• The Behavioral Effects of Frequent Nightmares on Objective Stress Tolerance

      Hochard, Kevin D.; Heym, Nadja; Townsend, Ellen; University of Chester; Nottingham Trent University; University of Nottingham (Americal Psychological Association, 2016-03)
      Frequent nightmares have been linked to daily distress using self-report measures. The present study investigated the impact of frequent nightmares on a stressful cognitive test requiring participants to perform additions of two previously displayed single digit numbers from a number series, where display latency between digits becomes increasingly short - the Paced Visual Serial Addition Task-Computerized (PVSAT-C). Participants experiencing frequent nightmares (n=43) and controls (n=42) were compared on PVSAT-C performance. A significant main effect of nightmare frequency was observed with participants in the frequent nightmare group enduring the task for a shorter duration than controls (a behavioral measure of stress tolerance). Results suggest that individuals experiencing frequent nightmares have a reduced tolerance for stressors, leading to increased daily vulnerability to stressful stimuli. This study confirms previous findings linking nightmares and daily distress and extends the literature by providing objective evidence for the link between nightmares and reduced stress tolerance through behavioral testing. These findings highlight nightmares as a salient target for clinical intervention.
    • Behavioural measures of listening effort in school-aged children: Examining the effects of SNR, hearing loss, and amplification

      McGarrigle, Ronan; Gustafson, Samantha; Hornsby, Benjamin; Bess, Fred; University of Chester; Vanderbilt University Medical Center (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2018-06-13)
      Objectives: Increased listening effort in school-age children with hearing loss (CHL) could compromise learning and academic achievement. Identifying a sensitive behavioral measure of listening effort for this group could have both clinical and research value. This study examined the effects of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), hearing loss, and personal amplification on two commonly-used behavioral measures of listening effort: dual-task visual response times (visual RTs) and verbal response times (verbal RTs). Design: A total of 82 children (aged 6 – 13 years) took part in this study; 37 children with normal hearing (CNH) and 45 CHL. All children performed a dual-task paradigm from which both measures of listening effort (dual-task visual RT and verbal RT) were derived. The primary task was word recognition in multi-talker babble in three individually selected SNR conditions: Easy, Moderate, and Hard. The secondary task was a visual monitoring task. Listening effort during the dual-task was quantified as the change in secondary task RT from baseline (single-task visual RT) to the dual-task condition. Listening effort based on verbal RT was quantified as the time elapsed from the onset of the auditory stimulus to the onset of the verbal response when performing the primary (word recognition) task in isolation. CHL completed the task aided and/or unaided to examine the effect of amplification on listening effort. Results: Verbal RTs were generally slower in the more challenging SNR conditions. However, there was no effect of SNR on dual-task visual RT. Overall, verbal RTs were significantly slower in CHL versus CNH. No group difference in dual-task visual RTs was found between CNH and CHL. No effect of amplification was found on either dual-task visual RTs or verbal RTs. Conclusions: This study compared dual-48 task visual RT and verbal RT measures of listening effort in the child population. Overall, verbal RTs appears more sensitive than dual-task visual RTs to the negative effects of SNR and hearing loss. The current findings extend the literature on listening effort in the pediatric population by demonstrating that, even for speech that is accurately recognized, school-age CHL show a greater processing speed decrement than their normal-hearing counterparts; a decrement that could have a negative impact on learning and academic achievement in the classroom.
    • Beliefs about weight and breast cancer: An interview study with high risk women following a 12 month weight loss intervention

