• The Mandala of the present moment.

      Van Gordon, William; Shonin, Edo; Garcia-Campayo, Javier; University of Derby; Nottingham Trent University; Miguel Servet Hospital (Springer, 2017-08-16)
      “Mandala” is a Sanskrit word generally used to refer to a painting, diagram, or architectural structure with a particular symbolic meaning. Mandalas are often artistically beautiful and can be used to depict stages of the spiritual journey, the teachings or realm of a spiritual adept, or even life or the universe more generally. Perhaps the most well-known type of mandala are those comprising colored sand that can take many weeks to construct. In certain meditation traditions, the offering of a sand mandala concludes with the mandala being wiped with a brush to signify impermanence. Although mandalas often have elaborate designs, they can also be very simple. For example, there is an amusing story about the Indian Buddhist saint Naropa who was walking in the desert with his teacher, Tilopa. In his typical spontaneous manner, Tilopa decided to perform an initiation but Naropa had nothing on his person to offer his teacher. Consequently, Naropa proceeded to urinate in the sand in order to create a mandala that he could offer to his teacher. This was acceptable to Tilopa who then continued with the transmission. Some people find mandalas to be useful aids to meditation and spiritual practice. Among other applications, they can help spiritual practitioners work mindfully (i.e., during the creation of the mandala), engage in purification and healing practices, request blessings from spiritual teachers, and remember the transitory nature of life and phenomena. This paper explores how the mandala principle can be used to deepen our relationship with the present moment.
    • Manipulating cardiovascular indices of challenge and threat using resource appraisals.

      Turner, Martin J.; Jones, Marc V.; Sheffield, David; Barker, Jamie B.; Coffee, Peter; Staffordshire University; University of Derby; University of Stirling (Elsevier, 2014-07-15)
      Challenge and threat reflect two distinct psychophysiological approaches to motivated performance situations. Challenge is related to superior performance in a range of tasks compared to threat, thus methods to promote challenge are valuable. In this paper we manipulate challenge and threat cardiovascular reactivity using only resource appraisals, without altering perceived task demands between challenge and threat conditions. Study 1 used a competitive throwing task and Study 2 used a physically demanding climbing task. In both studies challenge task instructions led to challenge cardiovascular reactivity and threat task instructions led to threat cardiovascular reactivity. In Study 1, participants who received challenge instructions performed better than participants who received threat instructions. In Study 2, attendance at the climbing task did not differ across groups. The findings have implications for stress management in terms of focusing on manipulating appraisals of upcoming tasks by promoting self-efficacy and perceived control and focusing on approach goals. Future research could more reliably assess the influence of similar task instructions on performance.
    • Math anxiety, intrusive thoughts and performance: Exploring the relationship between mathematics anxiety and performance: The role of intrusive thoughts

      Hunt, Thomas E.; Clark-Carter, David; Sheffield, David; University of Derby (2014-08-21)
      The current study examined the relationship between math anxiety and arithmetic performance by focusing on intrusive thoughts experienced during problem solving. Participants (N = 122) performed two-digit addition problems on a verification task. Math anxiety significantly predicted response time and error rate. Further, the extent to which intrusive thoughts impeded calculation mediated the relationship between math anxiety and per cent of errors on problems involving a carry operation. Moreover, results indicated that participants experienced a range of intrusive thoughts and these were related to significantly higher levels of math anxiety. The findings lend support to a deficient inhibition account of the math anxiety-to-performance relationship and highlight the importance of considering intrusive thoughts in future work.
    • Matthew Hall and Jeff Hearn, revenge pornography: gender, sexualities and motivations

      Fido, Dean; University of Derby (SAGE Publications, 2019-09-03)
    • The mediating role of shared flow and perceived emotional synchrony on compassion for others in a mindful-dancing program

