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Research Seminar | Identifying Barriers Experienced by Autistic Jobseekers and Work Coaches

The unfolding autism prevalence and the high unemployment rates among autistic people have led to an increase in demand for employment support mechanisms. Although UK government legislation recommends the development of evidence-based needs-led services for autistic jobseekers, there is limited research to guide employment service provision. Thus, engaging the autistic community in the research processes to develop needs-led services and practices in a manner that is mutually beneficial and meaningful is of great importance. Unfortunately, current action research models in this area often lack social acceptability or fidelity and only offer its participants a passive recipient’s role, thereby being of limited relevance to end-users.
Using a community-based participatory research approach, this project integrates psychology and human resource management to produce evidence-based information for the development of protocols to deliver needs-led work-search review meetings with autistic jobseekers. This work will be used to inform policy development and the reformulation of current professional practices employed by Disability Advisors and Work Coaches in Jobcentres across the UK.


Senior Lecturer/Programme Lead Department of People and Organisation in the Lincoln International Business School, Dr John Mendy is leading the research seminar, which is titled “Identifying needs and barriers experienced by autistic jobseekers and work coaches at the Jobcentre’s work search review meetings: A community-based participatory research project”, which is taking place on 14th March 2018 from 16:00 to 17:00 in LM0103 (this is located on the ground floor of the David Chiddick Building in the Executive Development Centre)


This is a free event and all are welcome to attend.

Seminar: An Introduction to Grounded Theory

Reposted from Staff News: 

On Wednesday 28th February, Dr Julie Pattinson, Research  Assistant at the School of Health and Social Care will give a seminar entitled ‘Grounded Theory’.

This is part of the Community and Health Research Unit seminar series.

Grounded Theory is a research method used by qualitative researchers in the Social Sciences. The talk will focus on the wider idea of Grounded Theory as a methodology, its origins in sociology (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) and how it can be applied to numerous disciplines.

The seminar will take place from 10:00am-11:00am in DCB1107 (David Chiddick building). Booking is not required.

Social and Political Sciences Professor Steve McKay Featured in The Express


Professor Steve McKay, from the School of Social and Political Sciences has contributed to a study that has recently been featured in an article about planned pregnancy and it’s impact on relationships. The research, jointly undertaken by the Marriage Foundation and the University of Lincoln, used data from 18,374 mothers in the Millennium Cohort Study and was published to mark the start of Marriage Week. The study explains that less than a fifth (18 per cent) of married parents who planned to start a family had broken up by the time their child reached 14 years old, but almost a quarter (24 per cent) of those whose baby was not a joint decision had split by the same point. Amongst cohabiting couples, the rate of breakdown was almost half (47 per cent) while fewer than two in five (38 per cent) separated if they had made a plan to have children. But the contrast over the first three years of a relationship was especially stark, according to the Marriage Foundation analysis. Only four per cent of married couples whose first pregnancy was planned split up within three years compared to more than 20 per cent of non-married parents who never made it to their third anniversary after not discussing a potential pregnancy.

Professor Steve McKay adds that “Even after controlling for mother’s age, education, ethnicity, marital status and relationship happiness nine months after their child was born, the odds of a couple splitting up before their child becomes a teenager were 28 per cent greater if they had not planned the birth.”

You can read the full article here

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University of Lincoln Receives Funding from Research Councils UK (RCUK)


The University of Lincoln is among just 12 institutions awarded funding to enhance and embed support for public engagement with research within UK higher education institutes.

The University has been awarded the funding by Research Councils UK (RCUK) through its new Strategic Support to Expedite Embedding Public Engagement with Research (SEE-PER) grants following a competitive bidding process.

The money will be used to fund the PEARL (Public Engagement for All with research at Lincoln) project which aims to bring the organisation, visibility and impact of Public Engagement with Research (PER) at the University of Lincoln up to a consistently excellent standard, building on its already strong track record in public engagement.

The project will be led by Professor Carenza Lewis,  from the School of History and Heritage, and Professor Timothy Hodgson, from the School of Psychology, from October 2017 to March 2018 with activity thereafter supported by the University.

Professor Carenza Lewis, Professor for the Public Understanding of Research, said: “I am delighted we have been successful in securing this grant as one of the things which attracted me to the University of Lincoln was its commitment to wider communities and the PEARL SEEPER grant will enable us to make the experience of engaging with university research even better for members of the public, staff and students.”

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Educational Research PhD Student Video

Theresa Marriott is an Educational Research PhD student here at the University of Lincoln and she is currently writing up her final thesis, which focuses on the perceptions and identities of FE teachers. Theresa also delivers PGCE classes to teacher training students. A big thank you to Theresa for taking time out of her busy schedule to record this snapshot video for us and we wish her every success in her career.

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New Study Shows That People Who Attend Concerts Are More Likely To Give To Charity


A new study conducted by the University of Lincoln and the University of Kent indicates that those who attend cultural events, including concerts are more likely to participate in charity campaigns through either donating or volunteering, regardless of social background and income.

Dr. Julie Van de Vyver, the author of the study, stated that the statistical strength of their findings surprised them. She added that the role of the arts and its influence in society was significant enough to develop prosocial behavior.

