Recent Submissions

  • A qualitative analysis of psychological processes mediating quality of life impairments in chronic daily headache

    Tenhunen, Katri; Elander, James; University of Derby (SAGE Publications, 2005-05-01)
    Quality of life impairments are greater in chronic daily headache (CDH) than in episodic headache conditions like migraine. This qualitative interview study aimed to identify psychological processes associated with quality of life impairments among individuals meeting diagnostic criteria for CDH. Grounded theory analysis showed that perceived loss of control was the central experience mediating the impact of CDH on quality of life. The results provide explanations for previous quantitative findings about quality of life impairments in CDH and could inform interventions to reduce the impact of CDH. Further research could also examine the roles played by perceived control in the onset and development of CDH, including possible links with pre-emptive analgesic use.
  • An application of judgment analysis to examination marking in psychology

    Elander, James; Hardman, David; University of Derby; London Guildhall University (Wiley, 2002)
    Statistical combinations of specific measures have been shown to be superior to expert judgement in several fields. In this study judgement analysis was applied to examination marking to investigate factors that influenced marks awarded and contributed to differences between first and second markers. Seven markers in psychology rated 551 examination answers on seven 'aspects' for which specific assessment criteria had been developed to support good practice in assessment. The aspects were addressing the question, covering the area, understanding, evaluation, development of argument, structure and organisation, and clarity. Principal components analysis indicated one major factor and no more than two minor factors underlying the seven aspects. Aspect ratings were used to predict overall marks, using multiple regression regression to ‘capture’ the marking policies of individual markers. These varied from marker to marker in terms of the numbers of aspect ratings that made independent contributions to the prediction of overall marks and the extent to which aspect ratings explained the variance in overall marks. The number of independently predictive aspect ratings, and the amount of variance in overall marks explained by aspect ratings, were consistently higher for first markers (question setters) than for second markers. Co-markers’ overall marks were then used as an external criterion to test the extent to which a simple model consisting of the sum of the aspect ratings improved on overall marks in the prediction of co-markers marks. The model significantly increased the variance in co-markers’ marks accounted for, but only for second markers, who had not taught the material and not set the question. Further research is needed to develop the criteria and especially to establish the reliability and validity of specific aspects of assessment. The present results support the view that, for second markers at least, combined measures of specific aspects of examination answers may help to improve the reliability of marking.
  • The green care code: How nature connectedness and simple activities help explain pro‐nature conservation behaviours

    Richardson, Miles; Passmore, Holli‐Anne; barbett, lea; Lumber, Ryan; Thomas, Rory; Hunt, Alex; University of Derby; Insight and Data, National Trust, Swindon, UK (Wiley, 2020-07-08)
    The biodiversity crisis demands greater engagement in pro‐nature conservation behaviours. Research has examined factors which account for general pro‐environmental behaviour; that is, behaviour geared to minimizing one's impact on the environment. Yet, a dearth of research exists examining factors that account for pro‐nature conservation behaviour specifically—behaviour that directly and actively supports conservation of biodiversity. This study is the first of its kind to use a validated scale of pro‐nature conservation behaviour. Using online data from a United Kingdom population survey of 1,298 adults (16+ years), we examined factors (composed of nine variable‐blocks of items) that accounted for pro‐nature conservation behaviour. These were: individual characteristics (demographics, nature connectedness), nature experiences (time spent in nature, engaging with nature through simple activities, indirect engagement with nature), knowledge and attitudes (knowledge/study of nature, valuing and concern for nature) and pro‐environmental behaviour. Together, these explained 70% of the variation in people's actions for nature. Importantly, in a linear regression examining the relative importance of these variables to the prediction of pro‐nature conservation behaviour, time in nature did not emerge as significant. Engaging in simple nature activities (which is related to nature connectedness) emerged as the largest significant contributor to pro‐nature conservation behaviour. Commonality analysis revealed that variables worked together, with nature connectedness and engagement in simple activities being involved in the largest portion of explained variance. Overall, findings from the current study reinforce the critical role that having a close relationship with nature through simple everyday engagement plays in pro‐nature conservation behaviour. Policy recommendations are made.
  • ‘Trying to bring attention to your body when you’re not sure where it is’: An interpretative phenomenological analysis of drivers and barriers to mindfulness for people with spinal cord injury

