Recent Submissions

  • The role of attachment in immigrant socio-cultural adaptation and psychological distress

    Sochos, Antigonos; Diniz, Marcio (Wiley, 2011-07-18)
    The study extends recent research on the link between attachment security and the sociocultural and psychological adaptation of immigrants. It was hypothesised that attachment style would moderate the effects of sociocultural adaptation difficulties on psychological distress and the relationship between attachment style and immigrant background variables was explored. The study was correlational and questionnaire‐based, including a sample of 172 Brazilian immigrants living in the UK. According to the findings, secure and dismissing attachment styles moderated the effects of sociocultural adaptation difficulties on psychological distress. Preoccupied attachment style moderated the effects of previous immigration experience on psychological distress and the effects of duration of stay in the UK on concerns over terrorism. Future studies should employ longitudinal designs and include a variety of immigrant groups.
  • Attachment style and interpersonal difficulties in immigrants with coronary heart disease

    Sochos, Antigonos; Biskanaki, F.; Tassoulas, E.; (North American Journal of Pyschology, 2006-03-01)
    The aim of this study was to investigate the role of interpersonal factors and immigration in the development and management of coronary heart disease (CHD). In a cross-sectional design, three groups matched on age and gender were compared on attachment style and interpersonal difficulties: a group of 20 Greek-Cypriot immigrants with CHD, a group 20 Greek-Cypriot immigrants without CHD, and a group of 18 Greek-Cypriots with the disease living in Cyprus, without a history of immigration. Three self-report questionnaires were used: the Interpersonal Problems, the Relationship Questionnaire, and the Hostility Scale. According to the findings, a dismissive attachment style in couple relationships and difficulties indicating lack of general interpersonal engagement were associated with the presence of CHD. Although the association between dismissing attachment and CHD was indicated irrespective of immigrant status, general interpersonal problems were related to the disease only when such a status was also present. Examined in the context of the relevant literature, these findings suggested that attachment and interpersonal difficulties may play a role in the development and/or successful management of CHD. Such a role may be particularly evident in social groups experiencing additional psychosocial stressors, such as the immigrants. Future studies are needed to explore the issue further.
  • Attachment and representational change in cognitive analytic therapy: developing a taxonomy

    Sochos, Antigonos; University of Bedfordshire (BPS, 2005-03-01)
    A number of studies suggest that the couple relationship is a crucial aspect of the individual's supportive network, playing an important role in the maintenance of mental health and the recovery from psychological disorder. The aim of this study was to investigate how Cognitive Analytic Therapy may change the patients' understandings of their couple relationships and, possibly, the relationships themselves. Eleven outpatients presenting mostly with neurotic and personality disorders were interviewed before and after treatment about their current couple relationships, while clinical improvement was also assessed on a number of scales. A qualitative analysis was conducted on the patients' accounts, revealing that the patients experienced their interpersonal space as being defined by three dichotomies: self vs. other, autonomy vs. relatedness, and dependent vs. depended-on positions. Moreover, the patients' perception of autonomy tended to change in reference to the dependent position, while that of relatedness did so in reference to the depended-on. In addition, post-therapy changes regarding autonomy were asymmetrical, with the self being presented as strengthened and the other as relatively weakened; in contrast, changes regarding relatedness were symmetrical, presenting both partners either as more, or as less emotionally available. On the basis of differences in change, three types of patients were identified. As the findings were considered within the framework of attachment theory three research questions were formulated for further investigation: (a) the patients' subjective experience may have revealed information about their deeper attachment representations; (b) changes in that experience may have suggested shifts in the patients' security of attachment; and (c) different types of change in that experience may have suggested diverse pathways through which shifts in attachment security may have been attained. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Research informed learning in the psychology curriculum: an initial evaluation

    Robertson, S. Ian; Teoh, Kevin; McMurray, Isabella; Roberts, Patricia Isobel; Sochos, Antigonos; University of Bedfordshire (SAGE, 2011-01-01)
    Research-informed teaching and learning have become an important area for development in psychology departments. There is an assumption that staff research can enhance the curriculum and the student experience. The methods of research and statistical awareness are also deemed important skills for a student in professional psychology to develop. This article reports an evaluation of the degree to which research informs staff teaching and the impact of research methods teaching on student employability. Undergraduate students and recent graduates were surveyed in a mixed qualitative and quantitative research design involving questionnaires, focus groups and a job analysis. A discrepancy was found between lecturers' and students' views of the extent to which staff's research informed their teaching. While lecturers regarded themselves as researchers as well as teachers, students regarded them as mainly teachers and ‘entertainers’. Where staff did refer to their own research to illustrate their teaching they were regarded as enthusiastic and authoritative. Staff-led projects in particular had a positive impact on both students and staff as they appeared to enhance group identity among the students involved and to improve students' understanding of research design. The focus on research, research methods, statistics and research ethics appears to have led some students to develop a critical attitude to events and information in the media and everyday life.
  • The European Union as an object of insecure collective attachment : a response to ‘Brexit: Who is afraid of group attachment? Part I. Europe: What Europe?’ by Arturo Ezquerro

