The Faculty offers an extensive portfolio of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, taught predominantly at the Chester Campus, but with provision in Public Relations and Policing taught at Warrington. A key feature of work in all four specialist subject areas below is the inter-relationship between social science and issues of everyday concern that have relevance for policy making.

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  • Are children in care offered effective therapeutic support?

    Reeves, Andrew; Smith, Andrew M. (University of Chester, 2020-07)
    Aim - This thesis aims to answer the question as to whether or not the therapeutic support offered to children in care in the U.K. is effective. There are two parts to the question: ascertaining what the actual offer of therapy consists of; the quality of that offer in terms of therapeutic effectiveness. Background - children in care are significantly more likely than their peers to be involved in offending behaviour, substance misuse, and to be unemployed DfE (2019). There is evidence to suggest that unresolved developmental trauma can contribute to these outcomes (National Audit Office, 2015). It is unclear how focused the government is on supporting effective therapeutic recovery from developmental trauma. Method - Questionnaires were distributed to every local authority in the country, with approval from the Directors’ of Children’s Services. Interviews were attempted. A Foucaultian Discourse Analysis of key pieces of legislation in the field was then completed, and a Thematic Analysis of 28 studies into therapeutic recovery from complex developmental trauma was achieved. Key Findings- The study found that children in care are not systematically offered effective therapeutic support. In fact, there are multiple issues according to the quality of therapies on offer: there is a legal/political/organisational system that is dysfunctional: the offer of therapy is impossible to ascertain across the country; the way in which therapists research their own provision is laden with methodological, political, and ethical issues. However, the evidence supports the idea that we are aware of some key factors that help therapeutic recovery. Implications for Practice - The evidence provided a range of factors to support future development of therapeutic support to children in care, and supported a mapping out of the way in which therapies could usefully be developed in the future. The evidence led to the development of a model of best practice. Conclusion - The thesis ends with some recommendations as to how the profession of psychotherapy and counselling could begin to develop both their knowledge base and way of working with children care to support more effective therapeutic recovery.
  • How to persuade and influence people: The art of effective geographical debate

    Healey, Ruth; Leatham, Chloe; University of Chester
    This article supports students to prepare to participate in a debate. We consider thorough preparation as the foundation for effective debate. Here we provide guidance on one approach to preparing as effectively as possible. We outline this before considering three key elements to this method of preparation: 1) substance: your knowledge and understanding of the debate topic; 2) style: how to present your points clearly and succinctly; and 3) persuasion: how through both substance and style you effectively persuade people of your argument. We conclude by summarising the key points raised in this guide and identifying how they apply to other assignment contexts. The discussion that follows uses the debate topic ‘Should an additional charge be applied to all single-use plastics?’ to demonstrate the approaches we suggest.
  • Development and usability testing of a web-based psychosocial intervention for women living with metastatic breast cancer: Finding My Way-Advanced

    Beatty, Lisa; Koczwara, Bogda; Butow, Phyllis; Turner, Jane; Girgis, Afaf; Schofield, Penelope; Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J; Kaambwa, Billingsley; Kemp, Emma; Flinders University; Flinders Medical Centre; Sydney University; University of Queensland; University of New South Wales; Swinburne University of Technology; University of Chester
    Purpose: Women living with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) face significant distress and unmet needs, yet few resources have been developed for this population. The current study aimed to develop and evaluate the usability of Finding My Way-Advanced (FMW-A), a web-based self-guided psychosocial program for women with MBC. Methods: FMW-A was co-designed through (a) adapting an efficacious online program for people with curatively treated cancer, and (b) receiving iterative rounds of input and feedback from a multidisciplinary co-design team including consumers, clinicians and academics. A think-aloud protocol was then implemented to test the usability of the resulting 6-module prototype, with women living with MBC accessing up to three modules with an interviewer sitting along-side. Participants were recruited until saturation of themes occurred. Data were analysed thematically. Results: Participants (n=8) were, on average, 65.3 years old, mostly partnered (n=5), retired (n=6), post-secondary school educated (n=6), with non-dependent children (n=7). Feedback fell into 6 themes. Positive feedback about FMW-A summarised the supportive and informative nature of the programme, supplemented by comments about broadly relatable content. However, one size clearly did not fit all: within themes, diverging experiences emerged regarding navigability, worksheets and layout. Participants noted that having/making time for the intervention would be important to program engagement. Conclusions: Usability testing indicated participants found content helpful and relatable, and identified significant pragmatic improvements to be made prior to further testing. Implications for cancer survivors: The development of FMW-A represents an important step in providing acceptable resources to support women living with MBC.
  • The Emotional Face of Anorexia Nervosa: The Neural Correlates of Emotional Processing