    Hearn, Jasmine Heath; Finlay, Katherine Anne; Sheffield, David; University of Derby; Manchester Metropolitan University; The University of Buckingham (Wiley, 2020-08-04)
    Work is beginning to explore the impact of mindfulness in managing the physical and psychological health of people with spinal cord injury (SCI). However, no previous work has sought to understand what drives people with such conditions to try mindfulness, and what barriers are experienced in accessing mindfulness. An exploratory, qualitative, interview design, utilizing interpretative phe- nomenological analysis. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 people with SCI who had experience of mindfulness since sustaining their injury. Verbatim transcripts were analysed using IPA to understand the lived experience of mindfulness post-SCI. Analysis suggested that managing physical and mental health, and viewing mindfulness as proactive and protective were key drivers for exploring mindfulness. However, multiple barriers to accessing opportunities and developing capability impeded engagement. These included the focus on areas of the body that participants had reduced sensation in, physical environments that could not be navigated in a wheelchair, social stigma surrounding the use of mindfulness, and a sense of obligation and risk of failure implied by perceived requirements for engagement. The results demonstrate the need for specific interventions to accom- modate the reduced sensory and physical function experienced by people with neurological conditions and to enhance sense of control and autonomy. In addition, recommendations include minimizing the stigma surrounding mindfulness, and the potentially demotivating impact of the perception of ‘failing’ to engage.
  • Parent-child mathematics affect as predictors of children's mathematics achievement

    Sari, Mehmet Hari; Hunt, Thomas; Nevsehir Haci Bektas Veli University; University of Derby (Final International University, 2020-06-30)
    The current study investigated the relationship between children’s and parents’ self-reported maths affect and children’s maths achievement. Participants comprised 186 child-parent dyads in Turkey. Findings showed that maths affect in children and their parents was unrelated. However, maths affect was a significant predictor of children’s maths achievement. Importantly, this varied by grade. In grade three, child maths affect significantly predicted maths achievement, whereas parent maths affect was unrelated to achievement. Conversely, in grade four, the opposite pattern emerged; parent maths affect significantly predicted children’s maths achievement, whereas child maths affect was unrelated to achievement. Furthermore, children’s maths achievement significantly varied according to parents’ level of education, whereby children whose parents were educated to undergraduate level considerably outperformed those whose parents were educated only to primary level. Parents with a lower educational status also reported significantly more difficulty in supporting their child’s maths learning. These findings point towards the importance of parent maths affect, their level of education, and perceived difficulty in supporting children, as predictors of children’s maths achievement. This is only the case in grade four, as maths becomes more challenging and there is a greater emphasis on competitive assessment. As such, the home numeracy environment and family maths tension should be addressed in preparation for children moving into grade four.
  • Clinical utility of assessing changes of personality functioning during substance misuse treatment

    Papamalis, Fivos E; Psychology Department, University of Derby UK, Thessaloniki, Greece (SAGE Publications, 2020-07-03)
    Dimensional models for classifying personality have received extensive empirical support in the treatment of substance misuse. However, we do not currently understand whether and which dimensions of personality functioning are amenable to change. The aim was to examine whether there are clinically significant changes between pre- and during-treatment and assess whether these differ between those completing or dropping out of treatment. From the 200 participants from the outpatient and 340 from the inpatient treatment, a purposeful selection was utilised of 75 cases that participated in both phases and had complete datasets of the assessment battery. A quantitative multi-site individual follow-up design allowed the examination of the potential effects of treatment in personality functioning as well as the degree of clinical significant change of personality functioning. We use Jacob and Truax’s formula of reliable and clinically significant change. Five independent mixed between-within subject analyses of variance were performed. All personality adaptations changed towards higher-functioning levels, except Social Concordance, which remained stable. Compared to those dropping out, completers had significantly more changes towards functional characteristic adaptations and higher clinical improvement. The persistence of maladaptive characteristic adaptations may be an important risk marker for poor treatment outcomes, requiring therapeutic attention.
  • Emotional faces, visuo-spatial working memory and anxiety