      Pizarro, José J.; Basabe, Nekane; Amutio, Alberto; Telletxea, Saioa; Harizmendi, Miren; Van Gordon, William; University of Derby; University of the Basque Country, Spain (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2019-08-02)
      While there is a growing understanding of the relationship between mindfulness and compassion, this largely relates to the form of mindfulness employed in first-generation mindfulness-based interventions such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. Consequently, there is limited knowledge of the relationship between mindfulness and compassion in respect of the type of mindfulness employed in second-generation mindfulness-based interventions (SG-MBIs), including those that employ the principle of working harmoniously as a “secular sangha.” Understanding this relationship is important because research indicates that perceived emotional synchrony (PES) and shared flow—that often arise during participation in harmonized group contemplative activities—can enhance outcomes relating to compassion, subjective well-being, and group identity fusion. This pilot study analyzed the effects of participation in a mindful-dancing SG-MBI on compassion and investigated the mediating role of shared flow and PES. A total of 130 participants were enrolled into the study that followed a quasi-experimental design with an intervention and control group. Results confirmed the salutary effect of participating in a collective mindful-dancing program, and demonstrated that shared flow and PES fully meditated the effects of collective mindfulness on the kindness and common humanity dimensions of compassion. Further research is warranted to explore whether collective mindfulness approaches, such as mindful dancing, may be a means of enhancing compassion and subjective well-being outcomes due to the mediating role of PES and shared flow.
    • Meditation awareness training for the treatment of workaholism: A controlled trial

      Van Gordon, William; Shonin, Edo; Dunn, Thomas J.; Garcia-Campayo, Javier; Demarzo, Marcelo; Griffiths, Mark D.; University of Derby; Awake to Wisdom Centre for Meditation and Mindfulness Research; Bishop Grosseteste University; University of Zaragoza; et al. (Akadémiai Kiadó, 2017-04-20)
      Background and aims Workaholism is a form of behavioral addiction that can lead to reduced life and job satisfaction, anxiety, depression, burnout, work–family conflict, and impaired productivity. Given the number of people affected, there is a need for more targeted workaholism treatments. Findings from previous case studies successfully utilizing second-generation mindfulness-based interventions (SG-MBIs) for treating behavioral addiction suggest that SG-MBIs may be suitable for treating workaholism. This study conducted a controlled trial to investigate the effects of an SG-MBI known as meditation awareness training (MAT) on workaholism. Methods Male and female adults suffering from workaholism (n = 73) were allocated to MAT or a waiting-list control group. Assessments were performed at pre-, post-, and 3-month follow-up phases. Results MAT participants demonstrated significant and sustained improvements over control-group participants in workaholism symptomatology, job satisfaction, work engagement, work duration, and psychological distress. Furthermore, compared to the control group, MAT participants demonstrated a significant reduction in hours spent working but without a decline in job performance. Discussion and conclusions MAT may be a suitable intervention for treating workaholism. Further controlled intervention studies investigating the effects of SG-MBIs on workaholism are warranted.
    • Meditation-induced near-death dxperiences: a 3-year longitudinal study.

      Van Gordon, William; Shonin, Edo; Dunn, Thomas J.; Sheffield, David; Garcia-Campayo, Javier; Griffiths, Mark D.; University of Derby; Awake to Wisdom Centre for Meditation and Mindfulness Research; Bishop Grosseteste University; University of Zaragoza; et al. (Springer, 2018-03-12)
      Near-death experiences (NDEs) are life transformational events that are increasingly being subjected to empirical research. However, to date, no study has investigated the phenomenon of a meditation-induced near-death experience (MI-NDE) that is referred to in ancient Buddhist texts. Given that some advanced Buddhist meditators can induce NDEs at a pre-planned point in time, the MI-NDE may make NDEs more empirically accessible and thus advance understanding into the psychology of death-related processes. The present study recruited 12 advanced Buddhist meditators and compared the MI-NDE against two other meditation practices (i.e. that acted as control conditions) in the same participant group. Changes in the content and profundity of the MI-NDE were assessed longitudinally over a 3-year period. Findings demonstrated that compared to the control conditions, the MI-NDE prompted significantly greater pre-post increases in NDE profundity, mystical experiences and non-attachment. Furthermore, participants demonstrated significant increases in NDE profundity across the 3-year study period. Findings from an embedded qualitative analysis (using grounded theory) demonstrated that participants (i) were consciously aware of experiencing NDEs, (ii) retained volitional control over the content and duration of NDEs and (iii) elicited a rich array of non-worldly encounters and spiritual experiences. In addition to providing corroborating evidence in terms of the content of a “regular” (i.e. non-meditation-induced) NDE, novel NDE features identified in the present study indicate that there exist unexplored and/or poorly understood dimensions to NDEs. Furthermore, the study indicates that it would be feasible—including ethically feasible—for future research to recruit advanced meditators in order to assess real-time changes in neurological activity during NDEs.
    • Mental contrasting as a behaviour change technique: a systematic review protocol paper of effects, mediators and moderators on health

