• A data dependency recovery system for a heterogeneous multicore processor

      Hill, Richard; Bagdasar, Ovidiu; Jones, Clifton; Kainth, Haresh S. (University of Derby, 2014-01-29)
      Multicore processors often increase the performance of applications. However, with their deeper pipelining, they have proven increasingly difficult to improve. In an attempt to deliver enhanced performance at lower power requirements, semiconductor microprocessor manufacturers have progressively utilised chip-multicore processors. Existing research has utilised a very common technique known as thread-level speculation. This technique attempts to compute results before the actual result is known. However, thread-level speculation impacts operation latency, circuit timing, confounds data cache behaviour and code generation in the compiler. We describe an software framework codenamed Lyuba that handles low-level data hazards and automatically recovers the application from data hazards without programmer and speculation intervention for an asymmetric chip-multicore processor. The problem of determining correct execution of multiple threads when data hazards occur on conventional symmetrical chip-multicore processors is a significant and on-going challenge. However, there has been very little focus on the use of asymmetrical (heterogeneous) processors with applications that have complex data dependencies. The purpose of this thesis is to: (i) define the development of a software framework for an asymmetric (heterogeneous) chip-multicore processor; (ii) present an optimal software control of hardware for distributed processing and recovery from violations;(iii) provides performance results of five applications using three datasets. Applications with a small dataset showed an improvement of 17% and a larger dataset showed an improvement of 16% giving overall 11% improvement in performance.
    • A decision support system for evaluating local authority housing maintenance strategies in the United Kingdom

      Okoroh, Michael; Gombera, Peter Pachipano; Jones, Christine; Sagoo, Amritpal S. (University of Derby, 2014-10-14)
      Purpose The lack of smart resources management and servicescape strategies within the social housing sector in the late 1970s influenced the rise of successive Governments to consider the restructuring of the traditional ‘cumbersome’ Local Authority based structures and approaches toward more ‘enterprise focussed’ management organisations (Sharp & Jones 2012). This change in central Government policy encouraged Local Authorities to assign through outsourcing their housing stock (including associated asset management services) as part of a Large Scale Voluntary Transfer (LSVT) via a process of compulsory competitive tendering to Housing Associations and / or set up Housing Trusts to increase the accountability, efficiency, and effectiveness of social housing and healthcare provision in the local community. As part of this modernisation process, all social housing and community care providers (also known as ‘Registered Social Landlords’ - RSLs) became subject to statutory audits, inspections and regulation, and performance management, to ensure the service quality delivery requirements. More recently, however, changes in the legislative framework have introduced choice-based letting policy, putting the customer first, service delivery and additionally RSLs are required to act as ‘Corporate Social Landlords’. These changes have focused RSLs attention on the need to sharpen service responsiveness, especially in the area of housing maintenance management (DETR 2000). Previous research (Holmes 1985; Spedding 1990; Johnston 1993; Stewart & Stoker 1995; Olubodun 1996, 2000, 2001; Sagoo et al. 1996; El-Haram & Horner 2002; Kangwa & Olubodun 2003, 2005; Boussabaine & Kirkham 2004; Jones & Cooper 2007; Prowle 2009; Babangida et al. 2012) has mainly concentrated on analysing maintenance management factors at the micro level; developing maintenance models and framework design for operational level. However, in the social housing sector, there have been no studies undertaken to date that have been focused on housing maintenance strategies – for example, how this is formulated, the key drivers of change and the impact on customer orientated service delivery. The purpose of this study is to identify the critical factors that drive the decision-making process in order to formulate responsive housing maintenance strategies and to develop a decision support model to improve customer service delivery of social housing provision. Research methodology Through a process of qualitative case study, pilot questionnaire surveys, workshops and qualitative in-depth interviews, the research has identified how the housing maintenance strategies are formulated and how social housing providers could enhance customer service delivery. The study comprised four phases in order to reflect the key objectives of the research. The first phase comprised a review of literature on social housing provision in the UK, identifying relevant changes in the legislative framework, an assessment of the challenges faced by RSLs and the key factors influencing performance of social housing provision. This phase also included undertaking a case study based on five different RSLs to examine the ‘real problems’ as to how and to what extent RSLs have adopted their organisation in order to meet the changes and challenges which they now face. The second phase investigated the key service factors impacting on housing maintenance strategy design and development through the use of a pilot study questionnaire directed to the asset managers (participating in the survey) and also included a selection of end users of the services (tenants). This phase identified the differences between the perceptions of service providers and the expectations of the service users. A key feature of this phase entailed conducting a workshop to disseminate findings of the pilot study. The workshop also formed a basis for ‘in-depth’ discussions for identifying the key factors, their descriptions, their