Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
  • Publication
    Exploring themes in the narratives of couples in which one partner has dementia to identify what short couple interventions should focus on
    Objective: Despite strong evidence showing the association between relationship quality and outcomes for both partners in couples with dementia, studies show little or no statistical evidence of the effectiveness of short-term couple interventions in dementia. The aim of this study was to address the question of what topics a short couple intervention should focus on, and what content and components such an intervention should include. Method: In this cross-sectional, qualitative investigation we used thematic analysis of transcribed interviews from couples (N=4), after they participated in the short-term couple intervention for dementia. Using thematic analysis, we extracted codes and identified the themes appearing in the narratives of couples obtained in in-depth interviews. Results: The main four themes which emerged were Loss, Change, Relationships, and Coping with difficulties, which included several sub-themes. Conclusion: This study indicates that high relationship quality and effective dyadic coping should be seen as a “relationship reserve” (a concept alike to cognitive reserve), that may act as a resilience factor in dementia. Well-designed, structured, multi-component couple interventions can enhance couples’ relationship reserve and, what follows, help to prevent carer burden, depression and burn-out, slower cognitive decline in the partner with dementia and improve the psychological well-being of both partners. To be more effective, such interventions should include both an educational and a therapeutic modules (with the latter consisting of a relational component, a component focused on self-care of caregiving partner, and a component addressing depression in both partners), and should be tailored for the needs of individual couples and adjusted depending on stages of dementia.
  • Publication
    Family Relationships and Family Well-Being : A Study of the Families of Nine Year-Olds in Ireland
    (University College Dublin and the Family Support Agency, 2012-12) ; ;
    This study is based on the first wave of data on the child cohort (nine year-olds) in the Growing Up in Ireland (GUI) survey. It examines family relationships and their associations with parent and child well-being in the families of the nine year-olds and explores social inequalities in these aspects of family circumstances. The analysis is presented under five headings: the structure of families (a term which encompasses family structure both currently and over time and also includes family size), relationship quality between parents, the individual well-being of parents, relationship quality between parents and children, and the well-being of children.
  • Publication
    Pilot Validation Study on the Tavistock Relationships Observational Scale (TROS) for the Assessment of the Quality of Dyadic Relationships in Couples in Which One Partner Has Dementia
    (Springer Publishing, 2021-08-01) ; ; ;
    Background and Purpose: Many people with dementia are cared for by their spouses. Poor quality of the dyadic relationship is a known risk factor for carer burden and mistreatment of the person with dementia. This study aimed to design and cross-validate the Tavistock Relationships Observational Scale (TROS) for assessment of the quality of the relationship in such couples. Methods: The study was conducted within the context of the therapeutic intervention with n=11 couples. Couples’ video-recorded interactions were assessed independently by three psychologists using the 13-item TROS. Results: Cronbach alphas of the scale computed for the three raters were in the range 0.76-0.88 (on average 0.83), thus demonstrating high internal consistency of the scale. Fleiss Kappa coefficient for the three rates computed for 22 assessed videos ranged between 0.45 (moderate agreement) to 0.85 (almost perfect agreement) with 50% of coefficients being above 0.50, suggesting the good performance of the TROS in terms of yielding a satisfactory inter-rater agreement. The TROS also showed good external validity when using as validation criteria caregiving partner’s burden (measured with the Zarid Burden Interview: the scales Social burden (Rho=-0.65, p=0.021), and Role strain (Rho=-0.68, p=0.014)), depression of the person with dementia (measured with the Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia: Rho=-0.78, p=0.020), and relationship satisfaction of the caregiving partner (measured with the Dyadic Adjustment Scale: Rho=0.52, p= 0.038). The TROS also showed a good capacity to detect the change in scores from time 1 to time 2; moreover, power analysis showed that the TROS can detect the change in scores even in very small samples (n=5 couples). Conclusions: The TROS may be a useful tool for a standardized assessment of the quality of dyadic relationships in couples with dementia in research, nursing or clinical settings to assist clinical psychologist, nurses or social workers in a preliminary evaluation of the situation of couples with dementia, to choose a suitable care or intervention, to assess the effectiveness of interventions focusing on improvement of dyadic relationships, or to assess the risk of spousal abuse or neglect of a person with dementia.
