate to the size of support and sympathy groups, and to the level of emotional closeness to network members. Extraversion was positively related to support group size, but did not significantly relate to sympathy group size or emotional closeness. Openness to Experience and Emotionality were positively related to support group size, but not to the size of the sympathy group. Honesty–Humility, but not Agreeableness, was positively related to emotional closeness to members of the sympathy group. Findings suggest that personality effects vary across network layers and highlight the importance of considering both emotional closeness and network size.
    • Sketching to remember: Episodic free recall task support for child witnesses and victims with autism spectrum disorder

      Mattison, Michelle L. A.; Dando, Coral J.; Ormerod, Thomas C.; University of Chester ; University of Wolverhampton ; University of Sussex (2014-12-13)
    • Sleep duration and psychotic experiences in patients at risk of psychosis: A secondary analysis of the EDIE-2 trial

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

      See, Angela; Lasikiewicz, Nicola (Springer, 2015-06-22)
      While the smartphone allows employees to connect with work “anytime and anywhere”, the demands to carry out work related tasks outside work hours may translate into extra demands on employees and incur negative outcomes such as work related fatigue. Alternatively, smartphone use may help to distract the employee from work issues or recover from the demands of work, though activities such as music and games. With Singapore having the highest smartphone penetration rate per capita (90% of the population) in the world, this study aimed to explore associations between both work related and personal smartphone use in non-work time and work related rumination, fatigue, and job stress in full-time employed Singaporean adults. Sixty-seven male and female working adults (mean age 36.5years, SD=9.35) from a diverse range of occupations completed online measures of work related and personal smartphone use during non-work hours and work related rumination, detachment, fatigue and recovery. The results indicated that smartphone use significantly decreased with increasing age. Further, work related smartphone use was significantly, positively correlated with personal use, problem-solving pondering but also work demand. Personal smartphone use also significantly, positively correlated with problem-solving pondering. Psychological detachment was the best predictor of personal smartphone use. The findings suggest that work related smartphone use in non-work time may facilitate work performance through problem solving, whilst personal use may promote psychological detachment from work. However, the link between work related smartphone use and job demand may signal risk. More research is required in a smartphone dense population such as Singapore to clarify these relationships.
    • Social Brain Hypothesis: Vocal and Gesture Networks of Wild Chimpanzees

      Roberts, Sam G. B.; Roberts, Anna I.; University of Chester (2016-11-24)
      A key driver of brain evolution in primates and humans is the cognitive demands arising from managing social relationships. In primates, grooming plays a key role in maintaining these relationships, but the time that can be devoted to grooming is inherently limited. Communication may act as an additional, more time-efficient bonding mechanism to grooming, but how patterns of communication are related to patterns of sociality is still poorly understood. We used social network analysis to examine the associations between close proximity (duration of time spent within 10m per hour spent in the same party), grooming, vocal communication and gestural communication (duration of time and frequency of behaviour per hour spent within 10 meters) in wild chimpanzees. The results were not corrected for multiple testing. Chimpanzees had differentiated social relationships, with focal chimpanzees maintaining some level of proximity to almost all group members, but directing gestures at and grooming with a smaller number of preferred social partners. Pairs of chimpanzees that had high levels of close proximity had higher rates of grooming. Importantly, higher rates of gestural communication were also positively associated with levels of proximity, and specifically gestures associated with affiliation (greeting, gesture to mutually groom) were related to proximity. Synchronized low-intensity pant-hoots were also positively related to proximity in pairs of chimpanzees. Further, there were differences in the size of individual chimpanzees’ proximity networks - the number of social relationships they maintained with others. Focal chimpanzees with larger proximity networks had a higher rate of both synchronized low- intensity pant-hoots and synchronized high-intensity pant-hoots. These results suggest that in addition to grooming, both gestures and synchronized vocalisations may play key roles in allowing chimpanzees to manage a large and differentiated set of social relationships. Gestures may be important in reducing the aggression arising from being in close proximity to others, allowing for proximity to be maintained for longer and facilitating grooming. Vocalisations may allow chimpanzees to communicate with a larger number of recipients than gestures and the synchronized nature of the pant-hoot calls may facilitate social bonding of more numerous social relationships. As group sizes increased through human evolution, both gestures and synchronized vocalizations may have played important roles in bonding social relationships in a more time-efficient manner than grooming.
    • The social skills problems of victims of bullying: Self, peer and teacher perceptions

      Fox, Claire L.; Boulton, Michael J.; University of Keele ; University College Chester (Wiley, 2005-06)
      This article discusses the extent to which self, peers, and teachers regard victims as having poorer social skills than non-victims across 20 behaviours/competencies. The finding that victims are percieved by three different sources to have poor social skills has implications for interventions to support victims of bullying.
    • Spiritual Abuse in the Christian faith settings: Definition, policy and practice guidance

