• Self-disgust as a potential mechanism underlying the association between body image disturbance and suicidal thoughts and behaviours

      Akram, Umair; Allen, Sarah; Stevenson, Jodie C.; Lazarus, Lambros; Ypsilanti, Antonia; Ackroyd, Millicent; Chester, Jessica; Longden, Jessica; Peters, Chloe; Irvine, Kamila R.; et al. (Elsevier BV, 2022-10-26)
      This study examined whether self-disgust added incremental variance to and mediated the multivariate association between measures of body image disturbance and suicidal thoughts and behaviours. We hypothesized that self-disgust would be associated with suicidal ideation above the effects of body image disturbance, and that self-disgust would mediate the relationship between body image disturbance and suicidal ideation. A total of N=728 participants completed The Body Image Disturbance Questionnaire, The Self-Disgust Scale, and the Suicidal Behaviours Questionnaire-Revised. Suicidality was significantly related to increased levels of self-disgust and body image disturbance, whereas self-disgust was associated with greater body image disturbance. Linear regression analysis showed that self-disgust was associated with suicidal thoughts and behaviours, over and above the effects of body image disturbance. Multiple mediation modelling further showed that self-disgust mediated the relationship between body image disturbance and suicidal thoughts and behaviours. Our findings highlight the role of self-disgust in the context of body image disturbance and support the notion that body image disturbance is associated with aversive self-conscious emotions. Interventions aiming to reduce the risk of suicidality in people with body image disturbance may address self-disgust and negative self-conscious emotions.
    • Using lessons from a comparative study of chemistry & bioscience pre-lab activities to design effective pre-lab interventions : a case study

      Rayment, S. J; Evans, J; Moss, K; Coffey, M; Kirk, S. H; Sivasubramaniam, S. D; Nottingham Trent University; University of Derby (Routledge - Taylor and Francis, 2022-01-04)
      Laboratory classes form an important aspect of bioscience education. However, this environment is challenging for students due to cognitive load and lack of confidence. Familiarising students with aspects of their laboratory classes prior to the session can improve this. This study compares the pre-laboratory scaffolding that bioscience and chemistry students experience across UK HE institutions. Typically, bioscience modules used fewer types of activities than chemistry although reading the protocol was the most common activity for both disciplines. Within bioscience, pre-laboratory activities differed by level: first year undergraduates were more likely to be asked to read the protocol, watch videos or do calculation practice in their modules whereas final year undergraduates were more likely to experience experimental design or contextualised activities. Alongside this, this paper discusses an institutional case study of the development and evaluation of technical laboratory videos as pre-laboratory scaffolding for first year students. These were found to benefit both student focus and enhance confidence: implying that using the videos impacted on cognitive load and hence learning. Exploring barriers to the uptake of these resources identified a lack of awareness of them as a major factor, suggesting that greater integration of such resources would enhance engagement and impact.
    • Discourse analysis and emotions

      Childs, Carrie; University of Derby (De Gruyter, 2022)
      This chapter is concerned with discourse-centred approaches for examining emotion in conversation. Specifically, the chapter focuses on Conversation Analysis and Discursive Psychology. These approaches share a focus on the study of language as a topic in its own right- as a means of constructing, rather than representing, reality. With regard to emotion, the focus is on examining emotional displays and the ways in which these are invoked, managed and treated in conversation. The primary issue is the interactional work that is done and how notions of emotion are topicalized and managed in specific settings. The chapter has two major subsections. In the first I introduce Conversation Analysis and Discursive Psychology as research tools. I provide a description of each and outline their core methodological features. In the second I provide specific examples that illustrate the application of Conversation Analysis and Discursive Psychology to the study of emotion. The aim is to elucidate these approaches as ways of exploring emotion in naturally occurring interaction, highlighting the ways in which approaches based on analysis of authentic interaction can contribute to an understanding of emotion in conversation.
    • The influence of experimental confederate peers on children's food intake: A systematic review and meta-analysis

