Now showing items 1-20 of 358

    • "I don't want to be touched all the time" - Street Harassment and the Indian Woman

      Holland, Fiona, Dr.; Williams, Sophie, Dr; Montague, Jane, Dr.; Khan, Sumana (University of DerbyCollege of Life & Natural Sciences, UoD, 2020-12-10)
      Street harassment is the gender-based sexual harassment of individuals in public spaces by strangers. Studies have shown that the majority of victims of street harassment are women and the perpetrators are men. Despite its serious implications on women’s quality of life and psychological well-being, street harassment remains an understudied area and has not been included in the wider ‘violence against women and girls’(VAWG) research and discourse. This research aimed to position street harassment as a distinct form of VAWG by exploring Indian women’s sense-making of their lived experiences of street harassment. The research was structured into two parts: Part 1 – The ‘Sociocultural Study’ implemented dispositive analysis of three recent Bollywood films of romantic genre to explore the construction of sociocultural discourses on Indian womanhood. Part 2 – The ‘Experiential Study’ explored the lived experiences of street harassment of adult Indian women by using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). The participants included four single women (aged 25-35) and four mothers (aged 35-50) to teenage daughters. The Sociocultural Study provided the cultural context for the Experiential Study. The findings of the Sociocultural Study indicated that the concept of womanhood is constructed by the Indian male gaze—the virginal sanskari (traditional) Indian woman is considered the symbol of Indian womanhood, whereas the “westernised” vamp is the morally corrupt temptress of men. These patriarchal constructions were rooted in deeply ingrained sexism, sexual objectification, and rape myth acceptance, proposed as the ‘triad’ of core mediators of street harassment by this research. The ‘triad’ featured significantly in the meaning-making of the participants in the Experiential study. The participants interpreted their experiences in themes of disempowerment, emotional isolation, loss of sense of agency, identity conflicts, and stress in family relationships. The findings aligned with UN’s definition of ‘violence against women’. Recommendations for future research include better theoretical developments to explain street harassment; investigation of potential long-term effects of street harassment in women such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); designing studies with more male participants to explore an ‘insider’ view into harassment; and finally, development of new standardised quantitative instruments to measure various aspects of street harassment.
    • An exploration of the role of visual arts projects for refugee well-being

      Hogan, Susan; Sheffield, David; Phillips, Katherine (University of Derby, 2020-03-14)
      Art therapy and other art-for-health initiatives are part of UK health and social care policy, as well as international humanitarian services for people fleeing persecution. There are currently unprecedented numbers of refugees and high levels of mental distress have been identified in this population. The non-verbal and symbolic potential for expression within art-making may provide a unique form of beneficial initiative. Through a critical realist perspective this thesis adds to the body of knowledge about art-based projects for refugee well-being. A mixed-methods systematic review was conducted in 2018. The quantitative data (k=2) showed that group art therapy is an effective intervention for reducing symptoms of mental distress in refugee children. The qualitative synthesis (k=24) presents a way to conceptualise the kinds of outcomes people experience from different modes of art-based engagement. Themes were developed through the qualitative data synthesis, including Beautifully handmade, Seeing with fresh eyes, Honour the past: forget the past, Telling the story and Being part of the world and Learning and working together. Accordingly, an interplay of creative, personal and social elements is proposed to occur is such activities. While different art-based approaches are identified: art therapy, facilitated art-making and independent art practice, these are shown to engender similar human experiences. This thesis builds on previous research on the use of colouring books for well-being. A mixed-methods randomised controlled study demonstrates their efficacy as a selfsustained well-being activity over one week. This study compared the effect of colouring pre-drawn mandala patterns with free-form drawing and a control group. The study included 69 university students and staff. The Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS) and the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS) were used. A large and significant effect size was found for WEMWBS and a dose response was demonstrated in the colouring condition. A feasibility project was then run at a refugee drop-in centre, where colouring books and colouring pages were provided on a weekly basis for seven weeks. While colouring books have been provided to refugees previously, this thesis demonstrates the potential well-being value of such provision, and the likely uptake of colouring books by this population. Data are presented from four refugees and four staff members. Accordingly, this thesis shows that colouring books are acceptable to refugees. Thematic analysis and qualitative content analysis were used to explore the qualitative data from both primary research studies. Colouring was found to be a relaxing activity by participants in both studies. Participants valued both the process of colouring and the final product. Both reflection and distraction are presented as potential mechanisms involved in improving well-being through colouring. Some participants found the colouring evoked memories, some used the process to express emotions and others found the colouring gave them a welcome diversion from other thoughts. Colouring at the refugee centres also provided an impetus for inter-personal relationships, such as colouring with friends. Art-based approaches are explored as a range of useful and acceptable interventions to improve the well-being of refugees. Consideration is given to the variety of contextual factors that influence the creative and relational elements that are considered central to these interventions. Art-based projects operate within complex social and political systems. Identifying cultural norms and exploring power dynamics can contribute to the understanding and development of initiatives seeking to improve individual well-being, and effect wider collective social and political change.
    • Exploring Observational Pain Assessment Tools for Individuals with Moderate-to-Severe Dementia

