• Distance, Time, Speed & Energy: A socio-political analysis of technologies of longer distance cycling

      Cox, Peter; University of Chester (University of Westminster Press, 2022-04-19)
      The basic laws of motion governing cycling are well understood. Consideration of the variables of energy use in cycle travel is less frequent. The potentials of both aerodynamically efficient cycle design and the augmentation of human power with e-motors dramatically reconfigure what we understand as a cycle and as cycling. The prospect of increasing travel distance in regular journeying, coupled with the logical application of augmentation (aerodynamic and/ or power), suggest a need to re-evaluate some of the ground expectations applied in design and planning for cycle travel if the cycles for which infrastructure is designed no longer conform to existing expectations of what a cycle is and how it performs. Current e-bike performance is limited principally by normative legislative intervention, not by the intrinsic potential of the technologies. Existing decisions as to what an e-bike can (and should) be, are shaped by the performance expectations of late 19th and early 20th century bicycle designs. Shaping modal shift for longer trips returns us to think about the place of cycling travel time as a function of the relationship between distance and speed. Increased speed allows for greater distance without time penalty. However, speed is itself governed by available energy, coupled with the efficiency of use of that energy. Without entirely substituting human power, E-motors allow us to augment the human power available in different ways; Changes in cycle design (velomobiles, for example) allow us to increase the efficiency of use of available power in overcoming resistance to movement. Identifying the assemblage of cycle/cyclist as a variable, rather than a determinate object to be accommodated, raises difficult questions for cycling provision, especially in relation to longer distance travel. Drawing on the capacities of already existing technologies of cycling and e-cycling, the paper focuses on the social implications of potentially problematic interactions. It argues that new decisions will need to be made in regard to speed and distance in cycle travel and that the forging of regulations consequent on those fundamentals will substantially shape the potentials and possibilities of modal shift for longer distance cycle travel. What emerges is a politics of longer distance cycle, not simply a set of technical barriers and problems.
    • Developing creative methodologies: using lyric writing to capture young peoples’ experiences of the youth offending services during the COVID-19 pandemic

      Wilkinson, Dean; Price, Jayne; Crossley, Charlene; University of Chester (Emerald, 2022-04-12)
      Purpose The COVID-19 lockdowns (2020–2021) disrupted all aspects of usual functioning of the criminal justice system, the outcomes and impact of which are largely still unknown. The pandemic has affected individuals across the wider society, this includes a negative impact on the social circumstances of children and young people involved within youth offending services (YOS) (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation, 2020; Criminal Justice Joint Inspectorates, 2021). This population frequently represents those from marginalised circumstances and are rarely given the opportunity to participate meaningfully in the services they are involved in. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of the young people serving orders with the YOS during Covid19 lockdowns and requirements. Design/methodology/approach This paper outlines a creative methodology and method used to uncover the experiences and perceptions of young people undergoing an order within a YOS during the COVID-19 lockdowns. The arts-based approach entailed a novel and creative method using a lyric artist to engage with young people through a virtual platform, supporting them to create lyrics about their experiences of the YOS during this time. Findings The artist developed a successful rapport with young people based on familiarity with, and passion for, music. He promoted their strengths, improving their confidence which was perceived to elicit more in-depth perspectives that might not have otherwise been obtained using more traditional methods. As such, the method and methodology outlined developed the young people’s social and communicative skills whilst producing meaningful feedback that can contribute to the YOS recovery plan and thus future of the service. Practical implications This paper reports on a novel arts-based research methodology, implemented to capture meaningful data from participants during the COVID-19 pandemic. Originality/value This paper reports on a novel arts-based research methodology, implemented to capture meaningful data from participants during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Creels and Catenary wires: Creating Community through Winter Lights Displays