      Sharps, Maxine; Coulthard, Helen; Salvy, S.J.; Ryan, Sean; Fallon, Vicky; De Montfort University; Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, USA; University of Derby; University of Liverpool (Elsevier, 2021-12-15)
      Confederates influence eating behaviour. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses have been conducted on this topic, however, the majority have examined adults, or a combination of adults and children, therefore, an up-to-date meta-analysis is needed to examine the impact of confederate peers on children's food intake. We systematically reviewed and meta-analysed the influence of confederate peers on children's food intake in research using present and remote-confederates. Six publications summarising findings from seven studies were included in this review. One publication was excluded from the meta-analysis because it was not possible to extract the required data. The meta-analysis showed that children were influenced by confederate peers; eating more when exposed to a high-intake compared to a no or low-intake confederate. Larger effects were observed when children were exposed to a remote-than a present-confederate, and for studies using healthy snacks compared to high fat high sugar (HFHS) snacks. No difference in effect size was observed when children were exposed to a high-vs. low-intake confederate compared to a high-vs. no-intake confederate. In the narrative synthesis, confederate intake influenced children's eating behaviour 24-h later, and possible moderators and a potential mechanism underlying the influence of confederates were identified. Caution is needed when interpreting the results, as the sub-groups were not compared statistically due to high heterogeneity, and a small number of studies were included in this review. Furthermore, all studies using the present-confederate design examined HFHS snack intake, therefore, it is unclear whether observed differences in effect sizes between present- and remote-confederates may be due to confederate or food type. Research is needed to further examine the influence of confederate peers on children's food intake and to examine mechanisms and moderators.
    • The Science of Compassion

      GIlbert, Paul; university of Derby (Routledge, 2021-11-30)
      This chapter explores the nature and science of compassion, how it can texture political discourse, but also the challenges it is up against. Most scientists recognise that nothing makes much sense in biology, or the nature of the mind, without an evolutionary analysis. Evolutionary analysis operates through two fundamental processes in the universe, which are splitting apart, separating, diversifying, and even competing versus coming together, integrating, coordinating, and building complexity. In the television series Westworld, pleasure androids are programmed with algorithms and scripts to live out certain kinds of life narratives such that the human participants visiting the 'theme park' can interact and do what they want to them. As primates, humans are capable of two quite different types of life strategy and motivational orientation to the world.
    • Continuing professional development and mentoring

      Bryson, David; University of Derby (Taylor & Francis, 2021-11-24)
      This professional development paper aims to give you some pointers that will help you get the most from your mentorship experience as a mentor or a mentee. We look at how mentoring can support your professional development. A simple definition is that a mentor may share with a mentee (or protege) information about his or her own career path, as well as provide guidance, motivation, emotional support, and role modelling. A mentor may help with exploring careers, setting goals, developing contacts, and identifying resources.
    • 25 Years on: progress in computer-based learning,

      Bryson, David; University of Derby (Taylor & Francis, 2021-11-24)
      1996 saw several papers addressing and informing readers about developments in computer-based learning and their effective use in teaching also the impact of technological developments on services and personnel.
    • Production of Long-Acting CNGRC–CPG2 Fusion Proteins: New Derivatives to Overcome Drug Immunogenicity of Ligand-Directed Enzyme Prodrug Therapy for Targeted Cancer Treatment

      Al-mansoori, Layla; Al Qahtani, Alanod D.; Elsinga, Philip; Goda, Sayed K.; Qatar University, Doha, Qatar; Anti-Doping Lab-Qatar (ADLQ), Doha, Qatar; University of Groningen, the Netherlands; Cairo University, Giza, Egypt; University of Derby (SAGE Publications, 2021-11-20)
      Aminopeptidase N (APN) is an enzyme highly expressed in metastatic cancers and could be used in targeted cancer therapy. Our previous work showed the successful construction of CNGRC–carboxypeptidase G2 (CPG2) and CNGRC–CPG2–CNGRC fusion proteins. Our conjugates and prodrugs were effective in targeting high APN-expressing cancer cells. In the present study, we aim to produce long-acting fusion proteins to overcome 2 of the main drawbacks of antibody-directed enzyme prodrug therapy. N-terminal and N-, C-terminal fusion CPG2, CNGRC–CPG2, and CNGRC–CPG2–CNGRC, respectively, were PEGylated using polyethylene glycol (PEG) maleimide (40K). We examined the effect of PEGylation on the therapeutic efficacy of the new products. The resulting PEGylated fusion proteins were tested for their stability, ex vivo immunotoxicity, binding capacity to their target on high HT1080, and low A549 APN-expressing cells. The catalytic activity of the resulting PEGylated fusion CPG2 proteins was investigated. Pro-drug “ZD2767P” cytotoxic effect in association with PEG CPG2–CNGRC fusion proteins on cancer cells was studied. Our work demonstrated that the properties of the PEGylated single-fused proteins were significantly improved over that of un-PEGylated fused CPG2, and its kinetic activity and APN-binding affinity were not negatively affected by the PEGylation. Significantly, The PEGylated single-fused CPG2 had lower immunogenicity than the un-PEGylated CPG2. Our results, however, were different in the case of the PEGylated double-fused CPG2. Although its stability in human serum under physiological conditions was not significantly affected, the kinetic activity and its binding affinity to their cellular marker (APN) were substantially reduced. When the study was performed with high and low APN-expressing cancer cell lines, using the prodrug ZD2767p, the PEGylated fusion CPG2 demonstrated cancer cell killing effects. We have successfully produced PEGylated-CNGRC–CPG2, which is bioactive and with lower immunogenicity in ligand-directed enzyme prodrug therapy for cancer treatment.
    • An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis exploring the experiences of mothers who relate to the term ‘Gender Disappointment’