    Halls, Daniel; Leslie, Monica; Leppanen, Jenni; Sedgewick, Felicity; Surguladze, Simon; Fonville, Leon; Lang, Katie; Simic, Mima; Nicholls, Dasha; Williams, Steven; et al.
    Social-emotional processing difficulties have been reported in Anorexia Nervosa (AN), yet the neural correlates remain unclear. Previous neuroimaging work is sparse and has not used functional connectivity paradigms to more fully explore the neural correlates of emotional difficulties. Fifty-seven acutely unwell AN (AAN) women, 60 weight-recovered AN (WR) women and 69 healthy control (HC) women categorised the gender of a series of emotional faces while undergoing Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging. The mean age of the AAN group was 19.40 (2.83), WR 18.37 (3.59) and HC 19.37 (3.36). A whole brain and psychophysical interaction connectivity approach was used. Parameter estimates from significant clusters were extracted and correlated with clinical symptoms. Whilst no group level differences in whole brain activation were demonstrated, significant group level functional connectivity differences emerged. WR participants showed increased connectivity between the bilateral occipital face area and the cingulate, precentral gyri, superior, middle, medial and inferior frontal gyri compared to AAN and HC when viewing happy valenced faces. Eating disorder symptoms and parameter estimates were positively correlated. Our findings characterise the neural basis of social-emotional processing in a large sample of individuals with AN.
  • Tears Evoke the Intention to Offer Social Support: A Systematic Investigation of the Interpersonal Effects of Emotional Crying Across 41 Countries

    Zickfeld, Janis H.; van de Ven, Niels; Pich, Olivia; Schubert, Thomas W.; Berkessel, Jana B.; Pizarro, José J.; Bhushan, Braj; Mateo, Nino Jose; Barbosa, Sergio; Sharman, Leah; et al.
    Tearful crying is a ubiquitous and likely uniquely human phenomenon. Scholars have argued that emotional tears serve an attachment function: Tears are thought to act as a social glue by evoking social support intentions. Initial experimental studies supported this proposition across several methodologies, but these were conducted almost exclusively on participants from North America and Europe, resulting in limited generalizability. This project examined the tears-social support intentions effect and possible mediating and moderating variables in a fully pre-registered study across 7,007 participants (24,886 ratings) and 41 countries spanning all populated continents. Participants were presented with four pictures out of 100 possible targets with or without digitally-added tears. We confirmed the main prediction that seeing a tearful individual elicits the intention to support, d = .49 [.43, .55]. Our data suggest that this effect could be mediated by perceiving the crying target as warmer and more helpless, feeling more connected, as well as feeling more empathic concern for the crier, but not by an increase in personal distress of the observer. The effect was moderated by the situational valence, identifying the target as part of one’s group, and trait empathic concern. A neutral situation, high trait empathic concern, and low identification increased the effect. We observed high heterogeneity across countries that was, via split-half validation, best explained by country-level GDP per capita and subjective well-being with stronger effects for higher-scoring countries. These findings suggest that tears can function as social glue, providing one possible explanation why emotional crying persists into adulthood.
  • Counselling the 'other'.

    Egeli, Cemil; University of Chester
    This chapter explores the problems of race, ethnicity and culture within counselling. It challenges the counselling world's neoliberal march towards manualised and standardised biomedical paradigms, which are not helpful for working culturally. They reinforce attitudes which are oppressive. Using an autoethnographic approach the author draws on their own experience of coming from two different cultures calling for the counselling world to challenge the binary , hegemonic and colonial thinking which underpins the biomedical approach taken. The author also brings awareness to the new growing demographic of mixed people who do not neatly fit into cultural boxes ascribed to them.
  • A moment of love? Embodied experiences of relational depth in transactional analysis psychotherapy