    Sochos, Antigonos; University of Bedfordshire (Sage, 2021-04-07)
    In this commentary I argue that the European Union has been functioning as an insecure object of collective attachment for large parts of the European population for many years. According to attachment theory, in relationships of asymmetrical power insecure attachment is formed as the narrative constructed by the most powerful party overwrites the authentic experience of the weakest, generating conflicted representation of self and the attachment object. That attachment object may be interpersonal or collective. The EU narrative on how it safeguards democracy and citizen well-being contradicts the true experience of many Europeans who struggle to make ends meet in neoliberal Europe. On this basis, an insecure collective bond with the EU is established, as the latter fails to recognize and address the needs of many of its citizens.
  • Health psychology: the basics

    Cook, Erica Jane; Wood, Lynne (Routledge, 2020-12-11)
  • Psychology express: health psychology

    Chater, Angel M.; Cook, Erica Jane; University College London; University of Bedfordshire (Pearson, 2014-12-11)
    The Psychology Express undergraduate revision guide series will help you to understand key concepts quickly, revise effectively and make sure your answers stand out. Each text is tailored to engage the reader and help you: * Prepare for exams and coursework using sample questions and assessment advice * Maximise your marks and approach exams with confidence * Quickly grasp key research, critical issues and practical applications This new addition to the Psychology Express revision guide series will provide concise coverage of the key areas of health psychology.
  • Gaming enhances learning-induced plastic changes in the brain

    Junttila, Katja; Smolander, Anna-Riikka; Karhila, Reima; Giannakopoulou, Anastasia; Uther, Maria; Kurimo, Mikko; Ylinen, Sari; University of Helsinki; Tampere University; University of Bedfordshire; et al. (Elsevier, 2022-04-26)
    Digital games may benefit children's learning, yet the factors that induce gaming benefits to cognition are not well known. In this study, we investigated the effectiveness of digital game-based learning in children by comparing the learning of foreign speech sounds and words in a digital game or a non-game digital application. To evaluate gaming-induced plastic changes in the brain, we used the mismatch negativity (MMN) brain response that reflects the access to long-term memory representations. We recorded auditory brain responses from 37 school-aged Finnish-speaking children before and after playing a computer-based language-learning game. The MMN amplitude increased between the pre- and post-measurement for the game condition but not for the non-game condition, suggesting that the gaming intervention enhanced learning more than the non-game intervention. The results indicate that digital games can be beneficial for children's speech-sound learning and that gaming elements per se, not just practice time, support learning.
  • Emoji identification and emoji effects on sentence emotionality in ASD-diagnosed adults and neurotypical controls

    Hand, Christopher J.; Kennedy, Ashley; Filik, Ruth; Pitchford, Melanie; Robus, Christopher M.; ; University of Glasgow; Glasgow Caledonian University; University of Nottingham; University of Bedfordshire; et al. (Springer, 2022-04-12)
    We investigated ASD-diagnosed adults' and neurotypical (NT) controls' processing of emoji and emoji influence on the emotionality of otherwise-neutral sentences. Study 1 participants categorised emoji representing the six basic emotions using a fixed-set of emotional adjectives. Results showed that ASD-diagnosed participants' classifications of fearful, sad, and surprised emoji were more diverse and less 'typical' than NT controls' responses. Study 2 participants read emotionally-neutral sentences; half paired with sentence-final happy emoji, half with sad emoji. Participants rated sentence + emoji stimuli for emotional valence. ASD-diagnosed and NT participants rated sentences + happy emoji as equally-positive, however, ASD-diagnosed participants rated sentences + sad emoji as more-negative than NT participants. We must acknowledge differential perceptions and effects of emoji, and emoji-text inter-relationships, when working with neurodiverse stakeholders.
  • Parental attachment style and young persons’ adjustment to bereavement