      Young, Nina; Hallam, Jenny; Jackson, Jessica; Barnes, Christopher; Montague, Jane; University of Nottingham; University of Derby (MAG, 2021-11-19)
      In a western context little is known about what it means to associate with the term gender disappointment - feelings of despair around not having a child of the desired sex. Explore the lived experiences of British women who identify with the term gender disappointment. Six mothers of only sons who desired a daughter participated in a semi-structured interview via an online platform. An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) identified themes which relate to (i) pity, societal expectations of unfulfillment and concerns relating to future mother son relationship (ii) feelings of guilt and shame and (iii) barriers to seeking help and benefits of talking. More awareness relating to gender disappointment and the negative impact it has upon maternal wellbeing is needed. Mothers who identify with gender disappointment would benefit from support from health visitors to enable them to access the help they need.
    • Using patient feedback to adapt intervention materials based on acceptance and commitment therapy for people receiving renal dialysis

      Elander, James; Kapadi, Romaana; Coyne, Emma; Taal, Maarten W.; Selby, Nicholas M.; Stalker, Carol; Mitchell, Kathryn; University of Derby (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2021-11-15)
      Theory-based intervention materials must be carefully adapted to meet the needs of users with specific physical conditions. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) has been adapted successfully for cancer, chronic pain, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, multiple sclerosis, and a range of other conditions, but not so far for people receiving renal haemodialysis. This paper presents findings from a study to adapt ACT-based intervention materials specifically for renal dialysis. Draft written materials consisting of four stories depicting fictitious individuals who used ACT-related techniques to help overcome different challenges and difficulties related to dialysis were adapted using a systematic patient consultation process. The participants were 18 people aged 19 to 80 years, with chronic kidney disease and receiving renal dialysis. Individual, semi-structured interviews were conducted to elicit participants’ views about how the content of the draft materials should be adapted to make them more realistic and relevant for people receiving renal dialysis and about how the materials should be presented and delivered to people receiving renal dialysis. The interview transcripts were analysed using a qualitative adaptation of the Delphi method in which themes are used as a framework for translating feedback into proposals for modifications. The analysis of patient feedback supported the use of patient stories but suggested they should be presented by video and narrated by real dialysis patients. They also indicated specific adaptations to make the stories more credible and realistic. Participant feedback was translated into proposals for change that were considered along with clinical, ethical and theoretical factors. The outcome was a design for a video-based intervention that separated the stories about individuals from the explanations of the specific ACT techniques and provided greater structure, with material organised into smaller chunks. This intervention is adapted specifically for people receiving renal dialysis while retaining the distinctive theoretical principles of ACT. The study shows the value of consulting patients in the development of intervention materials and illustrates a process for integrating patient feedback with theoretical, clinical and practical considerations in intervention design.
    • The secret language of flowers: insights from an outdoor, arts-based intervention designed to connect primary school children to locally accessible nature.

      Hallam, Jenny; Gallagher, Laurel; Owen, Kay; University of Derby; Urban Wilderness (Routledge: Taylor and Francis, 2021-11-08)
      This paper uses ethnography to explore an outdoor, arts-based intervention run by Urban Wilderness, in partnership with an English primary school. Urban Wilderness are a not-for-profit organisation which aims to connect children and young people from disadvantaged areas to locally accessible nature. Over the course of three afternoon workshops, Urban Wilderness facilitators, a professional artist and teaching staff explored a local park with ten 9–10-year-old children and co-created a sculpture which was exhibited in the park as part of a family festival. Analysis of audio recordings and photographs taken during the workshops explored the ways in which a youth led approach and arts-based methods (i) fostered a sense of connection to the park and (ii) deepened the children’s knowledge about the plants they observed. It is argued that arts-based methods created a sense of presence in nature which fostered close attention to the surrounding environment and reflection upon the children’s relationship with it. The creation of art also facilitated the development of multi-levelled understandings of nature which encompassed identification, folk law and symbolism. As such analysis highlighted the relevance of outdoor learning and a Froebelian approach for older primary school children who are traditionally taught in classroom environments.
    • Patient-reported factors associated with degree of pain medication dependence and presence of severe dependence among spinal outpatients