      Cross, Ainslea; Sheffield, David; University of Derby (Biomed Central, 2016-11-25)
      Background Mental contrasting is a self-regulation strategy that is required for strong goal commitment. In mental contrasting, individuals firstly imagine a desired future or health goal that contrasted with the reality proceeding the goal state, which after reflection is viewed as an obstacle (Oettingen et al. J Pers Soc Psychol 80:736–753, 2001). Mentally contrasting a positive future with reality enables individuals to translate positive attitudes and high efficacy into strong goal commitment. Methods A systematic review of the literature is proposed to explore the efficacy of mental contrasting as a behaviour change technique (Michie et al., Ann Behav Med 46: 81-95, 2013) for health. The review also aims to identify the effects of mental contrasting on health-related behaviour, as well as identifying mediator and moderator variables. Discussion This will be the first systematic review of mental contrasting as a health behaviour change technique. With sufficient studies, a meta-analysis will be conducted with sensitivity and sub group analyses. If meta-analysis is not appropriate, a narrative synthesis of the reviewed studies will be conducted. Systematic review registration Review protocol registered on PROSPERO reference CRD42016034202.
    • Mental contrasting for health behaviour change: a systematic review and meta-analysis of effects and moderator variables

      Cross, Ainslea; Sheffield, David; University of Derby (Taylor and Francis, 2019-03-29)
      Mental contrasting is a self-regulation imagery strategy that involves imagining a desired future and mentally contrasting it with the present reality, which is assumed to prompt the individual to realise that action is required to achieve the desired future. Research has combined mental contrasting with implementation intentions (MCII) (‘if-then’ plans), which is hypothesised to strengthen the effects. A systematic review was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of mental contrasting for improving health-related behaviours. A meta-analysis (N = 1528) using random effects modelling found a main effect of mental contrasting on health outcomes, adjusted Hedges’ g = 0.28 (SE = .07), 95% CI [0.13–0.43], p < .001 at up to four weeks, and an increased effect at up to three months (k = 5), g = 0.38 (SE = 0.6), CI [0.20–0.55], p < .001. The combination of mental contrasting with implementation intentions (MCII; k = 7) showed a similar effect, g = 0.28, CI [0.14–0.42], p < .001. Mental contrasting shows promise as a brief behaviour change strategy with a significant small to moderate-sized effect on changing health behaviour in the short-term. Analysis on a small subset of studies suggested that the addition of implementation intentions (MCII) did not further strengthen the effects of mental contrasting on health behaviours, although additional studies are needed.
    • Mental health attitudes, self-criticism, compassion and role identity among UK social work students.

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Green, Pauline Catherine; Sheffield, David; University of Derby (Oxford Academic, 2018-08-10)
      Although many social work students suffer from mental health symptoms, the majority of them do not seek help, because of shame. Accordingly, the purposes of this study were to evaluate social work students' attitudes for mental health problems, and explore relationships among shame, mental health symptoms, self-criticism, self-compassion, and role identity. Firstly, 84 UK female undergraduate social work students completed a measure of attitudes toward mental health problems, and were compared with 94 UK female undergraduate students in other subjects. UK female undergraduate social work students had a higher level of negative perception in their community’s attitudes toward mental health problems. Secondly, 87 UK social work students, completed the attitudes, mental health, self-criticism, self-compassion, and role identity measures. Self-criticism, self-compassion, and role identity were significantly related to mental health symptoms, and identified as significant, independent predictors of mental health symptoms. This study confirmed that social work students consider that their community perceives mental health problems negatively, and that their self-criticism, self-compassion, and role identity relate to their poor mental health. The findings may help social work students, educators, and researchers deepen the understanding of their mental health symptoms and identify better solutions.
    • Mental health in the UK police force: A qualitative investigation into the stigma with mental illness

