• A fall from grace: an interpretative phenomenological analysis of unemployment in UK university graduates with common mental health issues

      Cockshott, Christopher J.; Kiemle, Gundi; Byrne, Paula; Gabbay, Mark B. (Scientific Research Publishing, 2021-12-31)
      An exploratory investigation into the experiences of unemployed university graduates with common mental health issues (i.e., depression and anxiety) was conducted using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Analysis of semi-structured interviews with 12 graduates in their twenties, all of whom had been unemployed between five and 24 months with common mental health issues, generated themes relating to ‘Loss of Expectation and Disorientation’, ‘Waste, Failure and Blame’, and ‘Stigma and Shame’. Participants had experienced a ‘Fall from Grace’ – a descent from a vaunted position of high-esteem and importance as university graduates, with seemingly bright prospects for a privileged future, into a lowly state of unemployment with mental health issues, leaving them feeling tarnished. These findings are discussed in relation to the literature on graduate unemployment, crisis and stigma, raising some practical issues for universities, including counselling services, and how they can better manage the transition to employment for their graduates.
    • Postdigital Perspectives on the McPolicy of Measuring Excellence

      Hayes, Sarah (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2020-12-19)
    • The value of postdigital humans as objects, or subjects, in McDonaldised Society

      Hayes, Sarah; Maggi, Savin-Baden (Springer, 2021-03-21)
      Postdigital human encounters could be said to take shape differently depending on how they are either subjectively valued, or objectively evaluated. Digital technologies and humans are now intimately intertwined with shared and sometimes equal capabilities to perform human tasks. Yet still it may be argued that different disciplinary identities prevent computing and the humanities from being thought of as equivalent. Over many decades, humans and computers have been objectively evaluated in McDonaldised society, via rational language and measures where computing techniques are simply applied to improve productivity. Since the Covid-19 lockdown people have described more personal and subjective digital encounters from their homes, with their virtual identities growing as their physical presence has diminished. This chapter speculates on whether new postdigital positionalities are emerging that might finally challenge more dominant, rational interpretations of what computing means in individual lives. If so, perhaps a more subjective analysis of these new forms of postdigital participation will bring the humanities into computing, instead of vice versa. This could help to reveal the unique positionality in each individual postdigital human encounter, where subjective self-description may now be seen to be more appropriate than objective rationality.
    • Postdigital-biodigital: an emerging configuration

      Peters, Michael; Jandric, Petar; Hayes, Sarah (Taylor & Francis, 2021-01-15)
      This dialogue (trilogue) is an attempt to critically discuss the technoscientific convergence that is taking place with biodigital technologies in the postdigital condition. In this discussion Sarah Hayes, Petar Jandrić and Michael A. Peters examine the nature of the convergences, their applications for bioeconomic sustainability and associated ecopedagogies. The dialogue paper raises issues of definition and places the technological convergence (‘nano-bio-info-cogno’) - of new systems biology and digital technologies at the nano level - in an evolutionary context to speculate, on the basis of the latest research, future possibilities. The paper also reviews these developments within familiar landscapes of posthumanism and postmodernism, raises the question of political bioeconomy, and the role of postdigital education within it.
    • Biodigital technologies and the bioeconomy: The global new Green Deal?

      Peters, Michael; Jandric, Petar; Hayes, Sarah (Taylor & Francis, 2021-01-11)
    • Biodigital philosophy, technological convergence, and new knowledge ecologies

      Peters, Michael; Jandric, Petar; Hayes, Sarah (Springer, 2021-01-11)
      New technological ability is leading postdigital science, where biology as digital information, and digital information as biology, are now dialectically interconnected. In this article we firstly explore a philosophy of biodigitalism as a new paradigm closely linked to bioinformationalism. Both involve the mutual interaction and integration of information and biology, which leads us into discussion of biodigital convergence. As a unified ecosystem this allows us to resolve problems that isolated disciplinary capabilities cannot, creating new knowledge ecologies within a constellation of technoscience. To illustrate our arrival at this historical flash point via several major epistemological shifts in the post-war period, we venture a tentative typology. The convergence between biology and information reconfigures all levels of theory and practice, and even critical reason itself now requires a biodigital interpretation oriented towards ecosystems and coordinated Earth systems. In this understanding, neither the digital humanities, the biohumanities or the posthumanities sit outside of biodigitalism. Instead, posthumanism is but one form of biodigitalism that mediates the biohumanities and the digital humanities, no longer preoccupied with the tradition of the subject, but with the constellation of forces shaping the future of human ontologies. This heralds a new biopolitics which brings the philosophy of race, class, gender and intelligence, into a compelling dialogue with genomics and information.
    • Implementing a pressure training program to improve decision-making and execution of skill among premier league academy soccer players