      Wright, Claire E.; Harvie, Michelle N.; Howell, Anthony; Evans, D. Gareth; Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J.; Donnelly, Louise S.; University of Chester ; University Hospital of South Manchester ; University Hospital of South Manchester ; University of Manchester ; University of Chester ; University Hospital of South Manchester (BioMed Central, 2015-01-09)
      Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. Lifestyle factors including excess weight contribute to risk of developing the disease. Whilst the exact links between weight and breast cancer are still emerging, it is imperative to explore how women understand these links and if these beliefs impact on successful behaviour change. Overweight/obese premenopausal women (aged 35–45) with a family history of breast cancer (lifetime risk 17–40%) were invited to a semi-structured interview following their participation in a 12 month weight loss intervention aimed at reducing their risk of breast cancer. Interviews were carried out with 9 women who successfully achieved ≥5% weight loss and 11 who were unsuccessful. Data were transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis. Three themes were developed from the analysis. The first theme how women construct and understand links between weight and breast cancer risk is composed of two subthemes, the construction of weight and breast cancer risk and making sense of weight and breast cancer risk. The second theme - motivation and adherence to weight loss interventions - explains that breast cancer risk can be a motivating factor for adherence to a weight loss intervention. The final theme, acceptance of personal responsibility for health is composed of two subthemes responsibility for one’s own health and responsibility for family health through making sensible lifestyle choices.Beliefs about weight and breast cancer risk were informed by social networks, media reports and personal experiences of significant others diagnosed with breast cancer. Our study has highlighted common doubts, anxieties and questions and the importance of providing a credible rationale for weight control and weight loss which addresses individual concerns.
    • Beyond using composite measures to analyze the effect of unmet supportive care needs on caregivers’ anxiety and depression

      Lambert, Sylvie D.; Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J.; Belzile, Eric; Ciampi, Antonio; Girgis, Afaf; McGill University; University of Chester; University of New South Wales (Wiley, 2018-03-06)
      Objective: Caregiver research has relied on composite measures (e.g., count) of unmet supportive care needs to determine relationships with anxiety and depression. Such composite measures assume that all unmet needs have a similar impact on outcomes. The purpose of this study is to identify individual unmet needs most associated with caregivers’ anxiety and depression. Methods: 219 Caregivers completed the 44-item Supportive Care Needs Survey and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale [minimal clinically important difference (MCID)=1.5] at 6-8 months, 1, 2, 3.5, and 5 years following the patients' cancer diagnosis. The list of needs was reduced using Partial Least Square regression and those with a Variance Importance in Projection > 1 were analyzed using Bayesian Model Averaging. Results: Across time, eight items remained in the top 10 based on prevalence and were labelled “core”. Three additional ones were labelled “frequent”, as they remained in the top 10 from 1- year onwards. Bayesian Model Averaging identified a maximum of four significant unmet needs per time point – all leading to a difference greater than the MCID. For depression, none of the core unmet needs were significant, rather significance was noted for frequent needs and needs that were not prevalent. For anxiety, 3/8 core and 3/3 frequent unmet needs were significant. Conclusions: Prevalent Those unmet needs that are most prevalent are not necessarily the most significant ones, and findings provide an evidence-based framework to guide the development of caregiver interventions. A broader contribution is proposing a different approach to identify significant unmet needs.
    • A bifactorial solution to the psychopathy checklist screening version in a sample of civil psychiatric patients

      Boduszek, Daniel; Dhingra, Katie; Hyland, Philip; Debowska, Agata; University of Huddersfield ; Manchester Metropolitan University ; National College of Ireland ; University of Chester (Wiley, 2015-03-31)
      Background: There is considerable debate about the underlying factor structure of the Psychopathy Checklist: Screening Version (PCL: SV). An established view is that it reflects a unitary construct underpinned by two correlated factors. More recent research has, however, undermined this conceptualisation. Aims: Our aim was to compare 10 competing models of the PCL: SV in a sample of civil psychiatric patients. Method: Ten distinct factor models were specified and tested using conventional confirmatory factor analytic techniques, along with confirmatory bifactor modelling. Results: A bifactor model, including two general factors (interpersonal-affective and antisocial-lifestyle), and four subordinate factors (interpersonal, affective, antisocial, and lifestyle) provided the best fit to the data. The reliability of the conceptualisation was supported through the use of composite reliability, and the differential relationships exhibited between the general factors and measures of personality, impulsivity, and mental health. Conclusions: The results suggest that two general factors should be taken into account when interpreting the PCL:SV for clinical purposes.
    • Body Part Removal: A Thematic Exploration of U.K. Homicide Offenses.