      Bennett, Julia; University of Chester (Sage, 2022-03-22)
      Lighting up darkness is a material practice shared across many cultures. Lighting up winter darkness is a particular concern in urban areas in order to make urban spaces feel safer and more welcoming. Temporary lights, often characterized as ‘Christmas’ or ‘Winter’ lights, are installed over the darkest period of the year (December in the northern hemisphere) in town and city centres to attract shoppers and tourists. This paper examines the lights displays installed over the Christmas / New Year period in two British towns. In each case the lights are installed by volunteers, who also arrange a ‘switch on’ community celebration. The research argues that the architecture of the lights signifies and reinforces the identities of the communities involved. In particular, the paper examines: the importance of infrastructure for the ongoing creation of community; the creative potential of these temporary structures for community identity; and the essential materiality of community.
    • An exploration of how trainee counsellors, who have a Christian faith, experience the impact of person-centred counsellor training on their faith

      Abbey, Paula; Gubi, Peter M.; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2022-02-07)
      This study explores how trainee counselors, who have a Christian faith, experience the impact of person-centered counselor training on their faith. The research question was: ‘How do trainee counsellors who have a Christian faith experience the impact of person-centred counsellor training on their faith?’ The aims were: to explore the possible impact of person-centered counselor training on Christian faith; to explore trainees’ level of comfort at exploring issues of faith on the course; and to understand how counselor trainees who have a Christian faith perceive their faith ‘fits’ with person-centered theory. The data were collected using semi-structured interviews and ana lyzed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Findings point to the centrality of God within the process of becoming a person-centered counselor, from the decision to train, to interpre tation of theory. All participants reported no, or limited, input from tutors on religious and spiritual issues. Differing levels of comfort were felt in the disclosure and exploration of their religious faith whilst training, citing supervisors of Christian faith or church members as the main sources of support with religious or spiritual issues. All participants experienced changes to their religious beliefs and practices, which occurred during and after the course of study.
    • Recovery capital in the context of homelessness, high levels of alcohol consumption, and adverse significant life events

      Ross-Houle, Kim; Porcellato, Lorna; University of Chester; Liverpool John Moores University (Taylor and Francis, 2021-12-16)
      Homelessness and heavy alcohol consumption are increasing global public health concerns. Homelessness is associated with poorer health outcomes, shorter life expectancy, and are more likely to engage in health risk behaviours. High levels of alcohol consumption intersect with the cause and effect of homelessness making this an important consideration for research. This is explored through a theoretical lens of recovery capital, referring to the resources required to initiate and maintain recovery, and is applied to both heavy alcohol consumption and homelessness. Life history calendars were utilised alongside semi-structured interviews to explore the impact that adverse life events had on alcohol consumption and living situations with 12 participants in contact with homelessness services in North-West England. The findings consider how social, health, and structural-related adverse life events were both a cause and effect of homelessness and increasing consumption of alcohol, which were further exacerbated by a lack of recovery capital. The authors argue for further consideration relating to the intersection of homelessness and high levels of alcohol consumption in relation to recovery capital. The findings have implications for policy and practice by demonstrating the need for relevant services to help individuals develop and maintain resources that will sustain recovery capital.
    • Falling into an abyss: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of the lived experiences of the parents of autistic daughters in the UK

      Reeves, Andrew; Chollier, Marie; Chantrey, Lucy (University of Chester, 2021-11)
      Whilst research increasingly focuses on autism in girls, there is a dearth of literature around the experience of parenting an autistic daughter in the UK, with the few studies that do focusing only on mothers. The data was gathered through in-depth semi-structured interviews that explored the lived experience of parenting an autistic daughter for six mothers and two fathers, from their first concerns, through to the diagnosis, with life in-between and beyond. Their daughters were aged between eleven and seventeen at diagnosis and were diagnosed within the UK. IPA was used to analyse the data. Five superordinate themes were identified: Journey to diagnosis; Negotiating systems; Psychological impact; Living with an autistic daughter; and Reflections. The research demonstrates that the parents of autistic daughters find themselves seeking professional advice and support for a pervasive condition that, whilst better known for its familiar male presentation, appears invisible in its female form to all but those in their close family. The impact of the ensuing struggle to have their concerns believed and to obtain her autism diagnosis often has profoundly negative consequences, leaving families in crisis, chaos in daily life, and parents’ mental and physical health compromised. The subsequent delay in diagnosis means that their daughter remains unsupported in her education and social life, with the adverse ramifications of this reverberating throughout her family. The findings of this study have implications for parents, professionals, and the field of research in terms of the need for a better recognition and understanding of female autism, an apposite educational setting, and a holistic approach to family support.
    • 'Stress and sex: a complicated relationship’ Declining sexual functioning as a predictor for attritional stress and fatigue (ASF), resilience injury and maladaptive behaviours in a sample of British Army soldiers