      Devonport, Tracey; Kent, Sofie; Lane, Andy; Nicholls, Wendy (Taylor & Francis, 2021-12-31)
      The present study evaluated the effectiveness of an intervention intended to improve academy players’ performance under pressure. Male academy soccer players (n = 82; mean age = 14.12 years, SD = 2.28) completed a baseline pressure task producing performance scores (A) for decision making and skill execution. By completing a pressure task, players received pressure training (PT) (Wood & Wilson, 2012). Players were then randomly allocated to an intervention group (n = 41; receiving PT, three cognitive behavior workshops, and reflective diaries) or comparison group (n = 41; receiving PT only). Sixty-eight players (n = 29; intervention group; n = 39; comparison group) repeated the PT task at a six-week follow up (B), and of these, 26 (n = 15; intervention group; n = 11; PT only) also completed a re-test PT task (A) at 12-week follow up. Due to attrition at follow up, chi-square analysis was conducted across experimental groups A-B only. Analysis indicated intervention players scored significantly higher in their decision-making (p = .028) with a significant main effect of age-group on decision-making (p = .003) and skill execution (p = .005). Four players (highest scoring and lowest scoring player within intervention and comparison groups) from each academy age-group (n = 16) took part in individual interviews to explore intervention effectiveness. Thematic analysis found that some players perceived no benefits of the condition they completed, others perceived benefits to confidence, meta-cognitive skills, and challenge appraisals. Methodological implications for future pressure training interventions are presented.
    • The association between training load indices and injuries in elite soccer players

      Tiernan, Caoimhe; Comyns, Tom; Lyons, Mark; Nevill, Alan M; Warrington, Giles (National Strength and Conditioning Association, 2020-12-04)
      To investigate the association between contact injuries, noncontact injuries, and training load indices, across different lag periods in elite soccer players. Internal load (session rate of perceived exertion) was collected from 15 elite soccer players over 1 season (40-weeks). Acute (7 days), chronic (28 days), acute:chronic workload ratio (ACWR) (uncoupled), exponentially weighted moving averages (EWMA) ACWR, and 2-, 3-, and 4-week cumulative load were calculated on a rolling weekly basis. Multilevel logistic regression was used to analyze the associations between contact, noncontact injuries, and training load indices, across different lag periods (5 and 7 days). A player was at a significantly higher risk of a noncontact injury 5 days later, if week-to-week acute load changes increased (odds ratio [OR] = 1.97). An increase in EWMA ACWR was associated with an increased risk of both a contact (OR = 1.30) and noncontact injury (OR = 1.35), 5 days later. An increase in 2-week cumulative load (OR = 1.77) was associated with an increased risk of a contact injury 7 days later and 3-week cumulative load (OR = 1.55) 5 days later. These findings suggest that to reduce the potential risk of a noncontact injury, training load should be gradually increased, avoiding an increase in week-to-week acute load change (≥9%) or EWMA ACWR (>1.20). Findings indicated that EWMA ACWR may be a more sensitive measure for detecting a player at a higher risk of an injury than ACWR. Furthermore, a high 2- and 3-week cumulative load was associated with an increased risk of a contact injury, which may indicate accumulated fatigue. Practitioners must note that this study investigated associations with injury risk and not injury prediction.
    • The behaviour and wellbeing of children and adults with severe intellectual disability and complex needs: the Be-Well checklist for carers and professionals

      Oliver, Chris; Adams, Dawn; Allen, Debbie; Crawford, Hayley; Heald, Mary; Moss, Jo; Richards, Caroline; Waite, Jane; Welham, Alice; Wilde, Lucy; et al. (Elsevier, 2020-10-13)
      Children and adults with severe intellectual disability and complex needs often show behaviours and distress that carers and professionals find difficult to identify causes for, manage and decrease. The prevailing view is that these behaviours and distress are learned and consequently interventions focus on behavioural techniques. In this article we summarise the findings of research that indicate that behaviour and distress in this population are influenced by transient and stable characteristics or conditions that can interact with aspects of learning, be independent of learning, and interact with each other. These transient and stable characteristics or conditions are: pain and discomfort, sensory sensitivity, anxiety and low mood, sleep problems, atypical emotional regulation, specific cognitive difference, and differences in social behaviour. To aid carers and professionals, we present a checklist of the elements of an assessment process that covers these transient and stable characteristics or conditions and other relevant influences on behaviour and distress such as seizures, medication, learning and communication. We also draw attention to the benefit of identifying the cause of intellectual disability to inform the assessment process.
    • A cross-cultural exploratory study of health behaviours and wellbeing during Covid-19