    Maratos, Frances A.; Simione, Luca; Raffone, Antonino; University of Derby; Italian National Research Council; “Sapienza” University of Rome (ECronicon, 2020-03-30)
    Recent research has demonstrated competition for limited cognitive resources, via emotional prioritization, occurs not only during attentional capture, but also extends to visuo-spatial working memory (VSWM). However, to what extent VSWM biases are influenced by individual differences such as anxiety has received limited attention. Here, we investigated this using a novel change detection paradigm with memory arrays containing 3, 4 or 5 emotional faces (angry, happy and neutral) and participants (n=41), preselected to be high or low trait anxious. The task of participants was to detect if a probe face, presented in the location of one of the original memory array faces, was the ‘same’ or ‘different’. On ‘no change’ trials results revealed that high anxious participants demonstrated poorer performance for larger set sizes than low anxious participants per se. Additionally, high anxious participants demonstrated a threat bias, whereas low anxious participants trended toward emotion superiority. On ‘change’ trials, change detection altered as a function of expression change; change detection was typically greatest when either the memory or probe face was angry. Results reveal VSWM capacity is modulated by trait anxiety and stimulus threat value, as well as highlight the importance of actively investigating (or controlling for) individual differences.
  • Pellino-1 regulates the responses of the airway to viral infection

    Marsh, Elizabeth K; Prestwich, Elizabeth C; Marriott, Helen M; Williams, Lynne; Hart, Amber R; Muir, Claire F; Parker, Lisa C; Jonker, Marnix R; Heijink, Irene H; Timens, Wim; et al. (Frontiers, 2020)
    Exposure to respiratory pathogens is a leading cause of exacerbations of airway diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Pellino-1 is an E3 ubiquitin ligase known to regulate virally-induced inflammation. We wished to determine the role of Pellino-1 in the host response to respiratory viruses in health and disease. Pellino-1 expression was examined in bronchial sections from patients with GOLD stage 2 COPD and healthy controls. Primary bronchial epithelial cells (PBECs), in which Pellino-1 expression had been knocked down, were extracellularly challenged with the TLR3 agonist poly(I:C). C57BL/6 Peli1-/- mice and wild type littermates were subjected to intranasal infection with clinically-relevant respiratory viruses; rhinovirus (RV1B) and influenza A. We find that Pellino-1 is expressed in the airways of normal subjects and those with COPD, and that Pellino-1 regulates TLR3 signalling and responses to airways viruses. In particular we observed that knockout of Pellino‐1 in the murine lung resulted in increased production of proinflammatory cytokines IL‐6 and TNFα upon viral infection, accompanied by enhanced recruitment of immune cells to the airways, without any change in viral replication. Pellino-1 therefore regulates inflammatory airway responses without altering replication of respiratory viruses.
  • Professional football clubs’ involvement in health promotion in Spain: an audit of current practices

    Lozano-Sufrategui, Lorena; Pringle, Andy; Zwolinsky, Stephen; Drew, Kevin J; Leeds Beckett University (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2019-09-20)
    The implementation of effective community-based health interventions within Spanish football clubs has the potential to positively influence the public health agenda and enable the health care system in Spain to be more successful and sustainable. This paper aims to explore the involvement of Spanish football clubs in health promotion activities, their potential for future involvement and what that would require. A mixed methods explanatory sequential design, with a purposive sample of La Liga clubs. Data collection included online questionnaires and phone interviews. Quantitative methods enabled us to describe the number and types of programmes the clubs are currently involved in. Qualitative data was useful to further unpick the processes followed by the clubs in planning and developing health promotion programmes, while identifying any determinants to change. Seventeen clubs completed questionnaires and 11 participated in interviews. Clubs generally support inclusive programmes that target disadvantaged groups. Health-related programmes focus on healthy eating, physical activity and blood donation. Thematic analysis of interviews with 11 representatives of La Liga clubs resulted in three key themes. These related to: (1) Diversity of programmes; (2) (Lack of) evidence-based approaches to intervention design and evaluation; and (3) Contrasting views about a club’s role in health promotion interventions. Spanish football clubs have potential to reach into communities that are currently underserved. However, there is limited infrastructure and understanding within the clubs to do this. Nevertheless, there is huge opportunity for organisations with public health responsibility in Spain to implement translational approaches within football-based settings.
  • Design programmes to maximise participant engagement: a predictive study of programme and participant characteristics associated with engagement in paediatric weight management