      Reeves, Andrew; Buxton, Christina; Prentice, Julie-Anne (University of Chester, 2021-10)
      With high-tempo work, frequent separation and operational commitments, military personnel are at greater risk than most of developing a broad range of mental health concerns. Whether at war or in peacetime, soldiers are trained to be ready for combat. Such conditioning is responsible for teaching soldiers how to override their flight or fight response; to run towards danger when human instinct seeks to run away. So, whether soldiers are engaged in combat or training for readiness, the destabilising impact of overriding innate biological functions can impact on how a soldier recognises and manages stress. Stress is known to contribute to a number of physical and psychological functions that impact on sexual desire and performance, offering sexual functioning as a potential marker for resilience injury and wider mental health concerns. Aims & Objectives Psychological support for intimate relationships is particularly vital for soldiers and their partners and may influence recovery rates from the unique mental demands of the military. This study sought to understand if declining sexual functioning could be an early predictor of problematic stress and maladaptive behaviours. It aimed to define clear at-risk groups for increased stress to help clinicians target assessment for those most susceptible to resilience overwhelm and mental health concerns. Research questions The study focused on 6 main research questions related to stress, sexual functioning, online sexual activity (OSA) and compulsive sexual behaviour (CSB). Results hoped to demonstrate the correlation between stress and sexual function and to define areas of additive stress that may impact on wellbeing. Clinical aims sought to highlight at-risk groups and protective factors to support psychoeducation, assessment protocols and treatment pathways. Method A mixed-methods approach allowed for the collection of quantitative statistical data via a scored and validated survey providing correlation information on the four main variables: stress, sexual functioning, online sexual activity and compulsive sexual behaviours. A qualitative component collected personal statements, observations and remarks to provide context for the statistical results. With equal priority, this created a snapshot of soldier experience in relation to stress and sex which could help the identification of those soldiers at greater risk of psychological distress. The study was primarily underpinned by the theoretical framework of Bancroft and Janssen’s Dual Control Model. This model centres on the balance between an individual’s inhibitory and excitatory processes in the central nervous system. With particular relevance to this study and soldier behaviour, the Dual Control Model considers how excitation and inhibition are impacted by stress and how individual response may impact on sexual behaviour. Where inhibition is elevated, some may experience difficulties with sexual interaction related to performance anxiety for example and where excitation is increased, individuals may feel less restricted and may be willing to take more sexual risks. Results Results demonstrated a clear link between increased stress and declining sexual function offering psychosexual assessment as a useful diagnostic tool for psychological distress. Through statistical analysis, 7 groups were identified as most at risk of resilience overwhelm and poor stress appraisal with declining sexual functioning. These groups included soldiers who lived alone, those who lived overseas with their partners, Other Ranks aged 26-30 years old, Non-Commissioned Officers aged 26-30 years old, Commissioned Officers aged over 40 years, soldiers that had served between 1-5 years and those personnel who had served over 20 years. Soldiers in more than one of these 7 groups were likely to experience the highest levels of stress and declining sexual functioning, with up to 83% of sexual function variance attributed to stress. Within this study, predictive factors were categorised from personal narratives. At-risk soldiers were identified as either being exposed to greater disconnection or isolation, currently experiencing a life stage transition or within a period of increased occupational demand. Soldiers currently at relationship pressure points such as starting or ending an intimate relationship did not demonstrate a significance correlation between elevated stress and declining sexual function. Over 85% of soldiers admit to using the internet for sexual activity; however, the majority were at levels that were considered to be low risk. Personnel reported preferring to seek out human connection. Increased OSA was not correlated with loss of desire but it was strongly associated with a decline in sexual satisfaction. Compulsive sexual behaviour was not generally problematic. Results demonstrated that soldiers in this study were more likely to have increased sexual inhibition resulting in sexual difficulties rather than elevated excitation leading to risk taking behaviour. There were marked differences between male and female soldiers including the experience of stress, sexual function and online sexual activity, suggesting that psychoeducation and healthcare assessment should be appropriately targeted with the consideration of sex-specific interventions. More research on the psychological and physiological differences between male and female soldiers is urged. Implications for practice Whilst poor sexual functioning can be influenced by many factors, this study has concluded that sexual difficulties are positively correlated with increased stress within the British Army. Therefore, questions on sexual functioning could offer an important measure of physical, cognitive and emotional health. Psychosexual training would enable those clinicians that support at-risk soldiers presenting with stress symptoms to explore sexual functioning and behaviour as part of their patient wellbeing assessment. Soldiers could benefit from greater awareness of how personal agency and control can diminish the harmful effects of stress, whilst leaders should continue to be mindful of their direct impact on soldier wellbeing. Relationships form part of systemic resilience and contribute to soldier wellbeing, happiness and key life decisions. Army policy makers should be aware of the implications of soldier overwhelm and relationship strain in relation to financial, operational and retention decisions
    • Working with risk within the counselling professions

