• The effects of anxiety on visual attention for emotive stimuli in primary school children

      Maratos, Frances A.; Lipka, Sigrid; Kelly, Lauren (University of Derby, 2014-02-24)
      Anxiety can be advantageous in terms of survival and well-being, yet atypically high levels may be maladaptive and result in the clinical diagnosis of an anxiety disorder. Several risk factors have been implicated in the manifestation of clinical anxiety, including cognitive biases. In recent years, a plethora of research has emerged demonstrating that anxious adults exhibit biases of attention for threatening stimuli, especially that which is biologically relevant (e.g., facial expressions). Specific components of attentional bias have also been identified, namely facilitated engagement, impaired disengagement, and avoidance. However, the majority of studies have focused on the spatial domain of attention. Furthermore, the area is under-researched in children, despite research demonstrating that symptoms relating to clinical and non-clinical anxiety follow a stable course from childhood through to adolescence and adulthood. Consequently, the aim of this thesis was to investigate how anxiety affects children’s visual attention for emotive, particularly angry, faces. In order to provide a more comprehensive understanding, the current research involved examining the role of temporal and spatial attention utilising rapid serial visual presentation with the attentional blink, and the visual probe paradigm, respectively. The main hypothesis was that high state and/or trait anxiety would be associated with an attentional bias for angry, relative to positive or neutral faces in both the temporal and spatial domains. In relation to the temporal domain, key findings demonstrated that high levels of trait anxiety were associated with facilitated engagement towards both angry and neutral faces. It was further found that all children rapidly disengaged attention away from angry faces. Findings related to the processing of angry faces accorded with the main hypothesis stated in this thesis, as well as research and theory in the area. The finding that anxious children preferentially processed neutral faces in an attentional blink investigation was unexpected. This was argued to potentially reflect this stimulus type being interpreted as threatening. Key findings regarding the spatial domain were that high trait anxious children displayed an early covert bias of attention away from happy faces and a later, overt bias of attention away from angry faces. The finding that high trait anxiety was linked to an attentional bias away from happy faces in a visual probe task was also unexpected. This was argued to potentially reflect smiling faces being interpreted as signifying social dominance, thus resulting in the viewer experiencing feelings of subordination and becoming avoidant and/or submissive. To conclude, this thesis has enhanced current knowledge of attentional bias in both the temporal and spatial domains for emotive stimuli in anxious children. It has demonstrated that higher levels of trait anxiety moderate children’s allocation of attentional resources to different stimulus types, whether these are threatening, positive, or neutral. This has important implications for evaluating past research in adults and children, and for further developing theoretical models of attentional bias and anxiety. It also offers important clinical implications, since attending towards or away from specific stimuli may affect the development and maintenance of anxiety disorders. Recently, a treatment that aims to modify attentional bias in anxious individuals has begun to be developed. In light of the present findings, it may be necessary to review this treatment so that anxious children are re-trained in the specific biases of attention demonstrated here.
    • The emerging professional: exploring student teachers’ developing conceptions of the relationship between theory and practice in learning to teach.

      Poultney, Val; Knight, Rupert (University of Derby, 2014-10-23)
      A shift of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) towards school-based training is underway in England, calling into question the place of a theoretical basis for teaching. Re-examining the relationship between educational theory and classroom practice is therefore particularly timely and links to long-standing discussions in the literature on what constitutes teachers’ professional knowledge, the specific tensions between theory and practice in education and the implications for the structure of ITE. The study is rooted in models of teacher knowledge, of theory and practice nexus and of student teacher development. Within this context, the research offers new insight, picking up where previous studies have left off, by charting over a period of time what happens to students’ initial preconceptions about theory and practice and investigating whether, how and why these change in the course of the subsequent journey to first employment. This is a longitudinal case study: five participants, representing a diverse range of profiles from a 2011-12 cohort, form the case group and data were collected before the course, through various stages of the programme and into first teaching posts through interviews, focus groups and documentary analysis. To contextualise the central case study, survey data from the wider Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) cohort were also gathered. The research finds these students to be far from naïve as they entered training but identified important shifts in the understanding and role of theory during the PGCE experience. Openness to theoretical perspectives is evident and far from being diminished by practical experience, this comes to assume a more prominent place as the course progresses. By exploring this journey, which culminates in a profile of the thinking of a newly qualified professional in the workplace, a contribution is made to current understanding of the development of knowledge for teaching that may help to inform future programme design. More specifically, the role of the university is reconsidered and suggestions are made for ways of working with students at the various stages of the process.
    • The evaluation of a cognitive behavioural treatment protocol on perfectionism & low self-esteem amongst clients with mood and anxiety disorders : an interpretative phenomenological approach