    Nobles, James; Griffiths, Claire; Pringle, Andy; Gately, Paul; Leeds Beckett University (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2016-07-19)
    Approximately 50 % of paediatric weight management (WM) programme attendees do not complete their respective programmes. High attrition rates compromise both programme effectiveness and cost-efficiency. Past research has examined pre-intervention participant characteristics associated with programme (non-)completion, however study samples are often small and not representative of multiple demographics. Moreover, the association between programme characteristics and participant engagement is not well known. This study examined participant and programme characteristics associated with engagement in a large, government funded, paediatric WM programme. Engagement was defined as the family’s level of participation in the WM programme. Secondary data analysis of 2948 participants (Age: 10.44 ± 2.80 years, BMI: 25.99 ± 5.79 kg/m2, Standardised BMI [BMI SDS]: 2.48 ± 0.87 units, White Ethnicity: 70.52 %) was undertaken. Participants attended a MoreLife programme (nationwide WM provider) between 2009 and 2014. Participants were classified into one of five engagement groups: Initiators, Late Dropouts, Low- or High- Sporadic Attenders, or Completers. Five binary multivariable logistic regression models were performed to identify participant (n = 11) and programmatic (n = 6) characteristics associated with an engagement group. Programme completion was classified as ≥70 % attendance. Programme characteristics were stronger predictors of programme engagement than participant characteristics; particularly small group size, winter/autumn delivery periods and earlier programme years (proxy for scalability). Conversely, participant characteristics were weak predictors of programme engagement. Predictors varied between engagement groups (e.g. Completers, Initiators, Sporadic Attenders). 47.1 % of participants completed the MoreLife programme (mean attendance: 59.4 ± 26.7 %, mean BMI SDS change: -0.15 ± 0.22 units), and 21 % of those who signed onto the programme did not attend a session. As WM services scale up, the efficacy and fidelity of programmes may be reduced due to increased demand and lower financial resource. Further, limiting WM programme groups to no more than 20 participants could result in greater engagement. Baseline participant characteristics are poor and inconsistent predictors of programme engagement. Thus, future research should evaluate participant motives, expectations, and barriers to attending a WM programme to enhance our understanding of participant WM engagement. Finally, we suggest that session-by-session attendance is recorded as a minimum requirement to improve reporting transparency and enhance external validity of study findings.
  • “Football is pure enjoyment”: An exploration of the behaviour change processes which facilitate engagement in football for people with mental health problems

    Hargreaves, Jackie; Pringle, Andy; Leeds Beckett University (Elsevier BV, 2019-03-08)
    Physical activity is known to be beneficial for people with mental health problems, although engagement is low. Football, provided by professional football club community trusts could aid engagement in physical activity, however little is known about the behaviour change processes which engage individuals in this type of PA. One factor which is often overlooked is affect and exploring this could help identify the behaviour change processes, which engage individuals in a professional football club-led mental health intervention. The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of individuals attending football provided by a professional club community trust to further our understanding of the behaviour change processes involved in facilitating engagement in this provision. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with twelve men who played football provided by a professional football club trust. A range of mental health problems were reported and the participants were aged between 19 and 46. Template analysis was conducted, implementing some of the concepts from the Affective – Reflective Theory (ART). The results highlighted that both affective and reflective processes of ART were evident in engaging individuals in football. Pleasurable experiences were enabled through the physical and social characteristics of football. Self-control strategies emerged which help to action engagement. The professional football club trust provided coaching knowledge and skills, team organisation and resources and feelings of belonging and responsibility. Application of ART to the understanding of football experiences has provided a novel exploration of the processes involved in engaging individuals in football. This has important implications for intervention design; the focus should be on providing pleasurable experiences and fostering appropriate self-control strategies.
  • Linking physical activity & health evaluation to policy: lessons from UK evaluations