      Almond, Louise; Pell, Connor; McManus, Michelle (2018-11-28)
      Body part removal (BPR) is a rare homicide phenomena, which emerges as a result of a variety of motives. Fifty-eight BPR U.K. homicide cases were analyzed. Findings indicated key characteristics within BPR murder offenses, with most offenders males; aged around 31 years; knew their victims; with presence of alcohol, drugs, and mental health issues; and more than two thirds of the sample had previous convictions, more than 50% for theft. Offense behaviors showed "multiple wounds" and "victim naked" as highest frequency, with the head as the most frequently removed body part. Smallest space analysis (SSA) identified two behavioral themes (expressive and instrumental) with 62.1% of cases classified as one of these. The study has provided the largest U.K. sample of BPR homicide, furthering understanding this type of offense and the offenders who commit it.
    • Brief Engagement and Acceptance Coaching for Community and Hospice Settings (the BEACHeS Study): Protocol for the development and pilot testing of an evidence-based psychological intervention to enhance wellbeing and aid transition into palliative care

      Norwood, Sabrina; Gillanders, David; Finucane, Anne; Spiller, Juliet; Strachan, Jenny; Millington, Sue; Swash, Brooke; Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J.; University of Chester; University of Edinburgh; Marie Curie Hospice Edinburgh (BMC, 2019-08-20)
      Background: Cancer affects millions of individuals globally, with a mortality rate of over eight million people annually. Although palliative care is often provided outside of specialist services, many people require, at some point in their illness journey, support from specialist palliative care services, for example, those provided in hospice settings. This transition can be a time of uncertainty and fear and there is a need for effective interventions to meet the psychological and supportive care needs of people with cancer that cannot be cured. While Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has been shown to be effective across diverse health problems, robust evidence for its effectiveness in palliative cancer populations is not extensive. Method: This mixed-methods study uses a single-case experimental design with embedded qualitative interviews to pilot test a novel intervention for this patient group. Between 14 and 20 patients will be recruited from two hospices in England and Scotland. Participants will receive five face-to-face manualised sessions with a psychological therapist. Sessions are structured around teaching core ACT skills (Openness, Awareness and Engagement) as a way to deal effectively with challenges of transition into specialist palliative care services. Outcome measures include: cancer-specific quality of life (primary outcome) and distress (secondary outcome), which are assessed alongside measures of psychological flexibility. Daily diary outcome assessments will be taken for key measures, alongside more detailed weekly self-report, through baseline, intervention and one-month follow-up phases. After follow-up, participants will be invited to take part in a qualitative interview to understand their experience of taking part, and acceptability and perceived effectiveness of the intervention and its components. Discussion: This study is the first investigation of using ACT with terminally ill patients at the beginning of their transition into palliative treatment. Using in-depth single-case approaches, we will refine and manualise intervention content by the close of the study for use in follow-up research trials. Our long-term goal is then to test the intervention as delivered by non-psychologist specialist palliative care practitioners thus broadening the potential relevance of the approach.
    • Building the capacity for psycho-oncology research: A survey of the research barriers and training needs within the International Psycho-Oncology Society (IPOS)

      Lambert, SD; Coumoundouros, C; Hulbert-Williams, NJ; Shaw, J; Schaffler, J; McGill University; University of Chester; University of Sydney (Wolters Kluwer, 2020-07-28)
      Background: The International Psycho-Oncology Society (IPOS) is a multidisciplinary professional network that aims to improve psychosocial care for individuals impacted by cancer. IPOS encourages research activity, recognising that a high-quality evidence-base is essential to provide best-practice, data-driven clinical care. This study aimed to determine the barriers to research involvement and the training needs and priorities of IPOS members, with the goal of facilitating the development of training resources tailored to the needs of IPOS members. Methods: A link to an online, cross-sectional survey was disseminated to all registered members of IPOS via email. The online survey platform SimpleSurvey was used, and questions included demographic characteristics and items related to research interests, involvement, and training needs. High priority research training needs were identified as research tasks respondents rated as highly important, yet possessed a low perceived skill level in. Results: 32% of IPOS members (n = 142) completed the survey. Participants represented 49 countries and were at a variety of career stages. Overall, participants reported spending an average of 17.3 hours per week on research (range = 0 to 80 hours per week), with 69% of respondents wanting to increase their research involvement. The main barriers to research participation included lack of research funding (80%) and lack of protected time (63%). IPOS members identified five high priority training needs: (1) preparing successful grant applications; (2) preparing research budgets; (3) community-based participatory research; (4) working with decision makers; and (5) finding collaborators or expert consultants. Participants suggested funding access, statistical advisors and networking and mentorship opportunities as ways to enhance research involvement. Members preferred online training modules (39%) and mentorship programs (19%) as methods by which IPOS could provide research support. IPOS was viewed as being able to contribute to many aspects of research capacity building such as networking, training, and dissemination of research findings. Conclusions: IPOS has an important role in encouraging research capacity building among members. This survey provides an agenda for workshops and training opportunities. Mainly, for respondents it was less about training in research methods and more about training in how to prepare successful grant applications, including budgets, and receiving mentorship on this as well as having opportunities to collaborate with other researchers.
    • The cancer care experiences of gay, lesbian and bisexual patients: A secondary analysis of data from the UK Cancer Patient Experience Survey.

      Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J.; Plumpton, C.; Flowers, Paul; McHugh, Rhian; Neal, Richard; Semlyen, Joanna; Storey, Lesley; University of Chester; Bangor University; Glasgow Caledonian University; University of Leeds; University of East Anglia; Queen's University (Wiley, 2017-02-27)
      Understanding the effects of population diversity on cancer-related experiences is a priority in oncology care. Previous research demonstrates inequalities arising from variation in age, gender and ethnicity. Inequalities and sexual orientation remain underexplored. Here, we report, for the first time in the UK, a quantitative secondary analysis of the 2013 UK National Cancer Patient Experience Survey which contains 70 questions on specific aspects of care, and six on overall care experiences. 68,737 individuals responded, of whom 0.8% identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual. Controlling for age, gender and concurrent mental health comorbidity, logistic regression models applying post-estimate probability Wald tests explored response differences between heterosexual, bisexual and lesbian/gay respondents. Significant differences were found for 16 questions relating to: (a) a lack of patient-centred care and involvement in decision making, (b) a need for health professional training and revision of information resources to negate the effects of heteronormativity, and (c) evidence of substantial social isolation through cancer. These findings suggest a pattern of inequality, with less positive cancer experiences reported by lesbian, gay and (especially) bisexual respondents. Poor patient-professional communication and heteronormativity in the healthcare setting potentially explain many of the differences found. Social isolation is problematic for this group and warrants further exploration.
    • Cancer experiences in individuals with an intellectual disability: Results from a grounded theory study

      Flynn, Samantha; Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J.; Hulbert-Williams, Lee; Bramwell, Ros; University of Chester (Wiley, 2015-04-28)
      Increasing numbers of people with an intellectual disability (ID) are diagnosed with cancer, partly due to increased life expectancy. However, there is a paucity of research exploring their cancer experiences.
    • Cancer Experiences in People with Intellectual Disabilities

      Hulbert-Williams, Nick; Hulbert-Williams, Lee; Bramwell, Ros; Flynn, Samantha (University of Chester, 2018-12-20)
      People with intellectual disabilities are increasingly being diagnosed with cancer due, in part, to increases in life expectancy for this population. Despite the growing number of people with cancer and intellectual disabilities, the cancer-related experiences of people with intellectual disabilities are under-researched. Person-centred approaches to research are needed to better understand the needs and psychosocial outcomes of people with cancer and intellectual disabilities. This thesis aims to better understand the cancer-related experiences of people with intellectual disabilities, and the impact on the people who support them. The thesis comprises four related studies: (1) a systematic review of psychosocial experiences of cancer in people with intellectual disabilities; (2) a qualitative study of cancer experiences in people with intellectual disabilities using thematic analysis informed by grounded theory; (3) a survey of UK oncology nurses’ attitudes and care perceptions towards people with intellectual disabilities; and (4) a feasibility study of an intervention to improve healthcare professionals’ perceptions of communicating with people with cancer and intellectual disabilities. Five themes emerged from the ten papers included in the systematic review: delayed diagnosis; information, communication, and understanding; negative psychological consequences; negative physical consequences; and social support. Six of the ten papers included data from the same ethnographic study of 13 people, highlighting a paucity of empirical research regarding the psychosocial cancer experiences of people with intellectual disabilities. The qualitative study indicated that people with intellectual disabilities were often excluded from conversations about their diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing care, and expressed confusion and anxiety about their cancer. Attempts to protect them from distress inhibited communication, but where additional support was offered, participants engaged more meaningfully in their experience and this should, therefore, be encouraged. In the qualitative study, oncology nurses were reported to be important figures in the care of patients with intellectual disabilities. The survey of oncology nurses highlighted that caring for cancer patients with intellectual disabilities may intensify their already difficult role; however, previous experience may ameliorate negative consequences. This sample identified their need for training about communicating with people with intellectual disabilities. The first three studies informed the development of a novel, brief, online, video-based intervention for healthcare professionals working with people with intellectual disabilities and cancer. The feasibility trial of this intervention indicated that there were problems with recruitment, high attrition, and intervention adherence. These problems were, most likely due to participants finding the content and delivery method to be unacceptable. It is clear that the intervention is not feasible in its current format, and that further theoretical and modelling work is needed before the intervention is feasibility tested again ahead of a definitive trial. This body of work has demonstrated that people with intellectual disabilities and cancer face multiple barriers to accessing cancer care, including informative and understandable communication with healthcare professionals. With appropriate support, psychological and physical outcomes can be improved for people with intellectual disabilities and cancer, but caring for people with cancer and intellectual disabilities can be challenging for paid and informal carers, and oncology staff. Difficulties with communication are bi-directional, and improving communication might be an appropriate first step to improving cancer experiences for this population, but developing effective interventions presents numerous feasibility challenges.
    • Cancer patients’ respect experiences in relation to perceived communication behaviours from hospital staff: analysis of the 2012-2013 National Cancer Patient Experience Survey