      Devonport, Tracey; Ruiz, Montse; Chen-Wilson, Jo; Nicholls, Wendy; Cagas, Jon; Fernandez-Montalvo, J; Choi, Y; Robazza, C (Frontiers Media S.A., 2021-03-31)
      This study explored the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on perceived health behaviours; physical activity, sleep, and diet behaviours, alongside associations with wellbeing. Participants were 1140 individuals residing in the UK (n = 230), South Korea (n = 204), Finland (n = 171), Philippines (n = 132), Latin America (n = 124), Spain (n = 112), North America (n = 87), and Italy (n = 80). They completed an online survey reporting possible changes in the targeted behaviours as well as perceived changes in their physical and mental health. Multivariate analyses of covariance variance (MANCOVA) on the final sample (n = 1131) revealed significant mean differences regarding perceived physical and mental health ‘over the last week’, as well as changes in health behaviours during the pandemic by levels of physical activity and country of residence. Follow up analyses indicated that individuals with highest decrease in physical activity reported significantly lower physical and mental health, while those with highest increase in physical activity reported significantly higher increase in sleep and lower weight gain. UK participants reported lowest levels of physical health and highest increase in weight while Latin American participants reported being most affected by emotional problems. Finnish participants reported significantly higher ratings for physical health. The physical activity by country interaction was significant for wellbeing. MANCOVA also revealed significant differences across physical activity levels and four established age categories. Participants in the oldest category reported being significantly least affected by personal and emotional problems; youngest participants reported significantly more sleep. The age by physical activity interaction was significant for eating. Discussed in light of Hobfoll’s (1998) conservation of resources theory, findings endorse the policy of advocating physical activity as a means of generating and maintaining resources combative of stress and protective of health.
    • Maximising the potential of people in sport and life. Lessons from the Benson community project

      Leflay, Kath; Smith, Russel (2020-12-04)
      This paper explores how one particular community sport project in the West Midlands uses a coaching for development approach to maximise the potential of people in sport and in life. It has frequently been suggested that it shouldn’t be a taken for granted assumption that positive development will simply occur, rather, key decisions need to be made about the best way to shape sports projects to maximise the chance that they will result in successful outcomes . This paper examines how one club ‘coaches for development’, and in doing so, supports individual development-one of the outcomes identified by Sport England in their 2016 strategy- Towards an Active Nation. An independent evaluation of Benson Community Project was carried out by the University of Wolverhampton in 2019. Observations of sessions were carried out over a 5 week period. Observations were followed up by semi structured interviews with 6 volunteer coaching staff to capture in depth accounts about the project. Four emergent themes were identified from the observations and interviews. These were safe space, freestyling, relationship strategy and alternative pathways
    • Experiential capital of mature returners to engineering education

      Eason, Martin (Engineering Professors Council, 2020-11-18)
    • Comments on “validation of equations to estimate the peak oxygen uptake in adolescents from 20 metres shuttle run test”

      Nevill, AM; Myers, J; Kaminsky, LA; Arena, R; Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing, University of Wolverhampton, Walsall Campus , Walsall, UK. (Taylor & Francis, 2020-11-25)
    • Different types of physical activity are positively associated with indicators of mental health and psychological wellbeing in rheumatoid arthritis during COVID-19

      Brady, Sophia M; Fenton, Sally AM; Metsios, George S; Bosworth, Ailsa; Duda, Joan L; Kitas, George D; Veldhuijzen van Zanten, Jet JCS (Springer Nature, 2020-11-30)
      Nationwide lockdowns during SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) can compromise mental health and psychological wellbeing and limit opportunities for physical activity (PA), particularly in clinical populations, such as people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), who are considered at risk for COVID-19 complications. This study aimed to investigate associations between PA and sedentary time (ST) with indicators of mental health and wellbeing in RA during COVID-19 lockdown, and examine the moderation effects of self-isolating. 345 RA patients completed an online questionnaire measuring PA (NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study Questionnaire), ST (International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Short Form), pain (McGill Pain Questionnaire and Visual Analogue Scale), fatigue (Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory), depressive and anxious symptoms (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), and vitality (Subjective Vitality Scale) during the United Kingdom COVID-19 lockdown. Associations between PA and ST with mental health and wellbeing were examined using hierarchical multiple linear regressions. Light PA (LPA) was significantly negatively associated with mental fatigue (β = − .11), depressive symptoms (β = − .14), and positively with vitality (β = .13). Walking was negatively related to physical fatigue (β = − .11) and depressive symptoms (β = − .12) and positively with vitality (β = .15). Exercise was negatively associated with physical (β = − .19) and general (β = − .12) fatigue and depressive symptoms (β = − .09). ST was positively associated with physical fatigue (β = .19). Moderation analyses showed that LPA was related to lower mental fatigue and better vitality in people not self-isolating, and walking with lower physical fatigue in people self-isolating. These findings show the importance of encouraging PA for people with RA during a lockdown period for mental health and wellbeing.
    • Mental health and psychological wellbeing in rheumatoid arthritis during COVID-19 - can physical activity help?

