• ‘This is about an ordinary average life with all its ups and downs’: Continuity and change in the life and family experiences of fifty English working-class individuals between the years 1900 and 1945

      Ugolini, Laura; Ball, Rebecca Mary (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-01)
      This thesis is a study of the everyday lives of fifty working-class individuals in the first half of the twentieth century. These twenty-six women and twenty-four men were all born between 1899 and 1915 in England and self-identified as working class. These individuals were not politicians, influential historical figures or famous household names – such life histories have been recounted on many occasions – rather these are ‘ordinary average’ people, whose unpublished autobiographies this thesis draws upon to offer an insight into the everyday struggles, sacrifices and triumphs that the working class experienced between the years 1900 and 1945. By taking a microhistorical approach and focusing on this sample of fifty life stories, this thesis sheds light on wartime life, the impact of social change and the continued importance of working-class family values during the first half of the twentieth century. It uses these autobiographies to question the assumption that living through a period that witnessed two world wars would automatically equate to a life that was completely overshadowed by them. It also challenges the often accepted idea that wider social changes such as educational reform, the opening up of new employment opportunities and the fertility decline would have necessarily affected each working-class individual, suggesting instead that whilst change in these areas had certainly occurred by the end of the twentieth century, it was often too late to affect the lives of these autobiographers. Instead, the autobiographies suggest that the working-class lives were shaped by other issues of significance, most notably domesticity and the family life cycle. The thesis’ chapters focus on the five topics that the autobiographers most frequently discussed: death, absence, family relationships, consumption (with a particular focus on leisure, food and housing), and education and employment opportunities. The reminiscences on these topics revealed much that confirmed existing academic insights into working-class life between the years 1900 and 1945, including the importance of domestic ideals to working-class family life and the continued popularity of marriage as an institution Yet, importantly, as this thesis argues, they also revealed a variety of differing, although equally relevant and noteworthy experiences that have thus far been overlooked. These include a distinct lack of war-related deaths or war-related absences of immediate family members despite living through two conflicts, the subtle shift towards a companionate style of marriage and the significance of expectations of the working-class family life cycle in responses to instances of death or absence.
    • An examination of the emotional impact of the insertion of documentary footage into trauma cinema

      Badsey, Stephen; Pheasant-Kelly, Frances; Hockenhull, Stella; Yiassemides, Spyros C. (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-01)
      This 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
    • Five go to academia: narratives of becoming

      Devlin, Linda; Harris, Stephen (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-09-23)
      This autoethnographic inquiry aims to capture the complexity within the storied life history accounts of five academics, including my own, regarding the experiences they believe shaped the becoming of their workplace self. The individual stories are narrated, and then discussed collectively to encourage dialogue and deepen understanding. This inquiry is set against the context of previous research that focusses on the impact neoliberal policy and practice places upon the academic (Shore & Wright 2000; Morley, 2004; Harris, 2005; Billot, 2010; Floyd & Dimmock, 2011; Fanghanel, 2012). However, as a postmodern study, recognising ‘self’ as a transposable, contested and fluid entity it casts a wider lens to support this inquiry’s aim, and its two subordinate research outcomes. The first outcome is to inform my own academic and management practice by drawing on Bourdieu’s (1992; 1996) notion of capital and habitus. The second outcome is to develop and then test two multi-disciplinary conceptual frameworks that can be used, amended, or indeed discarded by self and identity researchers when meaning-making qualitative findings (Rainbow & Rose, 1994). The first of these frameworks draws mainly on the three broad categories of differing selves identified by Trede (2012), while the second returns to Bourdieu to consider his notion of ‘world hypothesis’, one that rejects dualisms (Bourdieu & Wacquant, 1992, p.11). The methodological strategy I use is informed primarily by both the five key features of analytic autoethnography (Anderson, 2006, pp.379-386) and Frank’s (2010, pp.105-110) six acts of dialogical narrative analysis preparation. I use four research questions to individually examine each storied transcript from different epistemic angles. The four questions, two aligned to each research outcome, seek out the socio-cultural power constructs that influence a participant’s temporal, synchronic and agentic understanding of the becoming of their academic self (Bamberg, 2011). Findings of the influences that shape academic self include, but are not limited to, parental expectations, life-history influences, immigration, race, gender, workplace experience outside of the university, as well as the impact of neoliberalism. These then inform recommendations that centre on the development of my own academic practice, as well as wider scholarly, and institutional ones.
    • Leadership for implementing knowledge management strategies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

