PhD Studentships: University of East Anglia

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wm033
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Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:08 pm

PhD Studentships: University of East Anglia

Post by wm033 » Thu Nov 24, 2011 3:44 pm

The Department of Psychological Sciences, Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia has 2 full-time PhD studentships in clinically relevant areas. We also have 1 PhD studentship jointly with the School of Allied Health Professions, again in a clinically relevant area. Details below:

Moral development in children and adolescents who have survived a traumatic brain injury
Supervisors: Dr Peter Langdon and Dr Anna Adlam

Children and adolescents who survive a traumatic brain injury (TBI) are at risk of developing behavioural problems that are likely to lead them into conflict with criminal justice agencies. There is evidence of a relationship between criminal offending and moral development amongst adolescents, but this relationship has not been explored with children and adolescents who have survived a TBI. There is also emerging evidence that psychological treatments, based upon moral development theory, may be an effective treatment for children and adolescence who engage in criminal offending. As a consequence, this project aims to examine the relationship between the moral development, neurocognitive functioning, criminogenic factors, and behaviour amongst children and adolescents with TBI. An additional aim of the project will be to examine whether not interventions, based on moral development theory, are likely to be advantageous when used with this population.

Funding Notes:

Students may register from 1 October 2012 for a three year full-time MPhil/PhD degree. Stipend of £13,590 per annum (2012/13), UK/EU fees and some appropriate training costs.

Applicants should hold a 2:1 degree or above or a master's degree in Psychology or equivalent.

Those applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate evidence of appropriate English language proficiency, normally defined as a minimum IELTS score of 7.5 (Overall Band Score) with 7.5 in all elements or equivalent.

Details: http://www.findaphd.com/search/ProjectD ... 22&LID=436



Participation in healthcare: investigation into the accessibility value of health-based literature for people with poor literacy skills associated with intellectual disability
Supervisors: Dr Karen Bunning and Dr Peter Langdon

The role of literature in health promotion and education is not new. Patient advice leaflets are available in most community health centres and hospital departments, with electronic versions frequently available through the Internet. There are some people accessing health systems for whom understanding health education literature is problematic. For example, many people with intellectual disability experience speech, language and communication difficulties that are frequently accompanied by poor or non-existent literacy skills. The last 10 years has seen a rise in the production of ‘easy read’ literature designed to facilitate reader accessibility, with a number of organisations set up with the remit of adapting text for people who experience problems with reading. However, there is little published evidence to support the effectiveness of adapted literature and the question of what ‘accessibility’ or ‘easy to read’ really means remains. The overarching aim of the proposal is to investigate the accessibility value of health-based literature that has been adapted for people with poor or limited literacy skills. A core question is ‘How effective is adapted literature in supporting the construction of meaning on health-related matters?’

This is a quasi-experimental study that employs a mixed methodology drawing on the discipline of applied linguistics. The research will be conducted in two distinct phases. The first phase is university-based and focuses on linguistic variables at three levels: lexical, sentence and text cohesion. It will involve comparing specifically adapted literature to matched, mainstream counterparts. Recruitment of the literature sample will be based on an initial survey of literature currently available in health care organisations. Text will be sampled and a range of measures applied. Differences between the two groups of literature will be examined. The second phase of the study is field-based and focuses on reading comprehension. It will involve developing and carrying out tests developed from the linguistic content of literature recruited to the first phase of the study. These will be administered to a sample of adult-participants with intellectual disability focusing on verbal recall and conceptual understanding.

The supervisory team will comprise Drs Karen Bunning, Pete Langdon and Gabrina Pounds, bringing together the disciplines of speech & language therapy, clinical psychology and applied linguistics. The research will build on existing links with services for people with intellectual disability in East Anglia. The School of Allied Health Professions provides appropriate facilities in its well-equipped Communication Lab. There will be opportunities for training in text analysis methods, use of linguistics software and statistical analysis.