      Reeves, Andrew; University of Chester (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, 2021-09-20)
      This practitioner factsheet looks at the factors that counsellors and psychotherapists need to keep in mind when working with clients who present at risk. Good practice indicators are outlined, as well as evidence-informed interventions.
    • Permission to be kind to myself’. The experiences of informal carers of those with a life-limiting or terminal illness of a brief self-compassion-based self-care intervention

      Diggory, Kate; Reeves, Andrew; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2021-09-19)
      Background: Informal carers of someone with a life-limiting or terminal illness often experience marked levels of depression, anxiety and stress. Carers have limited free time to devote to lengthy, well-being interventions. Carers also struggle to prioitorize their self-care, a factor which may help buffer some of the negative impacts of being a carer. The aim of this study was to gain insight into carers’ views and perceptions of a brief, four session face to face self-compassion intervention for carers (iCare) which was created to improve well- being, increase self-compassion and develop self-care among carers. In so doing, this qualitative research addresses gaps in the literature relating to self-compassion interventions for carers and targeted self-care initiatives for carers. Method: Semi-structured interviews with nine participants of iCare were conducted and data subjected to a reflexive thematic analysis within a critical realist framework. Findings: A number of themes and sub-themes were identified. Carers discovered a kinder, less judgemental way of seeing themselves allowing themselves to recognize that they had their own individual needs. In turn this led to an intentional practise of self-care activities. Benefits from conscious self-care and self-kindness included experiencing a greater sense of calm or relaxation and the development of a more positive outlook. Conclusion: The findings highlight that a brief self-compassion intervention can have a positive impact on carers reported well-being through developing a kindlier internal orientation and locating a permission to allow themselves to practise an intentional self-care.
    • The impacts of the drop in staffing provision in the transition between the youth custody estate and young adult/adult estate

      Price, Jayne; University of Chester (HM Prison Service of England and Wales, 2021-09-08)
      This article offers a critical view of the differences in staffing provision between the YCE and young adult/adult estate. The data outlines the issues associated with the cliff-edge of staffing training and provision for young adults which is seemingly an accepted aspect of the young adult/adult estate. The accounts of staff and young people demonstrates how their experiences of diminished resources through to the young adult/adult estate are insufficient to provide the level of support required. It is argued that there should be greater numbers of suitably trained prison officers within institutions holding young adults to work effectively with this distinct population.
    • Europe's Transition to Sustainability: Actors, Approaches and Policies

