Recent Submissions

  • Developing a simple risk metric for the effect of sport-related concussion and physical pain on mental health

    Walker, Daniel; Qureshi, A.W.; Marchant, D.; Balani, A.B. (2023-10-13)
    Risk factors associated with depression in athletes include biological sex, physical pain, and history of sport-related concussion (SRC). Due to the well-documented benefits of sport and physical activity on mental health, athletes and non-athletes were recruited to assess any differences. Beyond this, athletes were also grouped by sport-type (contact/non-contact sports) due to the increased prevalence of pain and SRC in contact sports. To our knowledge, there has been no research on how these factors influence the likelihood of depression. In the current study, 144 participants completed a short survey on the above factors and the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale. Sixty-two of these reported a history of concussion. Logistic regression revealed all the above predictors to be significantly associated with the depression scale. Individuals that had previously sustained SRC, were experiencing greater physical pain and females were more likely to display poor mental health. However, we provide further evidence for the benefits of engaging in sport and physical activity as those that took part in sport were less likely to report depression. Therefore, this study provides a simple risk metric whereby sportspeople can make a better informed choice of their sporting participation, making their own cost/reward judgement.
  • Effects of perceived social isolation, fear of social isolation and gratitude during COVID-19 pandemic on anxiety in Malaysia

    Tan, C.Y.; Ng, J.Y.; Lin, M.H.; Yong, Min Hooi (2023)
    Many governments including Malaysia imposed movement restrictions as public health measure to minimize COVID-19 (coronavirus) risks. Due to prolonged isolation, poorer physical and mental health is expected in the general population. Our aims were to examine (1) the mediating role of perceived social isolation (SI) and fear of social isolation (FSI) on the relationship between gratitude and anxiety, and (2) to explore the moderating role of age, education and socioeconomic status (SES) on the mediation model. A total of 427 participants currently living in Malaysia (Mage = 37.90, SD = 16.51, 313 females) completed a survey on isolation, gratitude and anxiety during a period of national lockdown. Results showed that that those with higher gratitude reported having less SI and FSI and less anxiety (Model 1). In Model 2 with age as moderator, young adults (YA) and middle-aged adults (MA) who had higher gratitude experienced lower SI and in turn had lowered anxiety, but such mediating role of SI was not observed among older adults (OA). As for FSI, MA who had higher gratitude had lower FSI and also lower anxiety but this relationship was not observed in YA or OA. We also examined the role of education and SES as moderators in the parallel mediation analysis. Results showed that the indirect association of gratitude with anxiety via FI and FSI was moderated by both education and SES. Specifically, among those with low education levels (regardless of SES), those with higher gratitude had lower SI and FSI which in turn reduced anxiety. This relationship is similar for those with medium level of education and from low and middle level of SES as well. Our findings highlight the importance of having some coping mechanism e.g., gratitude and social connection during the pandemic to have higher wellbeing and quality of life, especially for MA sample and people from low education and SES background.
  • Leadership for Levelling Up: Addressing social and economic policy issues?

    Liddle, J.; Shutt, J.; Addidle, Gareth (Special Edition of Local Economy, 2022)
  • Reframing ‘Place Leadership’: An analysis of Leadership in responding to the wicked issue of county lines and criminality within a context of post pandemic public health policing

    Liddle, J.; Addidle, Gareth (Edward Elgar, 2022-06-22)
    The chapter explores a practical approach to place leadership within what is increasingly acknowledged as a wicked problem. County lines and drug trafficking take place within complicated landscapes as multi-agency leaders, including police leaders, develop innovative solutions based on dialogue and relational approaches to this crucial wicked issue. Recent evidence on the scale of vulnerable individuals and groups inhabiting so called ‘left behind’ places provides testament to this 21st Century social policy problem (Addidle and Liddle, 2020). The many competing and contradictory conceptualisations of the phenomena of vulnerability leave place leaders with dilemmas on how to prioritise, operationalise and respond to such placed-based problems (Addidle and Liddle, 2020). Extant literature on place leadership remains largely at the economic level of analysis and based on growth models, but public leadership literature is more extensive and recent work has added to our understanding of the social contexts of place leadership within the public realm. Our key aim in this chapter is to add theoretical, empirical and policy insights to existing understandings, with a specific focus on crime and county lines.
  • Chatbot in smartphone self-paced learning: A study on technology acceptance among older adults in Malaysia

