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(Wolverhampton Intellectual Repository and E-Theses)
WIRE is an open access repository for the research publications and other outputs from postgraduate students and staff at the University of Wolverhampton.
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Balance performance of undergraduate dancers: an evaluation of current and novel approaches in balance testing and training in theatrical danceBalance skills are considered essential for dancers as they are required to perform complex, virtuoso movements. However, there is a dearth of evidence on the appropriateness of existing balance tests and training protocols for dancers. The aims of this thesis were to: (a) test sequentially the assumptions of associations between different field balance tests and between dancers’ balance ability and their dance performance, followed by an examination of the relevance of sports functional balance tests on dancers and, building on the first aim, (b) develop a reliable, dance-specific balance scoring tool and testing protocol examining the effects of balance training in a randomised controlled trial. Study 1 assessed associations between five field balance tests: Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT), the modified Romberg test, the Airplane test, the BioSway Balance System (Biodex, USA) and a dance-specific pirouette test. Results showed strongest relationships between some (SEBT) reach directions (p<0.01), but very weak to moderate relationships between some balance tests including some SEBT directions, Romberg, Airplane, Biosway, and pirouette (p<0.01 and p<0.05). Study 2 assessed associations between balance ability and dance performance comparing the five field tests from Study 1 to the same participants’ technique and repertoire performance scores in ballet, contemporary, and jazz genres. Results showed a low predictive association of balance ability on dance performance (p<0.01 and p<0.05). The first two studies demonstrated low predictive association between field tests and between balance ability and dance performance, suggesting limitations in the sensitivity of the tests for the dance population. Thus, studies 3 and 4 used a more functional tool to assess its sensitivity towards balance ability of the undergraduate population. Study 3 examined the effects of potential bilateral differences on dynamic postural stability during single-leg landing using a time to stabilisation protocol. Asymmetric training has been suggested in the literature but results showed that bilateral differences did not correlate with dancers’ balance ability; no significant differences were found in dynamic postural stability between the right and left leg and poor effect size was noted. Next, Study 4 examined the effects of fatigue using the same time to stabilisation protocol as Study 3. Fatigue has been associated with injury levels in dancers and balance ability in pre-professional dancers. Results showed that a fatigue condition (Dance Aerobic Fitness Test) had no significant effect on dancers’ postural stability or bilateral differences. Similar to the earlier studies, the functional test protocols in these two studies were limited to basic movements for dancers and lacked the sensitivity to measure variable postural control adaptations. Building on the findings of the first four studies, Study 5 developed a novel Accumulation Balance Score designed to gather data on postural stability and control in a variety of dance-specific settings. Results showed excellent interrater (ICC=0.963) and intrarater (0.992) reliability. Study 6 examined the effects of balance training on postural stability in a randomised trial. To capture postural control data, the Accumulation Balance Score was applied to the data. Results showed effects of training on some balance tasks: time (p=0.048), distance (p=0.004), and in various balances: arms (p=.014), legs (p=.016 and p=.001 and p=.042), and spine (p=.041 and p=.018). Post hoc tests revealed mixed findings between groups. Collectively, the results in this thesis revealed that current balance testing and training may not be functionally relevant for dancers with expertise in organising and patterning balance strategies. In contrast, aspects of novel dance-specific balance training may challenge dancers’ entrained responses, and the reliable Accumulation Balance Score can be applied to more novel approaches and protocols in assessing balance, more closely replicating embodied dance experience with ecological validity. For the first time, postural stability and postural control can be measured together in a balance assessment.