      Elander, James; Kapadi, Romaana; Bateman, Antony H; University of Derby; Royal Derby Spinal Centre, Royal Derby Hospital (Future Medicine Ltd, 2021-11-03)
      To identify risk factors for pain medication dependence. Chronic spinal pain outpatients (n=106) completed the Leeds Dependence. Questionnaire (LDQ) and measures of potential risk factors. Participants with high (n=3) and low (n=3) dependence were interviewed. Mean LDQ score was 11.52 (SD 7.35) and 15/106 participants (14.2%) were severely dependent (LDQ ≥20). In linear regression, pain intensity (β=0.313, p<0.001), being disabled by pain (β=0.355, p<0.001), borrowing pain medication (β=0.209, p=0.006), and emergency phone calls or clinic visits (β=0.169, p=0.029) were associated with degree of dependence across the range of LDQ scores. In logistic regression, pain intensity (p=0.001) and borrowing pain medication (p=0.004) increased the odds of severe dependence. Interviewees described how their pain influenced their pain medication use and one described pain medication addiction. Interventions to reduce pain intensity and pain-related disability may reduce pain medication dependence.
    • Cultivating the Compassionate Self: an Exploration of the Mechanisms of Change in Compassionate Mind Training

      Matos, Marcela; Duarte, Cristiana; Duarte, Joana; Pinto-Gouveia, José; Petrocchi, Nicola; GIlbert, Paul; University of Coimbra, Portugal; York St John University; Lund University; John Cabot University; et al. (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2021-10-21)
      The current study aimed to examine the mechanisms of change that mediate the impact of a compassionate mind training (CMT) intervention, in particular, whether changes in compassion, fears of compassion and heart rate variability (HRV) would mediate the effects of a brief CMT intervention on psychological vulnerability factors, mental health indicators and positive affect. Using a longitudinal design, general population participants were randomly assigned to one of the two conditions: compassionate mind training (n = 56) and wait list control (n = 37). Participants in the CMT condition attended a psychoeducation session and practiced a set of core CMT exercises for 2 weeks. Self-report measures of compassion, fears of compassion, self-criticism, shame, depression, stress and positive affect were completed, and HRV was assessed at pre- and post-intervention. Mediation analyses revealed that increases in compassion for self and from others and reductions in fears of compassion for self, for others and from others mediated the effects of CMT on self-criticism and shame. In depression and stress, compassion for the self and from others and fears of compassion for the self emerged as significant mediators. Compassion for the self and from others and fears of compassion for self and from others significantly mediated the effect of CMT in safe affect. Compassion for the self, fears of compassion for self and for others and HRV mediated changes in relaxed affect. Cultivating a compassionate mind/self-identity through the core components of CMT may stimulate vagal regulatory activity and positively impact one’s ability to experience and be open to compassion, and thus promote emotion regulation, well-being and mental health.
    • Three good things in nature: a nature-based positive psychological intervention to improve mood and well-being for depression and anxiety

      Keenan, Rosaline; Lumber, Ryan; Richardson, Miles; Sheffield, David; HSE Community Healthcare Organisation One, Cavan, Ireland; De Montfort University , Leicester; University of Derby (Emerald, 2021-10-08)
      Visiting and connecting with nature through psychological interventions improves well-being within the general population. However, few such interventions have been conducted in clinically relevant populations. This paper aims to address this gap by investigating the effectiveness of a nature-based psychological intervention within a clinically relevant sample. An experimental design using a noticing Three Good Things in Nature (TGTiN) task during a nature based or urban (control) walk was conducted with nature connectedness, well-being, positive and negative affect measured at baseline, post and six-week follow-up. Individuals living with depression and/or anxiety (n = 50; 39 having a diagnosis) were randomly allocated to 30 min walking in nature or urban environments for five consecutive days. An ANCOVA, with age as co-variate, showed a significant effect of time by condition on all variables: nature connectedness ηp2 = 0.34; positive affect ηp2 = 0.42; negative affect ηp2 = 0.66; well-being ηp2 = 0.29. Post-hoc tests indicated a significant increase in nature connectedness and positive affect in the nature versus an urban walk at post and follow-up. Negative affect decreased in the nature walk at post intervention, while well-being was significantly greater in the nature walk at follow-up. The TGTiN intervention effectively improves positive affect, and well-being in clinically relevant populations, although replication with a larger sample is warranted.
    • Bio-vehicles of cytotoxic drugs for delivery to tumor specific targets for cancer precision therapy