      Renukappa, Suresh; Al Nabt, Saeed (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-09-17)
      The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) government aims to improve the current public service delivery and to achieve the Saudi’s Vision 2030, the KSA needs to extend on knowledge management (KM) strategies and programmes. However, the key to successfully embracing these changes and guide them to transform into twenty-first century public sector organisations would require visionary, innovative, creative, and dynamic form of leadership. Although featuring strongly in the popular media, trade, professional, and academic journals, the very concept of ‘leadership’ in the context of KM is elusive for the KSA public sector organisations. Therefore, the aim of this research is to investigate the roles of leadership for implementing KM strategies in the KSA public sector organisations. Given the new and unexplored nature of the research problem, a qualitative research methodology was adopted. In total, 42 semi-structured interviews were conducted to collect data, which was then analysed using content analysis along with Interpretive Structural Modelling (ISM) for inference and conclusion. As revealed in the study, the critical success factors (CSFs) for effective implementation of KM strategies are broad, but nine key CSFs stand out. The association between the identified factors is established by employing an interpretive structural modelling (ISM) methodology that is based on multi-criteria decision making approach. The research result indicated that ‘leadership’ and ‘organisational culture’ are the most significant critical success factors having highest driving power. These factors are deemed to be most-effective for adopting KM strategies in the KSA public sector organisations. It is evident from this study that there are many misconceptions of what leadership meant to them and their organisations in a KM context. Ten key roles leadership plays in implementing KM related change initiatives. The main motivations for invest in leadership skills development programmes are to facilitate the growth of the department and retain staff. The key barriers for delivering knowledge leadership skills training programmes are time, cost, and culture. It is suggests that a more robust leadership training evaluation process would be desirable. A leadership skills awareness training tool was developed and validated. The research concludes that the leadership plays a key role in implementing KM strategies in the KSA. In order to meet the Saudi Vision 2030, KSA public sector organisations must show leadership. It is suggests that public sector wide awareness raising programmes on the concept of leadership needs to be implemented. Also, there is a need to re-assess the leadership skills required by the KSA public sector organisations. The existing education and training programmes in the KSA need some reorientation.
    • A multiple optical tracking based approach for enhancing hand-based interaction in virtual reality simulations

      Hartley, Thomas; Worrallo, Adam Grant (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-09)
      Research exploring natural virtual reality interaction has seen significant success in optical tracker-based approaches, enabling users to freely interact using their hands. Optical based trackers can provide users with real-time, high-fidelity virtual hand representations for natural interaction and an immersive experience. However, work in this area has identified four issues: occlusion, field-of-view, stability and accuracy. To overcome the four key issues, researchers have investigated approaches such as using multiple sensors. Research has shown multi-sensor-based approaches to be effective in improving recognition accuracy. However, such approaches typically use statically positioned sensors, which introduce body occlusion issues that make tracking hands challenging. Machine learning approaches have also been explored to improve gesture recognition. However, such approaches typically require a pre-set gesture vocabulary limiting user actions with larger vocabularies hindering real-time performance. This thesis presents an optical hand-based interaction system that comprises two Leap Motion sensors mounted onto a VR headset at different orientations. Novel approaches to the aggregation and validation of sensor data are presented. A machine learning sub-system is developed to validate hand data received by the sensors. Occlusion detection, stability detection, inferred hands and a hand interpolation sub-system are also developed to ensure that valid hand representations are always shown to the user. In addition, a mesh conformation sub-system ensures 3D objects are appropriately held in a user’s virtual hand. The presented system addresses the four key issues of optical sessions to provide a smooth and consistent user experience. The MOT system is evaluated against traditional interaction approaches; gloves, motion controllers and a single front-facing sensor configuration. The comparative sensor evaluation analysed the validity and availability of tracking data, along with each sensors effect on the MOT system. The results show the MOT provides a more stable experience than the front-facing configuration and produces significantly more valid tracking data. The results also demonstrated the effectiveness of a 45-degree sensor configuration in comparison to a front-facing. Furthermore, the results demonstrated the effectiveness of the MOT systems solutions at handling the four key issues with optical trackers.
    • Prescriber use of Medicines Information Service advice in their decision-making and patient care: an exploratory qualitative study