      J C S Veldhuijzen van Zanten, Jet; AM Fenton, Sally; Brady, Sophia; Metsios, George S; Duda, Joan L; Kitas, George D (Greek Rheumatology Society & Professional Association of Rheumatologists, 2020-09-21)
      In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries have adopted community containment to manage COVID-19. These measures to reduce human contact, such as social distancing, are deemed necessary to contain the spread of the virus and protect those at increased risk of developing complications following infection with COVID-19. People with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are advised to adhere to even more stringent restrictions compared to the general population, and avoid any social contact with people outside their household. This social isolation combined with the anxiety and stress associated with the pandemic, is likely to particularly have an impact on mental health and psychological wellbeing in people with RA. Increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary behaviour can improve mental health and psychological wellbeing in RA. However, COVID-19 restrictions make it more difficult for people with RA to be physically active and facilitate a more sedentary lifestyle. Therefore, guidance is necessary for people with RA to adopt a healthy lifestyle within the constraints of COVID-19 restrictions to support their mental health and psychological wellbeing during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • The experiences of adults with intellectual disabilities attending a mindfulness-based group intervention

      Croom, Sarah; Chadwick, Darren; Nicholls, Wendy; McGarry, Ali (Wiley, 2021-03-31)
      A growing body of research supports the efficacy of mindfulness-based intervention programmes (MBPs) for people with intellectual disabilities. Existing literature calls for focus on the experiences of people with intellectual disabilities participating in MBPs. This study explored the experiences of nine adults with intellectual disabilities attending an eightweek group MBP delivered within the community. Two audio-recorded group discussions and seven semi-structured interviews were thematically analysed. Themes were: participants’ experience of the group as a meaningful and enjoyable activity; opportunities for socialisation, sharing, friendship and support; the significance of participant-facilitator relationships; and how participants’ understood and experienced the mindfulness exercises and concepts. Some understanding of mindfulness was evident and participants demonstrated an ability to engage in mindfulness exercises. Findings inform the development of effective MBPs for people with intellectual disabilities.
    • Optimierung im englischen Schulsystem: Was Schüler*innen sagen

      Jopling, Michael; Riordan, Sally (Psychosozial-Verlag, 2021-03-01)
      Dieser Beitrag untersucht die Auswirkungen von extremer Optimierung bzw. der Marktideologien des Neoliberalismus im Rahmen der englischen Schulpolitik. Gerade da sie in der Bildungsforschung noch unterrepräsentiert sind, benutzen wir die Meinungen von Schüler*innen, die wir in einem Forschungsprojekt gesammelt haben, um dieses Thema zu analysieren. Das Projekt untersuchte Schulen, die die Unterstützung und Versorgung benachteiligter Schüler*innen zu verbessern und die negativen Auswirkungen der neoliberalen (Optimierungs-)Politik auszugleichen versuchten. Es zeigt sich, dass der Fokus der Optimierung auf Leistung und Standardisierung die Effektivität von Ausgleichsmaßnahmen begrenzt sowie die Möglichkeiten beschränkt, auf die Meinungen der Schüler*innen zu hören oder das Lernen mit ihren Interessen und Kontexten zu verbinden.
    • Prostate Cancer: is it beyond a joke? Using silly things to make serious points

      Matheson, David; Kishor, Vaidya (The Curious Academic Publishing, 2021-05-02)
    • Talk like an expert: the construction of expertise in news comments concerning climate change

      Coen, Sharon; Meredith, Joanne; Woods, Ruth; Fernandez, Ana (SAGE, 2021-12-30)
      This paper explores how readers of UK newspapers construct expertise around climate change (CC). It draws on 300 on-line readers’ comments on news items in The Guardian, Daily Mail and The Telegraph, concerning the release of the IPCC report calling for immediate action on CC. Comments were analysed using discursive psychology. We identified a series of discursive strategies that commenters adopted to present themselves as experts in their commentary. The (mostly indirect) use of category entitlements (implicitly claiming themselves as expert) and the presentation of one’s argument as factual (based on direct or indirect technical knowledge or common sense) emerged as common ways in which readers made claims to expertise, both among the supporters and among the sceptics of CC science. Our findings indicate that expertise is a fluid concept, constructed in diverse ways, with important implications for public engagement with CC science.