      Al-mansoori, Layla; Elsinga, Philip; Goda, Sayed K.; Qatar University, Doha, Qatar; University Medical Center Groningen, the Netherlands; Cairo University, Egypt; University of Derby (Elsevier BV, 2021-10-01)
      Abnormal structural and molecular changes in malignant tissues were thoroughly investigated and utilized to target tumor cells, hence rescuing normal healthy tissues and lowering the unwanted side effects as non-specific cytotoxicity. Various ligands for cancer cell specific markers have been uncovered and inspected for directional delivery of the anti-cancer drug to the tumor site, in addition to diagnostic applications. Over the past few decades research related to the ligand targeted therapy (LTT) increased tremendously aiming to treat various pathologies, mainly cancers with well exclusive markers. Malignant tumors are known to induce elevated levels of a variety of proteins and peptides known as cancer “markers” as certain antigens (e.g., Prostate specific membrane antigen “PSMA”, carcinoembryonic antigen “CEA”), receptors (folate receptor, somatostatin receptor), integrins (Integrin αvβ3) and cluster of differentiation molecules (CD13). The choice of an appropriate marker to be targeted and the design of effective ligand-drug conjugate all has to be carefully selected to generate the required therapeutic effect. Moreover, since some tumors express aberrantly high levels of more than one marker, some approaches investigated targeting cancer cells with more than one ligand (dual or multi targeting). We aim in this review to report an update on the cancer-specific receptors and the vehicles to deliver cytotoxic drugs, including recent advancements on nano delivery systems and their implementation in targeted cancer therapy. We will discuss the advantages and limitations facing this approach and possible solutions to mitigate these obstacles. To achieve the said aim a literature search in electronic data bases (PubMed and others) using keywords “Cancer specific receptors, cancer specific antibody, tumor specific peptide carriers, cancer overexpressed proteins, gold nanotechnology and gold nanoparticles in cancer treatment” was carried out.
    • Continuing professional development and journaling

      Bryson, David; University of Derby (Informa UK Limited, 2021-09-13)
      This professional development paper looks at CPD and journaling which will help you discover how journaling can support your professional practice, mental health and continuing professional development.
    • Development and testing of the Nature Connectedness Parental Self-Efficacy (NCPSE) scale

      Barnes, Christopher; Holland, Fiona G.; Harvey, Caroline; Wall, Su; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2021-09-08)
      There is growing interest in nature connectedness and its benefits to people, and more recently to parents and their children. However, very little research exists that investigates the abilities parents have to engage their children in nature-related activities – parental self-efficacy. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to design, develop and validate a new measure of Nature Connectedness Parental Self-Efficacy (NCPSE). The NCPSE scale was created through a review of the literature, focus groups with parents and experts in the area, and a pilot study (n = 154) to assess an initial item pool of questions. Full reliability and validity testing was then conducted with 362 parents from the general population and of these 83 completed a test-retest follow-up survey. Exploratory Factor Analysis and reliability testing resulted in a 22- item measure with four subscales: Accessing Nature, Communicating about Nature, Overcoming Personal Barriers, and Overcoming Situational Barriers. Validity was also tested using the Generalised Self-Efficacy Scale, Nature Connectedness Index, and the WHO-5 wellbeing measure. The NCPSE demonstrated very good to excellent internal consistency as a whole and for each of its subscales, and is stable over time. Low to moderate correlations with the GSES, NCI and WHO-5 evidence the scales validity and illustrate that greater NCPSE is related to greater General Self-Efficacy, Nature Connectedness and Wellbeing of parents. NCPSE was also significantly and positively related to parental age and the average number of visits parents made to natural spaces each week either by themselves or together with their families. The evidence presented suggests that the NCPSE is a reliable and valid measure of parental self-efficacy related to nature connectedness. The scale may be useful when investigating the relationship between parent-child nature connectedness, specific population groups, and as a way of evaluating interventions designed to improve families’ connectedness to and engagement with nature.
    • ‘I don’t wanna go. I’m staying. This is my home now.’ Analysis of an intervention for connecting young people to urban nature.