    Gubi, Peter; Swales, Emma (University of Chester, 2020-10)
    This research project explores the question: ‘Can moments of relational depth be understood as a moment of love?’ The aims of the research were: to determine whether Transactional Analysis (TA) psychotherapists have experienced moments of relational depth; to explore their embodied and spiritual experience of this phenomenon, and to investigate participants’ interpretations of this experience. The research has sought to understand if these moments of intense, embodied attunement in therapy can be interpreted as moments of love. The study uses Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to explore the embodied experience of moments of relational depth in transactional analysis psychotherapy, by exploring the felt experience, understandings and conceptualisations of visceral experiences of moments of profound, intense connection in the therapeutic relationship. Thoughts, feelings and experiences of love in therapy are also explored. Semi-structured interviews of nine experienced Transactional Analysis psychotherapists are analysed and 5 superordinate and 26 subordinate themes are identified. The study found that TA psychotherapists do experience moments of embodied relational depth, and that this moment of relational depth can be described and understood as a moment of love. The participants were able to describe significant and similar physical and spiritual sensations that identified the experience. This phenomenon is also explored and understood as a moment of interpersonal physical synchrony. The participants interpreted this experience as being related to early infant-parent interactions, and as a transmission between themselves and their clients. All the participants described feeling love in the therapeutic relationship, and there were descriptions of the types of love that can occur in therapy. A definition of therapeutic love is also offered. The research data showed that for the participants in the study, therapeutic love is a fundamental aspect of therapy, both as a quality of the therapeutic relationship, and as a moment of embodied attunement. Therefore, the research suggests that training and supervision processes need to support trainee and qualified psychotherapists to explore and understand these phenomena. Identifying moments of embodied attunement requires an awareness of our internal experience. This suggests that a focus on the body and body awareness is an essential component of counselling and psychotherapy training courses. The integration of body psychotherapy into mainstream counselling and psychotherapy training will enable therapists to be open to experiences of embodied attunement in therapy. In addition, ongoing personal therapy for practitioners serves as an additional resource to underpin the safe provision of this profound therapeutic work.
  • STOP-sexual violence: evaluation of a community based nightlife worker awareness raising bystander training programme

    Quigg, Zara; Bellis, Mark A; Hughes, Karen; Kulhanek, Adam; Brito, Irma; Ross-Houle, Kim; Bigland, Charlotte; Calafat, Amador; Duch, Mariàngels; Stop SV Group; et al.
    Background Preventing sexual violence in nightlife environments is a pervasive issue across many countries. This study explored the associated impact of a nightlife worker sexual violence awareness raising/bystander training programme (STOP-SV) on trainees’ sexual violence myth acceptance and readiness and confidence to intervene. Methods : Pre- and post-test (n = 118), and 3-month follow-up (n = 38) trainee surveys were implemented across three countries (Czech Republic, Portugal and Spain). Paired-sample tests examined changes across time-periods in participants’ myth acceptance (e.g. unwanted sexual advances are a normal part of a night out), and readiness and confidence to intervene. Multi-nominal regression was used to examine the relationship between the change in pre-to-post-training scores and trainee characteristics. Results Compared to pre-training, post-training participants were significantly (P < 0.01) less likely to agree with sexual violence myths, and more likely to be ready and confident to intervene. In bi-variate and multi-variate analyses, we found no significant associations between the change in pre-to-post-training scores and trainee characteristics. Analyses of the small follow-up sub-sample illustrated some positive changes at the post-training and follow-up time-periods (i.e. reduction in sexual violence myth acceptance). Conclusion This exploratory study suggests that the STOP-SV training programme was associated with a decrease in trainees’ acceptance of sexual violence myths, and an increase in their readiness and confidence to intervene. Our findings support the case for further implementation and evaluation of awareness raising/bystander programmes for nightlife workers that aim to prevent and respond to sexual violence.
  • The challenge of relational referents in early word extensions: Evidence from noun-noun compounds