      Paniagua, Hilary; Rutter, Jill (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-09)
      Pharmacy-led Medicines Information (MI) Services provide evidence-based advice to clinicians, with high levels of user satisfaction. However, satisfaction does not necessarily reflect improved patient care or patient outcome. This has led to MI research concentrating on the effect MI advice has on patients, despite a lack of agreed definitions of effectiveness and the construction of inappropriate outcome measures. Although the majority of prescribing happens in primary care, most MI research has focused on secondary care. The aim of this qualitative study was to better understand how primary care clinicians used MI advice in shaping their prescribing decision-making and subsequent patient care. Taking an interpretive, idealist perspective and using a generic qualitative, exploratory methodological approach, this study tried to understand how prescribers use MI advice in decision-making and patient care. Prescribers (general practitioners and dentists) across England who contacted MI Services with a medicine-related question, were interviewed by telephone. To expand on findings from these interviews, additional prescribers in North West England were interviewed face-to-face. All interviews (n=55) were analysed inductively using constant comparison to identify themes. Key findings of this study were clinicians describing using MI advice as a safety net to shape, support, or do their difficult research and make prescribing decisions, especially for complex or high risk cases. New knowledge was incorporated into their ‘mindlines’ and shared with their ‘community of practice’, for future decision-making. They valued advice provided by a trusted, expert ‘help desk’, which empowered them to make prescribing changes for their patients confidently and safely, and was also quicker than, and avoided, patient referrals. To conclude, this is the first study to describe the direct influence MI advice has on clinician decision-making and prescribing. In light of this work there is a need to revisit currently used definitions describing impact and outcome, with MI services working alongside health library services to achieve this goal. The role of medicines advice giving in prescribing models also needs to be recognised.
    • Different constellation and shining stars: lesbian parents’ experiences of accessing healthcare for their adopted children in England

      Morgan, Fiona; Cureton, Debra; Kelsall-Knight, Lucille (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-09)
      Introduction: The past few decades have seen significant changes in family demographics. It is now more common for parents to be lesbians, which is due to increased social acceptance and the dissolution of legal barriers to parental responsibility. Adoption transforms the lives of some of the most vulnerable children. In 2019, 1 in 7 children in England were adopted by same-sex parents. Adopted children have an increased incidence of additional health care needs and therefore dental and medical appointments in comparison to children who remain with their biological parents. Aim: This study sought to explore the experiences of lesbian mothers accessing healthcare for their adopted children in England and the rhetoric, language and treatment they encountered. Method: A small scale qualitative study, utilising a Narrative Inquiry approach was the chosen method. The study population gained by purposive sampling was of six lesbian adoptive parents. A combined data analysis tool was utilised which used critical incident recall (Webster and Mertova, 2007) and broadening, burrowing, storying and re-storying (Clandinin and Connelly, 1990). A composite character couple was created to ‘re-story’ the participants’ experiences in healthcare and to maintain anonymity. Results and discussion: The needs and challenges of lesbian adoptive families may be different to those of heterosexual and biological families when accessing healthcare. There was an undercurrent of discriminatory practice, shown by various healthcare professionals, and a lack of understanding of the adoption process, knowledge surrounding the child’s history and legal stance with regards to parental responsibility. Emergent themes were: navigating heteronormativity, navigating healthcare settings and professionals and having an ‘adopted’ status, intersectional identity of lesbian parented adoptive families accessing healthcare, reflective imagery of lesbian parents and adoptive families and professional expectations. Self-imposed strategies instigated by the parents to strengthen and protect their familial identities were also discovered. Implications and recommendations for practice: The findings demonstrated that the healthcare provider must take more proactive steps to ensure that practitioners are adhering to Equality legislation and professional standards and are not discriminating against same-sex parents and adopted children who utilise healthcare services. Practitioners should also receive training to ensure they are aware of the adoption process in England; diversity of the population in which they practice; the importance of appropriate terminology and families seeing positive representation of adoption and same-sex parenting in healthcare settings.
    • Factors influencing the popularity of YouTube videos and users’ decisions to watch them

      Thelwall, Michael; Foster, David (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-08)
      YouTube has substantial impact on modern society as the second most popular website in the world. Despite its sustained popularity, little is known about which types of video are most viewed and the reasons why people choose to watch them. This research critically analyses the sample of videos provided by the YouTube API, then uses the metrics associated with these videos to help assess which types of YouTube video are popular. It also harnesses a questionnaire of mainly UK teacher education graduate YouTube users to investigate which factors influence decisions to watch YouTube videos. This was a convenience sample selected to achieve a high response rate, which it achieved (81%), minimising non-response bias. The video lists provided by the YouTube API were not random samples but contained a wide range of types of video (including both popular and unpopular), except that older videos were avoided. There were substantial differences between categories in the average properties of the videos returned and the proportion of videos returned on multiple days. The most popular categories from the YouTube metadata collected based on average view counts are varied: From TV, Best of, Animation and How-to. Cause-based video categories tended to be unpopular. Video popularity did not seem to be affected by video duration, on average. Users are more likely to interact with (comment, like, dislike) videos that are useful or supporting in some way. Videos that are interacted with more are not always more popular, with subject content affecting this relationship. In addition, high view counts associated with fewer likes, dislikes and comments per view, suggesting that indicators of popularity may not attract new viewers. The most popular categories with survey respondents were slightly different, partly reflecting their educational background (e.g., Education videos), and there were some (stereotypical) gender differences in the most popular categories. Respondents rarely believed that they were influenced by a video’s popularity or evidence of other users’ reactions to it when deciding to watch the video. Instead, they were most likely to be influenced by content-related factors, such as a video’s title and thumbnail picture. Despite previous research showing that people can be influenced by the opinions and watching habits of others, respondents claimed to be little influenced by this. Nevertheless, they frequently reported watching videos posted to Facebook, possibly trusting the person that posted the video. Thus, despite extensive discussion of various forms of viral information spreading, content, rather than popularity, is king in YouTube, although online word-of-mouth sharing through trusted relationships is also important. The main limitations of this research are that the data used may not be representative of YouTube and all UK YouTube users overall, so the conclusions should be interpreted cautiously.
    • ‘One thing I’d never stand for in a relationship is violence, so when she tried to kill me, that was it’: The impact of heteronormativity and assimilation on Domestic Violence and Abuse in same sex women’s relationships