      Oakley, Lisa R.; Kinmond, Kathryn; Humphreys, Justin; University of Chester; Steps SA; CCPAS (Emerald, 2018-08-13)
      Purpose: A previous publication in this journal reported the findings of a 2013 survey into people’s experiences of membership of a Christian church in the UK (author citation removed for the purposes of review). A major finding of this survey was that many people said they had been ‘harmed’ by their experience with some labelling it as ‘Spiritual Abuse’(SA). Respondents in the 2013 study also stressed the importance of developing safeguarding policy and practice in this area. The current paper explores the findings of a more extensive survey conducted in 2017 which aims to identify people’s understanding of SA some four years after the initial work and within a context of some discussion and uncertainty around the term itself. The study also aims to assess the current status of safeguarding policy and practice in SA perpetrated against individuals in the Christian church in the UK. A secondary aim of the study is to ascertain how far understandings, policy and practice have developed since the initial survey was conducted. It is emphasised that the authors do not assert that spiritual abuse is perpetrated solely in the Christian church. However, as this is their personal religious background it is the focus of this work. Design/Methodology/approach: A mixed methods online survey of Christians, Church attendees and members of Christian organisations was conducted in 2017. Data was analysed using descriptive statistics, inductive thematic and content analysis. Findings: A clear definition of spiritual abuse is required. There is an ongoing need to develop policy and practice in the area of spiritual abuse in order to respond effectively to those who have these harmful experiences. Research limitations/implications: This work has been conducted within the Christian faith community and thus, represents only this faith context. Accordingly, it is research with a specific group. The work would usefully be expanded to other faith contexts. Practical implications: People are still being harmed by experiences in the Christian church. Safeguarding policy and practice in the area of spiritual abuse needs to be developed in the immediate future. Social implications: Those working in statutory agencies, faith and community contexts need to develop an understanding of spiritual abuse. Originality/value: This is the largest survey conducted on the topic of spiritual abuse in the Christian faith to date in the UK.
    • Sport coaching in a community setting: How do community youth sport coaches’ frame their role?

      Wheeler, Timothy J.; Lafferty, Moira E.; Ryrie, Angus (University of Chester, 2016-12)
      Community youth sport coaching is identified as a coaching domain tasked with delivering complex social outcomes. When coaching in this context, individuals can be expected to operate in multiple settings, as well as engage with, and support numerous participant types. To meet participant needs coaches are required to have a wide range of skills and competencies. Current research suggests how coaching roles emerge and competencies develop are not always clear. Therefore, to understand coach identity fully; there is a requirement to explore the meanings, values and importance placed upon coach roles. Past research illustrates that the manner in which coaches’ frame their role is instrumental to how they prioritise and organise critical moments of practice that warrant further reflection; thus allowing individuals to “construct the reality in which they function". This thesis intends to extend current knowledge on how sport coaches’ define, shape and “frame” their role in community youth sport settings. The research objectives are to: (a) examine the environmental conditions and personal views coaches’ hold with regard to community youth sport in the UK and, (b) evaluate elements that influence their role and individual approach towards coaching. In essence, (c) evaluate how community youth sport coaches’ shape and frame their role.
    • Stakeholders’ perceptions of the benefit of introducing an Australian Intermediary System for vulnerable witnesses

      Powell, Martine B.; Bowden, Phoebe; Mattison, Michelle L. A.; Deakin University; Lancaster University (SAGE, 2014-08-14)
      Vulnerable witnesses (e.g. children and adults with communication impairment) face many barriers to testifying and achieving justice when participating in the criminal justice system. To date, reforms have been implemented in Australia to address these, yet the barriers remain. Several other countries have implemented an intermediary scheme, whereby an independent third party assists vulnerable witnesses to understand the questions and processes encountered during interviews and trials, and helps witnesses to be understood. This study provides a qualitative analysis of stakeholders’ (N¼25 professionals) perceptions regarding the potential benefits of implementing an intermediary scheme in Australia. While all participants demonstrated an open-minded attitude to new reform in this area, their perspectives did not support the introduction of an intermediary scheme at this time. Stakeholders highlighted the need for improved use and effectiveness of current measures, and expressed concern about adding further complication to the system.
    • Stress, cortisol and central obesity in middle aged adults

      Lasikiewicz, Nicola; Hendrickx, Hilde; Talbot, Duncan; Dye, Louise; University of Chester (Karger, 2013-05-24)
      Introduction: Obesity is associated with various psychological and physiological disturbances. Of interest is the relationship between central obesity and psychological stress. Central obesity is characterised by increased adipose tissue, often associated with glucocorticoid excess, specifically, the stress hormone cortisol. Consequently, a disturbed cortisol basal diurnal rhythm and impaired responses to psychological stress in middle aged adults with central obesity may be observed. Method: In study one, basal diurnal cortisol profiles were examined (n=147; mean = 46.21 ± 7.18 years) in a sample of high and low waist-hip ratio (WHR) males and females. Profiles were explored in terms of the area under the curve (AUC) of the cortisol-awakening response and diurnal decline. In study two, cortisol responses to a psychological stressor versus no-stress control (n=66; mean = 46 ± 7.17 years) in a sample of high and low WHR individuals were explored. Results: Blunted cortisol profiles, characterised by a reduced AUC, were observed in the majority (78%) of a middle-aged sample and were associated with significantly greater WHR. Further, blunted cortisol profiles were associated with a less favourable metabolic profile. When exposed to a psychological stressor, high WHR individuals, specifically males, tended to secrete greater cortisol. Conclusion: The findings suggest that central obesity is associated with altered cortisol responsivity. This highlights the vulnerability of high WHR individuals to stress related illness and disease. Further research, however, is required to elucidate whether stress exposure increases the propensity for central obesity or whether central obesity elevates stress responsivity.