    Snape, Simon; Krott, Andrea; University of Chester; University of Birmingham
    Young children struggle more with mapping novel words onto relational referents (e.g., verbs) compared to non-relational referents (e.g., nouns). We present further evidence for this notion by investigating children’s extensions of noun-noun compounds, which map onto combinations of non-relational referents, i.e. objects (e.g., baby and bottle for baby bottle), and relations (e.g., a bottle FOR babies). We tested two- to five-year-olds’ and adults’ generalisations of novel compounds composed of novel (e.g., kig donka) or familiar (e.g., star hat) nouns that were combined by one of two relations (e.g., donka that has a kig attached (=attachment relation) versus donka that stores a kig (=function relation)). Participants chose between a relational (shared relation) and a non-relational (same colour) match. Results showed a developmental shift from encoding non-relational aspects (colour) towards relations of compound referents, supporting the challenge of relational word referents. Also, attachment relations were more frequently encoded than function relations.
  • A Thematic Review of Contemporary Accounts of Black and of White Residents in North-East Wales Towards Black/White Interracial Relationships

    Robbins, Mandy; Hamid, Sahar; Cairns, Andrew D. (University of ChesterWrexham Glyndwr University, 2019-04)
    Exploring accounts of relations between racial groups has been identified as a key focus within the social sciences, with the views expressed towards intermarriage between members of particular groups often presented as a barometer for wider intergroup attitudes. Studies concerning interracial relationships have been particularly rare in Wales and remain unexplored within North Wales; this study seeks to address this gap in the knowledge base. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six Black participants, six White participants, and one participant of mixed Black/White heritage, all residing within North-East Wales, to explore accounts relating to Black/White interracial marriage. Interview transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis and identified six overarching themes: Contact, Lack of Contact, Positive Views, Negative Views, Culture, and Colour-Blindness. Results indicated that the personal views of both Black and White participants towards the concept of intermarriage were mostly positive, though sources of societal opposition in the local area were also identified. Gradual increases in the racial diversity of the region were linked to greater levels of acceptance of people from racial minorities, though it was also noted that the social networks of both White and Black participants were relatively homogeneous, suggesting there are limited opportunities for contact to take place between the two groups. Cultural factors had considerable influence for Black participants and some accounts were provided relating to social exchange theory. Whilst the results cannot be generalised to the entire population of North-East Wales, or to the racial groups that participants came from, they provide rich detailed data on individual and societal views of Black/White interracial relationships in a region of the UK where studies of this type have been unprecedented.
  • Reforming masculinity: the politics of gender, race, militarism and security sector reform in the DRC

    Massey, Rachel; University of Chester
    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
    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.
  • Evaluating process and effectiveness of a low-intensity CBT intervention for women with gynaecological cancer (the EPELIT Trial)

    Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J.; Hulbert-Williams, Lee; Flynn, Ryan J.; Pendrous, Rosina; MacDonald-Smith, Carey; Mullard, Anna; Swash, Brooke; Evans, Gemma; Price, Annabel; University of Chester; North Wales Cancer Treatment Centre; Ysbyty Gwynedd; Addenbrooke's Hospital Cambridge
    Background: Improving survival from gynaecological cancers is creating an increasing clinical challenge for long-term distress management. Psychologist-led interventions for cancer survivors can be beneficial, but are often costly. The rise of the Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP) workforce in the UK might offer a cheaper, but equally effective, intervention delivery method that is more sustainable and accessible. We aimed to test the effectiveness of a PWP co-facilitated intervention for reducing depression and anxiety, quality of life and unmet needs. Methods: We planned this trial using a pragmatic, non-randomised controlled design, recruiting a comparator sample from a second clinical site. The intervention was delivered over six-weekly sessions; data were collected from participants at baseline, weekly during the intervention, and at one-week and three-month follow-up. Logistical challenges meant that we only recruited 8 participants to the intervention group, and 26 participants to the control group. Results: We did not find significant, between-group differences for depression, quality of life or unmet needs, though some differences at follow-up were found for anxiety (p<.001). Analysis of potential intervention mediator processes indicated the potential importance of self-management self-efficacy. Low uptake into the psychological intervention raises questions about (a) patient- driven needs for group-based support, and (b) the sustainability of this intervention programme. Conclusions: This study failed to recruit to target; the under-powered analysis likely explains the lack of significant effects reported, though some trends in the data are of interest. Retention in the intervention group, and low attrition in the control group indicate acceptability of the intervention content and trial design; however a small baseline population rendered this trial infeasible in its current design. Further work is required to answer our research questions, but also, importantly, to address low uptake for psychological interventions in this group of cancer survivors.
  • Evaluating the impact of COVID-19 on supportive care needs, psychological distress and 3 quality of life in UK cancer survivors and their support network.

    Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J.; Leslie, Monica; Hulbert-Williams, Lee; Smith, Eilidh; Howells, Lesley; Pinato, David J; University of Chester; Maggie's Cancer Centres; Imperial College London
    Objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic is having considerable impact on cancer care, including restricted access to hospital-based care, treatment and psychosocial support. We investigated the impact on unmet needs and psychosocial wellbeing. Methods: 144 participants (77% female), including people with cancer and their support networks, were recruited. The most prevalent diagnosis was breast cancer. Forty-one participants recruited pre-pandemic were compared with 103 participants recruited during the COVID-19 pandemic. We measured participants’ unmet supportive care needs, psychological distress and quality of life. Results: Half of our patient respondents reported unexpected changes to treatment following pandemic onset, with widespread confusion about their longer-term consequences. Although overall need levels have not increased, specific needs have changed in prominence. People with cancer reported significantly reduced anxiety (p=.049) and improved quality of life (p=.032) following pandemic onset, but support network participants reported reduced quality of life (p=.009), and non-significantly elevated anxiety, stress and depression. Conclusion: Psychological wellbeing of people with cancer has not been detrimentally affected by pandemic onset. Reliance on home-based support to compensate for the lost availability of structured healthcare pathways may, however, explain significant and detrimental effects on the wellbeing and quality of life of people in their support and informal care networks.
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Enhanced Communication Skills: development and evaluation of a novel training programme

    Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J; Hulbert-Williams, Lee; Patterson, Pandora; Suleman, Sahil; Howells, Lesley; University of Chester; Canteen Australia; University of Sydney; St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Maggie's Cancer Centres
    Background: Psychological suffering is ubiquitous with cancer and frequently presents as an unmet supportive care need. In clinical practice, distress-related needs are often addressed by nurses and non-psychologist allied healthcare professionals who may have limited training in psychological therapeutic frameworks, particularly more recently-developed interventions such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). Aims: We developed a single-day training programme for professionals working in supportive and palliative cancer care settings to change the nature of clinical communication about psychological distress and suffering towards an ACT-consistent approach. Method: We report on experiences of training delivery, and evaluation data about training satisfaction and intention to apply the training to clinical practice, from three training iterations in British and Australian, government-funded and charitable sectors. One hundred and sixteen cancer care professionals participated in the training. Evaluation data was collected from 53 participants (at either two-week or three-month follow-up, or both) using self-report survey including both quantitative and free-text questions. Results: At two-week follow-up, 73% of trainees rating our course as having relevance to their work, and at three-month follow up, 46% agreed that they were better placed to provide improved clinical services. Qualitative feedback supported the inclusion of experiential learning and theoretical explanations underpinning ACT techniques. Undertaking this training did not significantly increase trainees’ stress levels, nor did implementation of this new way of working negatively affect staff wellbeing. Positive, ACT-consistent, changes in communication behaviours and attitudes were reported, however there was a lack of significant change in psychological flexibility. Discussion: Acceptability and applicability of this training to supportive and palliative healthcare is positive. The lack of change in psychological flexibility suggests a potential need for more experiential content in the training programme. Logistical challenges in one training group suggests the need for more robust train-the-trainer models moving forward.
  • From the informal to the disciplinary: Policing ‘juvenile nuisance’ and youth anti-social behaviour since the mid-1990s. A qualitative study of Police Officers’ perspectives