    Pringle, Andy; McKenna, J; Zwolinsky, S; Leeds Beckett University (Routledge, 2017-12-18)
    Evaluation is an important component of contemporary physical activity (PA) interventions. In this chapter, we provide a series of peer-review case studies that we have been involved. We comment on a number of issues and debates on the role of evaluation in PA policy and interventions. The case studies selected originated in local and or national policy. To identify these cases, we applied two key criteria set elsewhere (Pringle, Hargreaves Lozano et al., 2014): (I) Credibility: Cases represent real world illustrations of the place of evaluation in a policy context. (II). Impact: Cases identify their effects. The case studies provide applied, insightful, contextual and practical examples of partnership evaluations in both PA intervention and policy. Emerging from these case studies are a number of lessons for how evaluation is performed. We share this learning so it may shape future evaluation practice in physical activity and public health.
  • ‘It brings the lads together’: a critical exploration of older men’s experiences of a weight management programme delivered through a Healthy Stadia project

    Lozano-Sufrategui, Lorena; Pringle, Andy; Carless, David; McKenna, Jim; Leeds Beckett University (Taylor and Francis, 2016-04-22)
    Older men whose weight is considered unhealthy may experience particular barriers that can restrict their adoption of health improvement interventions. Despite promising findings recommending the use of sports settings to facilitate health promotion with men, little evidence has addressed older men’s health needs for, or experiences of, these settings. Using a qualitative methodology, this study explored the experiences of 14 ageing men attending a football-led weight management programme delivered at a community sports setting. The thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews elucidates important insights regarding the provision of sports-led health improvement interventions for this population. Men especially valued the opportunity to play sports and do physical activity in an environment that promotes ‘inclusive’ competition and caring interpersonal relationships. Implicit in the findings is the key role of practitioners in promoting social engagement. We conclude the paper with key practical implications of this research.
  • “Suddenly you are King Solomon”: Multiplicity, transformation and integration in compassion focused therapy chairwork

    Bell, Tobyn; Montague, Jane; Elander, James; Gilbert, Paul; University of Derby (American Psychological Association (APA), 2020-07-16)
    Chairwork is a psychotherapeutic method that frequently focuses on self-multiplicity and internal relationships. Compassion-focused therapy (CFT) uses chairwork to generate and apply compassion towards threat-based aspects of the self. This study explores self-multiplicity in a CFT chairwork intervention for self-criticism. Twelve participants with depression were interviewed following the intervention and the resultant data were analyzed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Three super-ordinate themes were identified: differentiating selves; mental imagery of selves; and integrating and transforming selves with compassion. The results highlight how the intervention enabled clients to differentiate internal aspects of themselves in a way that was accessible and helpful, increasing self-complexity and introducing the potential to observe and change patterns of self-to-self relating. The process of bringing compassion to self-criticism was shown to integrate both aspects of the critical dialogue, transforming the ‘critic’ by understanding its fears and function. The use of mental imagery was also shown to facilitate clients’ experience of self-multiplicity and to symbolize the kind of changes generated by the exercise. Implications for clinical practice are discussed.
  • Using the theoretical domains framework to improve access to cervical screening for women with intellectual disabilities