      Ainslea, Cross; Dawn, Forman; Kreshnik, Hoti; Babicova, Ivana (University of DerbyCollege of Health, Psychology and Social Care (University of Derby), 2020-11-26)
      The global increase in the prevalence of dementia has provoked a multidisciplinary response from researchers, policymakers, educators and clinical sectors. There are many important aspects of care, which need to be considered when looking after an individual with dementia. One such aspect of care, and a fundamental human right, is appropriate pain treatment and management. Due to the progressive neurodegenerative nature of dementia, individuals in the moderate to severe stages of the condition are often unable to self-report their pain, therefore health professionals rely on the use of observational pain assessments. Unfortunately, pain continues to be under-recognised, underestimated and under-treated in people living with moderate-to-severe dementia. There is, therefore, a need to enhance observational pain assessment, to ensure that appropriate pain treatment and management is implemented. This thesis set out the following aim and objectives: Aim: To examine the psychometric properties, in terms of validity and reliability, of observational pain assessment tools for people living with moderate-to-severe dementia. Objective (a) to conduct a systematic review to further investigate the current state of observational pain assessment tools. Objective (b) to explore feasibility and use of observational pain assessment tools, specifically the Abbey Pain Scale and the PainChek®, in a UK care home setting. Objective (c) to validate and evaluate the psychometric properties of PainChek® in a UK care home. Objective (d) to investigate three case studies of individuals living with dementia who demonstrated atypical pain behaviours. The aim and objectives were accomplished by conducting four studies. The first study was a systematic review which examined the psychometric properties of observational pain assessment tools. The results from the seventeen studies which met criteria for inclusion indicated a highly heterogeneous, indicating that validity and reliability measures, such as inter-rater reliability or concurrent validity, were highly diverse across observational tools which were tested for psychometric qualities. The second study utilised exploratory qualitative methods to explore perceived feasibility of two observational pain assessment tools; Abbey Pain Scale and PainChek®. Transcripts from the semi-structured interviews were analysed using a thematic analysis. Four main themes were identified; strengths of the Abbey Pain Scale, limitations of the Abbey Pain Scale, strengths of PainChek®, limitations of PainChek® and critical factors of pain assessment. The third study focused on validating PainChek®; a semi-automated observational pain assessment tool in a UK care home. Twenty-two participants diagnosed with dementia and a painful condition were recruited. Over a period of sixteen weeks, psychometric properties in terms of validity and reliability of PainChek® were evaluated by direct comparison to the Abbey Pain Scale. Three hundred and two paired pain assessments were completed. The analysis of the data revealed excellent validity and reliability results, demonstrating that PainChek® would be a suitable tool to asses’ pain in people with dementia in UK care homes. The fourth and final study explored three case studies in depth. During the data collection in the previous study, three participants were consistently expressing atypical and unexpected pain behaviours. The investigation into the three individual case studies has highlighted the importance and growing need for increasing interprofessional education and learning, and a consideration of how uncommon expressions of pain could hinder the accuracy of pain assessment. The research conducted for this PhD thesis reiterated the on-going issue with under-recognition, underestimation and under-treatment of pain in people with dementia. The overall results collectively investigated and contributed findings towards the current knowledge of pain assessment in people with moderate to advanced dementia, by presenting an in-depth mixed-methods approach. In addition, the results from this thesis demonstrated excellent psychometric properties of PainChek® in a UK care home and explored the current limitations of pain assessment and offered possible solutions. To prevent poor treatment and management of pain in individuals with dementia, regular and accurate use of observational pain assessment tools is recommended. Finally, while feasibility and appropriateness of the use of the PainChek® were explored, further research focusing on implementation is needed to investigate the pragmatic and practical aspects of using an electronic device in care homes.
    • Numerical Study of Track-Trailer Gap Aerodynamics

      Yang, Zhiyin; Lu, Yiling; Charles, Terrance Priestley (University of Derby, 2020-12-08)
      Aerodynamics have become an essential design process for ground vehicles in order to improve the fuel consumption by lowering the emissions along with increasing the range of vehicles using different source of power. A significant portion of the world CO2 emissions is a result of ground vehicles with a more significant portion of these contributed by trucks. The boxy nature of trucks is the desired shape to carry maximum payload. However, a box shaped geometry is not aerodynamically efficient. Several manufacturers have developed aerodynamic add on devices that are optimized to the shape of the truck, in order to achieve gains in lowering emission and improving range by deeper understanding of the flow physics around the vehicle. The thesis reports an in-depth understanding of the flow field within the gap region of a tractor trailer combination truck and how several aerodynamic add on devices reduce the overall drag of a truck. The gap region of a truck typically contributes to about 20-25% of the overall vehicle drag and hence presents an opportunity for considerable level of drag reduction. A basic two box bluff body (2D & 3D) model was used to investigate how the flow field changes by changing the gap width between the two bluff bodies. A section of the thesis investigates the sudden increase in drag coefficient of the downstream cube around 2D tandem bluff bodies. Distinct flow patterns were observed in the gap and around the 2D tandem at different gap ratios. The sudden change in drag coefficient for the 2D downstream bluff body is well captured numerically, which is due to the wake of the upstream cube impinging onto the front face of the downstream cube. A steady increase in drag coefficient is witnessed for the 3D cubes which are consistent with previous experimental findings. The steady increase in drag coefficient is due to the vortical structures formed around the 3D cubes which are different, which consist of a smooth transition. Hence, they result in steady increase in drag coefficient. A second study was conducted on a realistic truck like test case with the simplified truck model where the leading edges of the tractor were rounded off to manipulate the flow separation. As a result of leading edge rounding off the flow separation reduced significantly resulting in a major portion of the flow remain attached to the lateral walls of the tractor. This was seen to increase the flow entering the gap region between the tractor and trailer. Finally, several add on devices which were subdivided based on tractor and trailer mounted devices were numerically assessed with several other devices within the gap region. Significant level of drag reduction was achieved for the entire truck with these add on devices. The highest drag reduction was achieved with the base bleeding technique. Overall, the research has shown that it is important to control the flow condition within the gap region and maintain an even pressure on the front face of the trailer. The base bleeding method proved to be a vital technique to further reduce drag.
    • The Self-Portrait Experience, a dispositif for individual transformation and social activism

      Davies, Huw; Harris, Philip; Holmwood, Clive; Nunez Salmeron, Cristina (University of DerbyAssociation The Self-Portrait Experience, 2020-12-15)
      Cristina Nuñez’s artistic practice using self-portraiture began in 1988 as she turned the camera to herself to overcome self-stigma derived from addiction. A process evolved of a self-taught artistic practice into facilitating other people’s self-portraiture, leading her to devise The Self-Portrait Experience (SPEX). Since 2004 Nuñez holds SPEX workshops in diverse contexts, such as the penitentiary, mental health, addiction recovery and adolescent transition. A psychological framework allowed her to interrogate the effects of this practice on others and herself. However, Nuñez positions herself as a contemporary artist practitioner, not a therapist, who believes that the arts in themselves can be transformative. This research has culminated in the current investigation of the SPEX dispositif, a term used in contemporary France after Foucault and Agamben. In the workshops Nuñez holds around the world participants perform a ‘catalytic’ process by transforming emotional pain into what is referred to as artworks. Reviewing the multiple perceptions of the images produced allows participants to look at themselves through new lenses, as evidenced by data collected in her workshops over the years. SPEX uses the power of ubiquitous digital photography in a manner that subverts the common ‘selfie’ format, leveraging unconscious expression to explore emotions, in order to gain new insight and stimulate the creative process as reflexive. In this context, the SPEX dispositif defines as a set of measures taken for a specific artistic intervention. It involves plays of power, subverted in processes of subjectification, performativity and the deconstruction of dichotomies: ugly/beautiful, vulnerable/powerful, emotional/rational, unconscious/conscious, personal/public. Such processes can produce different kinds of knowledge: of oneself and one’s inner struggles, of the other and our place in relational and societal plays of power. Through the publication of self-portraits and autobiographical projects, the personal and socio-political dimensions are connected. Nuñez’s practice with herself and others proposes a dialogue between emotional expression and its mirroring effects on the public. The overarching goal is providing tangible societal benefits, in the form of viewer’s identification with the subjects of the images, rather than dissociation and alienation. Through their publication, autobiographical visual narratives can function as an “insurrection of subjugated knowledges” (Foucault 1980, p.82), to deconstruct labels and stereotypes often associated with stigmatised collectives. This critical evaluation catalogues the development of Nuñez’s bodies of work over thirty years, interrogates its theoretical framework and reflects on the impact on participants and viewers.
    • An Exploration of Human Dignity as a Foundation for Spiritual Leadership