      Edwards, Ann-Marie; Kotera, Yasuhiro; University of Derby (Springer, 2020-01-15)
      Police work is a high-risk profession that can cause mental health conditions. With increasing sickness levels and falling police numbers, it is essential prompt mental health treatment be implemented. The study aims to explore institutional negativity and stigma in the police force toward mental ill health. Semi-structured interviews attended by five police officers with thematic analysis captured i) police culture, ii) the stigma of mental illness, iii) disclosure of mental illness and iv) breaking down barriers. Findings indicate police culture and attitudes to mental health may contribute to the causes of psychological illness, rather than the nature of the job itself. Increased education and awareness surrounding mental health have been shown to be fundamental in how an officer reacts to stress, but change is needed at a managerial level. Future research needs to explore the effects of mental health stigma on ethnicity and gender in the police force.
    • The mental health needs of child and adolescent refugees and asylum seekers entering Europe.

      Sapthiang, s; Shonin, E; Griffiths, M; Van Gordon, William; University of Derby; University of Essex.; Awake to Wisdom Centre for Meditation and Mindfulness Research, Ragusa, Italy; Nottingham Trent University. (2019-02-01)
      Children and adolescents constitute more than half of the global refugee population, and almost one‑third of first‑time asylum seekers in the European Union (EU) during 2015 were under 18 years of age. Syria, in particular, accounts for a substantial proportion of young refugees and asylum seekers because the ongoing civil war has led to almost 5 million Syrians fleeing their country and becoming refugees during the past 7 years. Being a child or adolescent refugee or asylum seeker carries an increased risk of developing mental illness, and such displaced young people are known to experience problems in accessing health‑care support. The present article draws on examples from Syria in order to (i) Highlight mental health issues that typically arise in children and adolescent refugees and asylum seekers entering Europe and (ii) discuss how changes to health systems and policies in European countries receiving refugees and asylum seekers can be better aligned with global efforts to improve the mental health of young displaced immigrants. In general, research findings indicate that there is a need for better awareness, intra‑agency collaboration, and cultural sensitivity toward the mental health needs of this immigrant population. Furthermore, there is also a need for EU countries to better respond to posttraumatic stress disorder and other typical refugee and asylum seeker mental health problems by more closely aligning national policies with global initiatives to improve the mental health of young displaced immigrants.
    • Mental health of Irish students: Self-criticism as a complete mediator in mental health attitudes and caregiver identity

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Maughan, Geraldine; Limerick Institute of Technology; University of Derby (Concurrent Disorders Society, 2020-02)
      Mental health is a concern in the Republic of Ireland, and in particular mental health of higher education students is challenging. Further, their poor mental health may be negatively impacted by their negative mental health attitudes and caregiver identity, which can yield high self-criticism and low self-reassurance. Accordingly, this study aimed to (i) elucidate the relationships among these five constructs, and (ii) assess the impact of self-criticism and self-reassurance in the relationship (a) between mental health attitudes and mental health, and (b) between caregiver identity and mental health. One-hundred twenty-nine Irish undergraduate students completed self-report measures regarding these constructs. Correlation and path analyses were conducted. Overall all variables were related to each other, in particular family-related shame subscales were strongly related to mental health problems. In path analysis, self-criticism completely mediated the relationship between mental health attitudes and mental health, while self-reassurance did not. Likewise, self-criticism also completely mediated the relationship between caregiver identity and mental health, while self-reassurance did not. The findings suggest the importance of self-criticism to their mental health. While current literature highlights the importance of mental health attitudes such as stigma and caregiver identity such as low self-awareness, our results indicated that it was their self-criticism that predicted poor mental health. Their mental health may be more effectively improved by targeting self-criticism. Compassion training, peer-support groups, and reframing were recommended to counter self-criticism. Our findings will help educators and researchers to identify an alternative and effective means to improve mental health in Irish students.
    • Mental health of Malaysian university students: UK comparison, and relationship between negative mental health attitudes, self-compassion, and resilience