    Gorden, Caroline; Dubberley, Sarah; Cronin-Wojdat, Wayne P. (University of ChesterWrexham Glyndwr University, 2020-07)
    A topic neglected in the academic literature is an exploration of police officers’ perspectives on policing anti-social behaviour involving children and young people. The purpose of this thesis is to contribute to bridging that gap in the existing literature. This thesis describes a qualitative study that collected data by conducting semi-structured interviews with serving police officers from a United Kingdom police service. The academic literature indicated that the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 resulted in considerable changes to policing anti-social behaviour. Therefore, this study wantednto capture the police officers’ perspectives of policing anti-social behaviour before and after the implementation of the Act. Therefore, serving police officers who began their service prior to the legislation were recruited. A key finding of this thesis is that the legal definition of anti-social behaviour is imprecise. Consequently, police officers defined and interpreted anti-social behaviour differently according to their unique worldviews. However, this study found that a key component of police officers’ definitions of anti-social behaviour is their understanding of respect. Police officers tended to define anti-social behaviour as conduct that showed disrespect or was inconsiderate to other people. This study found that since the mid-1990s, the police officers had noticed changes in the policing of anti-social behaviour involving children and young people. The types of changes they noticed included the demand for policing anti-social behaviour due to the public’s expectations, and the policing priority given to it. Police officers perceived that ‘traditional’ anti-social behaviour involving children and young people gathering in public spaces was now less prevalent and instead, a larger policing issue was the emerging phenomenon of cyber anti-social behaviour. The police officers indicated there had been changes in the police service’s response to the anti-social behaviour of children and young people. Police officers suggested there were differences in their discretion to informally resolve anti-social behaviour incidents because of an increase in accountability for their response to it. Additionally, the ethos had moved away from criminalising children and young people for anti-social behaviour, and instead, offering them conditional social support to help them desist. The multi-agency response to anti-social behaviour provided new insights into the causes of it and the vulnerability of children and young people. This study identified that police officers held contrasting perspectives about their organisation's approach to anti-social behaviour involving children and young people. There are implications for further research on the policing of anti-social behaviour. The research findings indicated that now academics need to be careful about using terms such as ‘the police view’ because police officers have multiple different perspectives on anti-social behaviour. Additionally, the focus of the literature was on ‘traditional’ anti-social behaviour caused by children and young people in public spaces, however that needs reviewing because of the emergence of cyber anti-social behaviour. Furthermore, the literature tends to link anti-social behaviour with low-level crime. However, due to the recent association between anti-social behaviour, child criminal exploitation and child sexual exploitation, the relationship between it and criminal offences requires revision.
  • Concreteness of semantic interpretations of abstract and representational artworks

    Schepman, Astrid; Rodway, Paul; University of Chester
    The authors tested two contrasting theoretical predictions to establish whether semantic interpretations of abstract artworks had different lexical concreteness from those of representational artworks. In Experiment 1, 49 non-expert participants provided brief verbal interpretations of 20 abstract and 20 representational artworks. Frequentist and Bayesian Linear Mixed Models showed that the words’ concreteness levels were robustly higher for interpretations of abstract artworks than representational artworks. This difference was present regardless of the inclusion or exclusion of function words. Potential diluting or inflating impacts on the effect due to the multi-word responses were examined in Experiment 2, in which 72 new participants provided single-word interpretations for the same artworks. The effect replicated with a larger effect size. The findings suggest that non-expert viewers prioritise establishing what is depicted over seeking deeper meanings if the depicted is not readily established perceptually. The findings are incompatible with the theoretical stance that abstract art has abstract meaning. Instead, the findings are consistent with complex models of aesthetic processing in which meaning may emerge in stages. The effect of art type on the concreteness of meaning is an important, hitherto undiscovered basic finding in empirical aesthetics. Our novel methods enable further research in this field.
  • Setting an International Research Agenda for Fear of Cancer Recurrence: an online delphi consensus study

    Shaw, Joanne; Kamphuis, H; Sharpe, Louise; Lebel, Sophie; Smith, Allan Ben; Hulbert-Williams, Nicholas J; Dhillon, Haryana M; Butow, Phyllis; University of Sydney; University of Ottawa; University of New South Wales; University of Chester
    Background: Fear of cancer recurrence (FCR) is common amongst cancer survivors. There is rapidly growing research interest in FCR but a need to prioritise research to address the most pressing clinical issues and reduce duplication and fragmentation of effort. This study aimed to establish international consensus among clinical and academic FCR experts regarding priorities for FCR research. Methods: Members of the International Psycho-oncology Society (IPOS) Fear of Cancer Recurrence Special Interest Group (FORwards) were invited to participate in an online Delphi study. Research domains identified in Round 1 were presented and discussed at a focus group (Round 2) to consolidate the domains and items prior to presentation in further survey rounds (Round 3) aimed at gaining consensus on research priorities of international significance. Results: Thirty four research items were identified in Round 1 and 33 of the items were consolidated into 6 overarching themes through a focus group discussion with FCR experts. The 33 research items were presented in subsequent rounds of the delphi technique. Twenty one participants contributed to delphi round 1, 16 in round 2 and 25 and 29 participants for subsequent delphi rounds. Consensus was reached for 27 items in round 3.1. A further 4 research items were identified by panellists and included in round 3.2. After round 3.2, 35 individual research items were ratified by the panellists. Given the high levels of consensus and stability between rounds no further rounds were conducted. Overall intervention research was considered the most important focus for FCR research. Panellists identified models of care that facilitate greater access to FCR treatment and evaluation of the effectiveness of FCR interventions in real world settings as the two research items of highest priority. Defining the mechanisms of action and active components across FCR/P interventions, was the third highest priority identified. Conclusions: The findings of this study outline a research agenda for international FCR research. Intervention research to identify models of care that increase access to treatment, are based on a flexible approach based on symptom severity and can be delivered within routine clinical care, were identified as research areas to prioritise. Greater understanding of the active components and mechanisms of action of existing FCR interventions will facilitate increased tailoring of interventions to meet patient need.
  • A Developmental Framework for Mentorship in SoTL Illustrated by Three Examples of Unseen Opportunities for Mentoring