      Wond, Tracey; Phil, Henry; Kyle, John Wesley (University of DerbyCollege of Business, Law and Social Sciences, 2020-12-08)
      This research is situated at the nexus of human dignity and spiritual leadership theory. It critically explores human dignity, an expression of human value and worth, for its potential as the basis of an advancement to spiritual leadership, a contemporary organisational leadership theory. Following this critical exploration, the thesis proposes that human dignity is an implied element of spiritual leadership that, if made explicit, represents a valuable advancement to the theory. Based on the findings of the research, specific advancements to the theory are proposed that incorporate the acknowledgement of and respect for human dignity as spiritual leadership behaviours. In the research, these behaviours were seen to contribute positively to the desired outcome of spiritual leadership, namely an increase in the perception of well-being experienced by leaders and followers. The research offers a contribution to the field of organisational leadership by exploring the linkage between human dignity, the elements of spiritual leadership, and higher-order needs associated with well- being in the workplace, such as meaning-making, sense of purpose, and the sense of belonging. The research involved a qualitative field study of individual contributors, mid-level managers, and executives in a variety of organisations. Through semi-structured interviews, participants were invited to share their ideas and lived experiences regarding human dignity and the elements of spiritual leadership. The primary findings fall into three thematic categories, each of which is explored in detail in the thesis. The first theme is that participants perceived their dignity to be acknowledged and respected when leaders include them in decision-making processes. Inclusive decision-making is a leadership behaviour consistent with the ideals of spiritual leadership practice. Second, participants also reported that leadership behaviours that make them feel seen, known, and trusted, contribute to their sense of dignity as well as their sense of “mattering” in the workplace. Mattering and dignity are two related concepts that are, in turn, closely linked with the sense of calling and sense of membership. Finally, participants expressed that thoughts about human dignity are elements of the “inner life”, consisting of the values and attitudes that inform and motivate outward behaviour. These thematic findings are consistent with the expected outcomes of spiritual leadership and its emphasis on the inner life of the leader. Together, they form the basis for the human dignity advancements proposed to the theory.
    • Exploring the Conceptual Constructions of the Mobile Phone Within the Neoliberal Digital Age: A Thematic Analysis

      Howard, Chris; Hallam, Jenny; Montague, Jane; Smyth, Michael (University of DerbyPsychology, College of Life and Natural Sciences, University of Derby, 2020-10-27)
      This thesis is an investigation into the ways in which mobile phone users’ contextualised understanding of the mobile phone may have shaped their mobile phone practices and subjectivity within the cultural narratives of the neoliberal digital age in the UK. The proliferation of research literature focused on mobile phone practices has been dominated by mainstream psychology’s pathologised rationales for differences between mobile phone users’ practices. However, the distinction between normal and problematic practices are not clearly defined across studies. This thesis adopts a critical perspective to consider the socially integrated relationship between meaning, subjectivity and behaviour in order to inform the current rationales for differences between mobile phone users’ practices from an underrepresented perspective on the topic. The thesis is collection of four discrete but interconnected studies which progress from exploring the culturally accessible conceptualisation of the mobile phone presented by the mass media to the culturally contextualised understanding of the mobile phone by mobile phone users. Mass media data were collected from UK national newspaper articles about the mobile phone published between 1985 (first consumer handheld mobile phones in the UK) and 2019, to provide a wide historical context, and website-based advertising of mobile phones accessible to the UK population during 2019. Data was collected from mobile phone users through participant-generated reviews of their mobile phone by 164 self-selected mobile phone users and in-depth interviews with 20 mobile phone users positioned as at-risk problem users by the psychology literature. The data collected was analysed using an inductive thematic analysis informed by social constructionism. The analysis of the news media revealed that the conceptualisation of the mobile phone shifted from a business tool accessible by a wealthy few to a normal need of modern living for the masses which is integral to the user’s identity. It was argued that current cultural conceptualisations of the mobile phone were shaped by societal powers related to neoliberalism and regulation. The conceptualisations related to the advertisements promoted a normal, essential, desirable and continually developing contemporary tool of self-improvement, empowerment, independence, control, social connection and identity development. Mobile phone users’ conceptualisations related to the deep meaning that essential lifestyle enhancing activities had for them and positioned themselves as attached to their lifestyle and identity development that was accessible through their mobile phone practices which they positioned as culturally normal and essential to a modern lifestyle. For the users positioned as at-risk problem users, the mobile phone was an emotionally complex object which was related to emotional support and emotional tensions, in conflict at times. The relationship between the mass media’s conceptualisations of the mobile phone and mobile phone users’ contextualised understanding showed that cultural narratives, fashioned by societal powers, shaped users’ understanding and practices. It was concluded that mobile phone users were attached to the continual development of their lifestyle, identity and knowing that they experience through their mobile phone practices rather than attached to the device. Mobile phone practices are a symptom of neoliberal digital culture rather than a problematic symptom of the user. Future research must sustain the critical perspective to build upon the findings of this thesis and explore the identities of those who actively resist using mobile phones with consideration to their contextualised personal interests in order to further inform the distinction between normal and problematic mobile phone practices.
    • 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.
    • The influence of caffeine expectancies on simulated soccer performance and perceptual states