    Whitelegg, Victoria; Elander, James; University of Derby (British Psychological Society, 2020-07-03)
    Regular attendance for screening can prevent most cervical cancers, but women with learning disabilities are potentially at greater risk of developing and dying from cervical cancer because current screening processes and practices create inequitable barriers, restricting their access to screening. In response, an objective of Public Health England’s 2018 ‘Screening Inequalities Strategy’ was to reduce inequalities through ‘evidence-based contributions’ to policy and best practice (Public Health England, 2018b). Health psychologists could contribute to this objective by facilitating collaborative work with cervical screening practitioners using the Theoretical Domains Framework. This enables health psychology evidence and theory, combined with the perceptions and experiences of screening practitioners, to identify relevant barriers and enablers to access, and this information can inform interventions and policy changes to make cervical screening programmes more open and effective for women with learning disabilities.
  • Exposure to contact sports results in maintained performance during experimental pain

    Thornton, C; Sheffield, D; Baird, A; Northumbria University; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2020-06-26)
    During pain, motor performance tends to decline. However, athletes who engage in contact sports are able to maintain performance despite the inherent pain that accompanies participation. This may be the result of being challenged rather than threatened by pain; adaptive coping strategies; habituation to pain; or finding pain less bothersome. This study aimed to measure performance of a novel motor task both in pain and not in pain within experienced contact athletes (n = 40), novice contact athletes (n = 40) and non-contact athletes (n = 40). Challenge and threat perceptions were manipulated during the pain condition and measures of pain tolerance, perception, coping styles and bothersomeness were taken. Results indicated that contact athletes, regardless of experience, were able to maintain their performance during painful stimulation. Non-contact athletes, conversely, performed significantly worse during pain stimulation. In addition, contact athletes tended to be more challenged and the non-contact athletes more threatened within the pain condition. Experienced contact athletes demonstrated higher levels of pain tolerance and direct coping, and reported lower levels of pain bothersomeness and intensity than the other groups. The results suggest that even relatively brief exposure to contact sports may be enough to help maintain performance in pain. Being in a challenged state appears to be an important factor during performance in pain. Moreover, pain tolerance, intensity and bothersomeness may differentiate novice and experienced athletes.PerspectiveExposure to voluntary pain and challenge states are associated with adaptive responses to pain. Motor task performance may be maintained in individuals with more experience of sports-related pain.
  • A theory of challenge and threat states in athletes: a revised conceptualization

    Meijen, Carla; Turner, Martin; Jones, Marc V; Sheffield, David; McCarthy, Paul; St Mary’s University, Twickenham, London; Manchester Metropolitan University; University of Derby; Glasgow Caledonian University (Frontiers, 2020-02-06)
    The Theory of Challenge and Threat States in Athletes (TCTSA) provides a psychophysiological framework for how athletes anticipate motivated performance situations. The purpose of this review is to discuss how research has addressed the 15 predictions made by the TCTSA, to evaluate the mechanisms underpinning the TCTSA in light of the research that has emerged in the last ten years, and to inform a revised TCTSA (TCTSA-R). There was support for many of the 15 predictions in the TCTSA, with two main areas for reflection identified; to understand the physiology of challenge and to re-evaluate the concept of resource appraisals. This re-evaluation informs the TCTSA-R which elucidates the physiological changes, predispositions, and cognitive appraisals that mark challenge and threat states. First, the relative strength of the sympathetic nervous system response is outlined as a determinant of challenge and threat patterns of reactivity and we suggest that oxytocin and neuropeptide Y are also key indicators of an adaptive approach to motivated performance situations and can facilitate a challenge state. Second, although predispositions were acknowledged within the TCTSA, how these may influence challenge and threat states was not specified. In the TCTSA-R it is proposed that one’s propensity to appraise stressors as a challenge that most strongly dictates acute cognitive appraisals. Third, in the TCTSA-R a more parsimonious integration of Lazarusian ideas of cognitive appraisal and challenge and threat is proposed. Given that an athlete can make both challenge and threat primary appraisals and can have both high or low resources compared to perceived demands, a 2x2 bifurcation theory of challenge and threat is proposed. This reflects polychotomy of four parts; high challenge, low challenge, low threat, and high threat. For example, in low threat, an athlete can evince a threat state but still perform well so long as they perceive high resources. Consequently, we propose suggestions for research concerning measurement tools and a reconsideration of resources to include social support. Finally, applied recommendations are made based on adjusting demands and enhancing resources.
  • Does a natural environment enhance the effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)? Examining the mental health and wellbeing, and nature connectedness benefits