    Yong, Min Hooi; Lim, Z.S.; Lee, Y. (2023-09)
    Older adults use their smartphones to learn new material but few studies examined their learning with the presence of a chatbot in a smartphone. We developed a three-week self-paced learning module on three topics (chatbot, QR scanner, Google Drive) using their smartphone. Our aims were to examine participants’ self-paced learning accuracy while exploring older adults acceptance of the chatbot. Twelve participants participated in this study (Mage: 64.75 years) for three weeks at their homes individually. Results showed that they had low accuracy for the chatbot but higher accuracy for the other two. Qualitative analyses indicated that participants disliked the chatbot and that good clarity in our instructional videos and slides may have contributed to the low acceptance for the chatbot. Our findings indicated that self-paced learning is feasible with slides and videos only, and to create more chatbot-related assessments to increase chatbot usage.
  • Curbing Bribe-Giving in Malaysia: The Role of Attitudes and Parents

    Mengzhen, L.; Yongchy, S.; Wan Munira, W.J.; Khir, A.M.; Hamsan, H.H.; Yong, Min Hooi; Wu, S.L.; Ooi, P.B.; Ong, D.L.T.; Ong, C.S. (2022-01)
    One of the main challenges developing nations face is curbing bribery. While there are many efforts to curb bribery, most focused at macro level, such as law, while little has been examined at the micro level, e.g., individual behavior and intention. Those who did investigate at the micro level tend to focus on the recipients rather than the ones giving the bribe. We explored eight factors that influence Malaysian young adults’ bribe giving intention based on the Reasoned Action Approach (RAA). A total of 345 respondents (M age = 20.68, SD = 2.01, 189 are females) completed questionnaires about all RAA variables. Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modelling (PLS-SEM) was carried out using smartPLS3.0 to analyze the result. The result revealed that out of the eight variables, four variables—Instrumental attitudes, Experiential Attitudes, Parents’ descriptive norms and Capacity—explain 74% of the variance in bribe giving intention. An important take-away is that young adult’s perception of whether their parents gave or did not give bribes in a given situation is important in influencing their bribe giving intention. Bribe giving prevention messages must be targeted explicitly toward parents, where they play a crucial role in curbing this dishonesty.
  • Mobile Money, Child Labour and School Enrolment

    Ajefu, Joseph B.; Massacky, F. (2023)
    This paper analyses the impact of household adoption of mobile money services on child labour and schooling in Tanzania. The paper uses data drawn from the Tanzania National Panel Surveys (TNPS), for the survey periods as follows: 2008/09, 2010/11, 2012/13, and 2014/15. The TNPS are national representative surveys conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics of Tanzania in collaboration with the World Bank Living Standards Measurement Study-Integrated Surveys on Agriculture (LMSA-ISA). The surveys collect detailed information on individual, household, and community-level characteristics. The panel nature of the TNPS allows for the same households to be interviewed over time. The study uses a difference-in-differences approach, and instrumental variables strategy to investigate the nexus between mobile money adoption and child labour and school enrolment in Tanzania. The findings of this study reveal a positive and significant effect of mobile money adoption on school enrolment, but a negative effect on children’s labour market activities. Moreover, the study identifies heterogenous impacts across child’s gender and age; and remittances receipt and education expenditure are the potential pathways through which mobile money adoption affects child labour and school enrolment. Overall, the results suggest that policies that enhance financial inclusion such as the introduction of mobile money can be effective in improving child’s school enrolment and a decline in the incidence of child labour.
  • The future of chemical weapons: advances in the development of anti-plant agents