      Hooton, Andy; Sheffield, David; Higgins, Matthew; Shabir, Akbar (University of DerbyThe University of Derby, School of Human Sciences, 2020-10)
      Caffeine (CAF) is the most widely consumed ergogenic substance in sport and has been reported to improve various attributes associated with successful soccer performance including, endurance capacity, gross motor skill performance and cognitions. These benefits are typically ascribed to pharmacological mechanisms (i.e. central nervous and peripheral tissue stimulation). However, the psychological and perceptual permutations that are associated with CAF expectancies are largely unaddressed in most experimental designs but could be as important as CAF pharmacology in understanding if/how CAF elicits an ergogenic response on sport performance. As the consumption of pharmacologically active CAF may not be necessary in observing a CAF associated ergogenic response, this body of work may prove beneficial to individuals suffering from pre-existing health concerns (e.g. hypertension, genetic polymorphisms, depression, insomnia etc.), CAF habituation, and those participating in late evening sports competitions whereby CAF consumption may impair sleep quality/duration. The main aim of this thesis is to evaluate and explore the psychobiological effects of expectancies associated with oral CAF consumption on various facets of simulated soccer performance and perceptual states. This was achieved via completion of the following objectives: (1) conducting a systematic review and meta-analyses pertaining to literature exploring the potential psychobiological effects of CAF on sport and exercise (A) and cognitive performance (B) (2) exploration of the potential psychobiological effects of CAF on high-intensity intermittent endurance capacity, reaction time and soccer skill proficiency (3) exploration of the potential psychobiological effects of CAF on perceptual fatigue and mood states (4) exploration of the potential psychobiological effects of CAF on subjective perceptions using the double-dissociation design but in particular the mixed methods approach (Brooks et al., 2015). There remains a severe under representation of the mixed methods design in the literature pertaining to the phenomenon of CAF expectancies on sport, exercise, and cognitive performance. The mixed methods design and associated triangulation of quantitative and qualitative data is fundamental to validly compare CAF’s psychological versus pharmacological impetus. Prior to this thesis, only two other studies (Beedie et al., 2006; Duncan et al., 2009) implemented the mixed methods design, with neither providing a rigorous account of methodological decisions, researcher reflexivity, and/or evidence of applying an epistemological framework. These factors were incorporated within the current thesis and improved the quality of data collection, analysis, and reflection. The results of our, novel, meta-analyses demonstrated that all studies exploring the psychobiological effects of CAF on sport and exercise performance displayed a beneficial effect (p=0.01) with an overall moderate effect size (Cohen’s d (ES): 0.40) observed. In contrast, no significant effect was observed for studies exploring the psychobiological effects of CAF on cognitive performance (p=0.142) with a small effect size (ES=0.1) observed. Though, due to significant methodological heterogeneity associated with studies exploring the psychobiological effects of CAF on cognitive performance, any associated implications here should be taken with caution. Experimental study 1 explored the influence of CAF expectancies on facets of simulated soccer performance (e.g. exercise capacity, reaction time and passing ability (LSPT)) and perceptual states via utilisation of a mixed-methods approach and double-dissociation design. Exercise capacity was greater (p<0.05) for CAF psychology (given placebo (PLA)/told CAF) (623 ± 117 s) versus pharmacology (given CAF/told PLA) (578 ± 99 s) with all participants running longer during psychology. This benefit appeared to be driven by CAF expectancies and reductions in perceptual effort. Interestingly, positive perceptions for told CAF conditions appeared to impair BATAK performance via potential CAF over reliance. In contrast, negative perceptions possibly facilitated BATAK performance via augmented conscious effort. A similar trend to BATAK was observed for LSPT performance. Following the completion of experimental study 1 it became apparent that the techniques used to modulate expectancies across experimental conditions (i.e. told PLA/CAF groups) here or any other study with a primary aim of exploring the influence of CAF expectancies on sport, exercise and/or cognitive performance, require validation. This was the premise of experimental study 2. No meaningful findings were observed from baseline to post-intervention across any outcome measure during experimental study 2. This lack of effect may be related to environmental factors, whereby individuals completed trials in classrooms and/or a home cinema, prior to lectures/seminars and/or social interactions, respectively. In contrast, participants in experimental study 1 were administered the appropriate expectancy modulating techniques after they had perceived to consume PLA or CAF within an environment that necessitated an immediate importance for CAF (e.g. prior to exercise performance). In summary, the novelty and original contribution of the current body of research entails: completion of a systematic review and meta-analyses pertaining to the influence of CAF expectancies on sport, exercise and cognitive performance; assessment of the influence CAF expectancies may have on simulated soccer performance; the implementation of a mixed methods approach and double dissociation design; an in depth rationale, description and set of instructions for the utilisation of the mixed methods approach in any future research, including the use of an epistemological framework; a summary of ecological factors that are fundamental in understanding the phenomenon of CAF expectancies across sport and exercise performance. With respect of the main findings from the experimental data contained in this thesis: the benefits associated with CAF expectancies may better suit tasks that entail lesser cognitive/skill specific attributes but greater gross motor function (e.g. cycling, weightlifting, running etc.) and this is likely due to reduced perceptual effort. Moreover, future studies aiming to validate expectancy modulating techniques or generally assessing expectancies should provide a greater immediate importance for CAF and this may be achieved by replicating environmental and/or psychosocial conditions associated with sport performance (e.g. the utilisation of a performance measure) and the perception for CAF consumption.
    • Behavioural and metabolic responses of the freshwater mussels Anodonta anatina and Unio pictorum to environmental stimuli with a focus on food and light availability

      Ramsey, Andrew; Huck, Maren; Mehra, Aradhana; Zapitis, Charitos (University of Derby, 2020-07-05)
      Benthic invertebrates play a crucial role in sediment mixing, nutrient cycling, and oxygen fluxes in benthic ecosystems. Despite the broad global distribution and high abundance of unionid mussels in both lentic and lotic ecosystems, the role of their locomotion behaviour and metabolic activity on the aforementioned processes remain understudied. In this thesis, Anodonta anatina and Unio pictorum were exposed to a range of Chlorella vulgaris concentrations between 0.5 and 20.0 mg Ash Free Dry Mass (AFDM) l-1 at 11.0, 15.0 and 19.0 ± 1.0 °C in laboratory experiments. Unionid behaviours were recorded by time-lapse photography. Mussel locomotion probability and duration, opening behaviour, posterior tip movement and the position in relation to the light source were extracted image and video analysis. The diel rhythm was assessed as well as the responses to the light intensity at ~230, 450 and 1200 lux on a horizontal light gradient. The oxygen consumption (OC) during digestion was quantified at 0.05, 6.0 and 12.0 mg of AFDM of Chlorella vulgaris l-1 at 19.0 ± 1.0 °C. The locomotion probability was significantly higher for A. anatina, compared to U. pictorum, increased with increasing temperature (lower for 11.0 ± 1.0 °C), and decreased with increasing algal concentrations. Locomotion duration decreased with the increasing algal concentration in both species, with U. pictorum showing a shorter locomotion duration than A. anatina. Valve opening peaked at algal concentrations of 3.0 mg l-1. A contrasting locomotion pattern was recorded between the two species with A. anatina crawling on the sediment and U. pictorum breaking through the sediment with is umbo covered. Both species showed a significantly higher probability of locomotion in the absence of light and a decreasing locomotion path distance with the increasing light intensity. The specimens which moved towards the light source covered a longer distance than those which moved away. Additionally, A. anatina showed a net movement towards the light source while all activities were recorded in the absence of light. Digestion significantly contributed to unionid metabolism in both species. In addition, the mean OC rate per dry soft-tissue mass (DM) increased with the algal concentration, with A. anatina showing a significantly higher rate. In A. anatina OC DM-1 decreased with the increasing DM. The findings are discussed in the context of eutrophication, unionid bioremediation potential, and the development of species-specific remediation models. A conceptual model developed demonstrates the ecological interactions between unionids and their environment in lentic systems.
    • The cryptic and transboundary nature of ghost gear in the Maldivian Archipelago

