Report findings show that over two thirds of parents who were unhappy following the arrival of their first born were content together 10 years on, going against the notion that people put up with unhappy relationships for the sake of their offspring.
Harry Benson of the Marriage Foundation and Steve McKay of the University of Lincoln looked at data from 10,000 parents who participated in the Millennium Cohort Study, and focused on parents who reported being unhappy not long after the birth of their first child during the period around the year 2000. The couples were asked about how they feel again 11 years later, with seven out of 10 still together and only one in 10 of the couples who were still together continuing to feel sadness. Furthermore, over a quarter of the parents who previously felt their relationship was in trouble at the beginning but stayed together later described themselves as “extremely happy”.
From the results, Benson and McKay noted that those pairs who cohabited and were on the brink of splitting up were over twice as likely as married couples to actually break-up. However, they stressed the rewards to come if parents stayed together through the difficult times.
“Contrary to popular belief, staying in an unhappy marriage could be the best thing you ever do,” Benson explained. “Most marriages have their unhappy moments, but apart from the fortunately extremely rare cases where the relationship involves abuse, most couples can work through the difficulties to be happy later on.”
Backing these findings was Marriage Foundation head Sir Paul Coleridge, who describes the results as “myth-busting” as it proves a couple going through a rocky time as they adjust to parenthood doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t make it through to the other end.
Last week, Professor Matthew Hall of Lincoln Law School delivered a closing plenary address at Northumbria University to the annual Symposium of the British Society of Criminology’s Specialist Victims Network. In his talk, Prof. Hall discussed the future directions of victimology and how those working within this field might inform policy making in the context of recent political upheavals around the world: including Brexit and a general shift towards more nationalistic thinking. In particular, Prof. Hall challenged the audience – made up of leading thinkers in the study of victimisation as well as representatives of the victim support community and a number of police and crime commissioners – to think more broadly about the group we label as ‘victims’, reflecting more culturally-informed (rather than a legally informed) notions of ‘victimisation’, ‘suffering’ and ‘trauma’. Drawing on examples including the 96 victims who died as a result of the Hillsborough Football Stadium Disaster of 1989, the Ched Evans rape trials and the recent attention paid to historical child sexual abuse, Matthew argued that previous cultural and legal narratives about who ‘counts’ as a victim of crime is changing and that official pronouncements to this end are not as readily accepted. This has significant implications for those tasked with supporting victims both now and in the future. Prof. Hall also emphasised the importance of speaking to victims directly in order to learn more about their needs and to tailor support mechanisms appropriately.
Professor Hall said “This has been a wonderful day of debate and discussion, emphasising how far we have come in supporting victims whilst also exposing the work that is still needed to truly do right by victims of all kinds of crime, and indeed of wider social harms”.
The House of Commons Academic Fellowship Scheme is run by the House of Commons in partnership with the Political Studies Association (PSA) for senior political and social scientists currently researching or wishing to study the work of Parliament. Dr Catherine Bochel from the University of Lincoln’s School of Social & Political Sciences is one of only five researchers selected for the new role and will be granted rare access to Parliament to examine the relationship between the British public and the processes which shape political decision-making.
Her research will see her working alongside politicians and staff to explore how effectively the public are engaged in the decision-making process and to examine whether the concept of ‘procedural justice’ or ‘fair process’ has been followed.
Dr Bochel said: “Parliament is keen to encourage the public to get involved in politics, and people can now do this in a variety of ways. However, it is important that when they come into contact with Parliament their experience of the process is as positive as possible. This is for a number of reasons. In a liberal democratic system people may not get everything they ask for, so their treatment by the system and experience of it is very important; in such systems final decisions are made by elected representatives, so the public must be able to see that the decision-making process is fair and transparent. Their experience may not only affect how they feel about the individual elements of public engagement with which they have contact, but also wider political and governmental processes. If the processes underpinning participatory initiatives are clearly explained, this may contribute to improved public understanding of Parliament and enhance its work.”
Through her Fellowship, Dr Bochel hopes to improve processes through which Parliament engages the public in political decision-making, particularly in respect of managing expectations, outcomes and feedback to members of the public who get involved.
The College would like to congratulate Dr Bochel and wish her the very best of luck in her research.
You can read the full article on the University of Lincoln website
The RAISE (Researching, Advancing and Inspiring Student Engagement) annual two-day conference was held at Loughborough University in September 2016. There was a strong representation from staff and students from the College of Social Science, making presentations on a variety of teaching and learning research pertaining to student engagement.
Dr Rachel Bromnick, Dr Ava Horowitz and former student Megan Kemp from the School of Psychology, ran a workshop based on their SEED funded project looking at the problem of students packing away their belongings before their university lecturer has finished talking. Their research applied Conversation Analysis as a way into understanding why this behaviour occurs, what triggers it and how it might be managed.
Their lively workshop was well attended and their presentation went on to win the prize for the best presentation of the conference, as voted for by delegates. The RAISE committee congratulated the team and said that delegates were fulsome in their praise about how good the workshop was.
The college would like to extend their congratulations to Dr Rachel Bromnick, Dr Ava Horowitz and Megan Kemp on their prize winning workshop, as well as our thanks to all the Social Science staff and students who attended the conference to present their hard work.
September saw another great graduation week for the University, but as with every graduation the college also took the time to recognise the excellent efforts of those students who have gone above and beyond while studying for their degrees.
The prize giving ceremonies took place on Tuesday 6th, and Wednesday 7th September, with students from the schools of Law, Psychology, Health & Social Care, Social & Political Science, Sport & Exercise Science being honoured.
The events were well attended by staff and family and were a brilliant addition to an already exciting and busy week for the College.
We would once again like to thank the members of staff who nominated the students, and to congratulate the students themselves who received their prizes.
You can see more pictures from the events in the gallery below.
On Thursday 29th of September, as part of the Coffee Morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, the College office held a cake sale with a range of delicious treats brought in by various members of staff. As a result we raised £145.00 for for the charity, which is a brilliant effort.
We’d like to thank everyone in the office for their hard work putting the wonderful array of cakes together, and also to everyone that came down and bought cakes.
At the time of writing the Macmillan Coffee Morning initiative has in total raised £19,916,991.35, and we are happy that we could contribute to such an amazing fundraising activity.