    Whitby, Simon M. (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2018)
    Set in the context of efforts to utilise chemicals as weapons of war, that have their origins in collaborative efforts between the UK and the US during World War I, this chapter examines the origins, the evolution, and the hostile misuse of chemical anti-crop agents and defoliants. Out of efforts between the two countries that endured throughout World War II, military interest in chemical anti-crop agents and defoliants emerged in-part as a consequence of a close association between civilian chemistry and military chemistry. It is shown by way of insights provided from official sources from the United Kingdom (UK) National Archive that UK use of such agents in Malaya resulted in the emergence of new techniques concerning the large-scale use of chemical anti-plant agents, as well as methods for their widespread dissemination. It is argued here that the above can be seen as a prelude to subsequent use in Vietnam, the latter having implications of relevance to human health and for the environment. It is shown that the role of science policy experts in bringing influence to bear on policy-makers during the latter part of the Vietnam War was significant in bringing about change in policy and an end to use in Vietnam. Also of significance is the issue of chemical weapons in the context of efforts to codify the norm of non-use under the Geneva Protocol, under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), and under a range of related prohibition regimes. This chapter considers the implications of the scientific and technological developments in phytobiology of relevance, in particular, to auxins (work on endogenous growth regulators—auxins—would lead to the discovery of “the first systemic or hormone herbicides”). The findings are drawn together in a concluding section at the end of this chapter.
  • After COVID-19: time to agree a biosecurity code of conduct under the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention

    Whitby, Simon M.; Tang, C.; Shang, L.; Dando, Malcolm R. (Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, 2020-06)
    The devastating COVID-19 disease outbreak of 2020 is likely to cause a profound rethink of how national and international communities deal with such outbreaks whether they are caused naturally, accidentally or deliberately. This paper suggests that now is the time to build on two decades of work within the BTWC and for States Parties to agree on a Biosecurity Code of Conduct under the Convention as proposed by China. Over the past two decades, as part of their attempts to strengthen the BTWC and thereby to help prevent the development of biological and toxin weapons, States Parties have given considerable attention to the potential utility of Codes of Conduct for life and associated scientists. This paper reviews these debates about this novel dual-use ethical challenge within the Convention and concludes that a Code of Conduct should be agreed at the 2021 Review Conference, but that radical reorientation of the mandatory education of such scientists will also be needed to make the agreed code effective.
  • Strengthening biological security after COVID-19: Using cartoons for engaging life science stakeholders with the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC)

    Novossiolova, T.; Whitby, Simon M.; Dando, Malcolm R.; Shang, L. (2022-06)
    The devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have acutely shown the need for maintaining robust international and national systems for biological security and ensuring that life sciences are used only for peaceful purposes. Life science stakeholders can play an important role in safeguarding scientific and technological advances in biology and related fields against accidental or deliberate misuse, not least because they are on the frontlines of driving innovation. In this paper, we argue that enhancing awareness and understanding of the risk of deliberate disease is essential for effective biological security. We first discuss the issue of ‘dual use’ in science and technology as it relates to disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Second, we review how scientist engagement with dual-use risks has been addressed in the context of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC). Third, we report on the development of an innovative awareness-raising tool, a cartoon series, that can be used for engaging life science stakeholders with BTWC issues. Finally, we outline a set of practical considerations for promoting sustainable life science engagement with the BTWC.
  • Meeting the challenges of chemical and biological weapons: strengthening the chemical and biological disarmament and non-proliferation regimes

    Edwards, B.; Novossiolova, T.; Crowley, Michael J.A.; Whitby, Simon M.; Dando, Malcolm R.; Shang, L. (2022-04)
    In this report, we identify some of the key technical and political challenges currently facing the broader Chemical and Biological Weapon (CBW) regime- with a particular emphasis on major forthcoming diplomatic meetings. Most significantly the Ninth Review Conference of the Biological and Toxins Weapons Convention (1972) (BTWC) which will take place in 2022 and preparations for the Fifth Review Conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention (1993) (CWC), expected in 2023. This report is an output of an ongoing project, designed to stimulate thinking and discussion about these issues, within relevant stakeholder communities. The report provides an introduction to this issue area for the general reader before surveying key issues and developing a series of practical policy suggestions for further consideration.
  • Strengthening the biological and toxin weapons convention after COVID-19