      Sweet, Michael; Huck, Maren; Beaumont, Nel; Stelfox, Martin (University of Derby, 2019-06-11)
      Abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear (ALDFG), more commonly referred to as ghost gear, is a global issue that impacts many marine organisms worldwide. In the Maldivian archipelago a large number of olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) are found entangled in these nets (more commonly referred to as ghost nets) each year. However, the origin of these nets or turtles are unknown considering fishing with the use of nets is restricted to the bait fisheries within the exclusive economic zone of the Maldives. Therefore, ghost gear has a transboundary and cryptic nature, making it difficult to assess the environmental impact and origin of the gear. This thesis aimed to develop new tools and techniques which could be utilised to examine these unknowns. I revealed in a literature review (Chapter 1) that research in ghost gear entanglements amongst marine megafauna are predominantly focussed in the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. However, Indian, Arctic and southern Oceans are far less studied. Additionally, the majority of strategies to tackle ghost gear were centred around curative measures, such as ghost gear retrieval. I advise that future solutions, best practices and research should favour preventative rather than curative methods in ghost gear management and research. Statistical classifies (Chapter 2) were built in R to predict the probability of a net entangling a turtle. It was highlighted that nets with larger mesh sizes and the absence of floats were major gear characteristics that increased the likelihood of turtle entanglement. In addition, the time of year was an important variable with a higher chance of turtle entanglements in nets found during the northeast monsoon (November – April). Unfortunately, grouping of the nets by fisheries was not possible, beyond a broad classification. This was likely a result of the wide variety of nets used in the region. However, gill and trawl nets were recognised as high-risk fisheries. Regardless of the difficulties of assigning an origin of the nets, I was able to estimate the scale of the problem. Between 3,400 and 12,200 turtles could have become entangled in ghost nets over the 51-month study period, meaning this region has the highest turtle entanglement rate in ghost nets worldwide (0.17). Nesting and sightings of free-swimming individuals are rare and therefore the majority of entangled turtles do not originate from the Maldives. To discover the source population of these entangled olive ridleys we utilised a mixed stock analyses of mtDNA from samples of turtles entangled in nets in the Maldives (n = 38) and compared them to nesting stocks from published literature (Sri Lanka, east India and northern Australia). We were able to fill in data gaps in phylogenetics by including samples from previously undescribed nesting populations, such as those in Oman and improved resolution by including longer sequences from east India in our analyses (Chapter 3). Results suggest that the majority of entangled olive ridleys originate from east Indian (73%) and Sri Lankan (23%) genetic stocks when no population estimates were included in model design. This meant we could estimate the impact of ghost nets on these populations. Recorded ghost net entanglements may impact yearly recruitment of east Indian populations by 0.48% however a staggering 41% of the Sri Lankan population are thought to be negatively affected by the drifting nets. I then attempted to age ghost gear found drifting in the Maldives, and provided additional evidence to locate possible sites of origin. Percentage cover of biofouling communities and capitulum length of the goose barnacle (Lepas anatifera) provided the most robust metrics to estimate minimum drift times (Chapter 4). Lagrangian simulations (forced by Ocean Surface Current Analyses Realtime OSCAR) could then be utilised to backtrack drifting ghost gear to a putative origin. This analysis highlighted that the origin of these nets overlapped with purse seine (predominantly from Spain and France) and gill net fisheries operating in the area. Moreover, the models show that some of the nets originate close to the Indian and Sri Lanka shorelines, suggesting that small scale artisanal fisheries may provide additional high risk, contributing to ghost nets drifting into the Maldives and entangling turtles. In summary it is hoped that this thesis advances our knowledge on ghost gear significantly. Moreover, this thesis provides the information and tools necessary for the Olive Ridley Project (a British registered charity, tackling this issue face on), along with other stakeholders (government and non-government) in order to better manage resources and combat the ghost gear issue within the Indian Ocean.
    • Multiprocessor System-on-Chips based Wireless Sensor Network Energy Optimization

      Panneerselvam, John; Xue, Yong; Ali, Haider (University of DerbyDepartment of Electronics, Computing and Mathematics, 2020-10-08)
      Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) is an integrated part of the Internet-of-Things (IoT) used to monitor the physical or environmental conditions without human intervention. In WSN one of the major challenges is energy consumption reduction both at the sensor nodes and network levels. High energy consumption not only causes an increased carbon footprint but also limits the lifetime (LT) of the network. Network-on-Chip (NoC) based Multiprocessor System-on-Chips (MPSoCs) are becoming the de-facto computing platform for computationally extensive real-time applications in IoT due to their high performance and exceptional quality-of-service. In this thesis a task scheduling problem is investigated using MPSoCs architecture for tasks with precedence and deadline constraints in order to minimize the processing energy consumption while guaranteeing the timing constraints. Moreover, energy-aware nodes clustering is also performed to reduce the transmission energy consumption of the sensor nodes. Three distinct problems for energy optimization are investigated given as follows: First, a contention-aware energy-efficient static scheduling using NoC based heterogeneous MPSoC is performed for real-time tasks with an individual deadline and precedence constraints. An offline meta-heuristic based contention-aware energy-efficient task scheduling is developed that performs task ordering, mapping, and voltage assignment in an integrated manner. Compared to state-of-the-art scheduling our proposed algorithm significantly improves the energy-efficiency. Second, an energy-aware scheduling is investigated for a set of tasks with precedence constraints deploying Voltage Frequency Island (VFI) based heterogeneous NoC-MPSoCs. A novel population based algorithm called ARSH-FATI is developed that can dynamically switch between explorative and exploitative search modes at run-time. ARSH-FATI performance is superior to the existing task schedulers developed for homogeneous VFI-NoC-MPSoCs. Third, the transmission energy consumption of the sensor nodes in WSN is reduced by developing ARSH-FATI based Cluster Head Selection (ARSH-FATI-CHS) algorithm integrated with a heuristic called Novel Ranked Based Clustering (NRC). In cluster formation parameters such as residual energy, distance parameters, and workload on CHs are considered to improve LT of the network. The results prove that ARSH-FATI-CHS outperforms other state-of-the-art clustering algorithms in terms of LT.
    • COMPARING THE ACUTE EFFECTS OF WARM-UP STRATEGIES USING FREE-WEIGHT AND VARIABLE RESISTANCE ON STRENGTH AND POWER PERFORMANCE