      Fernandez, Rosa M.; Schoenefeld, Jonas.; Hoerber, Thomas; Oberthuer, Sebastian; University of Chester; University of East Anglia; ESSCA School of Management; Vrije Universiteit Brussels; University of Eastern Finland (Routledge, 2021-09-06)
      The European Union has developed an international reputation as an advocate of sustainability and as a leader in environmental policy and in tackling climate change. The European Green Deal is the latest amongst numerous policy initiatives indicating an aspiration to lead. The contributions to this special issue show, however, that the path to sustainability in the EU (and beyond) is far from clear cut, with uneven progress in a number of policy areas. Some Member States are lagging behind, and there are barriers both within and outside the EU. Moving forward, a successful transition still requires substantial policy effort.
    • An interview with Judith Weir

      Egeli, Cemil; University of Chester (Egalitarian Publishing, 2021-09-01)
      Cemil Egeli previously worked as a researcher on the flagship arts TV programme 'The South Bank Show' (then broadcast on ITV), where in 2001 Judith Weir received the prestigious music award for her choral and orchestral work, We Are Shadows. Some 20 years later, Judith Weir has very kindly agreed to him posing some interview questions.
    • Unmasking the phantom

      Lewis, Megan; University of Chester (Egalitarian Publishing, 2021-09-01)
      This article explores an experience of bereavement in adolescence and the use of musical theatre in the grieving process.
    • Editorial: Towards a psychomusicology

      Egeli, Cemil; University of Chester (Egalitarian Publishing, 2021-09-01)
      Editorial for the 'psychomusicology' special issue
    • An exploration of the impact of diversity and culture on the journey of faith and spirituality of the counsellor who is a Christian

      Gubi, Peter; West, William; Barton, Heather D. (University of Chester, 2021-09)
      Aim: The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of diversity and culture on the journey of faith and spirituality of the counsellor who is a Christian. This is an under-researched area. Method: The study explored the experiences of eight experienced counsellors who were also Christian. It was conducted by means of semi-structured qualitative interviews. Data were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Results: Analysis of data identified five superordinate themes: 1) thoughts on motivations; 2) perspectives on training; 3) experiences in supervision; 4) experiences of faith and spirituality; 5) experiences of diversity and culture. Discussion: The data revealed that participants believed their faith to be a vital part of their desire to become a counsellor. In spite of this, they received little preparation for the diverse clients they were to meet and found little support in the areas of diversity and culture, or faith and spirituality, in training or supervision. They also faced challenges to their own faith and spirituality. This has, however, resulted in what participants believe is a broader and deeper faith. A move to a new stage of faith, which they may not have reached had they not become counsellors, was also identified. Conclusion/Implications: Gaps in training and supervision were highlighted, and areas for further research are identified.
    • Effects of trade barriers on development and growth

      Fernandez, Rosa M.; University of Chester (Springer, 2021-08-31)
      A basic definition of trade barriers could be ‘all factors that influence the amount of goods and services shipped across international borders’ (Feenstra and Taylor, 2017a). This definition is quite neutral, and it needs to be understood that the word ‘barrier’ has a negative connotation, which means that a trade barrier would be any instrument that limits or restrict trade between countries, as opposed to free trade. It is generally accepted that free trade is good for productivity and economic growth, but it is also true that most countries apply some sort of trade restriction, for different reasons.
    • ‘The Berwyn Way’: A Qualitative Study of the Rehabilitative Model at HMP Berwyn