    Friberg, Jennifer C; Frake-Mistak, Mandy; Healey, Ruth L.; Sipes, Shannon; Mooney, Julie; Sanchez, Stephanie; Waller, Karena
    Mentoring relationships that form between scholars of teaching and learning occur formally and informally, across varied pathways and programs. In order to better understand such relationships, this paper proposes an adapted version of a three-stage model of mentoring (McKinsey 2016), using three examples of unseen opportunities for mentoring in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) to illustrate how this framework might be operationalized. We discuss how the adapted framework might be useful to SoTL scholars in the future to examine mentorship and how unseen opportunities for mentoring might shape how we consider this subset of mentorship going forward.
  • “I too matter”. The experience and impact of a brief online self-compassion intervention for informal carers of those with a life-limiting or terminal illness: A mixed methods study

    Reeves, Andrew; Gubi, Peter; Diggory, Catherine J. (University of Chester, 2020-09)
    Aims: Being an informal carer of someone with a life-limiting or terminal illness (‘Carer’) often results in marked levels of depression, anxiety and stress. Yet, Carers have little available free time to devote to lengthy, well-being interventions offered outside the home. Carers also struggle to prioitorise their self-care, a factor which may help buffer some of the negative impacts of being a Carer. The aim of this research was to gain insight into Carers’ views and perceptions of the impact of a brief, four module, online self-compassion intervention for Carers which was created to improve wellbeing, increase self-compassion and develop self-care among Carers. In so doing, the research addresses gaps in the literature relating to self-compassion interventions for Carers and targeted self-care initiatives for Carers. Design: This predominantly qualitative study was undertaken in two phases. In Phase One semi-structured interviews with nine participants of a four module, one to one self-compassion intervention (iCare), delivered in person, were conducted and data subjected to a reflexive thematic analysis within a critical realist framework. Additionally, descriptive statistics were collected. The findings from Phase One provided a theoretical basis for the design and content of the online version of iCare, the intervention studied in Phase Two. Seven Carers completed the four module online self-compassion programme. Data were collected through individual module feedback, post-intervention online qualitative questionnaires and descriptive statistics. Findings: The reflexive thematic analysis of the data generated four overarching themes: The Myth of SuperCarer; Get with the programme!; ‘Being kinder to myself’; and Everyone’s a winner. These explored how participants approached iCareonline, the impact engaging with it had on their well-being and highlighted how participants developed self-care through gaining permission to recognise their own needs. Improvements in psychological well-being and increases in self-compassion were reflected in the quantitative findings. In line with critical realist methodology, a causal mechanism was proposed explaining the development of self-compassion and conscious self-care among participants based on a cyclical model of Carer self-compassion. Implications: This study has relevance for: healthcare practitioners as the findings suggest that these professionals have a key role in legitimising Carer needs and fostering permission in Carers to practise self-care; counselling and psychotherapy professionals who work with Carers who are well-placed to challenge barriers Carer-clients may erect in the face of encouragement to practise self-care and self-compassion. Some of the content of iCare may prove useful to those therapists adopting a pluralistic approach when working with clients who are carers. Finally, teachers of mindful self-compassion could note the importance of the permission-giving aspects of a self-compassion intervention and the role it plays in developing conscious self-care in participants.

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