She also added that if the arts has the power to influence and promote prosocial behaviour in people, its contribution to society should be recognised.

According to Dr. Van de Vyver, one of the probable causes of this prosocial behaviour is the shared meaning created by art among people involved in artistic events and activities. This shared meaning is able then to develop into compassion and empathy for others.

According to the co-author of the research Professor Dominic Abrams from the University of Kent, this shared meaning and experience is easy to accomplish because anyone can engage in artistic activities, regardless of where they are in the world, either directly or by observing the works of others.

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Lincoln Psychology Research into Gambling Addiction and the Link to Childhood Trauma


Men with problem and pathological gambling addictions are more likely to have suffered childhood traumas including physical abuse or witnessing violence in the home, according to new research.

Psychologists examined responses in a survey of more than 3,000 men on a variety of life factors, and found that just over a quarter who had probable pathological gambling problems had witnessed violence in the home as a child. Ten per cent also reported being physically abused in childhood, and a further seven per cent said they had suffered a life-threatening injury.

Problem gamblers – those who have not yet escalated to a pathological problem, but are deemed to have a more serious addiction than non-problem gamblers – also reported higher rates of childhood trauma, with just under 23 per cent saying they had witnessed violence at home, and nine per cent experiencing physical abuse. In comparison, just eight per cent of non-problem gamblers witnessed domestic violence when they were a child, and less than four per cent had suffered abuse.

The study, led by the University of Lincoln, UK, also found that 35 per cent of pathological gamblers had suffered serious money problems as adults, 29 per cent had been convicted of a criminal offence, and almost 20 per cent had experienced relationship breakdowns. In comparison, for non-problem gamblers the figures came in at just 12, 9, and 10 per cent respectively.

The pattern of people who had previously suffered traumas in childhood or stressful events as an adult becoming pathological and problem gamblers remained even when other associated risk factors, such as substance abuse and homelessness, were accounted for. Interestingly, the more serious the gambling problem, the higher the percentage of reported childhood trauma or life stressors as an adult in all but two questions.

Researchers say the findings highlight a need for gambling treatment services to include routine screening for traumatic life events or substance abuse, so that treatments can be better tailored.

Forensic psychologist Dr Amanda Roberts, from the University of Lincoln’s School of Psychology, led the study. She said: “The links between gambling problems, trauma and life stressors have been known to exist for some time, but understanding the extent of these relationships will help early intervention and better treatment.

“We have found that among men in the United Kingdom, disordered gambling remains uniquely associated with trauma and life stressors in childhood and adulthood after adjusting for alcohol and drug dependence.

“Probable pathological gamblers and problem gamblers reported injuries, marital difficulties, homelessness, money problems and criminality more often than non/non-problem gamblers.  Taken as a whole, this suggests that disordered gambling does not occur on its own, but that it is perhaps symptomatic of other social, behavioural and psychological problems of some individuals.

“General experiences of stressful life events, such as job loss or homelessness in adulthood are not usually characterised by the same extreme psychological responses; this distinction is important, since associations with traumatic events might indicate increased vulnerability to developing gambling problems, while associations with other types of stressful life event, such as job loss, might indicate consequential harms associated with gambling.¡

The results build on Dr Roberts previous study which found that men who gamble are more likely to act violently towards others, with the most addicted gamblers the most prone to serious violence.

The new findings have been published in the journal Addictive Behaviours.

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Capabilities pathway questions for service user / carers

Mo Ray, the Research Director for the School of Health and Social Care at the University of Lincoln, is conducting a study and would like the feedback of members of the public who are service users or carers for older people. Attached is a feedback form containing a few very short series of questions for the completion of service users / carers in relation to the capabilities for social work with older people. If you are able to spend a few moments of your time to read the attached sheet which details the study, followed by just a few questions we would be very grateful. The deadline for any responses is 25th March 2017.

“My name is Mo Ray and I am the Research Director for the School of Health and Social Care at the University of Lincoln. I am a member of a special interest group which has been trying to raise the profile and importance of high-quality social work with older people. The Chief Social Worker for Adults has now asked the British Association of Social Work (BASW) to develop a set of capabilities for social work with older people. They will be developed in conjunction with older citizens, older people who use services, carers and other people such as social workers. 
We have been asked to comment on a number of questions and very much hope that you will be able to take a few minutes to answer them, based on your experiences and views. There are no right or wrong answers. They will be used to inform the initial development of the capabilities.
We are hopeful that BASW will host a forum event in Lincolnshire to launch the draft capabilities in the summer and we will hope to invite interested members to come along to that event.”
We welcome your feedback via email, by either writing your response to the questions on the sheet provided or by sending an email stating the question you are responding to. Responses should be directed to either . If you would prefer to print off the attached and write your response, a freepost return address is available by popping NEA936 on the address line.
Please download the questionnaire here:

Couples on the rocks find happiness by ‘sticking it out’


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.

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LittleWorld-BrayfordCampus1Welcome to the College of Social Science blog, a project to create a space to share news and information with the staff and students from the college as well as the rest of the university.

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