interactions with each other, their inter-relationships with the tenant type, and their combined impact on formulating responsive housing maintenance strategy. The third phase of the study entailed eliciting qualitative data from the participants using the Repertory Grid (RG) ‘in-depth’ interview technique - a psychology tool in order to gain a deeper understanding of the core important ‘constructs’ and sub-constructs, their characteristics, their inter-relationships in the design and development of effective housing asset maintenance strategies. The fourth phase of this study entailed the development of a decision support system and the qualitative validation of the relationships found to exist between the constructs examined in phase three together with the testing of the model over a period of two months with four of the participating social housing providers. Findings The key findings arising from this research suggest that the design and development of value for money maintenance strategies within the public housing sector, are not solely based on physical factors related to the age, condition, location, construction type for example, but rather it was found that the majority of the asset management decisions made, were dependent upon a multivariate of key factors. The study identified 52 key factors, which when grouped together formed seven key cluster (Customer risk factors, Asset manager risk factors, Tenancy risk factors, Neighbourhood and community sustainability risk factors, Financial and economic risk factors, continuous service improvement risk factors and corporate risk factors) which are both ‘unique’ and ‘novel’ and are identified as having a direct influence on the formulation of housing maintenance strategy. These factors should not be considered in isolation and are more akin to the business success factors. The business ‘Balanced Scorecard’ (BSC) was evaluated and used as the basis for a ‘best fit’ model which was tested against four RSL to confirm its validity and its appropriateness. The responses obtained from these trials has indicated that the BSC provides a working tool capable of enhancing RSL organisational capabilities and service delivery effectiveness but also able to incorporate customer views regarding service delivery. This research makes major contributions to the existing limited pool of knowledge relating to strategic asset management within social housing sector and in addition, provides an insight into how housing maintenance strategy can be developed to incorporate feedback from customers (tenants) regarding the quality and responsive service delivery. The research also demonstrates the potential value of the BSC approach to the management tool capable of generating a competitive edge in line with government policy which is currently directed towards encouraging RSLs to adopt a commercial business approach to their operations. The research also demonstrates that the adoption of a decision support system in the form of BSC has the potential to provide useful assistance to RSLs intending to move away from the traditional public sector approaches to management (a more private sector orientated) approach to their operations. The research also shows that asset managers experience little difficulty in understanding the principles behind the BSC approach and its application. In addition, the cascading effect of BSC in housing maintenance strategy means that the strategy can be converted into measurable actions at the operational levels thereby providing a direct link between strategy and its implementation. Due to the absence of suitable benchmarking data, score rating derived from the RG were adopted by asset managers. This approach was found to be highly sensitive in assessing service delivery constructs. Furthermore, the research revealed that the individual constructs (52 key factors) had a profound influence in relation to the strategy formation and the assessment of customer service delivery. The study found that RSLs need to develop a deeper understanding and awareness of their customers concerns in that these factors may have a major impact in the development of a responsive housing maintenance strategy and overall improvements on RSLs performance. A close link was found between customer profile, their financial standing and their service expectations, patterns of behaviour and their interaction with their RSLs. High performance expectation was found on the part of affordable customers, presumably reflecting a higher level of social and economic dependency within this group and greater need for access to services thereby challenging RSLs to deliver higher standards of performance including housing maintenance provision. Other customer groups were noted as placing demand on their RSLs to adopt more holistic approach to formulation of housing maintenance strategy and embrace business-like approach to service delivery in order to facilitate a smooth transition from traditional public sector ethos to one closely akin to that associated with the private sector organisation. Practical implications The practical implications of this research are, that, if RSLs are to meet the demands of complying with a changed legislative framework, deliver responsive housing maintenance services to reflect the ever-changing customer expectations, and to adopt commercial approaches to the development of housing maintenance strategies, RSLs will need to re-engineer their business processes if the demands are to be satisfactorily accommodated. RSLs must also be prepared to adopt ‘smart business’ practices in the future, given that existing Key Line Of Enquiry (KLOEs) approaches now provide an inadequate tool for assessing performance in housing asset management nor are KLOEs sufficiently robust or possessing a sufficient degree of agility for modelling complex service delivery scenarios. As a result of this research, the BSC model has demonstrated its usefulness and its appropriateness to housing maintenance decision making within the current economic conditions and changed regulatory regime. The