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Wolverhampton Applied Psychology (WARG) Research Group

Aims and Scope

WARG endeavors to conduct high quality research using psychological principles and theories to explore various areas including education, criminal behaviour and the law, intellectual and developmental disability, and aspects of organisations. 

WARG incorporates four applied themes, these are:

  • Educational, Developmental & Lifespan Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology, Criminology & Victimology
  • Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities & Disability Studies
  • Organisational Psychology

For some examples of our current and recent projects please see below.

 

Funded research

Knowing when I’m sick and helping me stay healthy: Parents' insights into the impact of communication on the diagnosis, treatment and management of health problems in adults with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities (PMLD) (Dr. D. Chadwick, Ms, J. Jolliffe (PI) & Prof. J. Goldbart) – (Manchester NHS PCT Small Grants Scheme 2008)

The effects of position on arterial oxygen saturation of adults with severe and profound learning disabilities (Dr. D. Chadwick & Ms. S. Menzies (PI)) – (Manchester NHS PCT Small Grants Scheme 2007)

Group members

  • Dr Darren Chadwick (Co-ordinator)
    The interface between people with intellectual disabilities and the criminal justice system; Communication, development and well-being amongst people with intellectual disabilities; and inclusion and participation by people with intellectual disabilities and those who support them.
  • Dr Josephine Chen-Wilson
    Narrative language development in pre-school and school age children; Reading development in school age children; Reasoning in school aged children and adolescents; Children’s ability to express emotion.
  • Dr Richard Darby
    Cognitive development across the lifespan; dementia and ageing.
  • Nicola Derrer-Rendall
    Academic confidence; Student achievement and self-knowledge; Student satisfaction
  • Dr Chris Fullwood
    Video-mediated technology in the courtroom; Internet use by older adults and people with intellectual disabilities
  • Dr Victoria Galbraith
    The experience of working psycho-therapeutically with a forensic population; the management and treatment of offenders; the experiences of police officers, particularly in relation to their own mental health, the mental health of colleagues and associated help-seeking behaviours.
  • Dave Ormerod
    Dysphagia management strategies: What families of people with PIMD think about changes in food texture and drink consistency.
  • Debbie Stevens-Gill
    Occupational stress in health care settings; Work-life balance in military families.
  • Dr Caroline Wesson
    The interface between people with intellectual disabilities, mental health and the criminal justice system; Communication of confidence, the confidence heuristic & the influence of confidence in applied settings.

Current and recent projects

Members of WARG are engaged in various research activities incorporating individual and collaborative research. Research has been conducted and published involving both internal and external collaborations.

Evaluation of targeted services court for defendants with intellectual disabilities and mental health problems

Darren Chadwick & Caroline Wesson

Despite legislative responsibilities to enable equal treatment for people with intellectual disabilities and people with mental health issues within the criminal justice system (CJS), these people often experience inequitable treatment because those working in the CJS are ill equipped to meet their support requirements. Our study aims to describe the challenges inherent within a targeted services Magistrates’ court for people with mental health problems and intellectual disabilities and to evaluate the process of running this court. We are currently conducting and analysing qualitative interviews with key stakeholders for this study, and will be providing recommendations to the stakeholder organisations to enable practice to be changed to improve the running of the court. We will be re-evaluating the court following implementation of these recommendations.  Preliminary findings indicate that core challenges include: (i) impediments to the identification and referral of appropriate people to the court; (ii) challenges in consistently adjusting and adapting the court process and working practices; and (iii) organisational, communication and co-ordination difficulties inherent in multi-agency working.

Intellectual disability and online behaviour

Darren Chadwick, Chris Fullwood & Caroline Wesson

We plan a series of research projects to provide insight into the nature of online engagement by people with intellectual disabilities (ID), the extent and quality of this engagement in terms of the access that people have, and how people with ID represent themselves in the online world. In our recent review of the extant literature on ‘intellectual disability, identity and the Internet’ (Chadwick, Fullwood & Wesson, in press) we have begun to outline some of the issues around Internet use and access by people with ID. This included outlining potential barriers to Internet use, online interaction and navigation. We also discussed behaviour and the potential benefits of Internet use for people with ID. Finally, we outlined the manner in which computer mediated communication affects how people with ID represent themselves in the online world as well as considering the role that family members and supporters play in the development and management of people’s online identities. Our first planned project is to investigate the manner in which people with ID use social networking sites (SNS). Key questions relating to this project are: do people with ID attain the same social benefits to using SNS as the non-disabled population? How do people with ID represent themselves on SNS? What types of support do people without disabilities offer to people with ID online?

