There is a strong culture of research activity in the Department of Social and Political Science which informs academic teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Staff are engaged in research of both national and international significance and are also involved in publication, peer review, professional practice, postgraduate training and Knowledge Transfer activities. A number of PhD students supervised by Social Studies and Counselling staff also contribute to the vibrant research culture of the department and are usually offered both teaching and publication opportunities. There is an active research culture in the department with regular research seminars at which staff and postgraduate research students present their most recent work. Research and scholarship has developed and flourished around a number of key areas in the department: Criminology; Sociology, Health and Social Policy; International Development; Political Communications; Counselling and Trauma.

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Recent Submissions

  • A longitudinal study of an embodied-self-concept and its potential impact upon adjustment and acceptance in chronic non-specific lower back pain in female adults

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

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

    Buxton, Christina; Kiyimba, Nikki; Shuttleworth, jo; Pathe, Emily; University of Chester; Bethlehem Institute, Tauranga, New Zealand; Manchester University; Glasgow Caledonian University (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022-07-01)
    Offers a critical perspective of the dominant discourses within the field of psychological trauma Provides a challenge to normative western constructs Unsettles assumptions about accepted notions of universality and the nature of trauma
  • Media - Reflection on BBC's Uncanny

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

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

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

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

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

    White, Holly; Ross, Kim; University of Chester
    This report presents the first stage of the Local Voices Framework project. Included in the report are findings from a systematic literature review that sought to explore existing definitions of co-production as well as a review of local projects which have included co-production. In addition to this, the report also includes findings from workshops and semi-structured interviews which have shaped a definition of co-production as well as 8 key principles.
  • Reinvestigating the U.S. Consumption Function: A Nonlinear Autoregressive Distributed Lags Approach

    Ebadi, Esmaeil; Are, Wasiu; Gulf University for Science and Technology; University of Chester (De Gruyter, 2023-11-08)
    This article examines the asymmetric aspect of U.S. consumption using disaggregated quarterly consumption expenditure data, including durables, nondurables, and services from 1994 to 2019. We apply a novel nonlinear autoregressive distributed lag analysis considering a regime-switching mechanism and find that U.S. consumers behave differently during economic upturns and downturns, with asymmetry existing for the consumption of durables (in the long run) and services (in both the short and long-run), but not for nondurables. Since services account for more than 40% of U.S. aggregate output, the slow adjustment toward equilibrium and the elasticity less than unity proves that services are more of a necessity than a luxury for U.S. consumers. The results indicate that the consumption of services is the primary determinant of U.S. consumer behavior, and monetary policy has a limited effect on U.S. consumption.
  • Editorial for special section: Grounded theory in qualitative research

    Fleet, Doreen; Reeves, Andrew; Taylor, Paul; Gabriel, Lynne; University of Chester; York St John University (Wiley, 2023-10-22)
  • How poems go beyond: Advocating the use of poetic representation for therapeutic practitioner researchers in qualitative research

    Buxton, Christina; University of Chester (The British Psychological Society, 2023-06-01)
    This article focuses on how poetic representation of research offers therapeutic practitioners distinct ways to engage audiences, leading to a deeper, more dynamic and relationally based understanding of the lived experience of another than other research outputs allow. Methodologically, it advocates that using poetic representation presents practitioners with an accessible, flexible, and therefore more viable way of presenting research findings that can encourage research confidence and engagement. It briefly describes the use of Gee’s (1991) psycholinguistic framework in creating poetic form from unstructured narrative interviews with therapists who work with psychological trauma. This framework allows the researcher to readily draw out content that represents the most meaningful aspects of interview material. Using extracts from resultant poems, it explores the ways in which this form of data presentation offers the ability to connect with readers deeply and evocatively, ultimately leading to potential change in the reader’s world as a result.
  • From the Sanctuary: Spiritual reflections from the everyday

    Gubi, Peter M.; University of Chester; Teofilo Kisanji University (University of Chester Press, 2023-06-15)
    Many of Jesus’ parables contain spiritual wisdom found in the everyday. This book follows in that tradition of reflecting on everyday observations to discern the spiritual wisdom that can be gained for living life to its fullest. The reflections follow the pattern and seasons of the Gregorian calendar and the Christian Church. Each reflection is informed by psychological and theological insights, and asks the reader to pause and consider the relevance of the wisdom to their own life.
  • An evaluation of supervisees’ perceptions of the benefits and limitations of pastoral/reflective supervision among Christian clergy in the UK

    Gubi, Peter M.; Bubbers, Sally; Gardner, Deanne; Mullally, Bill; Mwenisongole, Tuntufye; University of Chester; Diocese of Lichfield; University of Keele; Wesley House, Cambridge; Teofilo Kisanji University (Taylor & Francis, 2023-07-26)
    Clergy from several Christian denominations in the UK were invited to participate in an online survey which explored their experience of pastoral/reflective supervision. The research question was, “How has the practice of pastoral supervision within Christian denominations in the UK been beneficial, and what have been its limitations?” The aims of the research were: to explore what has been helpful to supervisees in the provision of pastoral supervision; and to determine what has not been helpful to supervisees in the provision of pastoral supervision. 173 clergy respondents took part. The data show that pastoral/reflective supervision is mostly beneficial to respondents, and that pastoral/reflective supervision enables clergy to self-perceive feelings of: support; lessening isolation; increased insight into personal process; affirmation of their ministry; and to have a better sense of wellbeing. Some hindrances to effective supervision are identified, and some recommendations for training and denominational support are made.
  • Enriching awareness and practice in the pastoral and reflective supervision of clergy