By addressing the question of accessibility value and effectiveness of adapted literature some clear guidance may emerge, not only for the developers of adapted literature, but also for health-based practitioners who use such literature to inform, advise and educate patients with poor or limited language and literacy skills.

Funding Notes:

Students may register from 1 October 2012 for a three year full-time MPhil/PhD degree. Stipend of £13,590 per annum (2012/13), UK/EU fees and some appropriate training costs.

Applicants should hold a 2:1 degree or above or a master's degree in speech & language therapy; linguistics; psycholinguistics or in a science, social science or health related subject or equivalent.

Those applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate evidence of appropriate English language proficiency, normally defined as a minimum IELTS score of 7.5 (Overall Band Score) with 7.5 in all elements or equivalent.

Further details: http://www.findaphd.com/search/ProjectD ... 12&LID=436


The role of reassurance and accommodation in the maintenance of anxiety disorders
Supervisors: Professor Shirley Reynolds and Dr Lena Gega

Anxiety disorders are prevalent across the life span, constitute a significant economic, social and emotional burden, and tend to cluster in families. The overall prevalence of anxiety disorders in children and adolescents (from 2 to 21 years) is around 10% and in adults is similar, ranging from 8 5o 15% in primary care. Anxiety frequently first develops during childhood and contemporary models suggest that the clustering of anxiety disorders within families is due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Families provide both the genetics and a significant part of the environment.
The aim of this proposal is to focus on a key environmental factor – family accommodation. Family accommodation to anxiety has been proposed to be a common maintenance factor across a range of anxiety disorders. Family accommodation is positively associated with distress and theoretically is believed to inhibit recovery from anxiety. A specific kind of family accommodation, reassurance seeking and reassurance giving, has been specifically implicated in the aetiology of health anxiety, generalised anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and social anxiety. As a result, psychological treatment (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) typically seeks to eliminate reassurance seeking and reassurance giving within families. However, there is virtually no evidence that, in practice, reassurance seeking inhibits recovery or increases distress in patients or their family members. In addition, theoretical models from other areas of psychology suggest that providing reassurance to children and family members promotes positive psychological development, confidence and self esteem. Previous and on-going laboratory based research at UEA shows that reassurance giving by mothers increased children’s OCD-like behaviours but was not associated with increased anxiety or distress in mothers or their children.
The aim of this proposal is examine the role of reassurance seeking in anxiety disorders. The proposal has a number of phases and will involve a range of research methods and techniques including diagnostic interviewing, observational and experimental studies, and qualitative interviewing. The PhD student will work within a clinical research team and receive regular research supervision as well as appropriate clinical support. The studentship would be appropriate for a student with a strong background in developmental and abnormal psychology, a good understanding of research methods and skills in data management and analysis, excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work as part of a team.

The student will join the research team and work alongside research associates and clinical studies officers in the NHS. Participants (adults and children) and family members will be recruited from those currently referred to primary and secondary mental health services and who are already routinely receiving diagnostic assessments. Two approaches to recruitment will be taken – top down and bottom up. The top down approach will recruit adults who have an anxiety disorder and who have one or more dependent children, through the Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies service in Norfolk. The bottom up approach will recruit children and adolescents with anxiety disorders, and their parent(s) through the Child and Adolescent Mental Health service in Norfolk.

Funding Notes:

Students register from 1 October 2012 for a three year full-time MPhil/PhD degree. Stipend of £13,590 per annum (2012/13), UK/EU fees and some appropriate training costs.

Applicants should hold 2:1 degree or above or a master's degree in Psychology (granting GBC for the BPS). Evidence of quantitative knowledge and skills is required and experience of working clinically / in a clinical research environment is desirable.

Those applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate evidence of appropriate English language proficiency, normally defined as a minimum IELTS score of 7.5 (Overall Band Score) with 7.5 in all elements or equivalent.

Further Details: http://www.findaphd.com/search/ProjectD ... 24&LID=436

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