The Concerns and Strengths of Families of People with Intellectual Disabilities in Ireland

Darren Chadwick (In collaboration with families and academics living and working in Ireland)

The needs of the families of people with intellectual disabilities are often unmet. Participatory action research (PAR) can involve families in the research process. This study reports the findings from a national PAR study investigating the concerns and needs of the families of people with an intellectual disability in Ireland. In collaboration, researchers and parent co-researchers developed a survey addressing the main concerns of parents in Ireland. The concerns report method was used; this is a survey based PAR approach that provides a framework whereby family members can take an active role in the research process. The survey was used to identify areas of strength and concerns and facilitate the setting of agendas for community action. Once developed, the survey was distributed via numerous mailing lists held by family groups and disability organisations across Ireland in order to reach as many family members as possible. The survey was also available for completion on line.  Resulting data were analysed descriptively and using cross group comparisons. Additional comments were content analysed. Primary concerns identified by families included planning for the future care of their family member, receiving adequate and flexible services and funding. Concerns and strengths varied according to the characteristics of the families. Including families in research and asking them about the things that were of real concern to them proved to be effective in giving them the power to voice their concerns. Subsequent agenda setting relies on the commitment of family members to advocate for change. Download an easier read report containing the full findings from the study (PDF 3,046K, Downloads file).

 

Selected publications

Educational, Developmental & Lifespan Psychology

Bergin, J.B., Chen-Wilson, J., Derrer, N. and Owens, M.E. (2005). Evaluation Report: The 1st Year of Jubilee Sure Start Outreach and Family Support Team (Telford and Wrekin). Clients: Jubilee Sure Start Telford & Wrekin.

Chen-Wilson, C. (2005). Are better communicators better readers? Proceedings of the British Psychological Society, 13(1).

Chen-Wilson, C. (2003). Book review of Phonological Development In Specific Contexts: Studies Of Chinese-Speaking Children (Child Language and Child Development, 3) by Zhu, H. Journal of Child Language Teaching and Therapy. 19(1), pp.107-108.

Derrer-Rendall, N. & Wesson, C, J. (2010). Exploring Individual and Situational Factors in Students' Goal Achievement. British Psychological Society Annual Conference – Educations Theme, DTRP Symposium Abstracts. Psychology Teaching Review, 16(1), 101-103.

Derrer-Rendall, N., Wesson, C. J., Anderson, L. & Bould, E. (2009). Students' Goal Achievement: Exploring Individual and Situational Factors. Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology, 19, 7(3), 1031-1052

O'Brien, P., Curry, P. Iriarte Garcia, E., Chadwick, D.D., Lally, N., Mitchell, L., Murphy, D., Brennan, C. & Murphy, J. (2010). Transition from post-primary school for students with intellectual disabilities. National Institute for Intellectual Disability, College Dublin. Final Report for the National Council for Special Education, Ireland.

McCormack, T., Maylor, E.A., Brown, G.A. and Darby, R.J. (1999). Developmental changes across the lifespan in stimulus timing. Developmental Psychology.

Maylor, E.A., Darby, R.J. and Della Sala, S. (2000). Retrieval of retrospective and prospective memories in normal aging and dementia. Psychology of Aging.

Maylor, E.A, Darby, R.J. and Della Sala, S. (2000). Retrieval of Performed versus to be-performed tasks: A naturalistic study of the intention-superiority effect in normal aging and dementia. Applied Cognitive Psychology, Vol 14, 83-98.

Forensic Psychology & Criminology

Chadwick, D.D. & Wesson, C. (2012).  Manchester targeted services Magistrates’ court: An Action Research Evaluation (Stage 1 Report & Recommendations). The University of Wolverhampton.

Fullwood, C., Judd, A.M., & Finn, M (2008).  The effect of initial meeting context and video-mediation on jury perceptions of an eyewitness. The Internet Journal of Criminology (Primary Research Papers). Available online

Galbraith, V. E. & Bull, R. (In Prep). Police officers’ attitudes to mental health and help-seeking behaviours.

Galbraith, V. E. & Bull. R. (In Prep). Police officers’ attitudes to mental health and associated help-seeking behaviours: a qualitative study.

Wesson, C.J, & Pulford, B. D. (2009). Verbal expressions of confidence and doubt. Psychological Reports, 105, 151-160

Wesson, C.J. (2008). Knowing what they don’t know: Effects of advisor performance feedback on the confidence heuristic. Poster presented at the Annual British Psychological Society Conference, Dublin, April 2008.

Wesson, C.J. (2008). Perceptions of confident speakers and their judgmental biases. Poster presented at the British Psychological Society Social Section Conference, Dublin, April 2008.

Wesson, C.J. and Pulford, B. D. (2006). Knowing what other people know: Implications for the confidence heuristic. Poster presented at the Advice and Trust in Decision Making Conference, UCL, London, June 29-30, 2006.