    Sochos, Antigonos; Aleem, Sadia; University of Bedfordshire (Springer, 2021-05-26)
    Background: Previous clinical and theoretical work supports the idea that parental attachment style and complicated grief affect young persons’ mental health, but empirical research investigating their impact on young person’s adjustment to bereavement is lacking. Objective: This study investigated the impact of parental attachment style and complicated grief on young person’s adjustment to bereavement. It was hypothesised that a) parental attachment anxiety, avoidance, and complicated grief would moderate the link between bereavement experience and psychological distress in young persons and b) parental attachment style would moderate the link between parental complicated grief and psychological distress experienced by bereaved young persons. Method: This was a questionnaire-based case control study, involving two participant groups: 133 parents of young persons who had experienced the loss of the loved one and 101 parents of young persons with no bereavement experience. Results: Bereaved young persons experienced greater externalising and internalising problems than the non-bereaved only when they were raised by an anxiously attached parent, but when parental attachment anxiety was low, bereaved children had fewer problems than the non-bereaved. When parental attachment avoidance was low, bereaved children also had fewer externalising problems than the non-bereaved. Among the bereaved, high levels of parental attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance amplified the link between parental complicated grief and child post-traumatic stress, while in the presence of low parental anxiety, complicated grief was negatively associated with an immediate distressing response and numbing-dissociative symptomatology. Conclusions: Psychological vulnerability in bereaved young persons was associated with an insecure parental attachment style.
  • Investigating the validity of the Wong and Law Emotional Intelligence Scale in a Nepali student sample

    Sochos, Antigonos; Regmi, Murari Prasad; Basnet, Dess Mardan (Wiley, 2020-11-26)
    This paper investigates the cross‐cultural validity of the Wong and Law Emotional Intelligence Scale. Two samples of university students were recruited: 504 from a Nepali university and 260 from a UK university. In relation to culture, structural equation modelling analyses provided support for the scale's configural invariance and the configural, metric, and scalar invariance of two if its subscales. Evidence for measurement invariance was also found in relation to gender in both samples. Tentative analyses suggested that the correlation between self and other emotion appraisal was stronger among UK participants and that UK participants scored higher on the Other Emotion Appraisal subscale. No gender differences on emotional intelligence were found in the Nepali sample, while among UK students, males scored higher on Regulation of Emotion and lower on Other Emotion Appraisal than females. In the Nepali sample, science students scored lower on various aspects of emotional intelligence than humanities students.
  • Evaluation of an collision-involved driver improvement scheme

    Guppy, Andrew; Adams-Guppy, Julie Rachel (Emerald, 2021-03-01)
    The purpose of this study was to compare driver knowledge, attitudes and perceptions (in terms of hazard, risk, accident, offence detection and driving skill perceptions) and self-reported driving style in a sample of 461 drivers before and after attending a UK Driver Improvement Scheme for culpable collision-involved drivers, in order to inform future directions in the design of driver retraining programmes. Participants were a sample of 461 drivers attending a UK 1.5 day Driver Improvement Scheme course for culpable collision-involved drivers. The course contained classroom-based training and a practical driving component. Participants completed a Driver Improvement Scheme Questionnaire (DISQ) before and immediately after attending the 1.5 day course, and again 3 months later. Results indicated significant pre and post course effects in terms of increased driving safety with respect to driving knowledge, perceptions of control, perceived likelihood of accident-involvement, hazard perception and reported risk-taking. Key positive effects of reduced risk-taking and nearmisses persisted three months after course completion. One limitation of this study is that at the 3-month follow-up there was a reduction in the response rate (44.69%) which included significantly fewer young drivers. Results indicate positive behavioural, perceptual and behavioural changes, along with specific age, gender and driving experience effects which have implications for the design of future driving courses. This study has implications for community safety through enhanced road safety training measures. The analysis of age, gender and driving experience effects of the impact of this Driver Improvement Scheme will allow targeted training methods for specific groups of drivers.
  • The effect of HVP training in vowel perception on bilingual speech production

    Kangatharan, Jayanthiny; Giannakopoulou, Anastasia; Uther, Maria; University of Winchester; University of Bedfordshire; University of Wolverhampton (Conscientia Beam, 2021-02-25)
    Prior investigations (Giannakopoulou et al., 2013) have indicated high variability phonetic training intervention can help L2 English adult learners change the perception of vowels such that they shift their attention to primary cues (spectral features) rather than secondary cues (e.g. duration) to correctly identify vowels in L2. This experiment explores if high-variability training impacts on L2 adult learners’ production of L2 speech. Production samples from a prior experiment were used to conduct ratings of accuracy (Giannakopoulou, 2012). In the current experiment, the production samples were transcribed and rated for accuracy by twenty native English listeners. The intelligibility levels of L2 learners’ speech samples as indexed by higher accuracy in transcription were observed as having been rated higher following training than prior to training. The implications of the results are considered with regard to theories on the connection between speech production and perception, and Flege’s (1995) Speech Learning Model.
  • An exploration of ending psychotherapy: the experiences of volunteer counsellors