      Clucas, Claudine; University of Chester (Springer, 2015-10-05)
      Purpose: Respect experiences are poorly understood despite respect being central to professionalism in healthcare and patient well-being, and needed for optimal patient care. This study explores which patient-perceived communication behaviours from hospital staff contribute most to cancer patients’ respect experiences and account for variation in their experience by socio-demographic and clinical characteristics. Methods: Secondary analysis of data from the 2012-2013 National Cancer Patient Experience Survey of 45191 patients with a primary cancer diagnosis treated in English National Health Service trusts providing adult acute cancer services who provided data on experienced respect and dignity. Results: Both autonomy-supportive and caring/emotionally sensitive behaviours were associated with reported respect, although the latter showed stronger associations and accounted for most differences in reports of respect between patient groups. Differences in respect were found by gender, race/ethnicity, age, the presence of long-standing conditions, treatment response, time since first treated for cancer (p<.001), employment and type of cancer (p<.05). Conclusions: The study questions the tendency to conceptualise respect primarily in terms of autonomy-supportive behaviours and shows the relative contribution of autonomy-supportive and caring/emotionally sensitive behaviours in explaining disparities in respect experiences. More attention should be paid to affective communication behaviours from hospital staff to reduce disparities in respect experiences.
    • Caring for cancer patients with an intellectual disability: Attitudes and care perceptions of UK oncology nurses

      Flynn, Samantha; Hulbert-Williams, Lee; Bramwell, Ros; Stevens-Gill, Debbie; Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J.; University of Chester and Institute of Psychology, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing, University of Wolverhampton (Elsevier, 2015-05-08)
      Background: Caring for people with cancer or an intellectual disability (ID) is stressful: little is known about the combined impact of caring for cancer patients with an ID, though this is expected to be especially challenging. Method: Eighty-three nurses, working in oncology or a related field (i.e. palliative care) were recruited. Perceptions of caring for patients with and without an ID were measured, alongside potentially confounding information about participant demographic characteristics and perceived stress. Results: Participants felt less comfortable communicating with patients with an ID about their illness (F(1,82) = 59.52, p <0.001), more reliant on a caregiver for communication (F(1,82) = 26.29, p < 0.001), and less confident that the patient's needs would be identified (F(1,82) = 42.03, p < 0.001) and met (F(1,81) = 62.90, p < 0.001). Participants also believed that caring for this patient group would induce more stress, compared with patients without an ID (F(1,81) = 31.592, p < 0.001). Previous experience working with ID patient groups appears to mitigate some perceptions about providing care to this population. Conclusions: Caring for cancer patients with an ID may intensify this, already difficult, role. Through training and knowledge exchange, oncology nurse's confidence in communication, providing appropriate care, and positivity towards this patient group may be improved.
    • Channel-specific daily patterns in mobile communication