Winder, B. and Wesson, C.J.  (2006). Last orders for alcohol related violence: exploring salient factors in the occurrence of violent incidents in UK pubs and other late night venues. Report prepared for the British Glass Institute.

Wesson, C.J. and Pulford, B.D. (2005). Individual differences in the influence of confidence: The effects of need for closure and need for cognition [Abstract]. Proceedings of the British Psychological Society, 13(2), p.163.

Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities

Chadwick, D.D., Stubbs, J., Forvague, S., Anderson, D., Stacey, G. & Tye, S. (In Press) Training support staff to modify fluids to appropriate safe consistencies for adults with intellectual disabilities and dysphagia:  An efficacy study.  Journal of Intellectual Disability Research.

Iriarte Garcia, E., O’Brien, P. & Chadwick, D.D. (In Press) What have we learned about doing research with people with intellectual disabilities?: Reflection on three studies conducted in the Island of Ireland.  (Journal of Policy & Practice in Intellectual Disabilities)

Chadwick, D.D., Mannan, H., Iriarte Garcia, E., McConkey, R., O’Brien, P., Finlay, F., Greene, S., Lawlor, A, Spain, J. & O’Brien, P. (In Press) Family Voices: The lives of families of people with intellectual disabilities in Ireland. (Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities).

Hulbert-Williams, S.L. and Hastings, R.P. (in press).  Life events as a risk factor for psychological problems in individuals with intellectual disabilities: a critical review.  Journal of Intellectual Disability Research.

Hulbert-Williams, L., Hastings, R.P., Crowe, R.Pemberton, J.  (in press)  Self-reported life events, social support and psychological problems in adults with intellectual disabilities.  Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities.

Chadwick, D., Fullwood, C., & Wesson, C. (2013). Intellectual disability, identity and the Internet. In R. Luppicini (Ed.) Handbook of research on technoself: identity in a technological society, USA: IGI Global (pp. 229-254) (ISBN 978-1-4666-2211-1).

Caton, S., Chadwick, D.D., Chapman, M., Mitchell, D. & Stanfield, J. (2012). Healthy Lifestyles for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities: Knowledge, Barriers and Facilitators.  Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 37(3), 248-259. Chadwick, D. D. (2012). Evaluation of a targeted services Magistrates’ court for people with intellectual disabilities. A World of Potential, 14th IASSID World Congress, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, 9th-14th July, 2012.

Chadwick, D.D., McConkey, R., Iriarte Garcia, E., O’Brien, P., Finlay, F., Greene, S., Lawlor, A., & Spain, J. Family-Service Partnerships:  Exploring collaboration between families of people with intellectual disabilities and those working in services. A World of Potential, 14th IASSID World Congress, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, 9th-14th July, 2012.

Goldbart, J., Chadwick, D.D. & Buell, S. (2012).  Choice of communication intervention in PIMD: Speech & language therapists’ rationales. A World of Potential, 14th IASSID World Congress, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, 9th-14th July, 2012.

Chadwick, D. D., Finlay, F., García Iriarte, E., Greene, S., Harrington, J., Lawlor, A., Mannan, H., McConkey, R., O’Brien, P., Spain, J. & Turner, A.  (2010) Family Voices:  Life in Ireland for families of people with intellectual disabilities.  National Institute for Intellectual Disability, Trinity College Dublin.

Hulbert-Williams, L., Hastings, R.P., Crowe, R., Pemberton, J. (2010).  Self-reported life events, social support and psychological problems in adults with intellectual disabilities.  Paper presented at The National Association for Developmental Disabilities Conference in Toronto, Canada.

Chadwick, D. D. & Jolliffe, J. (2009). Effectiveness of training caregivers of adults with learning disabilities in how to use twenty signs to communicate. British Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, 37(1), 34-42.

Chadwick, D. D. & Jolliffe, J. (2009). A descriptive investigation of dysphagia in adults with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 53(1), 29-43.

Chadwick, D.D. Compliance in dysphagia management. Keynote: Speech and Language Therapy Group, Leeds Metropolitan University, Dysphagia Awareness Day. March 2009

Chadwick, D.D. Dysphagia in adults with intellectual disabilities: Looking at the research and contributing to the evidence base. ALD SIG, Taunton, July 2008.

Goldbart, J. & Chadwick, D.D. Therapists' decision-making in communication interventions for people with Profound Intellectual disabilities. People with Intellectual Disabilities: Citizens of the World, 13th IASSID World Congress, Cape Town, 25-30th August 2008.

Chadwick, D.D. Oral tasters for people who are non-orally fed. People with Intellectual Disabilities: Citizens of the World, 13th IASSID World Congress, Cape Town, 25-30th August 2008.

