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Sunderland, United Kingdom

The University of Sunderland is a university located in Sunderland in the North East of England. The university has 17,101 students, including 2,695 international students from 118 countries.Sunderland was one of six universities to be short-listed for 'University of the Year' in the Times Higher Education Supplement Awards 2012. Wikipedia.


Anxiety about the possibility of non-accidental child deaths has had a major influence on childcare policy and practice over the last 40 years in the UK and elsewhere. Formal inquiries into, and media coverage of, these rare events have served to maintain the perception that such incidents happen far too often and could have been prevented. This focus on individual events tends to distort a clear view of the actual probability of non-accidental child deaths. It reinforces the notions that potentially all childcare cases are risky, and that social workers face a high probability of being involved with a fatal incident. In consequence, work with children has become highly risk averse. However, in statistical terms, the probability of non-accidental child deaths is very low, and far less than that of a child being killed on the roads. This article examines the way in which perceptions of the 'high' probability of child deaths are sustained despite their very low statistical probability. The analysis draws on thinking from behavioural psychology, particularly the work of Kahneman and Tversky, to consider some of the biases in probabilistic reasoning which affect risk perceptions in a child protection context. The article explores the way in which inquiry reports into single past events reconfirm risk perceptions. It will be argued that recognition of the essentially unpredictable nature of future individual non-accidental child deaths would free up childcare professionals to work in a more positive and less risk-averse manner. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source


Ennaceur A.,University of Sunderland
Methods in Molecular Biology | Year: 2012

This report describes a behavioral test protocol for assessing anxiety in mice and rats in single or multiple sessions. The test is based on exposure of animals to an open-space elevated platform with suspended steep slopes attached on two opposite sides. In this test, all animals cross frequently onto and spend more time in the areas adjacent to slopes than in the areas adjacent to a void space. Balb/c mice (albinos) were shown consistently to be more anxious than CD-1 mice (albinos), c57/Bl6J and c57/Bl6N (pigmented) mice; they do not cross onto the slopes. When Balb/c mice are treated with amphetamine or diazepam, the number of crossings on the platform is significantly increased but only diazepam-treated mice do cross onto the slopes. In the presence of a protected space on the platform, the behavior of c57/Bl6J compares to that of Balb/c mice; they stop crossings onto the slopes and demonstrate avoidance response. Unlike the current existing tests, the present open-space anxiety test demonstrates reliable and consistent results with strong construct and discriminant validity. It provides unequivocal measures of fear-induced anxiety, which are not confounded with measures of fear-induced escape/avoidance responses, hyperactivity or impulsive responses. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. Source


Bradley P.S.,University of Sunderland | Noakes T.D.,University of Cape Town
Journal of Sports Sciences | Year: 2013

The aims of this study were to: (1) quantify match running performance in 5-min periods to determine if players fatigue or modulate high-intensity running according to a pacing strategy, and (2) examine factors impacting high-intensity running such as score line, match importance and the introduction of substitutes. All players were analysed using a computerised tracking system. Maintaining 'high' levels of activity in the first half resulted in a 12% reduction (P < 0.01) in the second half for high-intensity running (effect size [ES]: 0.8), while no changes were observed in 'moderate' and 'low' groups (ES: 0.0-0.2). The 'high' group covered less (P < 0.01) high-intensity running in the initial 10-min of the second versus first half (ES: 0.6-0.7), but this was not observed in 'moderate' and 'low' groups (ES: 0.2-0.4). After the most intense periods, players demonstrated an 8% drop in high-intensity running (P < 0.05) compared to the match average (ES: 0.2) and this persisted for 5-min before recovering. Players covered similar high-intensity running distances in matches with differing score lines but position-specific trends indicated central defenders covered 17% less (P < 0.01) and attackers 15% more high-intensity running during matches that were heavily won versus lost (ES: 0.9). High-intensity running distances were comparable in matches of differing importance, but between-half trends indicated that only declines (P < 0.01) occurred in the second half of critical matches (ES: 0.2). Substitutes covered 15% more (P < 0.01) high-intensity running versus the same time period when completing a full match (ES: 0.5). The data demonstrate that high-intensity running in the second half is impacted by the activity of the first half and is reduced for 5-min after intense periods. High-intensity running is also influenced by score line and substitutions but not match importance. More research is warranted to establish if fluctuations in match running performance are primarily a consequence of fatigue, pacing or tactical and situational influences. © 2013 Taylor & Francis. Source


Horridge K.A.,University of Sunderland
Archives of Disease in Childhood: Education and Practice Edition | Year: 2011

Every paediatrician, generalist or specialist, at every level and in every setting will come across the child or young person with disordered development and has a duty of care to ensure that appropriate assessment and investigations are undertaken, if each individual is to be given the best possible opportunities to achieve the highest possible level of participation and enjoy the best possible quality of life. Using a structured approach, all paediatricians have the potential to make a significant positive difference and should seek every opportunity to do so, even if seeing the child for an entirely different reason. Key messages of this article include: (1) each child is unique and requires careful, individual, clinical assessment and thought before any investigations are undertaken; (2) there is no single list of appropriate tests to be done for all children with disordered development; (3) the clinical judgement of the experienced clinician (expert triage) is more helpful than 'guidelines' in deciding which investigations to do; (4) clinical networking with colleagues in paediatric neurodisability, neurology, clinical genetics, metabolic paediatrics, and so on, is essential to achieve the highest possible yield from investigations and to reduce the number, discomfort and expense of inappropriate investigations; (5) the more effort and thought that goes into formulating differential diagnoses, the more appropriate the investigations are likely to be and the higher the likely diagnostic hit rate. Diagnostic hit rates up to 80% have been reported in the literature for those with severe learning disabilities and this is likely to be even higher once microarray comparative genomic hybridisation becomes more widely available. Source


Ennaceur A.,University of Sunderland
Physiology and Behavior | Year: 2014

The plus-maze, the light-dark box and the open-field are the main current tests of unconditioned anxiety for mice and rats. Despite their disappointing achievements, they remain as popular as ever and seem to play an important role in an ever-growing demand for behavioral phenotyping and drug screening. Numerous reviews have repeatedly reported their lack of consistency and reliability but they failed to address the core question of whether these tests do provide unequivocal measures of fear-induced anxiety, that these measurements are not confused with measures of fear-induced avoidance or natural preference responses - i.e. discriminant validity. In the present report, I examined numerous issues that undermine the validity of the current tests, and I highlighted various flaws in the aspects of these tests and the methodologies pursued. This report concludes that the evidence in support of the validity of the plus-maze, the light/dark box and the open-field as anxiety tests is poor and methodologically questionable. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. Source

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