      Morgan, Angela; Paniagua, Hilary; Kelly-Teare, Vik (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-08)
      Domestic Violence and Abuse (DVA) is most commonly spoken of as a heterosexual issue and as such it remains hidden within the lesbian community both from the inside and the outside. In the era following civil partnership and same sex marriage legislation, it may be logical to assume that speaking out about abuse would be easier. However, this study suggests that the politics of assimilation has entrenched the hidden nature of domestic violence and abuse in same sex relationships between women making it more and more difficult to recognise or speak out about. Whilst recent research in the area has highlighted these issues, this study foregrounds, through the women’s lived experience, the importance of structural, social and cultural contexts for women’s identities resulting in limited recognition of abuse and consequential action on it. The study contributes to the developing and existing body of literature through the exploration of the impact of heteronormativity on domestic violence and abuse in relationships between women in a specific age cohort (of one generation) who identify as gay. The results are presented in a narrative ethnographic thematic form, providing three women’s in-depth stories of experiencing and surviving abusive relationships. From within these stories, it focuses on the use of identity in abuse, set against the backdrop of increasing political, legislative and social assimilation. Using the COHSAR Power and Control Wheel to inform the coding framework the study presents a theoretical conceptualisation of physical and emotional abuse as coercive control and focuses on the difference of experience. The results enabled a theoretical conceptualisation of identity abuse and enabled the development of a new model for understanding identity abuse in relation to intersectional identities. Four key tactics areas emerged in relation to identity abuse: the known self (personal and public identity), intimacies, threats and false allegations. These key tactical areas are weaponised in personal, social and cultural, and structural domains of life. The critical inquiry presented is methodologically grounded in analytic autoethnography (with the researcher as full member participant) and utilises standpoint theory and intersectionality as conceptual framework. The study promotes the use of a new practitioner and educator model for understanding identity abuse to be used in conjunction with the COHSAR Power and Control Wheel and the stories themselves may also be used as tools for learning. In an era of assimilation, research on the lived experience of domestic violence and abuse is key in understanding the nuances of experience based on identity; without this, practitioners and educators are limited in their ability to resource, raise awareness of, and assist those experiencing domestic violence and abuse.
    • Systems modelling and ethical decision algorithms for autonomous vehicle collisions

      Burnham, Keith; Pickering, James Edward (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-08)
      There has been an increasing interest in autonomous vehicles (AVs) in recent years. Through the use of advanced safety systems (ASS), it is expected that driverless AVs will result in a reduced number of road traffic accidents (RTAs) and fatalities on the roads. However, until the technology matures, collisions involving AVs will inevitably take place. Herein lies the hub of the problem: if AVs are to be programmed to deal with a collision scenario, which set of ethically acceptable rules should be applied? The two main philosophical doctrines are the utilitarian and deontological approaches of Bentham and Kant, with the two competing societal actions being altruistic and selfish as defined by Hamilton. It is shown in simulation, that the utilitarian approach is likely to be the most favourable candidate to succeed as a serious contender for developments in the programming and decision making for control of AV technologies in the future. At the heart of the proposed approach is the development of an ethical decision-maker (EDM), with this forming part of a model-to-decision (M2D) approach. Lumped parameter models (LPMs) are developed that capture the key features of AV collisions into an immovable rigid wall (IRW) or another AV, i.e. peak deformation and peak acceleration. The peak acceleration of the AV is then related to the accelerations experienced by the occupant(s) on-board the AV, e.g. peak head acceleration. Such information allows the M2D approach to decide on the collision target depending on the selected algorithm, e.g. utilitarian or altruistic. Alongside the EDM is an active collision system (ACS) which is able to change the AV structural stiffness properties. The ACS is able to compensate for situations when AVs are predicted to experience potentially severe and fatal injury severity levels.
    • Balance performance of undergraduate dancers: an evaluation of current and novel approaches in balance testing and training in theatrical dance

      Wyon, Matthew; Clarke, Frances A. (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-08)
      Balance 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.
    • Association of socioeconomic status with incidence and mortality of heart disease and stroke in older people in China