BSC model is simple in nature but nonetheless sufficiently flexible to allow factors to be added or omitted to accommodate the requirements and structures of individual RSLs. Academic implications To date, most housing asset management have concentrated on the technical and cost aspects of maintenance management aimed at the micro level and have attached little attention to the needs of strategic management or the potential significance of the customer. These earlier researches have limited application to the needs of strategy management particularly under the current conditions which social housing providers are now required to operate (Sharp & Jones 2012). This study is first of its kind to attempt to evaluate housing maintenance strategy giving considerations to end user ‘the customer’ dimension in service delivery within the social housing sector. This study has adopted a novel approach to this area of research by employing a technique frequently encountered in clinical psychology, based upon the use of a Repertory Grid – a qualitative tool for triadic elicitation of key drivers with a view to providing a robust tool for assisting housing asset managers involved in the development of housing maintenance strategy. The RG personal interviews with senior asset managers revealed hidden and latent factors, which would not have been easily identified had a quantitative questionnaire been used. The hidden constructs which were identified as a result of the applications of this technique are considered to be ‘akin’ to business success factors. Originality This study is also unique in that it has given particular considerations to the provision of housing maintenance service as perceived from the view point of the end users rather than directing itself to the constructional and technical aspects of housing asset management. Also, the research recognises the need for asset managers to become more aware of the implications of social factors and the need for these aspects to be incorporated into strategic maintenance models. A further unique aspect of this research is that it has endeavoured to obtain an insight into the cognitive processes (mind mapping and analytical mental processes) behind the decision making of asset management, in order to identify and understand the nature of the drivers behind these processes to develop a rational decision support model for assisting in the rational formulating of housing maintenance strategy. KEYWORDS Social Housing, Registered Social Landlords, Social Housing Providers, Customer Service Delivery, Asset Managers, Customer, Tenants, Repertory Grid
    • The design and feasibility of a work-focused relational group-CBT treatment programme to enhance job retention in employed service-users with moderate-severe recurrent depression.

      Townend, Michael; Strickland-Hodge, Barry; Walker, Nicola (University of DerbyHealth and Social Care, 2020-10-15)
      Background: Employees with moderate-severe recurrent depression are at risk of losing their jobs. A search of the literature revealed that most psychotherapeutic interventions are not work-focused, and there are none that have been specifically designed to enhance job retention in employed service-users of UK Community Mental Health Teams. A subsequent update of the research evidence using the same literature search strategy plus another search with more stringent inclusion criteria found several studies of work-focused psychotherapeutic interventions. However, but there is still a gap in terms of work-focused psychotherapeutic interventions specifically designed for employees with more severe mental health problems. Methods: The Medical Research Council guidance for the development and evaluation of complex interventions was used throughout this study. Firstly, an effectiveness review of relevant psychotherapeutic interventions revealed several over-arching principles which appeared to underpin their effects such as using a care pathway incorporating multi-disciplinary teamwork, guideline concordance, informed clinical decision-making, tracking of progress, and the use of outreach to encourage clients to complete treatment. Secondly, a stakeholder consultation was undertaken during the planning period, and realist analysis of the focus group data identified six plausible mechanisms of change which allowed for modification of the new intervention design and refinement of the programme theory. Thirdly, piloting involved a small feasibility study using a quasi-experimental pre-post design with eight participants which generated both quantitative and qualitative data regarding clinical and work outcomes. Fourthly, a further stakeholder consultation was undertaken during the reviewing period to consider re-design of the new intervention in terms of improving acceptability and accessibility. Finally, a process of mixed methods data integration was used to make recommendations for further implementation and evaluation in a definitive trial. Results: Six provisional Context-Intervention-Mechanism-Outcome (CIMO) configurations were developed into a programme theory. Overall, implementation and evaluation of the new intervention were feasible although problems were encountered in recruiting sufficient numbers for randomisation, and with collecting follow up data. It was also expensive to provide compared to CBT programmes in primary and secondary mental healthcare services. Outcomes suggest the new intervention is a promising treatment for moderate-severe recurrent depression for some women and may help them in maintaining their employment. Acceptability could be improved by making the new intervention more interesting and stimulating, with a focus on coping over the long-term. Accessibility could be improved by making the new intervention more understandable, delivering it at the worksite, and making it peer-led. Conclusions: Job retention for employed service-users may be enhanced if the tertiary individual level Treatment Programme is re-designed as a primary organisational level Training (and staff support) Programme informed by group-CBT.