    Gubi, Peter M.; University of Chester (Lexington Books, 2023-05-01)
    This book increases and enriches the awareness, knowledge and skills of pastoral and reflective supervisors who work with clergy. This book explores themes in pastoral/reflective supervision such as theological reflection, the place of prayer, working with stuckness, understanding trauma, working with shame, developing an awareness of culture and diversity, the importance of self-care, and understanding context.
  • The self-perceived impact of parental suicide in adolescence, of a father, on his daughter’s intimate, heterosexual relationships in adulthood

    Williams, Sarah A.; Gubi, Peter M.; University of Chester (SAGE Publications, 2023-07-06)
    This research explores the self-perceived impact of parental suicide in adolescence, of a father, on his daughter’s intimate, heterosexual relationships in adulthood. The aim of the research was to ascertain if, and how, paternal suicide, in a young woman’s adolescence, affects her intimate, heterosexual relationships, in adulthood. Four participants who had lost their fathers to suicide between the ages of ten and nineteen, were interviewed, and transcripts were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The findings conclude that the majority of participants had experienced difficulties in establishing intimate relationships that fully met their needs. Participants perceived these factors were directly linked to their suicide loss. Four main Group Experiential Themes arose from the data: Isolation; connection with self and others; post-traumatic stress; and anxiety and shame. This research raises awareness for counsellors and helping professionals.
  • Still a rite of passage? A perspective on current therapeutic attitudes and interventions in relation to cyberbullying

    Jones, Callum; University of Chester; Beacon Counselling (Wiley, 2023-03-15)
    This paper examines cyberbullying concerning therapeutic interventions. A section on bullying and how bullying impacts the therapeutic environment is included. The author provides his definition of bullying to incorporate cyberbullying and how it is no longer a “new issue” but an evolving one. The current status of therapeutic interventions used to support victims of cyberbullying has been explored, emphasising their effectiveness in assisting those experiencing bullying. A segment has been implemented to comprehend whether practitioners fully understand the potential implications of cyberbullying on clients, whether bullying is still seen as a “rite of passage” and what the possible consequences of this could be. Peer interventions and support groups concerning cyberbullying have been referenced, including The KiVa Programme, the Shared Concern Method and The Circle of Friends Method. These have highlighted specific examples of therapeutic and nontherapeutic approaches to intervene with cyberbullying. A section on potential further training is presented for practitioners working within educational environments. Moreover, physical, psychological, sexual and relational bullying are discussed in the article when applicable, with the umbrella term “bullying” used to discuss all forms of bullying at once. The paper has uncovered two key messages: (1) cyberbullying requires more awareness in counselling and is no longer a new issue and (2) more extensive training is required to assist therapists to work with cyberbullying victims.
  • Evaluation of the use of Corporate Social Responsibility to Address the Practices of the UK Banking Industry

    Bennett, Julia; Fernandez Martin, Rosa; Savić-Jabrow, Monica (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2022-11)
    This study is an empirical project utilising case studies and the analysis of corporate material documents as its primary source to consider the philosophy of CSR in the UK Banking Industry. The research asks how CSR has changed according to the economic, legal, social and political background and whether the philosophy of CSR can be used to improve the practices of the UK Banking Industry. The project uses the corporate reports of six UK and three European/Worldwide institutional case studies and conducts both a content and critical discourse analysis of the documents to answer the research questions. The study found a lack of reliability in corporate material, the abandonment of corporate citizenship in practice and a lack of correlation between corporate size and CSR efforts. However, the most significant findings relate to the discourse of CSR. This research found that in times of increased profits, efforts on philanthropic activities soared. Yet, in times of crises and/or scandal, such as the GFC, and exposure of manipulation and mis-selling scandals, or more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic, a reduction or abandonment of philanthropic activity occurred. This is because the UK Banking Institutions studied did not have an embedded CSR philosophy. The six UK institutions did not view the practice of CSR as a compulsory, embedded element of the business but as an optional, ancillary extra, used to create or maintain a social licence. This research argues that unless this changes, the philosophy of CSR will not be sufficient to improve the practices of the UK Banking Industry. It is proposed the solution to this is greater governmental control in institutional CSR activities.
  • Can volume be more informative than prices? Evidence from Chinese housing markets

    Yang, Jian; Tong, Meng; Yu, Ziliang; University of Colorado; University of Chester; Nankai University (Springer, 2023-05-17)
    This paper examines pairwise intercity price–volume dynamics in China using novel daily transaction price and volume dataset from 32 Chinese cities. Despite geographical disparity and time variations, the volume–volume dynamic relationship plays a noticeably more significant role than price–price or price–volume relationships, suggesting that volume may be more informative than prices in China’s pairwise intercity housing market spillovers. We further propose a new spillover/connectedness measure to summarize both price and volume information and better measure such spillovers. We find that the new measure can be significantly explained by economic fundamentals, which attests to the soundness of the basic finding.
  • UK or the Eurozone: Which Common Currency Area Can Work for Northern Ireland After Brexit?

    Binner, Jane; Chaudry, Sajid M.; Swofford, James L.; Tong, Meng; University of Birmingham; Aston University; University of South Alabama; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2023-05-26)
    Brexit and the controversy concerning an Irish border makes the issue of whether Northern Ireland is a common currency area with the rest of UK or the Eurozone topical. We test the microeconomic foundations of a common currency area for Northern Ireland, UK, Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the Eurozone. We provide evidence that all areas meet the microeconomic criteria for a common currency area. Banking data suggest that lending in Northern Ireland is different from lending in the rest of the UK, raising doubt on whether or not the UK forms a common currency area including Northern Ireland.

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