      Hallam, Jenny; Gallagher, Laurel; Harvey, Caroline; University of Derby; Urban Wilderness, Stoke on Trent (Elsevier, 2021-09-08)
      This paper uses ethnography to explore young people’s engagement with a UK based intervention designed to promote a meaningful connection to locally accessible urban nature. During the intervention seven young people (aged between 11 and 12 years old) from a socially disadvantaged area, took part in three two-hour sessions held in a patch of urban nature close to their school. During the sessions, facilitators and teachers worked collaboratively with the young people as they explored the space and took part in den building activities. All sessions were recorded using audio and video equipment and a case study approach was utilised to explore the experiences of two young people involved in the project as they worked with practitioners and each other to develop a meaningful connection to the space. Analysis highlights the importance of youth centred interventions which use practical activities to develop a sense of belonging and wellbeing. These issues are discussed in relation to traditional nature engagement interventions and recommendations for practitioners are put forward.
    • 'e’-thinking teaching and assessment to uphold academic integrity: lessons learned from emergency distance learning

      Reza Khan, Zeenath; Sivasubramaniam, Shivadas; Anand, Pranit; Ajrina, Hysaj; University of Wollongong in Dubai, Dubai, UAE; University of Derby; Queensland University of Technology, Australia (BMC - Springer, 2021-08-24)
      Covid-19 pandemic had an impact on many day-to-day activities but one of the biggest collateral impacts was felt by the education sector. The nature and the complexity of higher education is such that no matter how prepared we are as faculty, how planned our teaching and assessments, faculty are all too aware of the adjustments that have to be made to course plans, assessments designed, content delivery strategies and so on once classes begin. Faculties find themselves changing, modifying and deviating from original plans to ensure accessibility and inclusiveness, this may be due to a variety of reasons such as student abilities, behaviour, disturbances and even outside factors that may be political, environmental, social etc. Majority of the time, faculty are prepared for the change that needs to be incorporated and are quick to adjust. However, no one expected the disruption to education that was caused by COVID19 pandemic. The world came to a standstill while schools and universities scrambled to push learning to the digital space. It was important to try to ensure continuity of learning for students, but the issue of integrity came to the forefront by summertime. Faculties were suddenly expected to restructure their lessons, delivery, teaching and assessing digitally, at the same time ensuring and upholding integrity of the concepts taught and assessed. This has neither been easy or straightforward because the situation was unprecedented with little or no prior documentation or guidelines to help. Recognising this gap, this paper is an attempt at providing exploratory findings from authors’ experiences in their respective institutions over the ensuing months. The paper attempts to record the changes made by the faculty and colleagues to lessons and assessments with particular focus on how technology has been used to help restructure classes, deliver lessons and assess students which have aided in minimizing the likelihood of students cheating. The paper further narrates the reflective changes that were made in response to experience, student/external examiners feedback etc.
    • The role of perceived descriptive and injunctive norms on the self-reported frequency of meat and plant-based meal intake in UK-based adults

      Sharps, Maxine; Fallon, Vicky; Ryan, Sean; Helen, Coulthard; De Montfort University; University of Liverpool; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2021-07-28)
      Perceived social norms refer to beliefs that people hold about what other people do (descriptive norms) and approve of (injunctive norms), and are associated with food intake. However, less is known about whether perceived social norms are associated with meat and plant-based meal intake. Using a cross-sectional survey design 136 participants (aged 19-66 years, mean age=39.63, SD=12.85 years, mean BMI=25.77, SD=5.30, 80.9% female, 77.9% omnivores, 22.1% flexitarians) answered questions about how frequently they consumed meat and plant-based meals, and how frequently they perceived people in their social environment to consume (perceived descriptive norms), and approve of consuming (perceived injunctive norms) meat and plant-based meals. Perceived descriptive and injunctive norms were positively associated with participants’ frequency of meat intake: participants ate meat more frequently when they perceived their significant other to frequently eat meat (descriptive norm), and when they perceived their significant other and friends to approve of (injunctive norm) frequently eating meat. Perceived descriptive norms were positively associated, but injunctive norms were negatively associated with participants’ frequency of plant-based meal intake: participants ate plant-based meals more frequently when they perceived their extended family, friends, and significant other to frequently eat plant-based meals. However, participants ate plant-based meals more frequently when they perceived their extended family to approve of less frequent plant-based meal intake. These results suggest that different social groups may be important for meat and plant-based meal intake, with significant others and friends appearing to be important reference points for both food types. Further research examining the contexts in which the different social groups influence eating behaviour would be of value.