    Ling, Lydia Success; Stathopoulou, C. Haroula; (Wiley Blackwell, 2020-12-27)
    Background/aims: Literature suggests that the ending phase of therapy can be difficult and challenging for counsellors. Despite this, there is limited research in this area and no study has specifically looked at the experiences of volunteer counsellors. This is the first study to explore the experiences and challenges of volunteer counsellors and the impact of ending therapeutic relationships. Method/design: A verbatim account of semi-structured interview data was analysed using thematic analysis. The participants were six volunteer counsellors working in a mental health charity. Findings: Three main themes were identified during the analysis—length of therapy, impact of organisational structure and strategies for managing challenges. Discussion: The counsellors perceived the fixed number of eight sessions as insufficient to address the presenting issues and problematic with regard to managing endings. The organisational structure (most likely influenced by the commissioning contracts) had a particular impact on these experiences. Endings were generally experienced as challenging; however, some of the participants perceived the time-limited therapy as helpful in working with less difficult and complex issues. Clinical implications: The study highlighted the need for an ongoing consideration of the impact of inflexible regulations/structure by counselling organisations and funding bodies in order to empower and enable these clinicians to practice and manage endings effectively. There is need for therapeutic settings to consider flexibility of therapy length and allow volunteer counsellors to offer their services with some degree of autonomy. Services could think of creative ways of offering interventions based on clients’ needs and complexity of presenting problems.
  • Effects of cognitive behavioural therapy on insomnia in adults with tinnitus: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials

    Curtis, Ffion; Laparidou, Despina; Bridle, Christopher; Law, Graham R.; Durrant, Simon J.; Rodriguez, Alina; Pierzycki, Robert H.; Siriwardena, Aloysius N.; ; University of Lincoln; et al. (Elsevier, 2020-12-01)
    Insomnia is common in patients with tinnitus and negatively affects tinnitus symptoms and quality of life. This systematic review aimed to synthesise evidence of the effectiveness of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) based interventions on insomnia in adults with tinnitus. We conducted a comprehensive database search (MEDLINE, CINAHL, Web of Science, CENTRAL, ClinicalTrials.gov and PROSPERO) for published, unpublished and ongoing randomised controlled trials of CBT in adults with tinnitus. Five trials met the inclusion criteria for the systematic review, with four of these providing data for the meta-analysis. This demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in Insomnia Severity Index (a standard diagnostic questionnaire of insomnia used in clinical settings) following CBT (−3.28, 95% CI -4.51, −2.05, P=<0.001). There was no evidence of statistical heterogeneity (I2 = 0%). Risk of bias was considered low in all categories except blinding of participants, personnel, and/or the assessment of outcomes. Here, for the first time, we demonstrate that CBT-based interventions can significantly improve sleep in adults with tinnitus.
  • Appearance-focused Internet use and the thin-beauty ideal

    Stanley, Tyne; Barnes, Jim; Short, Emma; University of Bedfordshire (Red Fame, 2015-07-24)
    Websites featuring appearance-focused content are a medium for constant appearance comparisons, addiction and pressure to meet existing beauty-ideals. This study investigated a sample of 264 males and females who use appearance-focused websites, with a view to determining the relationship with appearance dissatisfaction and self-worth. Data collection involved posting links to online questionnaires on popular social networking sites. Internet appearance exposure was found to correlate with a greater drive for thinness in females, suggesting that exposure to the thin-ideal body images presented online reinforces women’s desire to achieve the cultural expectations of body shape and weight. Furthermore the study highlighted that internet addiction was associated with a drive for thinness and low self-esteem in both males and females, with differences exhibited in regards to body-esteem. These findings emphasise the need for pathological internet use to be incorporated into media literacy programs and to encourage a critical stance toward current beauty standards.
  • Behaving badly online: establishing norms of unacceptable behaviours, media and communication