      Chen, Ruoling; Zhou, Weiju (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-08)
      Introduction: Over the past four decades, China has experienced increasing gap between the rich and poor, along with rapid economic development, and increased the numbers of heart disease and stroke. The population in Chins is ageing. It is unclear whether socioeconomic inequalities are associated with increased risk of heart disease and stroke in older people and their surviving in China. This PhD study aimed to investigate the associations of multiple measurements of socioeconomic status (SES) with incidence of heart disease and stroke in older Chinese people and all-cause mortality in those patients. Methods: Two prospective community-based cohort studies were conducted in Anhui province and in four other provinces in China. The Anhui cohort consisted of a random sample of 3,336 older adults, of whom 1,736 aged ≥65 years recruited from urban areas in 2001 and 1,600 aged ≥60 years from rural areas in 2003. In a standard questionnaire interview, they were recorded for sociodemographic, behaviours/lifestyles, social networks and supports, cardiovascular diseases and other related risk factors. SES was measured by urban-rural living, educational level, occupational class, satisfactory income, and any serious financial problems occurred in the past two years. Heart disease and stroke were documented based on self-reported doctor-diagnosis. The cohort members were followed up until 2011 to monitor vital status and causes of mortality, during which three waves of re-interviews were taken for survivors to further document incident heart disease and stroke. Following the same protocol as that in the last two surveys in the Anhui cohort study, the Four-province cohort study completed a baseline survey in 2008-2009 for 4,314 participants who were aged ≥60 years, who were randomly recruited from Guangdong, Shanghai, Heilongjiang, and Shanxi. The Four-province cohort study was followed up until 2012 to monitor the vital status and with re-interviewing survivors. The data of the Anhui cohort and the Four-province cohort studies were analysed in multivariate Cox regression models to examine the associations of SES with incidence and mortality of heart disease and stroke, respectively. Results: The data from the two cohort studies showed that low SES was generally associated with increased incidence of heart disease and stroke and all-cause mortality in older adults with these diseases, although the association varied with SES indicators. Pooled data demonstrated that while rural versus urban living was associated with reduced incidence of heart disease (multivariate adjusted hazard ratio 0.56, 95% CI 0.44-0.71), it increased mortality in participants with heart disease (3.57, 2.01-6.34). Rural living was associated with increased incidence of stroke (1.66, 1.08-2.57) and non-significantly all-cause mortality in participants with stroke (1.98, 0.70-5.59). While high occupational class was associated with increased incidence of stroke (1.56, 1.01-2.38), low level of education was significantly associated with mortality in participants with heart disease (1.59, 1.05-2.39). Low income or having financial problems was associated with increased incidence of heart disease (1.42, 1.00-2.00 in low family income) and all-cause mortality in people with heart disease (2.68, 1.08-6.65 in low personal income). Conclusions: In China older people with low SES had increased risks of heart disease (except for rural living) and stroke (except for occupational class). Impact of low SES on increased mortality in older people with heart disease and stroke appeared stronger. Strategies targeting different SES groups involving comprehensive approaches are needed to reduce incidence of heart disease and stroke and improve surviving in older people with heart disease and stroke.
    • Fostering personal resilience in the Royal Air Force: a study of Force Development and Adventurous Personal Development Training

      Devlin, Linda; Riley, Steve (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-07)
      Resilient airmen and women are pivotal strategic game-changers in the RAF's next generation contribution to the United Kingdom's Defence Strategy. Resilience is the ability to learn and bounce forward from adversity, thus developing an increased personal resilience baseline to cope with future challenges. Whilst providing these strategic capabilities, RAF personnel must remain physically, spiritually, socially and psychologically resilient. In addressing this force resilience tetrad, contextualised Force Development and Adventurous Personal Development Training (FD/APDT) interventions contribute towards RAF participant’s resilience development. This thesis provides participant responses of RAF FD/APDT participant’s (n=237) perceived resilience, before and immediately after, a five-day RAF FD/APDT intervention with focus groups (n=33) conducted six months later. The initial data from the sequential explanatory mixed-methods research (Connor Davidson Resilience Scale (CDRS)-25 questionnaire and focus groups) confirmed perceived resilience development for psychological, physical, social and spiritual resilience factors identified within the CDRS-25. Evidence from follow-up focus groups suggests that resilience is further enhanced over time, with greater perceived resilience growth positively affecting resilience across the four domains reported after six months. Findings from this research further outlines the requirement for a through-career resilience educational pathway for RAF personnel to reinforce longitudinal resilience behaviours and attitudes. The enhanced personal and organisational resilience combined with the improvements in primary role efficiency developed through FD/APDT, is proposed as a key enabler for the RAF’s Whole Force socio-cultural resilience enhancement, to empower RAF personnel to meet the demands of ‘next generation’ RAF resilience requirements.
    • The role of internet-based technology in customer satisfaction in the banking sector: empirical evidence from Edo State, Nigeria