      Kay, Tony; Blazevich, Tony; Giakas, Giannis; Hooton, Andy; Akehurst, Sally; Mina, Minas A. (University of DerbyCollege of Science and Engineering, 2020-09-08)
      Warm-up routines are typically designed to precondition the neuromuscular system for enhanced performance and reduced injury risk during subsequent high-intensity physical activities, including during strength training. As such, identifying an effective warm-up routine to augment muscular performance is of clear importance to strength (and other) coaches and athletes. Incorporating variable resistance (VR) via the use of chains or elastic bands during strength training alters the loading characteristics during exercises to impose a greater mechanical stimulus, however the impact of VR on subsequent free-weight exercise performance is unknown. Therefore, the aims of this thesis were to examine the acute effects of conditioning VR exercise compared to free-weight resistance (FWR) exercise on subsequent one-repetition maximum (1-RM) back squat and countermovement vertical jump (CMJ) height performance after the performance of a comprehensive, test-specific warm-up, and to examine possible alterations to mechanics and neuromuscular activity underpinning any changes. Techniques including 3D motion analysis, electromyography (EMG) and ground reaction force measurement were used in three studies on recreationally active volunteers experienced in squatting and jumping. In Study 1, significantly greater 1-RM squat-lift load (6.2 ± 5.0%; p < 0.01) and mean eccentric-phase knee extensor EMG amplitude (32.2 ± 6.7%; p < 0.01) were found after the chain-loaded resistance (CLR) warm-up, where an increasing load is applied as the subject raises their body with the load, compared to the FWR condition. However, no statistical differences (p > 0.05) were detected in concentric phase EMG, knee angular velocity or peak knee flexion angle. Thus, performing a CLR warm-up enhanced subsequent free-weight 1-RM performance without kinematic changes; these data were considered to indicate a real 1-RM increase as the mechanics of the lift were not influenced. Study 2 followed an identical methodological design, however elastic bands were used to provide an inexpensive, portable, easily-implemented, and therefore more practical method of altering the load-time characteristics of the squat lift through VR. Significantly greater 1-RM squat load (7.7 ± 6.2%; p < 0.01) with lower peak and mean eccentric (16–19%; p < 0.05) and concentric (12–21%; p < 0.05) knee angular velocities were found after the elastic band (EB) warm-up compared to the FWR condition. As EB resistance evoked greater mean improvements in squat performance than the CLR used in Study 1, the influence of FWR and EB squat exercises following a comprehensive warm-up were compared using a more functional, CMJ, task at different post-exercise time points (i.e. 30 s, 4 min, 8 min, and 12 min) (Study 3). No changes in any variable were found after the FWR warm-up (p > 0.05). However, statistical (p < 0.05) and practically-meaningful increases were detected in CMJ height (5.3-6.5%), net impulse (2.7-3.3%), take-off velocity (2.7-3.8%), peak power (4.4-5.9%), kinetic (7.1-7.2%) and potential (5.4-6.7%) energy, peak normalised rate of force development (12.9-19.1%), peak concentric knee angular velocities (3.1-4.1%) and mean concentric vastus lateralis (VL) EMG activity (27.5-33.4%) at all time points after the EB warm-up condition. Thus, when a complete CMJ-specific warm-up was provided, FWR squat had no additional effect on CMJ performance however the alteration of the squat lift force-time characteristics using EB led to a substantial CMJ enhancement. The findings from the present series of studies have important implications for research study design as the warm-up imposed and the resistive modality selected appear to influence subsequent movement performances, i.e. 1-RM back squat or CMJ performances. In previous studies, standardised (or no) warm-up protocols imposed before the baseline testing have been associated with subsequent enhancements in squat lift and CMJ performances following conditioning contractions, although it is unclear whether this is a consequence of acute neuromuscular alteration relating to the conditioning contractions or to the warm-up itself. Collectively, the present findings, show that physical performance can be enhanced in at least some conditions by application of conditioning contractions even after completion of a comprehensive, test-specific warm-up, which have important practical implications in the formulation of pre-performance warm-up routines where maximal force production is an important goal.
    • Small business transition towards degrowth

      Nesterova, Iana (University of Derby, 2020-09-03)
      This work focuses on the relationship between small firms and degrowth. It aims to contribute to the understanding of what production by small firms should entail for a degrowth society and economy to be possible. It is proposed that for small firms to transition towards degrowth and consequently become part thereof, small firms should become degrowth businesses. This work proposes a framework of degrowth business informed by empirical insights derived from seven cases of small firms in England. The study claims that while small firms may indeed be suitable for degrowth, this entails transformation of their business on multiple levels, including worldviews of individuals involved. Moreover, it is claimed that in transition towards degrowth, small firms are likely to face barriers. It is concluded that to transition towards degrowth, transformation of small firms into degrowth businesses is not sufficient. For degrowth society and economy to be possible, these efforts must be supplemented by a larger societal transformation involving multiple agents and structures. This work’s contribution is theoretical in terms of advancing understanding of degrowth business and production by firms for degrowth, and practical since the framework developed aims to be useful for firms, policy-makers and in education.
    • The Enosis Method: An Alternative Mixed Method to Analyse Qualitative Information

      Fakis, Apostolos (University of DerbyUniversity Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation TrustDerby Clinical Trials Support Unit, 2020-06-24)
    • Conspiracy Theories, MIllennialism, and the Nation: Understanding the collective voice in improvisational millennialism

      Henry, Phil; Weller, Paul; Wilson, Andrew Fergus (University of DerbyLaw and Social Science, University of Derby, 2020-07-10)
      The following critical appraisal presents eight interlinked works that apply and extend Michael Barkun’s (2003) concept of ‘improvisational millennialism’. This body of work demonstrates that, as Barkun suggests, the concept is widely applicable to the online communities in which stigmatized knowledge is widely accepted. Moreover, it extends the definition to consider how improvisational millennialism provides ill-defined or dispossessed communities a means of articulating a collective relationship to historical time as well as a crude means of shoring up basic assumptions of group membership. Mythical pasts and millennial expectation provide the opportunity for shared eschatological orientation whilst the dualism of conspiracy theories demarcates between the communities and their outsiders. This critical review demonstrates how the journal articles and book chapters collected in the appendices provide specific examples of the application and extension of improvisational millennialism. The examples chosen are varied but a persistent theme drawn out through analysis is the role that national cultures – official and official – are articulated through improvisational millennialism. The examples include consideration of how the depiction of millennial beliefs in the mass media contribute to national cultural constructs but more typically focus on the use of improvisational millennialism in online communities. Of the latter, the greater number of examples are concerned with improvisational millennialism within the neo-fascist milieu. Mobilised by conspiracy theories with apocalyptic subtexts, the far right reliance on improvisational millennialism demonstrates the implicit danger of the increased incursion of stigmatized knowledge into the cultural mainstream. This critical review serves to show that despite being typified by a syncretic bricolage of unconnected ideas and traditions, improvisational millennialism is reflective of both social and political realities.
    • Competition and collaboration in the extractive industries in a world of resource scarcity using a Game theory approach