    • Determining the factors which positively affect the intra-family chief executive officer succession of UK small and medium-sized companies

      Jones, Christine; Poultney, Val; Jones, Richard (University of Derby, 2019-10-02)
      A change in Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is a critical event in the life of any business. For family businesses the stakes can be higher, as failure may lead to the dual issues of business collapse and significant family harm. Intra-family business CEO succession is the transfer of leadership to a different member of the family and is a strategic direction family businesses take, even if sacrificing performance across generations to secure long-term control benefits. The research aims to determine the factors which positively affect the intra-family CEO succession of UK Small and Medium companies as gaps were identified in the research of businesses that had been through a succession across a range of areas. This research uses a deductive research design to test the existing theory and combines theoretical conceptualisations developed within the literature review with the aim of providing new theory and insight into the issues. Quantitative data was collected from primary and secondary sources from 230 UK Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which identified as family businesses and had been through a succession. The questionnaires were completed by company directors and the questions consisted of measures relating to the succession event, processes and outcomes. The data collected was tested empirically using process tracing and regression analysis. Findings show that disagreements relating to the initial planning made an intra-family CEO more likely as did a discussion of passing control to a professional manager. It was found that a family business with higher proportions of senior management, higher levels of generational involvement and higher levels of experience led to an increasingly likely succession to an intra-family CEO. This finding took an additional step in the understanding of elements of the Family Influence on Power, Experience and Culture model. The thesis also found, empirically, that satisfaction with the succession process increased with the presence of advisors and that there was a positive relationship between director stability and profit and a negative relationship with management stability and profit. The findings indicated that a degree of externality in the succession contributes to a positive intra-family CEO succession outcome.
    • Developing a Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy Treatment Programme Designed to Promote Hopefulness and Self-Esteem in Mental Health Service Users Recently Diagnosed with a Psychotic Illness: A Pilot Study to Explore Service-Users’ Experiences of Accessibility, Engagement and Efficacy

      Townend, Michael; Strickland-Hodge, Barry; Pearson, Daniel James (University of DerbyLeicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, 2020-11)
      This study sits within a wider research agenda, the aim of which is to develop a novel psychological therapy programme designed to target hopelessness and compromised self-esteem in young people recently diagnosed with a psychotic illness. The aspiration is to develop a programme that is experienced as accessible and engaging and perceived to be of value. It is anticipated that that process will progress through several stages and a number of iterations. The primary objectives of this specific piece of research were to undertake a first piloting of the Therapy Programme, gather evaluative feedback from participant-service users, and fine-tune the approach. The secondary objective was to explore the perceived value of the programme with regard to ‘proof of concept’. The research design combined the methodological rigour of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis with a mixed-methods focus on data, underpinned by the philosophical paradigm of critical realism. Quantitative data was collected through the completion of outcome measures pre, during and post-therapy. Qualitative data was gathered through the facilitation of semi-structured feedback interviews with participant-service-users shortly after the completion of each of their Therapy Programmes. Participants were followed-up at 2 years from the commencement of their therapy to ascertain the subsequent trajectory of their lives and to explore reflections on their experiences of the programme from a perspective of temporal distance. Eight Early Psychosis Service clients were recruited to receive the Therapy Programme. Three withdrew from the therapy. Another completed the Programme, but failed to complete all of the research requirements. One completer-participant experienced a psychotic relapse shortly before the end of therapy. The principal purposes of the research were the elicitation of critical reflections on the Therapy Programme and meaningful recommendations for its improvement. There was some evidence of reticence amongst participants regarding the expression of critical statements. Where more critical observations were expressed, they focussed primarily on the relative balance and chronological ordering of different elements. The