Health, Education and Behaviour Change Research Group Showcase

  • Hill, K. (Author)
  • Josephine Chen-Wilson (Author)
  • Maunder, R. (Author)
  • Elsie Ong (Author)
  • Liz Gulliford (Author)
  • Karishma Jivraj (Author)

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsSymposiumResearch


The Health, Education and Behaviour Change (HEBC) Research Theme at The University of Northampton sits within the Centre for Psychological Sciences and draws upon cross-disciplinary expertise from researchers within the Faculty of Health and Society.
Members of HEBC work to understand behaviour change and address real world problems in the areas of health and education. HEBC researchers are not only inter-disciplinary, but use a range of quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods approaches to conduct applied research and advance existing knowledge within this area.
The current symposium aims to showcase the valuable work done by Changemakers within this research theme who are conducting cutting-edge research in the area of behaviour change. Four papers will be presented (10 minutes each), with a brief introduction about HEBC by the stream chairs (5 minutes).

Paper 1: Supporting children's friendships in primary schools: research, publishing and building impact
Presenter: Dr Rachel Maunder, The University of Northampton
In this presentation I will discuss a project on children's friendships that I have been working on with Professor Claire Monks (University of Greenwich). I will provide a brief overview of the study, and summarise our journey in getting the paper published. I will then discuss our current work arising out of the research, which involves designing and piloting Key Stage 2 PSHE resources for primary schools. The overarching purpose of the presentation is to provide a first hand account of the research journey from conceptualisation, empirical phase, dissemination and building impact.

Paper 2: Exploring the influence of therapeutic relationships and shared decision making on attitudes towards antipsychotic medication: service user and clinician perspectives.
Presenter: Dr Karishma Jivraj
Recovery from mental illness has been described as a challenging journey (NICE, 2020). This research explores facilitators of recovery focused practice, including therapeutic relationships (TRs) and shared decision-making (SDM) and how these influence attitudes towards antipsychotic medication amongst service users (SUs) and clinicians.
Using mixed methods, the study recruited SUs (N = 104) and clinicians (N = 76) from community mental health services. Participants completed cross-sectional surveys and semi-structured interviews. Data were quantitatively and qualitatively analysed, followed by concurrent triangulation and synthesis of findings.
This research has critically identified perceptions of TRs, SDM and several important clinical factors which influence attitudes towards antipsychotic medication and identified a gulf between SU and clinician narratives of each. Limitations of the research must be taken into consideration when interpreting the findings. Future mixed method research using participant dyads and prospective designs could explore the outcomes identified, across the wider context of recovery.

Paper 3: The Shadow Side of Gratitude
Presenter: Dr Liz Gulliford
For the most part, gratitude has been construed as a positive concept that is linked to various prosocial outcomes, including helping behaviours and altruism, as well as intrapersonal and interpersonal gains, such as life satisfaction and enriched social bonds. The emphasis on gratitude as positive has created a dearth of research examining its potential shadow side. In this presentation I examine gratitude in a more critical light, questioning whether its apparent prosociality could conceal manipulative and self-serving goals. The exploration of gratitude’s ‘shadow side’ makes a key contribution to growing positive psychological research on gratitude, which has tended to focus on its more wholesome aspects. It will be argued that educational interventions to promote gratitude should incorporate reflection on its shadow to ensure young people appreciate the social complexities that surround this valued interpersonal concept.

Presenter: Dr Elsie Li Chen ONG
Suicide risk assessment is difficult because clinical suicide risk assessment tools have poor predictive value (Steeg et al., 2018). Inquiring about likely risk of future attempt relies on self-reported information, yet many may avoid discussing it with others due to self-stigma and shame. These highlight the importance of developing alternative measures that could help identify individuals with suicide risk without a reliance of self-disclosure. My presentation discuss the opportunities and challenges in developing digital intervention to assess suicide risk in an accessible and non-stigmatizing way by using measures of cognitive and neurological processing (Ong & Thompson., 2018). Targeting such measures is based on my recent research that used cognitive tasks measuring attention and inhibition to show how cognitive deficits were associated with suicidality. If cognitive deficits are apparent among suicide individuals, assessing the extent of deficits could provide indirect indication on the severity of suicidality. A further clinical application is that cognitive training to revert such deficits may serve as potential intervention. With the rapid growth of advanced information technologies, it is argued that e-intervention could be a next option to the existing suicide assessment and interventions tomorrow.

Period8 Jun 2020
Event titleThe Graduate School Annual Research Conference
Event typeConference