      Oriade, Ade; Wang, Yong; Rahimi, Roya; Mordi, Jones Oluchukwu (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-07)
      Internet-Based Technology (I-BT) has become an important resource in driving the performance of all successful businesses. This thesis contains the findings of an investigation into the role of I-BT in the relationship between customer-focused engagement behaviour (CFEBEH) and customer satisfaction (CS) in the Nigerian commercial banking sector. Using a sample of 426 bank customers in Edo State, Nigeria, the thesis seeks to ascertain whether I-BT resources in the bank have an impact on customer service delivery and satisfaction thereof. Theoretically, the Expectancy Disconfirmation Theory (EDT) and Affect Theory have been used to underpin the study of CS, while Kahn’s theory of engagement is used in support of CFEBEH. The Job Demands- Resources (JD-R) model has been used as the overarching theory underpinning this research particularly in relationship with I-BT. The results based on the structural equation model (SEM) provide two findings. First, CFEBEH has a direct effect on CS at a margin of 0.40. Second, I-BT mediates the CFEBEH and CS relationship at a margin of 0.067. Therefore, the findings of this study recommend bank managers or policymakers in Nigeria to consider making I-BT resources available in their banks as this can enhance the relationship between CFBEH and CS. By making I-BT available, this can also lead to increased CS levels, as the above results suggest. This study, therefore, has three main contributions to offer. First, by conceptualising CFEBEH as a second-order factor, this study has contributed to the literature in the area of methodology. Second, this study is the only study, to the best knowledge of the author, to have investigated the role of I-BT in the relationship between CFEBEH and CS in the Nigerian banking sector. The study has therefore deepened the academic knowledge on the role of I-BT in this relationship. Secondly, this study also contributes to the current literature on the role of I-BT in enhancing CS, particularly in a developing country context. Nigeria being the context of this study provides a unique environment for this research looking at the several challenges in the banking sector amidst institutional and infrastructural weaknesses. Finally, the design and measurement of the proposed research model in this study regarding the impact of CFEBEH on CS through its various components including PCHB, ATI, and WS, have added to the academic knowledge in customer service delivery, particularly in the banking sector which can trigger further research in this research area.
    • Selection biases within an English football academy: implications of the Elite Player Performance Plan

      Wyon, Matthew; Patel, Rickesh (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-07)
      The Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) was introduced in 2011 in order to enhance the youth football academy system in England. Previous literature demonstrates that relative age and biological maturation are responsible for selection biases within youth football, where both factors exert an influence on anthropometry and physical performances. However, there is limited research that has examined the aforementioned factors over a prolonged period of time, and especially within academies operating under the EPPP. Therefore, the general aim of this thesis was to investigate relative age, biological maturity, anthropometric and physical performance characteristics of male youth players from an English football club, as they progressed through the developmental pathway, under the EPPP framework. The findings from Chapter 3 revealed that selection within the investigated club was heavily overrepresented by relatively older and earlier maturing players, and this persisted since the EPPP was introduced. Subsequently, Chapter 4 identified that biological maturity, anthropometry and physical performances distinguished players that were retained across the developmental pathway, in an age group dependent manner. Chapter 5 provided estimates for when the development of anthropometric and physical performance characteristics initiate, peak and plateau, according to somatic maturity. Finally, Chapter 6 demonstrated that a bio-banding intervention may influence the decision-making process adopted by academy coaches’ regarding player selection and retention. In summary, the investigations conducted within this thesis provide novel and contemporary knowledge that can be used to enhance practice within the current club. Specifically, the findings from this thesis highlight that relative age, biological maturity, anthropometry and physical performances influence player selection and retention within this academy, suggesting that policies (e.g. the EPPP) require careful evaluation so that inappropriate selection biases can be nullified. Further studies are required to corroborate and extend these findings on a wider scale through robust methodological approaches.
    • Effective implementation of value engineering in the housing construction programmes of the UAE