Davies, G., Chadwick, D.D., Cunningham, D.J., Starling, S., Duxbury, J. & Burton, M. (2008). The dental health of adults with learning disabilities - results of a pilot study. Journal of Disability & Oral Health, 9(3), 121-132.

Chapman, M.J., Craven, M. J. & Chadwick, D.D. (2008).The long-term impact of health practitioner input on obesity and BMI amongst adults with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, 12(4), 309-323.

Hulbert-Williams, L. and Hastings. R. Life events as a risk factor for psychological problems in individuals with intellectual disabilities: a critical review. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research (2008) vol. 52 (11) pp. 883-895

Williams, L., Hastings, R. P., Noone, S., Burns, L., Day, J., & Mulligan, J. (2007). Life Events and Psychological Problems in Adults with Intellectual Disabilities: Longitudinal Relationships. Paper presented at the Gatlinburg Conference, Anapolis, MD, USA.

Hulbert-Williams, L. (2007). The Mental Capacity Act: Implications for research. Invited paper to North Wales Special Interest Group on Learning Disabilities, Bangor, UK.

Hulbert-Williams, L., Hastings, R., Noone, S., Burns, L., Day, J., & Mulligan, J. (2007). Significant life events in the context of deinstitutionalisation. Paper presented at the World Congress of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies.

Williams, L., Hastings, R. P., Noone, S., Burns, L., Day, J., & Mulligan, J. (2007). Life Events and Psychological Problems in Adults with Intellectual Disabilities: An overview. Paper presented at the World Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Congress, Barcelona, Spain.

Williams, L., Hastings, R.P., and Noone, S.  (2006). The Bangor Life Events Schedule for Intellectual Disabilities (BLESID).  Paper presented to BABCP Conference at Warwick.

Williams, L., Hastings, R. P., Noone, S., Burns, L., Day, J., & Mulligan, J. (2006). Life Events and Psychological Problems in Adults with Intellectual Disabilities: Longitudinal Relationships. Paper presented at the Sixth Seattle Club Conference on Research and People with Intellectual Disabilities, Kendall, UK.

Chadwick, D. D., Jolliffe, J., Goldbart, J. & Burton, M. H. (2006). Barriers to caregiver compliance with eating and drinking recommendations for adults with intellectual disabilities and dysphagia. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 19(2), 153-163.

Samuels, R. & Chadwick, D.D. (2006). Predictors of asphyxiation risk in adults with intellectual disability and dysphagia. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 50(5), 362-370.

Chapman, M. J., Craven, M. J. & Chadwick, D. D. (2005). Fighting fit? An evaluation of health practitioner input to improve healthy living and reduce obesity for adults with learning disabilities. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, 9(2), 131-144.

Williams, L., Hastings, R., & Noone, S. (2005). Significant life events and people with Intellectual Disabilities.  Fifth European Congress on Mental Health in Mental Retardation.  Barcelona, Spain.

Williams, L., Hastings, R., Noone, S., & Nash, S. (2005). The Bangor Life Events Schedule for Intellectual Disabilities (BLESID). 5th Seattle Club Conference on Research in Intellectual Disabilities. Cardiff, UK.

Chadwick, D. D., Jolliffe, J., & Goldbart, J. (2003). Adherence to eating and drinking guidelines for adults with intellectual disabilities and dysphagia. American Journal on Mental Retardation, 108(3), 202-211.

Chadwick, D. D., Jolliffe, J., & Goldbart, J. (2002). Carer knowledge of dysphagia management strategies. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 37(3), 345-358.

Organisational Psychology

Davis, S. and Derrer, N.M. (2006). The relationship between perceived stress in students who work part-time and Full-time workers. Poster presentation at British Psychological Society Postgraduate Occupational Psychology Conference, Bristol, January 2007.

Derrer, N.M. and Davis, S. (2006). A preliminary investigation into the ‘spill-over’ model of job satisfaction and life satisfaction in a student population. Poster presentation at British Psychological Society Postgraduate Occupational Psychology Conference, Bristol, January 2007.

Martino, O., Fullwood, C., & Morris, N. (2005).  Emotional factors in initiatives to promote health and safety: effects of mood state on compliance. In P.D. Bust & P.T. McCabe (Eds.) Contemporary Ergonomics 2005. London: Taylor and Francis

Morris, N., Fullwood, C., & Martino, L. (2005).  Using Homer Simpson to promote safety. In P.D. Bust P.T. McCabe (Eds.) Contemporary Ergonomics 2005. London: Taylor and Francis

Morris, N., Martino, O., Derrer, N.M., Davis, S. and Fullwood, C. (2006). The psychological well-being of customer services personnel. In: McCabe, P.T. (ed.) Contemporary Ergonomics 2006. London: Taylor and Francis.