• Pathways to sex addiction: Relationships with adverse childhood experience, attachment, narcissism, self-compassion and motivation in a gender-balanced sample

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Rhodes, Christine; UDOL; University of Derby (Taylor & Francis, 2019-06-01)
      Research about sex addiction and its relationships with other constructs remains unexplored. We recruited a gender-balanced sample (53 men, 51 women) who responded to measures of sex addiction, adverse childhood experience, adult attachment, narcissism, self-compassion and motivation. Sex addiction was found to be statistically significantly associated with these constructs. Anxious attachment statistically significantly mediated the relationship between adverse childhood experience and sex addiction and the relationship between narcissism and sex addiction. Self-compassion did not statistically significantly moderate the relationship between anxious attachment and sex addiction. Therapeutic approaches targeting attachment and narcissism such as relation-based or mindfulness-based interventions are recommended.
    • Comparative evaluation of neuro-linguistic programming

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Sweet, Michael; UDOL; Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (Taylor & Francis, 2019-05-24)
      In this paper we aim to highlight the characteristics of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and suggest possible directions for future research and study. The majority of NLP studies argue for more rigorous empirical support and standardised regulatory governance, in order to overcome academic biases and general misunderstandings. However, its popular practice for just under half a century and its global usage, suggest there is grounding for NLP to be accepted into the 'mainstream' of psychology. We compare NLP with more ‘accepted’ approaches (cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness, and coaching), and explore its practice regulations. While its efficiency (thorough analysis and applicability) was identified as its strength, more rigorous research and universal regulations of practice are needed for NLP to move onto the next level of acceptance.
    • Mindfulness for addressing key public health concerns in young people: Preventative applications and safety concerns.

      Sapthiang, S.; Shonin, E.; Griffiths, M.D.; Van Gordon, William; University of Derby; University of Essex; Nottingham Trent University (Schools Health Education Unit, 2019-04-15)
    • Exploring the role of meditation and dispositional mindfulness on social cognition domains: a controlled study.

      Campos, Daniel; Modrego-Alarcón, Marta; López-Del-Hoyo, Yolanda; González-Panzano, Manuel; Van Gordon, William; Shonin, Edo; Navarro-Gil, Mayte; García-Campayo, Javier; University of Derby; Universitat Jaume I; et al. (Frontiers Media, 2019-04-11)
      Research suggests that mindfulness can induce changes in the social domain, such as enhancing emotional connection to others, prosocial behavior, and empathy. However, despite growing interest in mindfulness in social psychology, very little is known about the effects of mindfulness on social cognition. Consequently, the aim of this study was to explore the relationship between mindfulness and social cognition by comparing meditators with non-meditators on several social cognition measures. A total of 60 participants (meditators, n = 30; non-meditators, n = 30) were matched on sex, age, and ethnic group, and then asked to complete the following assessment measures: Mindful Awareness Attention Scale (MAAS), Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire Short Form (FFMQ-SF), Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI), Revised Eyes Test, Hinting Task, Ambiguous Intentions and Hostility Questionnaire (AIHQ), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and Screening for Cognitive Impairment in Psychiatry (SCIP). The results showed that meditators reported higher empathy (except for the personal distress subscale), higher emotional recognition, higher theory of mind (ToM), and lower hostile attributional style/bias. The findings also demonstrated that dispositional mindfulness (both total score assessed with MAAS and mindfulness facets using the FFMQ) was associated with social cognition, although it was not equally correlated with all social cognition outcomes, and correlation patterns differ when analyses were conducted separately for meditators and non-meditators. In addition, results showed potential predictors for each social cognition variable, highlighting non-reactivity to inner experience as a key component of mindfulness in order to explain social cognition performance. In summary, the findings indicated that the meditator sample performed better on certain qualities (i.e., empathy, emotional recognition, ToM, hostile attributional style/bias) in comparison to non-meditators and, furthermore, support the notion that mindfulness is related to social cognition, which may have implications for the design of mindfulness-based approaches for use in clinical and non-clinical settings.
    • Towards another kind of borderlessness: online students with disabilities