      Hughes, Caroline; Gorden, Caroline; Prescott, Joanne A. (University of ChesterWrexham Glyndŵr University, 2021-07)
      Typified predominantly as ‘agencies of disempowerment and deprivation’, traditional prisons represent the antithesis of a rehabilitative setting (De Viggiani, 2007a, p.115). As such, the aim of this qualitative study was to explore the physical, psychological, and social implications of HMP Berwyn’s rehabilitative model (The Berwyn Way) from the perspective of prison residents and operational staff. As a single-site project, Berwyn was of particular interest because of its recent introduction to the UK prison estate. Opening in February 2017, Berwyn, a North Walian establishment, housing up to 2106 adult males, opened with an ambitious rehabilitative agenda which promised to normalise the prison setting by focusing on rehabilitative cultures and values, improved spatial design, therapeutic staff-resident relationships and a person-first lexicon which aimed to replace traditional prison terminology with inclusive alternatives. These are but some of the approaches listed under the ‘Berwyn Way’, and in addressing the many others, this thesis discusses the wider implications of Berwyn’s approach, and does so, with accounts from a sample of 20 prison residents and 20 operational staff, using semi-structured interviews. To capture further nuances, triangulation was utilised and included ethnographic observations and detailed fieldnotes. Thematic analysis of the triangulated dataset generated four themes: The Berwyn Way; Lifting the liminal veil between the outside and inside; Managing behaviour, and finally, Actions speak louder than words: rethinking prison language, relationships and interactions. Findings from the study did not support the expectation that Berwyn’s rehabilitative model would be broadly accepted, and instead there was some resistance to rehabilitative change, both from a resident and staff perspective. From a rehabilitative standpoint, there were however areas of notable best-practice, with certain operational areas encapsulating the essence of Berwyn’s rehabilitative model with consistent professional practice, acceptance to Berwyn’s overarching vision and a willingness to challenge the orthodox narrative of punitive imprisonment. The thesis concludes with observations surrounding the implications of the study for rehabilitative penal practice within prisons in England and Wales, and recommendations for future research.
    • Reforming masculinity: the politics of gender, race, militarism and security sector reform in the DRC

      Massey, Rachel; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2021-06-23)
      Conflict-related sexual violence has become an increasingly visible issue for feminists as well as various international actors. One of the ways global policy makers have tried to tackle this violence is through addressing the violent masculinity of security sector forces. While such efforts have their roots in feminist analyses of militarized masculinity, this article seeks to contribute to the critical discourse on ‘gender-sensitive security sector reform’ (GSSR). There are three dimensions to my critical reading of GSSR. Firstly, I ask what gendered and racialized power relations are reproduced through efforts to educate male security agents about the wrongs of sexual violence. Secondly, I offer a critique of how GSSR normalizes military solutions to addressing sexual violence and strengthens the global standing of military actors. Finally, I bring these themes together in an analysis of the United States-led military training mission Operation Olympic Chase in the DRC. Here, I reveal the limitations of attempting to address sexual violence within the security sector without more radically confronting how gender, race and militarism often work together to form the conditions for this violence. I conclude with some reflections on feminist complicity in upholding military power and the possibilities for developing global solidarity.
    • Lockdown Scrapbook

      Bennett, Julia; University of Chester (York University, Canada, 2021-06-20)
      The Covid-19 lockdown in England began on 23rd March 2020, when people were told to stay at home and only go out for essential purposes, which included an hour’s daily exercise. These measures were originally scheduled to last for three weeks, but were then extended for a further three weeks. On 17th April, shortly after the three week extension began, I started to record my daily walks. For just over a month I chose a word which signified the current moment in some way and took photos related to my chosen theme. I posted four pictures per day, most days, on Twitter (@drjuliabennett). This is a description of the photos, the walks and news media during this period.
    • Violence, control and restraint: The harms to young adults particularly upon transition

      Price, Jayne; University of Chester (Wiley, 2021-06-15)
      The transition into the young adult/adult estate at age 18 years is marked by a significant loss of provision and shift in institutional treatment. One of the many harms endured is the change in restraint which is harmful and damaging yet prevailing. The data presented here shows how the distinct needs of this vulnerable population are widely overlooked. This article extends the literature regarding young adults and argues that there should be greater exploration and understanding of their behaviour and the impacts of transitions. This in turn leads to recommendations for changes to practices within the young adult/adult estate.