    Shang, L.; Whitby, Simon M.; Dando, Malcolm R. (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2021-08)
    The COVID-19 virus pandemic has again demonstrated the devastating impact that a microbial pathogen can have on our health, society and economic systems. It necessitates a fundamental rethink of how the security of our societies can be better sustained. This rethinking will require many aspects of our security systems to be re-examined, but we concentrate here on the consequences of the rapid advances being made in the life and associated sciences. In this chapter, we will describe and analyse one of the most likely means by which the BTWC could be strengthened at the 9th Review Conference, namely: agreement of an International Aspirational Code of Conduct supported by mandatory biological security education for life and associated scientists. We conclude that a vigorous effort by civil society will be needed to assist the achievement of an agreement on this issue at the 9th Review Conference.
  • “The importance of collaboration between the project team, end-users, and stakeholders in managing complex decisions and risks in project environments”

    Rye, Sara; Danquah, J. (Association for Project Management, 2023-07)
    The importance of a collaborative approach between the project team, end-users, and stakeholders in managing complex decisions and risks in project environments has long been emphasized. The Porter model emphasizes the need to focus on client needs and competitive advantage. However, a lack of resources and capability development may hinder the project team's ability to provide appropriate services. Supervisors, team members, and end-users can play a supportive role in easing complexity in risk management and decision-making. It is important to understand standards as performance measures for decision-making and the need for detailed knowledge of the project brief. The value of group decision support systems and low-intensity involvements in decision-making would give rise to involving end-users in critical decision-making, the importance of focusing on organizational culture and strategic planning, and the need for a change of mindset to align individual perceptions with the norm. It is also important to gather and analyze information before making a decision. While some project teams see end-users as a threat to their judgment, the research emphasizes the duty to respond to end-users' needs and highlights the value they add to risk assessment.
  • Designing Educational Games for Diverse Learners in multi-disciplinary classrooms: The TEGA Toolkit as a Framework

    Rye, Sara; Sousa, C. (2023-10)
    This study aims to examine how inclusivity measures are understood and applied in game-based learning (GBL). It considers the perspectives of various stakeholders, such as educators, game designers, and students. The focus is on creating accessible and engaging games that meet the diverse needs and characteristics of players. The methodology adopted a combination of primary and secondary data sources to pursue these aims. The primary data collection involved focus groups with educators, game designers, and students. The study employed a participatory design approach, involving multiple stakeholders in the exploration of inclusivity measures. The data collected from the focus groups, along with findings from the literature review, helped in formulating a set of inclusivity metrics for educators to create educational games that cater to diverse student needs. The obtained results emphasize the limited state of analogue GBL accessibility in scholarly and professional literature, while emphasizing the existing frameworks to be adopted by educators, designers, and publishers. Stakeholder discussions revealed themes related to inclusivity measures, including motor, sensory, and cognitive needs of players. Game designers can enhance accessibility by considering these requirements and incorporating alternative communication channels, accessible cues, adaptable gameplay options, and diversified knowledge-based requirements. In addition to inclusivity, addressing instances of exclusion, managing teams effectively, promoting inclusive communication, and incorporating gameplay limitations, educational components, diverse perspectives, and real-world applicability are discussed as important in education game design, to this extent.
  • Geographies of Nuclear War

    Alexis-Martin, Becky (Oxford University Press, 2023-06-23)
  • Hands-On Minds: Fostering Conceptual Learning through Tangible Analogue Games in Higher Education

    Rye, Sara (Media Literacy and Assistive Technologies for Empowerment in Autism, 2023-10)
  • Teaching open and reproducible scholarship: a critical review of the evidence base for current pedagogical methods and their outcomes.