      Aledavood, Talayeh; Lopez, Eduardo; Roberts, Sam G. B.; Reed-Tsochas, Felix; Moro, Esteban; Dunbar, Robin I. M.; Saramäki, Jari; University of Chester (Springer International Publishing, 2016-05)
      Humans follow circadian rhythms, visible in their activity levels as well as physiological and psychological factors. Such rhythms are also visible in electronic communication records, where the aggregated activity levels of e.g. mobile telephone calls or Wikipedia edits are known to follow their own daily patterns. Here, we study the daily communication patterns of 24 individuals over 18 months, and show each individual has a different, persistent communication pattern. These patterns may differ for calls and text messages, which points towards calls and texts serving a different role in communication. For both calls and texts, evenings play a special role. There are also differences in the daily patterns of males and females both for calls and texts, both in how they communicate with individuals of the same gender vs. opposite gender, and also in how communication is allocated at social ties of different nature (kin ties vs. non-kin ties). Taken together, our results show that there is an unexpected richness to the daily communication patterns, from different types of ties being activated at different times of day to different roles of channels and gender differences.
    • Chapter 5 Film: Using secondary data as a mechanism to support student learning

      Lafferty, Moira E.; University of Chester (Routledge, 2017-05-02)
      INTRODUCTION This chapter introduces readers to the concept of using feature films as a method for seminar tasks, formative and summative assessment within the social sciences. Drawing on personal experiences, reflection and student feedback examples are given as to how feature films have been used in a final year undergraduate sport psychology module. I begin by charting my own journey discussing how I came to use feature films in assessment. I identify the key literature which provided the evidence base for the task development and review the benefits and caveats to such an approach. Finally, along with a flow chart to help guide those who may wish to use the technique I comment on some future uses of the approach within assessment.
    • Children’s Decisions to Support Victims of Bullying: Friend and Peer Influences and the Effects of a Cross-Age Teaching of Social Issues Intervention

      Boulton, Michael J.; Lloyd, Julian; Rodway, Paul; Marx, Hedda (University of Chester, 2018-12-17)
      Bullying among school children is a social phenomenon that is now recognised as a widespread and serious problem across the globe. While decades of research have generated valuable insights as regards prevalence, main correlates and detrimental health consequences, many questions and gaps remain. For instance, it is unclear why the great majority of peer bystanders not intervene to support victims in a bullying conflict despite holding anti-bullying beliefs. Furthermore, great efforts have been made in the area of peer support and anti-bullying initiatives however there is still no intervention that has shown to be effective long term and cross-culturally. This thesis consists of two empirical studies. To advance knowledge of factors that influence pupils’ victim support behaviour, the first study examined the role of perceived friend and peer consequences in predicting intentions to three types of help: provide emotional support, help to stop the bully and get adult support. Structural equation modelling revealed that perceived friend consequences were significantly associated with each of the victim support behaviours studied. Additionally, perceived peer reactions predicted intentions to get adult help. These findings suggest that friends play a more important role than peers in affecting victim support. Some significant gender effects emerged, showing that the overall pattern of associations held for boys, but not for girls. The findings highlight the concerns children hold with regard to their (dis)approving views related to victim support. Outcomes further suggest that victim defending should not be regarded as a broad homogeneous construct. The second study assessed the effectiveness of a cross-age teaching of social issues intervention (CATS) on enhancing pupils’ knowledge on three victim support behaviours, and their awareness of the value of helping. In small cooperative groups older pupils were invited to step into the tutor role to prepare a lesson and teach it to two years younger tutees. An experimental-control group design was employed to test participants’ performance at three time points over a six to eight week period. CATS tutors significantly improved their knowledge and awareness of the provictim behaviours studied while no positive changes were evident for participants in the control group. Furthermore, children who participated in the project expressed high satisfaction with the intervention. Based on the positive findings it was concluded that CATS is a viable technique for enhancing pupils’ knowledge and awareness on prosocial topics. Helping children to see the value of supporting victims of bullying, in any of the ways studied, could help them avoid anticipating negative reactions from friends and peers, and in turn make it more likely that they would choose to help if the need arose.
    • Children’s hostile attribution bias is reduced after watching realistic playful fighting, and the effect is mediated by prosocial thoughts