consensus recommendation was for the ‘pure’ elements of the approach, including direct attention to the cognitive-constructs of hope and self-esteem, to proceed the consideration of more applied goals. There was a strong collective recommendation to allocate more attention to addressing unhelpful illness narratives. A Participant Handbook, written as a resource for those involved in the therapy, was positively received with regard to design. Participants, however, recommended significant change to the complexity of its content. Of the four completer-participants, three showed substantial improvements in reported hope, self-esteem and wellbeing over the period in which the therapy was delivered. Those gains were sustained at follow-up. The participant who experienced a psychotic relapse showed limited improvements on all measures at the end of the treatment period, but had progressed significantly at follow-up. In each case, reported scores on the outcome measures were supported by substantial success in negotiated life-goals. Participant feedback regarding the programme, post-therapy and at follow-up, was generally very positive, with all participants identifying causal connections between the therapy, achievement of therapy and life goals, and subsequent improved outcome scores. To accommodate a priority focus of qualitative data, participant numbers were small and there was no access to normative or comparative data for the service user population. The limitations of the sample size were compounded by a high rate of attrition. The delay to follow-up introduced additional confounding variables. As a consequence of the study-design, therefore, quantitative data can only be regarded as providing indicative evidence of reported improvements across the measures of wellbeing. It cannot be said to evidence a causal connection between therapy and identified improvements or to support statements regarding the efficacy of the approach. Finally, although participants were recruited explicitly to be collaborators in the evaluation and betterment of the Therapy Programme, reflections appeared to be somewhat biased towards a validation of the approach and critical evaluations, although present, were limited. The credibility of these observations is, further, undermined by the design-decision to have the therapist conduct the post-therapy feedback interviews. The primary objective of the research was to generate meaningful recommendations for the improvement of the Therapy Programme. That purpose was achieved. The secondary objective was to consider the programme with regard to ‘proof of concept’. Subject to the limitations detailed above, the level of improvement reported over the period in which the therapy was offered, together with the fact that those gains had not been lost at follow-up, tentatively supports an argument for further development of the programme.
    • Developing higher order thinking skills of Arab high school students in Israel

      Seif, Amgad; University of Derby (2017-03-01)
      The present research project represents a case study that examines the outcomes of the intervention programme based on the “Pedagogical horizons” (2007) policies in order to develop the higher order thinking skills (HOTS) of high school students (the HOTS programme). This is the first study that presents the results of the implementation of the HOTS programme in an Arab public high school. In addition, the study reflects on how the implementation of the HOTS programme could impact on the Arab school culture in Israel. The study employs a concurrent mixed method design in which qualitative investigation is a core component and qualitative findings are used for the interpretation of quantitative results. Qualitative data collection tools include semi-structured teacher interviews, teacher focus group interview, teachers’ instruction plans and written reports, and students’ responses to the questionnaire open-ended questions. Data were analysed through thematic analysis in which inductive coding was used. The quantitative strand involved teacher control and intervention groups and the student control and intervention groups. Based on the Critical Thinking Diagnostic Questionnaire (CTDQ) (Weiss, 2010), teacher and student questionnaires were developed, using a six-point Likert scale. Both qualitative and quantitative findings suggest an improvement in teachers’ perceptions of the HOTS-based instruction and students’ perceptions of their cognitive and dispositional skills, as a result of the intervention. The study shows the factors that have impeded the implementation of the intervention, including time constraints and the preference of many teachers for a traditional, instruction. As a result, the programme’s guidelines regarding a desired balance between traditional and constructivist instruction were not fully implemented. Due to the governmental policies and lack of research background, the conditions were not created for developing the HOTS of Arab students through studying civics and the history of Israel. The study’s recommendations point to the necessity of intensive measures for creating the HOTS-promoting environment in Israeli Arab schools, including the improvement of education of Arab teachers.