    Pownall, M.; Azevedo, F.; König, L.M.; Slack, H.R.; Evans, T.R.; Flack, Z.; Grinschgl, S.; Elsherif, M.M.; Gilligan-Lee, K.A.; de Oliveira, C.M.F.; et al. (2023-05-17)
    In recent years, the scientific community has called for improvements in the credibility, robustness and reproducibility of research, characterized by increased interest and promotion of open and transparent research practices. While progress has been positive, there is a lack of consideration about how this approach can be embedded into undergraduate and postgraduate research training. Specifically, a critical overview of the literature which investigates how integrating open and reproducible science may influence student outcomes is needed. In this paper, we provide the first critical review of literature surrounding the integration of open and reproducible scholarship into teaching and learning and its associated outcomes in students. Our review highlighted how embedding open and reproducible scholarship appears to be associated with (i) students' scientific literacies (i.e. students' understanding of open research, consumption of science and the development of transferable skills); (ii) student engagement (i.e. motivation and engagement with learning, collaboration and engagement in open research) and (iii) students' attitudes towards science (i.e. trust in science and confidence in research findings). However, our review also identified a need for more robust and rigorous methods within pedagogical research, including more interventional and experimental evaluations of teaching practice. We discuss implications for teaching and learning scholarship.
  • Rethinking Transphobia in the UK: What's Wrong with Rights?

    Lopez, Jack (2023-06-22)
    What’s wrong with human rights discourse and equality legislation is their creation under the guise of neutrality. The practice of human rights and equality sit within administration systems that are in general sites of production and implementation of racism, homophobia, xenophobia, sexism, transphobia and ableism. Whilst the people subject to these types of discrimination fight hard and make sacrifices to win the inclusion of their rights, whilst such privileges sit within archaic systems - can they ever be anything more than a temporary respite from oppression not a resolution?
  • Touching Base: Hungarian Intelligence and the School of Slavonic and East European Studies in the 1960s

    Batonyi, Gabor (2023-04)
    This article deals with a neglected dimension of Cold War history, namely the role of minor Communist secret services in subverting cultural relations with Britain. In particular, the article examines the efforts of Hungarian State Security to penetrate a university centre in London during the 1960s. Drawing on hitherto unexplored archival material, it documents the intensive attempts made to monitor or cultivate individuals at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies — notably the historian Dr László Péter — as part of a wide-ranging and ambitious intelligence offensive on the tenth anniversary of the 1956 Revolution. Paradoxically, this heightened espionage activity took place at a time of enhanced bilateral ties. The historical records analysed here provide new insight into the duplicity of Hungary’s foreign policy, and the hypocrisy of the post-revolutionary regime’s cultural ‘opening’ to the West, during a defining decade.
  • The mediating effect of food choice upon associations between adolescent health-related quality of life and physical activity, social media use and abstinence from alcohol

    Davison, J.; Bunting, B.; Stewart-Knox, Barbara (Springer, 2023-05)
    Background: Understanding how health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is related to lifestyle factors during adolescence is crucial to effective health promotion. The aim of this analysis was to identify associations between HRQoL and lifestyle and to determine the degree to which they are mediated by food choices in adolescents. Methods: The Wellbeing in Schools (NI) survey (N = 1609; 13–14 years) assessed HRQoL using the Kidscreen52. Food choice was assessed by Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) and physical activity was assessed using the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adolescents (PAQ-A). Social media and alcohol abstinence were self-reported. Results: Path analysis indicated that fruit and vegetable intake was associated with higher HRQoL on dimensions of moods and emotions, parent relations and home life, financial resources, and social support and peers. Bread and diary intake was related to higher physical wellbeing. Protein was associated with higher psychological wellbeing, moods and emotions, self-perception, parent relations and home life, financial resources, and lower social support and peers. Junk food was related to lower moods and emotions. Males had higher psychological wellbeing, moods and emotions, parental relations and home life. Females had higher self-perception, autonomy, and social support and peers. Greater physical activity explained higher HRQoL on all dimensions. Less social media was associated with higher psychological wellbeing, moods and emotions, self-perception, parent relations and home life, and school environment. Alcohol abstinence was associated with higher physical wellbeing, psychological wellbeing, moods and emotions, self-perception, parent relations and home life, and school environment dimensions. Conclusion: Intervention to promote HRQoL in adolescents should consider food choices whilst encouraging physical activity, discouraging social media and deterring alcohol, and targeting boys and girls separately.

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