    Short, Emma; Stanley, Tyne; Baldwin, Mick; Scott, Graham G.; University of Bedfordshire; University of the West of Scotland (Red Fame, 2015-01-13)
    Victims of online abuse suffer measurable negative effects equivalent to survivors of traumas such as bombings and sexual assaults but it has been suggested that the general population view such online behaviour as acceptable, with victims consequently receiving little support. This is an issue of increasing import as the number and accessibility of online communication apps, and their incorporation into our everyday lives, increases the opportunity for Deviant Online Behaviours (DOBs) to be perpetrated. In order to better understand individuals’ attitudes to specific DOBs 118 psychology undergraduate students rated 11 examples of DOBs on a scale of severity. Individual difference measures of online cognitions and interpersonal sensitivity were also collected. A factor analysis revealed 3 emerging online behaviour types: use of false information (theft of identity, tricking others), unsolicited behaviour (unsolicited e-mailing/messaging), and persistent communication (frequent contact and use of multiple identities). ‘Persistent communication’ was viewed as more unacceptable than ‘unsolicited behaviour’ and ‘false information’, though all contained behaviours which have been demonstrated to cause severe harm to victims. These findings attempt to demonstrate how individuals categorise deviant online behaviours in terms of severity and individual differences that may be associated with these perceptions.
  • “It really is about telling people who asylum seekers really are, because we are human like anybody else”: negotiating victimhood in refugee advocacy work

    Wroe, Lauren; (Sage Journals, 2017-11-22)
    This article explores how refugee advocates, and refugees themselves, manage social hostility towards refugees and migrants through their talk, specifically how this hostility is managed through orientation to the category ‘victim’. Case studies from the publicity materials of four advocacy organisations, as well as the ‘internal’ talk of their staff, volunteers and beneficiaries collected via Narrative Biographical Interviews, are analysed using discourse analytic methods, specifically Membership Categorisation Analysis. This allows insight into the differing aspects of the organisation’s talk and allows analysis of how orientation to the victim category is distributed and managed across the ‘dialogical network’. This discourse analytic approach, sensitive to how members of the ‘dialogical network’ make hostile and sympathetic voices relevant features of their local talk and manage categorisations of refugees in often tacit ways, highlights a pattern of category change, where a reworking of the dominant modes of refugee representation performed by the organisations in their publicity materials is achieved by their members and beneficiaries. The category work negotiated by advocate and refugee informants rearranges the components of the helping relationship, centring the experience, voice and strength of asylum seekers/refugees, and de-centres the objectives of the helping organisations – offering insights into new ways forward for refugee advocacy as a practice of solidarity beyond charity.
  • Activity-related parenting practices: development of the parenting related to activity measure (PRAM) and links with mothers' eating psychopathology and compulsive exercise beliefs

    Haycraft, Emma; Powell, Faye; Meyer, Caroline; (John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 2014-11-06)
    This is a two-study paper that developed a measure to assess parenting practices related to children's physical activity and explored maternal predictors of such parenting practices. Study 1: A self-report measure of parents' activity-related practices (the Parenting Related to Activity Measure) was developed, and a principal component analysis was carried out using data from 233 mothers of 4.5- to 9-year-old children. The results supported a six-factor model and yielded the following subscales: Responsibility/monitoring; Activity regulation; Control of active behaviours; Overweight concern; Rewarding parenting; and Pressure to exercise. Study 2: Mothers (N = 170) completed the Parenting Related to Activity Measure, alongside measures of eating psychopathology and compulsive exercise, to identify predictors of activity-related parenting practices. Mothers' eating psychopathology and exercise beliefs predicted activity parenting practices with their sons and daughters, but different predictors were seen for mothers of daughters versus sons. Mothers' eating and exercise attitudes are important predictors of their activity-related parenting practices, particularly with girls. Identifying early interactions around activity/exercise could be important in preventing the development of problematic beliefs about exercise, which are often a key symptom of eating disorders.
  • A systematic review of interventions for homeless alcohol-abusing adults

    Adams-Guppy, Julie R.; Guppy, Andrew (Taylor and Francis Ltd, 2015-05-26)
    Aims: To compile and critically analyse published research on interventions with alcohol-abusing homeless adults. Methods: A systematic review was conducted of research published utilising the MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycInfo, CINAHL and SocIndex databases from inception to March 2015. A meta-analysis was performed on studies that met the inclusion criteria, to determine if there were any significant pre- and post-intervention effects on alcohol-use. Results: Seventeen studies from three continents were included in this systematic review. A meta-analysis of pre- and post-intervention effects on alcohol use across the 17 studies found highly significant effects (p < 0.001). A smaller subset of studies (n = 10), where the same specific alcohol use outcome measurement was employed across all studies, also showed highly significant pre-post intervention effects (p < 0.001). Results indicate that a range of interventions were effective in reducing alcohol use and abuse within samples of homeless participants, although short-term effects are more apparent than longer term ones. Conclusions: There is a relative paucity of research into alcohol abusing homeless adults, which has implications for evidence-based practice. This systematic meta-analytical review demonstrates that a range of alcohol abuse interventions for homeless adults produces improvements in alcohol use (p < 0.001).

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