      Boulton, Michael J.; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2012-09)
      This article discussed a study which tested the hypotheses that exposure to playful fighting would lead to a reduction in hostile attribution bias, both immediately and after a 1-day delay, and that this effect would be mediated by positive thoughts.
    • Chimpanzees modify intentional gestures to coordinate a search for hidden food

      Roberts, Anna I.; Vick, Sarah-Jane; Roberts, Sam G. B.; Menzel, Charles R.; University of Chester; University of Stirling; Georgia State University (Nature Publishing Group, 2014-01-16)
      Humans routinely communicate to coordinate their activities, persisting and elaborating signals to pursue goals that cannot be accomplished individually. Communicative persistence is associated with complex cognitive skills such as intentionality, because interactants modify their communication in response to another’s understanding of their meaning. Here we show that two language-trained chimpanzees effectively use intentional gestures to coordinate with an experimentally naive human to retrieve hidden food, providing some of the most compelling evidence to date for the role of communicative flexibility in successful coordination in nonhumans. Both chimpanzees (named Panzee and Sherman) increase the rate of non-indicative gestures when the experimenter approaches the location of the hidden food. Panzee also elaborates her gestures in relation to the experimenter’s pointing, which enables her to find food more effectively than Sherman. Communicative persistence facilitates effective communication during behavioural coordination and is likely to have been important in shaping language evolution.
    • Choices for childbirth: The role of psychological and social factors in the nature and extent of women's decisions for labour and delivery and their influence on post-natal outcomes

      Hayes, Liane (University of Liverpool, 2014-01)
      Research into birth plans has considered women’s experiences of their usefulness as an aid to communicating preferences for childbirth. It has also evaluated implications for post-natal well-being based on the realisation of expressed preferences in labour and delivery. The current study aimed to identify the psychosocial profile of birth planners and to explore the outcomes for these women as compared with non-planners post-natally. It also compared the psychological constructs measured in the sample with a non-pregnant population to see differences between pregnant, post-natal and non-pregnant women on these dimensions. A sample of 140 women who had not been pregnant in the past year completed a questionnaire measuring: Age, occupational group; ethnic group; general health status, health knowledge, attitudes towards doctors and medicines; locus of control; coping style; perceived social support; and beliefs about pain control. A questionnaire was also given to 120 women in four antenatal clinics across a primary care trust in the North West of England. This questionnaire produced data on all of the variables in the comparison questionnaire, plus: Parity; antenatal education; birth plan use; medical conditions; information seeking; and childbirth self-efficacy. Women also described in text their preferences for birth. At least four weeks after delivery these women completed a further questionnaire consisting of the seven measures used in both the previous two questionnaires, plus: experience of birth; usefulness of birth plan; and post-natal depression. They also described in text their experience of birth. Results showed that birth planners were younger and had lower levels of internal health control than non-birth planners. Birth planners tended to use problem focussed coping styles, perceived less support from their significant other and perceived doctors as more powerful in pain control than non-birth planners. More positive psychological post-natal outcomes were experienced by women who valued their birth plans if they had one but overall birth planners experienced more negative psychological post-natal outcomes than non-birth planners. The non-pregnant sample was comparable in demographic terms to the pregnant sample but differed in most subscales across all measures to the pregnant sample pre-natally and to a lesser extent post-natally. The factors implicated in birth planning and psychological post-natal outcomes are discussed both in terms of the literature and possible implications for the training and practice of midwives.
    • Close social relationships: An evolutionary perspective

      Roberts, Sam G. B.; Arrow, Holly; Gowlett, John A. J.; Lehmann, Julia; Dunbar, Robin I. M.; University of Chester (Oxford University Press, 2014-02-06)
      This review provides an evolutionary perspective on close social relationships. We focus on three core issues: their function, their number and quality, and their maintenance. Our aim is not to provide a unified theory of relationships, but rather to synthesize evidence from social psychology, evolutionary theory, ethology, anthropology, and sociology in an attempt to develop a more integrated approach. For these purposes, we focus on three different types of social bonds: mateships, kinship bonds, and friendships.