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Cockerill, Victoria; Green, Pauline; Hutchinson, Lucy; Shaw, Paula; Bowskill, Nicholas; University of Derby (Taylor & Francis, 2019-04-09)
      Online learning is crucial to success for higher education institutions. Whilst the existing literature predominantly focused on its economic advantages, we focused on its inclusivity. At an online learning unit of a UK university, the number of students with disabilities (SWD) is three times higher than the national average. Having a degree makes significant financial and psychological differences in the lives of SWD. Though recent literature focused on inclusivity of online learning, an appraisal of first-hand experience of SWD studying online is a missing perspective. Accordingly, we aimed to explore their experience, using thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews involving ten SWD. Three themes emerged: (1) having control over studies as an advantage of online learning, (2) personal touch helps SWD’s online learning, and (3) challenges SWD experience with the social element of online learning. Our findings will help to develop the inclusivity of online learning to a new level.
    • Japanese managers’ experiences of neuro-linguistic programming: a qualitative investigation

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Van Gordon, William; UDOL (Emerald, 2019-04-08)
      Though several work-related mental health training initiatives have been implemented in Japan, the effectiveness of such approaches remains unclear. Consequently, some Japanese corporations prefer using interventions such as neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) to improve employee mental health and wellbeing. This language-based development methodology has been the subject of debate in terms of the quality of the underlying empirical evidence. However, a perspective missing from this debate is an evidence-based understanding of the first-hand experiences of employees that have undertaken NLP training. The purpose of this paper is to inform this debate by conducting a rigorous qualitative examination of the experiences of Japanese senior managers who had recently received training in NLP. Semi-structured interviews attended by 11 Japanese NLP master practitioners were analysed using thematic analysis. Four themes emerged from the data set: improving work-related mental health, NLP fosters a better understanding of the mind, NLP helps to reframe perspectives relating to work and mental health, and challenges of NLP training. While managers found NLP training skills such as reframing and neuro-logical levels useful to their managerial practice and mental health more generally, they raised concerns about NLP’s reputation as well as the utility of some of the techniques employed in NLP.
    • Adolescent problem gambling requires community-level health promotion approaches

      Sapthiang, S.; Shonin, E.; Griffiths, M.D.; Van Gordon, William; University of Derby (Taylor and Francis, 2019-04-04)
    • Validation of a scale for assessing social validity in mindfulness-based education programs

      López-González, L.; Herrero-Fernández, D.; Amutio, A.; Santamaría, T.; Van Gordon, William; University of Derby (Springer, 2019-03-30)
      Social validity (SV) is a concept used in intervention research and is concerned with the overall acceptability, relevance, and utility of an intervention to all intervention stakeholders. SV not only takes into account efficacy in respect of the pre-defined study outcomes, but also participants’ perceptions of the intervention as well as the wider social context in which it will be applied. There are a growing number of mindfulness-based educational programs (MBEPs) being empirically evaluated and implemented in educational settings. However, due to a lack of scientifically validated instruments that can assess SV in MBEPs, a systematic evaluation of SV in such programs has not been undertaken to date. The aim of this study was to investigate the psychometric properties of the Social Validity Scale of Mindfulness-Based Programs for Adolescents (Escala de Validez Social de Programas de Mindfulness para Adolescentes—EVSPM-A), composed of 20 items. The sample comprised 512 compulsory secondary education and high school students (mean age = 14.5; SD = 1.57) from three Spanish educational centers that had completed an MBEP known as the TREVA Program. Results The final version of the scale showed good psychometric properties and factor analyses yielded five factors: global impact-satisfaction, acceptance and viability, individual perceived effectiveness, perceived classroom climate; training feasibility, and applicability of techniques. The EVSPM-A appears to be a suitable means of assessing SV in MBEPs delivered to adolescents. Using the EVSPM-A to evaluate SV can help improve the implementation and long-term efficacy of MBEPs.
    • 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.
    • Acceptance and identity change: An interpretative phenomenological analysis of carers’ experiences in myalgic encephalopathy/chronic fatigue syndrome