      Yekini, Sina; Baranova, Polina; Crowther, Shahla Seifi (University of Derby, 2020-07-20)
      Sustainability has become one of the most important issues for businesses, governments and society at large. Increasingly, it features in all planning for future activity. The topic is under much debate as to what it actually is and how it can be achieved, but it is completely certain that the resources of the planet are fixed in quantity, and once used, cannot be reused except through being reused in one form or another. This is particularly true of the mineral resources of the planet. These are finite in quantity, and once fully extracted, extra quantities are no longer available for future use. In this thesis, it is argued that the remaining mineral resources are diminishing significantly and heading towards extinction. Once mined and consumed, they are no longer available for future use other than what can be recycled and reused. What is becoming important therefore – both for the present and for future sustainability – is not the extraction of minerals, but their distribution. Future scarcity means that best use must be made of what exists, as sustainability depends upon this, and best use is defined in this thesis as utility rather than economic value, and this must be considered at a global level rather than a national level. This thesis investigates the alternative methods of achieving the global distribution of these mineral resources and proposes an optimum solution. It does so by showing the efficacy of Game theory for such strategic decision-making, and by developing the theory with some extensions pertinent to the environment being described, before performing the necessary mathematical manipulations to evaluate this environment, and then applying this to real world data. The findings are supported by using linear programming and sensitivity analysis, and by using real world data. Application of the results obtained would raise a number of problems with market regulations and with the geopolitical situation, and these also are explored at length. In achieving this research, the main contribution of this thesis is through identifying the new environment and the extending of Game theory into this environment and in developing the necessary extensions. Previous research has only proposed methods to deal with this, but never actually developed and tested any model; therefore, this model itself, is a contribution. An additional contribution has been made through the application of those extensions into the practical global arena, and in the consideration of the role of regulation in the management of the market for resources in a way which is effective globally rather than locally. Essentially, this is through an understanding of the dichotomy between competition and collaboration, where this thesis argues that the conventional economic mode does not work to best results. Therefore, this thesis adds to the discourse through the understanding of the importance of the depletion and finiteness of raw materials and their use for the present and the future, in order to achieve and maintain sustainability.
    • The Meiji Legacy: Gardens and Parks of Japan and Britain, 1850-1914

      Elliott, Paul; Neuhaus, Tom; Schoppler, Luke (University of Derby, 2020-07-10)
      Meiji era (1868-1912) politics cast a legacy which extended beyond the Far Eastern nation. This thesis explores the relationship between Japan and Britain during this period, in relation to the cultural exchange of ideas around garden and park design. In contrast to previous studies which have emphasised Japanese style as consumed in Britain, it compares both Japanese and British appropriations of their respective native garden styles underlining the considerable interdependent factors in their developments that have been previously under-emphasised. Furthermore, it includes analysis of public Japanese gardens which have been under-represented in previous work that has tended to focus excessively on aristocratic gardens. The thesis research has utilised published works, archive collections and the large amount of digital material now available in order to systematically identify and examine park and garden sites in both nations which had foreign garden elements infused within them. By analysing such sources, the gardens, people and motivating factors in their creation are revealed. This study argues that there was a significant process of cultural exchange between Japan and Europe during the closed era or sakoku. The Asiatic Society of Japan and Japan Society of London were crucial in the transmission of elements of Japanese-style gardening to Britain as analysis of their members, their activities and publications demonstrates. In addition, the Edo/Meiji era gardening knowledge of self-styled experts in Japan known as niwashi strongly informed influential works on the subject such as Josiah Conder’s Landscape Gardening in Japan (1893), which in turn shaped how these gardens were understood in Britain. Another key finding was that King Edward VII played an important part in encouraging the adoption of Japanese gardening ideas amongst the British aristocracy and forging a strong relationship with Japanese royalty. This was cemented by the Anglo-Japanese Alliance of 1902 with political motivation also crucial in shaping the design of gardens at the Japan-British Exhibition 1910. This thesis argues that in all British-Japanese style gardens, authenticity was ultimately unachievable despite a variety of steps taken by their creators such as employing Japanese gardeners. Furthermore, the study concludes that the extent of European elements in Japanese parks and gardens has been exaggerated in previous analyses. This thesis demonstrates how Meiji politics affected garden styles inside and outside of Japan stemming from sustained interaction with foreign nations, modernisation and a reaction against European imperialism. A rich study of the Meiji legacy to garden design, this thesis suggests that Japanese imperialism was successful in counteracting European advances and changing initial European perceptions of Japan as Oriental. This has significantly added ground-breaking new knowledge to the subject. This interdisciplinary research draws from a range of ideas and methods from fields including history, geography, horticulture, politics, cultural and Japanese studies providing a rich and interwoven examination of the factors involved in the formation of the relationship between Japan and Britain from its beginnings in the sixteenth century.
    • Alternative methods for assessing habitat quality in freshwater systems

      Sweet, Michael; Ramsey, Andrew; Brys, Rein; Mauvisseau, Quentin (University of DerbyAquatic Research Facility, Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, University of Derby, 2020-06-03)
      “Water, water, everywhere…”. 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by water, freshwater representing 2.5% of it, and only 1% being accessible. Due, largely to a number of anthropogenic activities (pollution, habitats modification) coupled with the impacts of climate change, a dramatic decline in biodiversity is occurring across all earth’s ecosystems. Surprisingly, freshwater ecosystems receive considerably less attention than many other habitats and therefore, effective biodiversity monitoring programs are urgently needed to assess the health and state of the endangered and threatened species in these aquatic systems. Further, current techniques utilised to survey freshwater ecosystems are often considered ineffective, invasive, time consuming and biased. As a result, the implementation of molecular-based detection tools are attractive options as they are often shown to be more sensitive and cost effective. The use of environmental DNA (eDNA) detection is one such molecular tool which is showing promising results, due to its high reliability, sensitivity and non-invasiveness characters. However, recent studies have highlighted potential limitations associated with eDNA-based detection. Such limitations may lead to a decrease in the confidence of this method. The aim of this thesis was to investigate the use of eDNA-based detection across a number of species and a number of systems, all as a proxy of habitat quality. Stringent laboratory practices and validation guidelines were adhered to, allowing for reliable quality assessments of newly designed eDNA assays outlined in this thesis. Moreover, distinct controlled mesocosm experiments allowed the investigation of critical factors, part of the sampling method or analysis processes leading to an optimisation of eDNA collection and decreasing the rates of false negative results. Several comparison between traditional monitoring techniques and the novel assays were also performed aiding in the confidence of these new methods. Interestingly, the results obtained in this thesis shows a similar efficiency between traditional and eDNA-based methods for monitoring invasive species, but a higher efficiency of eDNA detection when detecting rare or low abundant organisms (i.e. those that are endangered or threatened). Furthermore, this thesis reports an extreme example where a species was found at a number of locations within a stretch of a river, yet undetected with the eDNA assay. In this chapter eDNA detection was only possible when I utilised ddPCR rather than qPCR (the more standard technique for assessing eDNA in any given system). Overall, eDNA detection was found to be an effective tool for assessing the presence of invasive and/or endangered species, increasing theknowledge on their distribution and the impact of future management plans. In this thesis, chapters 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 are organised as case studies, aiming to highlight benefits and limitations of species-specific detection using eDNA.
    • Creative ageing: participation, connection & flourishing. A mixed-methods research study exploring experiences of participatory arts engagement in later life through a systematic review of literature and focus groups with older people