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Ting, Su-Hie; Neary, Siobhan; University of Derby (Springer, 2020-05-05)
      Poor mental health of university students is becoming a serious issue in many countries. Malaysia - a leading country for Asia-Pacific education - is one of them. Despite the government’s effort to raise awareness, Malaysian students’ mental health remains challenging, exacerbated by the students’ negative attitudes towards mental health (mental health attitudes). Relatedly, self-compassion and resilience have been reported to improve mental health and mental health attitudes. Malaysian students (n=153) responded to paper- based measures about mental health problems, negative mental health attitudes, self- compassion and resilience. Scores were compared with 105 UK students, who also suffered from poor mental health and negative mental health attitudes, to make a cross-cultural comparison, to contextualise Malaysian students’ mental health status, using t-tests (Aim 1). Correlation, path, and moderation analyses were conducted, to evaluate the relationships among these mental health constructs (Aim 2). Malaysian students scored higher on mental health problems and negative mental health attitudes, and lower on self-compassion and resilience than UK students. Mental health problems were positively associated with negative mental health attitudes, and negatively associated with self-compassion and resilience. While self-compassion mediated the relationship between negative mental health attitudes and mental health problems (high self-compassion weakened the impacts of negative mental health attitudes on mental health problems), resilience did not moderate the same relationship (the level of resilience did not influence the impact of negative mental health attitudes on mental health problems). Self-compassion training was suggested to counter the challenging mental health in Malaysian university students.
    • Mental health of medical workers in Japan during COVID-19: relationships with loneliness, hope and self-compassion

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Ozaki, Akihiko; Miyatake, Hirotomo; Tsunetoshi, Chie; Nishikawa, Yoshitaka; Tanimoto, Tetsuya; University of Derby; Jyoban Hospital of Tokiwa Foundation, Iwaki, Fukushima, Japan; Medical Governance Research Institute, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan; Orange Home Care Clinic, Tawara, Fukui, Japan; et al. (Springer, 2021-02-20)
      The current pandemic of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has negatively impacted medical workers’ mental health in many countries including Japan. Although research identified poor mental health of medical workers in COVID-19, protective factors for their mental health remain to be appraised. Accordingly, this study aimed to investigate relationships between mental health problems, loneliness, hope and self-compassion among Japanese medical workers, and compare with the general population. Online self-report measures regarding those four constructs were completed by 142 medical workers and 138 individuals in the general population. T-tests and multiple regression analysis were performed. Medical workers had higher levels of mental health problems and loneliness, and lower levels of hope and self-compassion than the general population. Loneliness was the strongest predictor of mental health problems in the medical workers. Findings suggest that Japanese medical workplaces may benefit from targeting workplace loneliness to prevent mental health problems among the medical staff.
    • Mental health of therapeutic students: relationships with attitudes, self-criticism, self-compassion, and caregiver identity

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Green, Pauline; Sheffield, David; University of Derby (Taylor & Francis, 2019-12-18)
      As mental health awareness increases, more students enrol to therapeutic subjects, aspiring to help others' mental wellbeing. While mental health of other caring students has been explored, therapeutic students' mental health has not been investigated thoroughly. This study aimed to explore relationships between mental health, mental health attitudes, self-criticism/self-reassurance, self-compassion, and caregiver identity of counselling and occupational therapy students. One hundred forty-five students, recruited through opportunity sampling, completed measures about those constructs. Correlation and regression analyses revealed that their mental health was associated with attitudes, self-criticism/self-reassurance and self-compassion. Self-criticism and internal shame were independent predictors of mental health. Findings will inform the mental health status of therapeutic students and help identify better solutions for their challenging mental health.
    • Mental health of UK hospitality Workers: Shame, self-criticism and self-reassurance