      Chinyio, Ezekiel; Alketbi, Sultan Rashid (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-06)
      Balancing time, cost and quality is one of the major challenges impacting the housing programmes of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Therefore, this study was undertaken with the main aim of determining the impacts of the tools and principles of value engineering on public sector housing in the UAE. The study also aimed to develop a framework to define the guidelines of a value engineering methodology to improve the execution of government housing projects, along with a reduction in the level of risk. The five dependent variables in the study were: achievement of needs, conflict avoidance, affordability of housing, competitive advantage and reduced cost of production. The two independent variables were value engineering in design and value engineering in the procurement process. To accomplish the aim and objectives of the research, both primary and secondary research approaches were used. The secondary research was conducted through a literature review while the primary research was conducted using both qualitative and quantitative approaches. The quantitative research involved a survey of value engineers, contractors and employees of construction companies in the UAE. The number of fully completed questionnaires was 102, and the primary data collected was analysed using descriptive statistics and regression and correlation analyses. Subsequently, qualitative data was collected through interviews in order to gain deeper insights into the subject matter. Thirty interviews were conducted with housing officers, directors and value engineers associated with housing construction projects. The interview data was analysed using content analysis. The analyses suggested that the five dependent variables were significantly correlated with the implementation of value engineering in design and procurement. On the basis of these findings, a framework was developed and validated by 40 experts. This framework can be applied in the UAE to make housing and other construction projects affordable and sustainable and to meet the full needs of clients as well as end users.
    • Combat stress reaction and morale in RFC/RAF aircrew 1914-1918

      Buckley, John; Gadd, Ronald (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-06)
      There are many studies of the air campaigns of the first World War: almost all have concentrated on the strategic and tactical issues, on the technical development of aircraft or the skill and daring of the aircrew concerned. The effects of the dangers of flying and air combat, which tested aircrew to their limits both physical and mental with consequent psychological disorders have been ignored. This study examined and analysed the operations of the RFC/RAF over the Western Front from 1014-1918 with the aim of establishing the incidence of aircrew failure for nervous disorders. The factors affecting the psychological and psychiatric reactions of aircrew to combat have been examined. The significance of morale as a factor affecting the psychological responses of aircrew has been assessed and the effects of leadership, training, fatigue and aircraft performance and reliability are explored in relation to aircrew failure due to psychological disorder. The outcomes of this thesis were compared to similar studies for Second World War Aircrew. Medical and casualty records, official histories and operational reports have been used in conjunction with personal accounts and memoirs to establish the prime causal factors for psychological disorder in aircrew and its incidence in the RFC/RAF on the Western Front. The treatment and disposal of aircrew diagnosed with ‘flying sickness’ have been described and the results evaluated. The incidence of breakdown has been compared with similar studies for Second World War Aircrew. It concludes that the incidence of failure due to psychological disorder for the tears 1914-1917, was low and manageable. However, in the last year of the war, the incidence not only vastly increased but became a significant part of the total wastage rate and seriously affected RAF strength on the Western Front.
    • Developing novel therapeutic agents for Acanthamoeba infection and investigating the process of encystment

      Heaselgrave, Wayne; Hamad, Anas (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-06)
      Acanthamoeba Keratitis (AK) is a vision-threatening disease which can lead to blinding corneal tissue infection. Many patients who have been infected with Acanthamoeba in their eye do not respond to the current medical treatments involving polyhexamethylene biguanide or chlorhexidine despite the in vitro sensitivity of Acanthamoeba to these drugs. There is an urgent need for new therapeutic agents to eradicate the AK infection. This study focuses on the mechanism by which Acanthamoeba may distinguish between trophozoite, cyst and the newly identified lifecycle known as protocyst. The current study has tested 56 novel and existing therapeutic agents for their activity against Acanthamoeba spp. and their toxicity against a human epithelial cell line. The results of this research have revealed several compounds of interest for further study on their potential use in the treatment of AK. These compounds included, octenidine hydrochloride, alexidine, miltefosine and quaternary ammonium (didecyldimethylammonium chloride). The anti-amoebic effect of benzalkonium chloride, povidone iodine and tetracaine are superior to the current diamidines and slightly lower to the biguanides applied in the treatment for AK. The formulation of novel amidoamine compounds including myristoleyl-amidopropyl-dimethylamine (MOPD) and palmitoleyl-amidopropyl-dimethylamine (POPD) into contact lens solutions showed complete kill at a 4.5-log reduction against trophozoites compared with myristamidopropyl dimethylamine (MAPD) as an existing compound. The combination of biguanide compounds with lipid–based carriers has improved the antimicrobial activity from 1-fold to around 7-fold against cysts of Acanthamoeba spp. compared with the use of biguanides alone. The findings of encystment investigation (the transformation of trophozoites into cysts) showed that the agonists in particular the β ultra-long against indacaterol stimulated the encystment and the antagonists β₁ metoprolol blocked the formation of cysts and protocysts. Two different herbicides including 2,6-dichlorobenzonitrile (DCB) and isoxaben were tested to target the biosynthesis of cellulose in the cyst form and also to evaluate their effects on the formation of protocyst of Acanthamoeba. The results of this study showed that the DCB at a high concentration of 500 μM, reduced encystment to 17.7% and protocyst production of Acanthamoeba at 24.6%, whereas isoxaben inhibited the transformation of trophozoites into cysts to only 45% and the percentage was decreased for protocyst formation by 37.2%. The test results for DCB and isoxaben individually at concentration of 100 uM showed 31.8% and 68.8% respectively for the conversion of trophozoites into cysts. In addition, a similar concentration of both DCB and isoxaben was evaluated for protocyst formation and the inhibition was observed at 36.9% for DCB and a much higher rate of protocysts production was recorded at 63 % for isoxaben. The combination of both isoxaben and DCB at a concentration of 100 μM caused a reduction in encystment to 49.1% and lowered the transformation of trophozoites into protocysts to 45.7%, these findings suggested that an antagonistic effect was occurred relative to the use of DCB alone. Finally, the data from LC/MS analysis for sugars suggested that the protocyst and cyst are different stages of Acanthamoeba, as the analysis of cyst walls indicated the presence of cellulose while the protocyst wall analysis showed the existing of cellulose and methylated sugar possibly corresponded to a methylated analogue of N-acetylglucosamine.
    • Modern foreign language learning: exploring the impact of parental orientations on student motivation