      Catchpole, Sarah; Garip, Gulcan; University of Derby (Sage, 2019-03-21)
      Myalgic encephalopathy/chronic fatigue syndrome is a debilitating condition and many people rely heavily on family carers. This study explored the caring experiences of seven family carers. Four themes were established: relations with others, role and identity changes, coping with change and uncertainty, and information and support seeking. Caring disrupted multiple areas of carers’ lives, including their identities and relationships. Scepticism from others about myalgic encephalopathy/chronic fatigue syndrome was particularly distressing. Acceptance was important for coping and helped some carers achieve positive growth within spousal relationships. Improving support and advice for carers and acknowledging their caring burden could improve their well-being.
    • Raising the profile of health psychology training, consultancy and practice issues through the new Health Psychology Update sub-section.

      Cross, Ainslea; Sheffield, David; University of Derby (British Psychological Society, 2019-03-20)
      A call for papers that share experiences or learning at any stage of a consultancy project, such as the negotiating, pitching and carrying out needs assessment for consultancy, as well as reflections on the outcomes or implementation of applied health psychology work. We are also looking for ‘works in progress’ describing treatment models, the development of applied practice roles for health psychologists or trainees, as well as self-reflections of the experiences of consultancy and applied practice. Contributions are welcomed to provide vital learning for trainee Health Psychologists (HPs) or established HPs looking to upskill in a different area.
    • Empathy mediates the relationship between nature connectedness and both callous and uncaring traits

      Fido, Dean; Richardson, Miles; University of Derby (Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., 2019-03-07)
      Across the world and time, humans share an innate affinity with nature. In addition to its benefits for mental well-being, the psychological construct of nature connectedness has been associated with several psychopathy-relevant traits including agreeableness, perspective-taking, and empathic concern. This study is the first of its kind to investigate whether nature connectedness is associated with indices of psychopathy, specifically, and whether these associations are further mediated by individual variation in cognitive and affective empathy—traits long considered to be deficient in psychopathy. One hundred and ninety-five participants completed an online survey whereby they were asked to self-report nature connectedness, empathy, and callous, uncaring, and unemotional traits—proxy measures for the affective component of psychopathy in community samples. Nature connectedness was positively associated with cognitive and affective empathy and inversely associated with callous and uncaring, but not unemotional, facets of personality. Furthermore, whereas cognitive empathy mediated the relationship between nature connectedness and both callous and uncaring traits, affective empathy only mediated the relationship between nature connectedness and callous traits. These findings provide evidence that broadens our understanding of the potential benefits of nature connectedness in general, and how subsequently increasing one's nature connectedness and associated ability to take the perspective of another might impact psychopathy, more specifically. As such, this study establishes the groundwork for future investigation and intervention in forensic populations.
    • Prescribing laughter to increase well-being in healthy adults: an exploratory mixed methods feasibility study of the Laughie

      Gonot-Schoupinsky, Freda; Garip, Gulcan; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2019-02-16)
      Calls for a practical laughter prescription have been made by the medical community. This research developed the Laughie and evaluated its impact to elicit laughter and increase well-being in healthy adults. The Laughie is a user-created one minute recording of the user’s laughter, operated by re-playing it while laughing simultaneously. A mixed methods preliminary feasibility study was conducted between March and May 2018. Twenty-one participants aged 25–93 (x = 51, SD = 20) created a Laughie and were instructed to laugh with it three times a day for seven days, documenting each trial. Well-being was measured prior to and post-intervention using the World Health Organization (WHO five-item) well-being index. Interviews were analysed using thematic analysis. Evaluation considered the Feasibility, Reach-out, Acceptability, Maintenance, Efficacy, Implementation and Tailorability (FRAME-IT) of the Laughie. The Laughie elicited laughter for most of the one minute in 89% of 420 Laughie trials; immediate well-being increased in 70% of them. Absolute overall WHO well-being scores increased post-intervention by 16%. Laughie evaluation using FRAME-IT showed the Laughie was feasible, acceptable, and tailorable. Four smart laughter techniques that facilitated maintenance/usage were identified. The Laughie was feasible, enjoyable, and effective as a laughter prescription in eliciting laughter. Fourteen participants reported absolute well-being increases of 10% or more. Ten participants found their laughter self-contagious. Smart laughter (laughing in a smart way for a smart reason on a smartphone) is a convenient way to harness the benefits of laughter. FRAME-IT is proposed as a practical planning and evaluation framework.
    • 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.
    • 'A new normal with chemobrain': Experiences of the impact of chemotherapy-related cognitive deficits in long-term breast cancer survivors