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Adhikari, Prateek; Sheffield, David; University of Derby (Taylor & Francis, 2020-02-05)
      This study aimed to evaluate shame for mental health problems, and explore relationships between shame, self-criticism, self-reassurance, and mental health among UK hospitality workers, because this group of workers suffer from poor mental health yet report strong shame. An opportunity sample of 114 UK hospitality workers completed measures examining shame for mental health problems, self-criticism, self-reassurance, and mental health problems. A high proportion of workers scored over the midpoint in almost all the shame subscales. Shame, self-criticism, self-reassurance, and mental health were related to one another. External shame and self-criticism were positive predictors, and self-reassurance was a negative predictor for mental health problems. While self-criticism moderated the relationship between shame and mental health problems, self-reassurance did not. Online compassion training was recommended as it can reduce self-criticism and shame, can be undertaken without colleagues knowing and tailored to specific work patterns.
    • Mental health of UK university business students: Relationship with shame, motivation and self-compassion

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Conway, Elaine; Van Gordon, William; University of Derby; Centre for Psychological Research, University of Derby, Derby, UK;; Derby Business School, University of Derby, Derby, UK; Centre for Psychological Research, University of Derby, Derby, UK; (2018-09-20)
      There is growing awareness of mental health problems among UK business students, which appears to be exacerbated by students’ attitudes of shame toward mental health. This study recruited 138 UK business students and examined the relationship between mental health and shame, and mental health and potential protective factors such as self-compassion and motivation. A significant correlation between each of the constructs was observed and self-compassion was identified as an explanatory variable for mental health. Shame moderated the relationship between self-compassion and mental health. Integrating self-compassion training into business study programs may help to improve the mental health of this student group.
    • Mental health shame of UK construction workers: Relationship with masculinity, work motivation, and self-compassion.

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Green, Pauline; Sheffield, David; UDOL; University of Derby (Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos de Madrid, 2019-07-05)
      Despite their poor mental health, many UK construction workers do not seek out help, because of shame for mental health problems relating to masculinity. The purposes of this study were to investigate relationships among mental health shame, mental health problems, masculinity, self-compassion, and motivation, and examine whether self-compassion would mediate the relationship between mental health shame and mental health problems. Construction workers (n=155) completed measures for those five constructs. The five constructs were adequately correlated with each other, but masculinity and motivation were not related to shame. Self-compassion partially mediated the relationship between mental health shame and mental health problems. Findings may help construction workers understand the importance of mental health shame with mental health problems, and identify better solutions for poor mental health. Brief online self-compassion training was recommended to reduce shame and enhance self-compassion, and may be accessible for construction workers who work at diverse sites and hours.
    • Mental health shame, self-compassion and sleep in UK nursing students: complete mediation of self-compassion in sleep and mental health

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Cockerill, Vicky; Chircop, James; Forman, Dawn; University of Derby (Wiley, 2020-12-23)
      To explore relationships between mental health problems, mental health shame, self- compassion and average length of sleep in UK nursing students. The increasing mental health problems in nursing students may be related to a strong sense of shame they experience for having a mental health problem. Self-compassion has been identified as a protective factor for mental health and shame in other student populations. Further, studies highlight the importance of sleep relating to mental health. Design: A cross‐sectional design. A convenient sampling of 182 nursing students at a university in the East Midlands completed a paper-based questionnaire regarding these four constructs, from February to April 2019. Correlation, regression and mediation analyses were conducted. Mental health problems were positively related to shame, and negatively related to self- compassion and sleep. Mental health shame positively predicted, and self-compassion negatively predicted mental health problems: sleep was not a significant predictor of mental health problems. Lastly, self-compassion completely mediated the impacts of sleep on mental health problems (negative relationship between mental health problems and sleep was fully explained by self-compassion). The importance of self-compassion was highlighted as it can reduce mental health problems and shame. Self-compassion can protect nursing students from mental distress when they are sleep-deprived. Impact: Nurses and nursing students are required to work irregular hours (e.g., COVID-19), and mental distress can cause serious consequences in clinical practice. Our findings suggest that nurturing self-compassion can protect their mental health, and the negative impacts of sleep deprivation on mental health.