      Bartram, Brendan; Lewis, Lydia; Martin, Christopher (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-06)
      The decline in modern foreign language (MFL) learning in UK secondary schools is well-researched, particularly from the point of view of language attitudes and motivation (Bartram, 2006b; Coleman, Galaczi & Astruc, 2007; Lanvers, Hultgren & Gayton, 2016; Martin, 2019; Lanvers & Martin, 2020), although the role of parents in the MFL learning process is seldom explored. The rationale for the research comes from an extensive appraisal of the literature on foreign language learning education and parental engagement in learning, coupled with teaching experience. Six motivational constructs were explored: general motivation, sense of achievement, internal attribution of success/failure, external attribution of success/failure, intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. A mixed-methods research design, employing questionnaires and semi-structured interviews, was adopted to explore the impact of parental orientations towards MFL on child motivation from different perspectives. Quantitative analysis shows that there is a strong, positive correlation between parent and child data for five of the six motivation constructs. Inferential statistics show that parental independent variables such as level of general education, level of language education and ethnicity have statistically significant impacts on four student motivation constructs. Results from the interviews indicate that parents had mixed experiences of language learning and that curriculum policies which restrict the option choices for some students could be detrimental to engaging them with learning a language that they choose to learn rather than one that is imposed. Students and parents also presented positive views on the importance of languages for career progression and travel. Improving the dialogue between schools and parents on the importance of language learning through sharing important curriculum information, engaging in careers events and supporting parents for whom languages pose a particular challenge could make a small contribution to changing the current MFL learning climate.
    • The chronotope of walking in the films of Andrea Arnold

      Colbert, Benjamin; Hanson, Lance (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-06)
      This thesis proposes that the act of walking functions as a dominant chronotope in the work of British filmmaker Andrea Arnold. Using Mikhail Bakhtin’s concept (1988), it demonstrates how walking mobilises a reading of the landscape and the female body that articulates their combined resistance to hegemonic narratives of exclusion and deprivation. Furthermore, by examining its chronotopicity, the function of walking as a discrete element is analysed to reveal its narrative, aesthetic, and contextual significance. Whilst previous studies of the cinematic flâneuse are restricted mainly to European and art-house cinema and their middle class protagonists, this thesis focuses attention on less affluent female characters whose walking takes place not in the metropolis but in the edgelands, suburbs, and social housing estates that constitute the contemporary built environment, along with Arnold’s depiction of the harsh rural landscape of nineteenth-century Yorkshire in Wuthering Heights (2011). This is a study of walking as depicted in Arnold’s cinematic output, along with the three short films with which she began her career, all of which focus upon strong female characters living in areas of economic and social deprivation. From a feminist perspective, her films are “power-to” narratives (Sutherland and Feltey, 2017) that show how female agency is predicated on emotional, and practical, resilience, and Arnold demonstrates this agency by foregrounding her protagonists’ physical and geographical mobility, using walking as their dominant mode of movement. The textual analysis draws on Laura U. Mark’s theories of haptic cinema to examine Arnold’s visual style, combined with a reading of Michel de Certeau whose work emphasises walking as a form of tactile, urban remapping. From this, a new way of interpreting women and walking emerges, and the term ‘haptic flâneuse’ is proposed to describe women’s sensory investigations, explorations, and encounters with the new urban landscape. The conclusions drawn show how walking scenes provide opportunities for female agency, and that such journeys function in excess of their narrative significance, creating an interpretative space to examine the structural, aesthetic, and contextual elements of the films. In this way, the walking chronotope acts as a lens through which Arnold’s work can be interpreted. In summary, this thesis contributes to knowledge in three ways: by providing the first detailed study of walking in Arnold’s oeuvre; by proposing the figure of the haptic flâneuse as a way of thinking about the experiences of women who walk in marginalised spaces; and by demonstrating how a chronotopic reading of walking scenes elevates them from a narrative means to an end to significant film elements in themselves.