    • Developing protocols and methods to predictably induce ex situ broadcast coral spawning and increase post settlement survivorship.

      Sweet, Michael; Bulling, Mark; Guest, James; Craggs, Jamie (University of Derby, 2020-04-22)
      The production of broadcast spawning gamete material ex situ has great potential in developing areas for coral research and/or to support initiatives aimed at rebuilding damaged reefs utilising sexually produced spat. Current effectiveness of such restoration practises are limited due to the high mortality rates post settlement and therefore methods aimed at increasing survival, and therefore productivity, are required and vital in order to further support upscaling of such practices. Therefore, this thesis focuses on developing methodology to predictably induce broadcast reef building corals to spawn ex situ and investigate ways to maximise post settlement survivorship. Acquisition of broodstock for any ex situ breeding project is essential. Chapter two describes the methodology designed and implemented in order for me to carry out long distance transportation (a journey time of ~34 hrs) of large (16-37 cm) gravid Acropora hyacinthus (Dana, 1846) colonies from fringing reefs south of Singapore to the Horniman Museum and Gardens, London. Collection was purposefully timed to occur just before the predicted annual mass spawning event and on the day of transportation 12 of the 14 genotypes contained large visible oocytes, which spawned ex situ within the same lunar month as those in the wild. A closed system mesocosm aquarium was designed at the same time, as described in chapter 3 that utilises microprocessor technology to accurately replicate environmental conditions associated with stimulating broadcast spawning events (photoperiod, seasonal solar irradiance, lunar cycles and seasonal temperature) from two synchronous spawning locations, Singapore and the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Coupled with appropriate coral husbandry, four species (A. hyacinthus, Acropora millepora (Ehrenberg 1834), Acropora tenuis (Dana 1846) and Acropora microclados (Ehrenberg 1834)) completed full gametogenic cycles and spawned in a fully closed artificial ex situ environment (in synchrony with the wild). The effects of spawning broadcast corals ex situ is currently unknown, therefore following gamete release embryological development stages of three acroporids (A. millepora, A. tenuis and Acropora anthocercis (Brook 1893)) was assessed utilising scanning electron microscopy and confocal laser scanning microscopy techniques (Chapter 4). No abnormal developmental effects (as result of the ex situ environment) were observed, but the study built on previous works to provide increased detail of fertilisation and early cell stages. Reef building corals typically undergo a type III survival curve in their early life stages, with high mortality rates during early ontogeny. Increased post settlement survival can occur due to size mediated multi-genotype settlement aggregations and species hybridisation. These two factors were empirically tested (Chapter 5) in pure and interspecific hybrid crosses of A. millepora and Acropora anthocercis. Increased survival, and to a lesser extent growth, were observed in post settlement entities with >2 genotypes compared with single genotype primary polyps and in interspecific hybrid crosses compared to pure species crosses, highlighting the role of hybridisation vigour. Reef herbivory may enhance coral settlement and recruitment success however the influence of herbivory size classes on survival benefits are not ubiquitous. In order to assess the positive role that microherbivory may contribute to maximising coral survival and growth ex situ two species, the Tuxedo sea urchin, Mespilia globulus (Linnaeus, 1758) and the reef building coral, A. millepora, were co-cultured at varying densities. Increasing density of microherbivory significantly enhanced coral survival and growth, highlighting this as a potentially beneficial practise in improving productivity of coral produced via sexual reproduction. Finally closing the life cycle of a target organism marks an important milestone in any ex situ breeding programme or aquaculture method. Chapter 7 describes the production of the first F2 generation of A. millepora in a fully closed aquarium environment. In summary, it is therefore hoped this thesis will, in part, make a contribution to coral sexual reproductive research and the important work of reef restoration, particularly in light of the global decline in coral reef ecosystems.