      Townend, Michael; Brannigan, Chris; Pantelidi, Irene C. (University of DerbyUniversity of Derby, 2015-01-16)
      Perfectionism can be constructed as a trans diagnostic concept that co exists and probably contributes to the onset development and maintenance of a number of Axis 1 disorders. There is also a significant relationship between perfectionism and low self- esteem. There is considerable theoretical debate in the literature concerning whether perfectionism is uni or multi-dimensional with most therapies being based upon uni dimensional conceptualisations and thus overlooking interpersonal factors. This is also reflected in the relative absence of qualitative studies that explore perfectionism from a lived experience perspective. Aims: This study aims to explore the experiences of perfectionism and low self-esteem in different life domains. It also aims to evaluate the client’s experiences and efficacy of a proposed treatment protocol that targets perfectionism from a multidimensional perspective. Method: The study is divided into three phases. A Multiple baseline design is used to evaluate the treatment protocol including cognitive and behavioural interventions, compassionate mind training and assertiveness training to target perfectionism and low self-esteem. Two clinical groups experiencing Axis 1 disorders and high perfectionism are divided amongst the different phases of this study, 13 and 8 participants respectively. Mixed methods are administered to analyse the data with greater emphasis on the qualitative ones. Measures administered include the Beck Depression & Anxiety Inventories; the Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale; the Dysfunctional Attitudes Scale; the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale by Frost and the Perfectionistic Self Presentation Scale. 8 semi-structured interviews are analysed utilising Interpretative Phenomenological Approach (IPA). Results: from the analysis of data it is evident that perfectionism is a multidimensional construct with strong interpersonal features that affect several different life domains. The proposed treatment protocol appears significantly effective in reducing perfectionism and Axis 1 disorder symptomatology. Additionally, there is a significant increase in self- esteem. Interventions that appear most helpful are behavioural experiments, assertiveness training, compassionate mind training, continuum and positive logging.
    • Evolved mechanisms in adolescent anxiety and depression symptoms

      Irons, Christopher Paul (University of Derby, 2007)
    • Executive coaching

      Eriksson, Kristina (University of Derby, 2011)
    • An exploration of compassion and eating disorders

      Gale, Corinne (University of Derby, 2012)
    • An exploration of healthcare professionals' attitudes and perceptions towards a local hospital drug formulary and their impact on prescribing practice

      Townend, Michael; Allwood, Mike; Bagga, Sandeep Kumar (University of Derby, 2013-08-28)
      Background: Hospital drug formularies are developed in order to support safe, effective and cost-effective prescribing. Their utilisation is based on the assumption that prescribers and other users will follow guidance outlined within them. The role of formulary users’ attitudes has been largely overlooked in the research literature. The nature and impact of attitudes to formularies on influencing prescribing practice have not been fully investigated. This study seeks to address this issue through a local practice based research project. Objectives: To determine the attitudes and experiences of users and key stakeholders with the utilisation of a new formulary at a local hospital trust. Methodology: Semi-structured interviews were conducted exploring the views of doctors, pharmacists and non-medical prescribers. An online self-completion questionnaire was sent to all key stakeholders. In addition prescribing data was also extracted from the Pharmacy computer system to assess impact of the new formulary. Data collection was thus split into two phases with modifications made to the formulary based on preliminary findings and emerging themes. Results: The local formulary symbolises a ‘critical split’ in the approach to resource management and patient care. Pharmacists are ‘closely bound’ to the formulary, relying on it for retrospective decision-support and ultimately seen to improve pharmacists’ autonomy while prescribers consider it to be over-rationalisation eroding their professional autonomy. Although the quantitative data in this study demonstrates a statistically significant improvement in doctors’ perceptions of using the formulary, the distinct divide between doctors’ and pharmacists’ attitudes towards the formulary remained. Prescribing data extracted showed no significant impact of the formulary on prescribing practice. Conclusion: The study confirms the existence of deeper sociological constructs, particularly concerning autonomy and professionalism. Doctors claim an ability to manage uncertainty during patient consultations while pharmacists claim to be drug ‘experts’. The monopoly on drug knowledge is therefore contested ground. This study concludes that both the formulary and the pharmacy profession need to be more influential, and embrace a more ‘humanised-bureaucracy.’ It is recommended that pharmacists build on a new philosophical union with the formulary and focus on asserting their claim and dominance on the monopoly of drug knowledge.
    • A framework for interpretivist information systems :

      Wilson, Casey McQuinn. (University of Derby, 2000)
    • From incarceration to decarceration :

      Hill, Adrian (University of Derby, 2004)
    • The Guru-Disciple Relationship in Diaspora

      Shridhar, Paras (University of Derby, 2008)
      Gurus claim that they are able to act as mediators to put disciples on the path of spiritual development in diaspora. This study aims to investigate this claim, researching the hypothesis ‘that changing cultural environments in the United Kingdom, compared to those of the Indian sub-continent, requires a different model of the guru-chela (guru-disciple), relationship?’ In effect it seeks to test the differences, based on the stability and sustainability of the relationship in diaspora? This claim was endorsed by psychotherapist, J S Neki (1973), in a meeting in America and was published in The Journal of Ortho-psychiatry Volume 3. It discusses the possibility of the ‘guru-chela (disciple) relations’ acting as a model for ‘therapeutic care for the Hindu patient in diaspora.’ This research aims to examine critically the effectiveness of the guru-disciple relationship in light of changes the gurus have made in the delivery and quality of instructions they provide and the changes in the disciples’ aspirations in the new environment. The study investigates the meeting ground for science-based western psychotherapy and intuition-based spirituality. Both subjects deal with pastoral care components for their respective respondents, but are diametrically opposed in their approaches. The research sample in the study, are taken from Leicester, where the researcher is based, as the area provides a diverse group in the Heart of Hindu England, through which to examine the guru-disciple phenomena in diaspora.