      Cross, Ainslea; Baraniak, Amy; University of Derby (Sage, 2019-01-01)
      Chemobrain is one of the most commonly reported side-effects of cancer treatment. However, there is limited research into its psychosocial concomitants. This study aimed to explore the long-term lived experience of chemobrain. Interpretative phenomenological analysis allowed an in-depth investigation of 12 breast cancer survivors suffering from perceived cognitive deficits at least 1-year post-treatment. Themes were organised around the illness representations framework. Commonly reported cognitive deficits related to memory, language and processing speed, which affected participants' sense of identity and their interactions with others. Individual experiences were mediated by health beliefs regarding controllability, validation and impairment trajectory.
    • Exploring emptiness and its effects on non-attachment, mystical experiences, and psycho-spiritual wellbeing: a quantitative and qualitative study of advanced meditators.

      Van Gordon, William; Shonin, Edo; Dunn, Thomas J.; Sapthiang, Supakyada; Kotera, Yasuhiro; Garcia-Campayo, Javier; Sheffield, David; University of Derby; Bishop Grosseteste University; University of Essex; et al. (Elsevier, 2018-12-28)
      Wisdom-based Buddhist-derived practices (BDPs) are concerned with transmuting suffering by cultivating insight into the ultimate nature of both the self and reality. Arguably the most important wisdom-based BDP is emptiness (Sanskrit: śūnyatā) that implies that although phenomena are perceptible to the human mind, they do not intrinsically exist. Despite its significance in Buddhism, emptiness has received little empirical attention. Advancing scientific understanding of emptiness is important as it may yield novel insights not only into the nature of mind and reality, but also in terms of helping human beings realise more of their capacity for wisdom and wellbeing. This study recruited 25 advanced Buddhist meditators and compared emptiness meditation against a mindfulness meditation control condition within the same group of participants. Qualitative analytical techniques were also employed to investigate meditators’ experiences of emptiness. Compared to the mindfulness control condition, emptiness meditation resulted in significantly greater improvements in non-attachment to self and environment, mystical experiences, compassion, positive affect, and negative affect. No significant relationship was observed between duration of emptiness meditation and any of the aforementioned outcome measures. Qualitative outcomes demonstrated that participants (i) combined concentrative and investigative meditation techniques to induce emptiness, (ii) elicited spiritually meaningful insights both during and following the meditation on emptiness, and (iii) retained volitional control over the content and duration of the emptiness meditation. Cultivating emptiness appears to be a means of reconnecting advanced Buddhist meditators to what they deem to be the innermost nature of their minds and phenomena.
    • Self-criticism and self-reassurance as mediators between mental health attitudes and symptoms: Attitudes towards mental health problems in Japanese workers.