    • The Development of the Numeracy Apprehension Scale for Children Aged 4-7 Years: Qualitative Exploration of Associated Factors and Quantitative Testing

      Petronzi, Dominic; Staples, Paul; Sheffield, David; Hunt, Thomas E.; Fitton-Wilde, Sandra; University of Derby (2018-02-02)
      Previous psychological literature has shown mathematics anxiety in older populations to have an association with many factors, including an adverse effect on task performance. However, the origins of mathematics anxiety have, until recently, received limited attention. It is now accepted that this anxiety is rooted within the early educational years, but research has not explored the associated factors in the first formal years of schooling. Based on previous focus groups with children aged 4-7 years, ‘numeracy apprehension’ is suggested in this body of work, as the foundation phase of negative emotions and experiences, in which mathematics anxiety can develop. Building on this research, the first piece of research utilized 2 interviews and 5 focus groups to obtain insight from parents (n=7), teachers (n=9) and mathematics experts (n=2), to explore how children experience numeracy and their observations of children’s attitudes and responses. Thematic and content analysis uncovered a range of factors that characterised children’s numeracy experiences. These included: stigma and peer comparisons; the difficulty of numeracy and persistent failure; a low sense of ability; feelings of inadequacy; peer evaluation; transference of teacher anxieties; the right or wrong nature of numeracy; parental influences; dependence on peers; avoidance and children being aware of a hierarchy based on numeracy performance. Key themes reflected the focus group findings of children aged 4-7 years. This contributed to an item pool for study 2, to produce a first iteration of the Numeracy Apprehension Scale (NAS) that described day-to-day numeracy lesson situations. This 44-item measure was implemented with 307 children aged 4-7 years, across 4 schools in the U.K. Exploratory factor analysis led to a 26-item iteration of the NAS, with a 2-factor structure of Prospective Numeracy Task Apprehension and On-line Number Apprehension, which related to, for example, observation and evaluation anxiety, worry and teacher anxiety. The results suggested that mathematics anxiety may stem from the initial development of numeracy apprehension and is based on consistent negative experiences throughout an educational career. The 26-item iteration of the NAS was further validated in study 3 with 163 children aged 4-7 years, across 2 schools in the U.K. The construct validity of the scale was tested by comparing scale scores against numeracy performance on a numeracy task to determine whether a relationship between scale and numeracy task scores was evident. Exploratory factor analysis was again conducted and resulted in the current 19-item iteration of the NAS that related to a single factor of On-line Number Apprehension. This related to the experience of an entire numeracy lesson, from first walking in to completing a task and was associated with, for example, explaining an answer to the teacher, making mistakes and getting work wrong. A significant negative correlation was observed between the NAS and numeracy performance scores, suggesting that apprehensive children demonstrate a performance deficit early in education and that the NAS has the potential to be a reliable assessment of children’s numeracy apprehension. This empirical reinforces that the early years of education are the origins of mathematics anxiety, in the form of numeracy apprehension.