An examination of the emotional impact of the insertion of documentary footage into trauma cinemaThis thesis proposes that trauma cinema fiction films based on true dramatic events stand to gain much from utilising specific nonfiction material in their staged narratives and, furthermore, enhance emotional affect for the spectator. It deploys David Bordwell’s and Kristin Thompson’s (2017) formalist film theory to textually analyse a range of films, while also considering the dialogue between journalistic approaches and contemporary critical reviews of the films examined. The aim of this study is to show that there are similarities between certain films in the embedding and utilisation of documentary footage within the narratives of these films and that the footage has the ability to invite an emotional response in audiences, depending on certain personal factors and conditions. In general, previous work in Film Studies links actuality in feature films to greater emotional affect but does so epidermically. In other words, it fails to examine how footage which is real and not staged affects the emotional dynamics of the narratives in which it is inserted. The focus of this study is specifically on the 9/11 sub-genre where, arguably, the utilisation of actuality material in these films is a useful technique for encouraging an emotional response. Three films belonging to the 9/11 sub-genre of trauma cinema are examined in this work where there are certain commonalities of theme and style. These are World Trade Center (Stone, 2006), United 93 (Greengrass, 2006) and Zero Dark Thirty (Bigelow, 2012). There is also an emergent pattern in the way that actuality footage is deployed within the three films’ narratives, namely through props such as television sets, which appears to influence how the associated nonfiction content is relayed. Arguably, this delivery of the footage is more easily assimilated by audiences familiar with this initial mode of communication of the events of 9/11. Theoretically, the results produced mean that filmmakers can utilise documentary inserts in the same effective way as other emotion-eliciting cinematic devices, such as close-ups, cut zoom ins, and poignant non-diegetic music, to augment the narrative engagement of the spectator and to enhance the experience. In summary, this thesis contributes to knowledge in that it identifies possible usage of documentary inserts in the narratives of feature films not previously considered and suggests ways in which the emotional potential of these inserts can be exposed therein. It therefore provides a new way to think about calibrating the emotional barometer of these films through heightening the realism of their storylines by making use of documentary inserts
The lived experiences of counselling psychologists working with black, asian and minority ethnic survivors of domestic violence and abuse: An interpretative phenomenological analysis studyRationale: Research has shown that therapists face difficulties when providing therapy to BAME survivors of DVA. Due to the complexities of this client group, it appears that specialist skills are required for therapists to utilise in therapy. Previous research has highlighted these challenges concerned with the therapists’ personal and professional issues. However, there has been relatively minimal research on exploring Counselling Psychologists’ experiences of working with BAME survivors of DVA. It is apparent that it would be useful to explore how Counselling Psychologists feel and the impact it may have on their personal and professional lives. Method: A qualitative approach was adopted to explore the Counselling Psychologists’ lived experiences of working with BAME survivors of DVA. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with five Counselling Psychologists who had worked with BAME survivors of DVA. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was utilised to analyse the data. Findings: There were five major themes that emerged from the interviews. These were: (i) understanding the needs of a Counselling Psychologist, (ii) the complexity of working with BAME survivors of DVA, (iii) the psychological impact on a Counselling Psychologist, (iv) the need for containment as a Counselling Psychologist and (v) the identity of a Counselling Psychologist. Conclusion: These themes highlighted the personal and professional impact this has on Counselling Psychologists and the multifaceted challenges that occur when working with BAME survivors of DVA. The different aspects of culture, core beliefs, pressures of family and wider community and identity can intertwine and impact the Counselling Psychologist and ultimately the therapeutic alliance. The psychological impact on the participants appeared to be prominent through experiencing vicarious trauma, fear for clients’ safety and frustration. Participants reported how difficult it was for them to manage and understand the clients’ perspectives, therefore suggestions were made for further specialist cultural training, clinical and peer supervision, alongside self-care.
The role of mating-relevant factors in the perpetration of digital dating abusePrevious research has explored offline intimate partner violence from an evolutionary perspective, primarily focusing on the role of individual differences inperpetration and victimisation. However, a current form of intimate partner violence is digital dating abuse, which involves abuse towards a romantic partner, occuring online through the use of electronic communication technology. This form of abuse differs from offline abuse, in that physical proximity is not required. Although research has focused on the effects digital dating abuse has on victims, little research has focused on the perpetration of digital dating abuse. This is important, as research focused on perpetration can inform a wide range of initiatives geared towards understanding the factors which drive this behaviour. Recent research has focused on evolutionary mating-relevant factors that drive the perpetration of digital dating abuse. Here, we extended and replicated previous work by reporting two studies (study 1, n = 114; study 2, n = 162) which explored the roles of mate value discrepancy, intrasexual competition, and relationship-contingent self-esteem in the perpetration of digital dating abuse. We found that mate value discrepancy (study 1 and 2) and intrasexual competition (study 2) positively predicted the perpetration of digital dating abuse. To our knowledge, this paper is the first to provide support that those who report high intrasexual competition, engage in greater levels of digital dating abuse, thus furthering theoretical advancements in this field by showing digital dating abuse is a mate retention tactic. Our findings further our understanding of online behaviour in romantic relationships through an evolutionary psychological lens.
Future directions and requirements for tissue engineering biomaterialsA wide array of biomaterials are being developed to be used as tissue engineering scaffolds, including metals, ceramics, polymers, and composites. For all biomaterials, the challenge remains to achieve functionality to mimic the biomechanical environment, induce bioactivity, and support critical size tissue reintegration. This calls for a functional evolution in biomaterials to be used as tissue engineering constructs for partial and full tissue reconstruction. When characterizing biomaterials for tissue engineering, the relevant extensions include engineered surfaces, micro-patterns, and porous architectures along with, bioactive, bioresorbable, and infection resistant properties. Accordingly, functional biomaterials will drive the next generation of tissue engineering constructs. This paper, therefore, explores the major concepts, future direction, and recent signs of progress in the field of tissue engineering biomaterials. Traditional materials are not discounted entirely as bioinert materials are still relevant and emerging research offers new functionalities for them to support drug, gene, and cell tissue engineering. Therefore, an attempt is also made to explain how the requirements of biomaterials are changing to facilitate, sustain, control, and proliferate engineered tissue. The article begins with a brief introduction to the evolution of biomaterials followed by a commentary on their functional requirements when applied to tissue engineering. This is followed by an exploratory evaluation of key tissue engineering constructs and their qualifiers while systematically identifying their future direction and potential.