    Jorgensen, Anna; Sheffield, David; Choe, Eun Yeong; University of Sheffield; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2020-06-24)
    This study investigated whether the impacts of a commonly used wellbeing intervention, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), are enhanced when combined with the benefits of exposure to a natural environment. Participants (n = 99) were randomly assigned to a weekly one-hour MBSR in one of three different environments (i.e. natural outdoor, built outdoor and indoor environments) over a six-week period. Participants’ wellbeing outcomes and nature connectedness were measured at baseline, during the intervention and at one-week and one-month follow up. The results show that the mental health and wellbeing outcomes of MBSR are greater when it carried out in a natural outdoor environment compared with indoor or built environments. Moreover, participants in the natural outdoor environment showed sustained improvements even after one month from completion of the intervention. This study supports the potential value of natural environments as settings for the enhancement of health care delivery and therapeutic interventions.
  • Simulated natural environments bolster the effectiveness of a mindfulness programme: A comparison with a relaxation-based intervention

    Choe, Eun Yeong; Jorgensen, Anna; Sheffield, David; University of Sheffield; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2019-12-14)
    This study assesses the effectiveness of incorporating the beneficial effects of exposure to nature in a 3-week mindfulness programme. Participants (n = 122) were randomly assigned to one of two intervention groups (mindfulness, relaxation group) under different simulated environmental conditions (two natural, two non-natural environments) during an intervention lasting three weeks. The participants in the mindfulness group were asked to attend a weekly 1-h mindfulness programme. The relaxation group also spent 1 h per week on relaxation activities of their choice (e.g. reading books or magazines). Participants’ wellbeing outcomes and nature connectedness were measured before and after the three-week intervention, and at one-week follow-up. The findings show that the mindfulness programme was more effective when carried out in a natural environment. In addition, the mindfulness group in natural environments continued to improve even after the intervention was completed. This study offers valuable insights into the benefits of combining a wellbeing intervention with exposure to nature.
  • Measuring actions for nature—development and validation of a pro-nature conservation behaviour scale

    Barbett, Lea; Stupple, Edward; Sweet, Michael; Schofield, Malcolm; Richardson, Miles; University of Derby (MDPI, 2020-06-15)
    Scientists have classed the ongoing decline in biodiversity—caused by humans—as a mass extinction. To mitigate the consequences of this extinction, immediate action is of the utmost importance. However, effective ways of promoting pro-nature conservation behaviours to preserve and enhance biodiversity require better understanding and measurement. Thus, a reliable and valid measurement tool is needed. While there are measurement tools for general pro-environmental behaviours, as of yet, no measure of behaviours that specifically promote biodiversity exists. Here, we present such a tool: the Pro-Nature Conservation Behaviour Scale (ProCoBS), a psychometrically validated questionnaire scale measuring active behaviours that specifically support the conservation of biodiversity. An item pool developed through consultation with wildlife and biodiversity experts was subjected to psychometric scale development analyses. Data from 300 participants were used to develop the 18-item ProCoBS long form, as well as an 8-item short form. A latent variable model with four factors (Individual Engagement, Social Engagement, Planting, and Wildlife) was identified. In a second study, a subset of 250 of the original participants answered the questionnaire again, in addition to related psychological constructs. The data were used to assess test–retest reliability and construct validity. Results showed that the scale and its short form were reliable (full scale: α = 0.893, short form: α = 0.825) and valid. In a third study, a representative sample of 1298 adults in the UK completed the short form. Confirmatory Factor Analysis demonstrated a good fit for all factors, indicating that the ProCoBS is a psychometrically robust measure. The ProCoBS provides the definitive, much needed tool for measuring conservation behaviours. This will enhance research and impact practical work in the conservation domain for a sustainable future. A cross-cultural examination of the scale is still needed. View Full-Text

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