      Bradfield, E. (University of Derby, 2020)
      Background: A rapidly increasing ageing population has significant consequences for the demography, health and wellbeing of our society. Participatory arts programmes and activities can contribute to health promotion in later life, by providing community-based, non-clinical opportunities for meaningful engagement and interaction. To date, academic research studies have mainly focused on people living with dementia and have investigated the benefits of therapeutic and / or musical interventions. However, little research has been conducted with healthy older people participating in other arts’ domains such as the visual arts or been approached through a creative ageing lens. Creative ageing is an inherently interdisciplinary field of enquiry, which sits at the intersection of arts and health and social gerontology and places emphasis on the role of creative engagement in enhancing personal growth, creativity and building social connections in later life. Aims: This thesis uses a mixed-methods approach to explore experiences of participatory arts engagement in later life through a study of literature and focus-group conversations. The study considers existing theory within social gerontology, arts and health and the creative ageing movement in a conceptual review, providing the context that underpins the thesis. A mixed-methods systematic review is conducted to examine the published evidence on the effect of participatory arts on wellbeing, quality of life and cognitive function and to explore distinctions between engagement in different arts domains and levels of participation. A two stage focus group study aims to investigate whether themes developed from the review resonate with older people’s own subjective experiences of participatory arts engagement and to explore barriers to participation in the arts in later life. Methods: The study employs a multi-stance approach to data collection and analysis, through a mixed-methods methodology which draws on the traditions of pragmatism and phenomenography. First, a conceptual review explores key concepts in social gerontology, definitions of arts and health and approaches to ageing, including the burgeoning field of creative ageing, providing the theoretical context for the thesis. Next, a mixed-methods systematic review is conducted to identify relevant qualitative, quantitative and mixed-methods studies of the effect of participatory arts engagement in later life and older people’s subjective experiences of engagement. Quantitative results from studies in the review are analysed through an exploratory meta-analysis of the topic of subjective wellbeing and through narrative analysis, categorised by wellbeing and cognitive function domains for clarity. To employ creative methods in the analysis, as this is a study about arts engagement, qualitative findings are analysed using thematic and I-poem analysis, which places emphasis on the older people’s voice. The qualitative and quantitative analyses are then integrated to provide a combined evidence synthesis of experiences and effects of participatory arts engagement in later life. A two-stage focus group study is then carried out to explore whether the themes developed from the review resonated with participants’ own subjective experiences of participatory arts engagement and to explore barriers to participation. The first stage of the study involves three focus group sessions with groups of older people, which took place at three locations in Cambridge. Themes from the review were used as the stimulus for conversation and provide the structure for analysis. The findings are further scrutinised using Seligman’s (2011) PERMA model of wellbeing (Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Achievement) as a framework, focusing on the elements of wellbeing which contribute to a meaningful life. Stage two of the study examines barriers to participation with a more socioeconomically diverse sample of older people. This stage involves two additional focus groups which were held in Peterborough and Wisbech. Findings are re-analysed in light of the second study and identifies both barriers and facilitators to participation in the arts. Systematic reviews play an integral role in the production of research knowledge. However, review reports often remain in academia, without the findings being shared with relevant stakeholders. By further examining the systematic review findings through focus group interviews with older people, this thesis may help to close the gap between research and practice. Additionally, enabling groups of older people to discuss the findings meant that the study could be contextualised in contemporary group settings, increasing the quality and relevance of the review and reflecting participants’ voice. Concepts developed during the analysis are discussed in the final chapter and presented in a conceptual framework of creative ageing. Findings: The mixed-methods systematic review identified 33 relevant studies which investigated the effects of participation in dance, visual arts, creative writing and theatre on wellbeing, quality of life and / or cognitive function for healthy older people. Quantitative analysis produced as part of the systematic review process showed statistically significant improvements to some aspects of wellbeing following engagement in dance and visual arts activities, and enhanced cognitive function in the domains of general intellectual ability and attention after participation in different art forms. The exploratory meta-analysis showed an overall combined effect size of g=0.18 indicating the effect of dance on enhanced subjective wellbeing. Qualitative findings were developed into five themes: making and creating; connections and communities; identity; the ‘feel good’ factor; and body, mind & soul. Additionally, I-poem analysis revealed an association between positive emotion and participation in dance and a poem titled ‘I feel happy when I’m dancing’ was produced as a creative output. Findings from the review were shared in a two-stage focus group study. In the first stage of the focus group study, three supplementary themes were developed to those identified above: engagement as ritual; emotion and engagement; and ikigai. In stage two, an iteration of the theme of engagement as ritual was developed into spiritual resonance: engagement as ritual, along with a further theme around transitions of ageing. These themes elucidate the role of the arts and cultural engagement in supporting people to remain active and involved in their communities in later life and which may provide a ‘reason for being’. The study also allowed a connection to be made between the ritual of engagement in the arts and the sense of belonging felt by bringing people together creatively, in addition to the potentially detrimental effect of non-participation on subjective wellbeing. Transitions of ageing provides evidence for the role of creative engagement in challenging perceptions of ageing and enabling opportunities to explore a new sense of self in later life. In the second stage of the focus study, barriers to participation were categorised as: infrastructure, situational and dispositional barriers, as well as factors which might facilitate participation, classified as: intra-personal, inter-personal and external factors. Infrastructure barriers emphasised the need for accessible transport links which enable older people to access arts and cultural activities, particularly in more rural areas. Personal circumstances including finance and relationship status were highlighted as situational barriers preventing participation, while dispositional factors including low levels of selfefficacy and literacy may inhibit engagement. Findings also explicated factors which may provide solutions that improve access and inclusivity for older people wishing to participate in the arts, including offering taster sessions, befriending schemes and reducing financial and access restrictions. Finally, a conceptual model was developed which highlighted three key interwoven concepts of creative ageing: participation, connection and flourishing. Conclusions: This thesis substantiates existing evidence on the potential role of creative engagement in enhancing quality of life, promoting social connectedness and thus reducing loneliness in later life. It also contributes to the mixed-methods’ paradigm discourse through its innovative use of a creative method within the systematic review and the multiple-stance approach to the thesis. The study contributes new knowledge by establishing a meaningful association between creative ageing and human flourishing and provides evidence for the need for more accessible community-based arts activities which encourage older people to participate and develop positive connections. Factors which might inhibit or encourage participation should be considered in the design of creative programmes to ensure that they are accessible and inclusive to a diverse range of older people. In conclusion, creative engagement may contribute to developing more resilient, creative and healthier communities within which our ageing population are enabled to flourish. With an established evidence base on the benefits of participating in the performing arts, including dance for promoting subjective wellbeing, there is now an opportunity for us to expand our perceptions and understanding of creativity in later life through further research which embraces a broader definition of creative ageing.