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Gilbert, Paul; Asano, Kenichi; Ishimura, Ikuo; Sheffield, David; University of Derby (Wiley, 2018-12-13)
      Japanese workers suffer high rates of mental health symptoms, recognised recently by the Japanese government, which has enacted workplace well-being initiatives. One reason for poor mental health concerns negative attitudes about mental health problems such as shame, which may be mediated by self-reassurance and self-criticism. This study aimed to evaluate shame-based attitudes towards mental health problems, and explore the relationship between mental health attitudes, self-criticism, self-reassurance and mental health symptoms. Japanese workers (n=131) completed three measures; attitudes towards mental health problems, mental health symptoms, and self-criticism/reassurance. A high proportion of workers reported negative attitudes about mental health problems. There were strong relationships between mental health attitudes, mental health symptoms, self-criticism, and self-reassurance. Path analyses revealed that the total and indirect effects (through self-criticism and self- reassurance) of mental health attitudes on mental health were larger than the direct effect alone. Hated-self and family-reflected shame were identified as predictors for mental health symptoms. The findings suggest the importance of self-criticism and self-reassurance in mental health and mental health attitudes. Implications for help-seeking behaviours are also discussed. Interventions aimed at reducing self-criticism and enhancing self-reassurance are recommended to improve mental health attitudes and increase help-seeking in Japanese workers.
    • Ethical judgement in UK business students: relationship with motivation, self-compassion and mental health.

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Conway, Elaine; Van Gordon, William; University of Derby (Springer, 2018-11-30)
      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.
    • The lived experiences of experienced Vipassana Mahasi meditators: an interpretative phenomenological analysis.

      Ekici, Cimen; Garip, Gulcan; Van Gordon, William; University of Derby (Springer, 2018-11-27)
      Research into the effects and mechanisms of mindfulness training draws predominantly on quantitative research. There is a lack of understanding about the subjective experiences of experienced mindfulness meditators, which may provide additional insights into the effects, processes and context of mindfulness training. This qualitative study explored the lived experiences of a novel group of experienced mindfulness meditators who practise Vipassana Mahasi (VM) meditation. The study aimed to understand how experienced VM practitioners make sense of the effects of practice and what processes they ascribe to it. Participants attended semistructured interviews, and their responses were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Results yielded overarching themes including (a) improvements in hedonic and eudaimonic well-being; (b) insights into self, others and perception of reality; (c) attaining equanimity; and (d) physical and interpersonal difficulties. Participants perceived VM as a ‘cleansing’ process whereby maladaptive responses were eliminated through mindfulness, other supportive mental qualities, decentering and nonattachment. The findings revealed a complex and dynamic set of interdependent outcomes and processes, which are reinforced by Buddhist teachings and ethical practices. This study highlights the need for additional interdisciplinary research into topics such as insight generation and supportive mental qualities cultivated during VM, novel states of well-being informed by Buddhist constructs and interpersonal difficulties related to long-term practice. Findings also suggest that incorporating Buddhist teachings and ethics into mindfulness-based interventions may enhance practitioner understanding and implementation of meditation techniques.
    • The applications of neuro-linguistic programming in organizational settings: A systematic review of psychological outcomes.

      Kotera, Yasuhiro; Sheffield, David; Van Gordon, William; University of Derby; Centre for Psychological Research; University of Derby; Derby UK; Centre for Psychological Research; University of Derby; Derby UK; Centre for Psychological Research; University of Derby; Derby UK (Wiley, 2018-11-15)
      Neuro‐linguistic programming (NLP) is an approach to communication and personal development focusing on how individuals organize their thinking, feelings, and language. While a growing number of academic articles highlight the application of NLP in organizational settings, a systematic review synthesizing and evaluating the quality of this evidence has not been conducted to date. The aim of this article was to follow the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta‐analysis (PRISMA) guidelines and conduct a systematic review of empirical studies evaluating the application of NLP in organizational settings. Targeted outcomes included self‐esteem, trustworthiness, organizational commitment, and occupational stress. Academic research databases used to identify articles included ProQuest, PsycINFO, Science Direct, Google Scholar, and a specific NLP database. The literature search yielded 952 titles from which seven studies met all of the inclusion criteria. Findings indicate that NLP can be effective for improving a wide range of work‐related psychological outcomes including self‐esteem and occupational stress. However, there were concerns regarding methodological rigor. In general, the benefits of NLP were both overpromised and undersupported. Implications for future NLP application and research, with a focus on the relevance to current issues in the field of human resource (HR) development, are discussed.