    • The digital dilemma: An investigation into social media marketing within organisations

      Longbottom, David; Lawson, Alison; Hanlon, Annmarie (University of Derby, 2019-03-18)
      This thesis investigates different application of social media marketing within organisations and identifies critical success factors resulting in a strategic social media application framework for organisations. The context of this research is the organisational application of social media and whilst social media networks have been present since 1997, the utilisation of social media by individuals has been examined by many scholars. However its application to organisations remains an area requiring further research. Thus, to understand differences in social media marketing within organisations, this thesis has problematised the notion of generational cohorts and the presence or absence of formal marketing qualifications.Following a pragmatist epistemology and ontology, this study has sought warranted assertions within a mixed-methods framework. An explanatory mixed-methods sequential design approach was adopted and for Research Phase One, an online survey within a set of closed online digital marketing groups was administered, to investigate the purposes of social media usage and affordances gained. This provided data from 448 respondents representing a variety of organisations, using social media at work. The second research phase was qualitative semi-structured interviews with participants drawn from Research Phase One, which involved 26 semi-structured mixed-mode interviews, based on the participant’s availability and location. The purpose of the semi-structured interviews was to explore critical issues raised in the online survey.The thesis is informed by the construct of affordances – which involve opportunities for action and positive affordances provide benefits. These were harnessed to delineate the benefits of social media, within an organisational context. This work provides original contributions to knowledge: The empirical research provides evidence of differences in social media marketing application between generational cohorts and those with and without formal marketing qualifications. There were statistically significant differences in the application of customer service, measuring results and managing social media interaction.The research found that there was no classification for different types of social media managers. Furthermore, digital skills gaps were identified as digital natives were more likely to have formal marketing qualifications than digital immigrants. Thus following the pragmatic principle, working typologies were presented for those using social media in organisations to better frame training and social media management. The critical success factors within organisations were justifiably warranted which asserted social media affordances for organisations: brand management, customer segmentation, customer service, interaction (engagement), entertainment, remuneration (offers), and sales cycle (testimonies and reviews). Two critical factors were confirmed: clear strategy and vision for social media management, and measure results from social media. These social media affordances were applied at varying levels of maturity and this led to the development of social media affordances maturity scale, that is grounded in a pragmatist epistemology bringing utility and understanding for organisations. This thesis identifies differences in social media marketing within organisations and in accordance with its aim, ascertains the critical success factors and develops frameworks for social media application in organisations.
    • Disciplinary understandings of anorexia nervosa

      Rehavia-Hanauer, Dafna (University of Derby, 2011)
    • Do haemodynamic responses to mental stress tests predict future blood pressure one year later? Prospective studies in the United Kingdom and Thailand

      Sheffield, David; Baker, Ian S.; Maratos, Frances A.; Yuenyongchaiwat, Kornanong (University of Derby, 2013-08-21)
      This thesis explored whether haemodynamic responses to psychological stress test predict future blood pressure (BP) levels: the Reactivity Hypothesis. The research included a systematic review and two prospective cohort studies in the UK and Thai samples. In addition, the Blunted Reactivity Hypothesis, which posits that cardiovascular reactivity is inversely related to symptoms of anxiety and depression, was examined in cross-sectional analyses. A systematic review with meta-analysis and meta-regression with 41 prospective cohort studies (from 1950 to 2012) examined whether cardiovascular responses to psychological stress tests predict future BP levels, hypertension status, preclinical coronary heart disease (CHD) and cardiac events. Three possible moderators were included in analyses: type of task (active versus passive coping), age group (children versus adults), and duration of follow-up (short versus long-term follow-up). The review found that systolic BP reactions to psychological stress tests predict future systolic BP levels and that there was better prediction in child samples with shorter follow-up periods. Similarly, diastolic BP reactions to psychological stress predicted future diastolic BP levels. Cardiovascular reactions to psychological stress tests did not predict hypertension, preclinical CHD, or cardiac events. Cross-sectional analysis of two studies conducted in the UK and Thailand provided some evidence that anxiety and depressive symptoms were negatively associated with cardiovascular reactivity: these findings supported the Blunted Cardiovascular Hypothesis. However, these relationships were observed in the UK sample, but not in the Thai sample. Further, Thai participants responded to psychological stress task with large cardiovascular reactions, of a similar magnitude to the UK participants and observed in previous studies of Europeans and North Americans. Finally, prospective analyses revealed that systolic BP responses to mental arithmetic predict future systolic BP levels after one year of follow-up in both UK and Thai individuals, after controlling for baseline cardiovascular activity and traditional risk factors. In contrast, haemodynamic responses did not predict future BP. These results provide support for the “Reactivity Hypothesis” although the effect sizes were relatively small. However, responses to only one of the three stressors, mental arithmetic, predicted future BP implicating beta-adrenergically mediated cardiovascular responses. However, there was no physiologic evidence (i.e., cardiac output responses) that suggested beta-adrenergic mechanisms. Accordingly, future studies should examine alternate mechanisms (e.g., platelet aggregation and endothelial function) and cardiovascular responses in larger samples with a longer follow-up to further clarify the predictive value of reactivity in the development of hypertension, along with potential mechanisms.