  • Publication
    How do the prevalence and relative risk of non-suicidal self-injury and suicidal thoughts vary across the population distribution of common mental distress (the p-factor)? Observational analyses replicated in two independent UK cohorts of young people
    Objectives: To inform suicide prevention policies and responses to youths at risk by investigating whether suicide risk is predicted by a summary measure of common mental distress (CMD, (the p-factor)) as well as by conventional psychopathological domains; to define the distribution of suicide risks over the population range of CMD; to test whether such distress mediates the medium-term persistence of suicide risks. Design: Two independent population-based cohorts. Setting: Population-based in two UK centres. Participants: Volunteers age 14-24 years recruited from primary health care registers, schools and colleges, with advertisements to complete quotas in age-sex-strata. Cohort 1 is the Neuroscience in Psychiatry Network (NSPN; N=2403); Cohort 2 is the ROOTS sample (N=1074). Primary outcome measures: Suicidal thoughts (ST) and non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI). Results: We calculated a CMD score using confirmatory bifactor analysis and then used logistic regressions to determine adjusted associations between risks and CMD; curve-fitting was used to examine the relative prevalence of suicidal thoughts (ST) and non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) over the population distribution of CMD. We found a dose-response relationship between levels of CMD and risk of suicide. The majority of all subjects experiencing ST and NSSI (78% and 76% in Cohort 1, and 66% and 71% in Cohort 2) had CMD scores no more than two standard deviations above the population mean; higher scores indicated the highest risk but were, by definition, infrequent. Pathway mediation models showed that CMD mediated the longitudinal course of both ST and NSSI. Conclusions. NSSI and ST in youths reflect common mental distress that also mediates their persistence. Universal prevention strategies reducing levels of CMD in the whole population without recourse to screening or measurement may prevent more suicides than approaches targeting youths with the most severe distress or with psychiatric disorders.
      327Scopus© Citations 11
  • Publication
    Appendix: The Tavistock Relationships Observational Scale (TROS): Instructions for users
    (Springer, 2021-08-01) ; ;
    This scale was design to rate relationship quality in couples in which one partner has dementia. A rater should carry out an observation lasting for at least 20-25 minutes when a couple performs an everyday task or activity together (e.g., preparing a meal or cleaning the house), or discusses things together (preferably without the involvement of the rater), prior to the rating of their relationship quality.
  • Publication
    Is breastfeeding in infancy predictive of child mental wellbeing and protective against obesity at 9-years of age?
    Background Preventing child mental health problems and child obesity have been recognised as public health priorities. The aim of the present study was to examine whether being breastfed (at all or exclusively) in infancy was a predictor of mental wellbeing and protective against risk of obesity at age 9. Methods Cross-sectional data from a large, nationally representative cohort study in the Republic of Ireland was used (N=8357). Data on breastfeeding was retrospectively recalled. Child mental wellbeing was assessed using a parent-completed Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Child's height and weight were measured using scientifically calibrated instruments. Results Logistic regression analyses indicated that, after controlling for a wide range of potential confounding variables, being breastfed in infancy was associated with a 26% (p < 0.05) reduction in the risk of an abnormal SDQ score at 9-years. Being breastfed remained a significant predictor of child mental wellbeing when child obesity was controlled for, indicating that being breastfed, independent of child obesity, is a predictor of child mental wellbeing. The results of a second logistic regression indicated that, after controlling for a wide range of potential confounding variables, being breastfed for between 11 and 25 weeks was associated with a 36% (p < 0.05) reduction in the risk of obesity at 9-years, while being breastfed for 26 weeks or longer was associated with a 48% (p < 01) reduction in the risk of obesity at 9-years. Conclusions Breastfeeding in infancy may protect against both poor mental wellbeing and obesity in childhood.
    Scopus© Citations 20  686
  • Publication
    Evidence for a 'Migrant Personality': Attachment Styles of Poles in Poland and Polish Immigrants in The Netherlands
    In the present study, we examined empirical evidence for a concept of a "migrant personality" using the attachment framework. We compared Polish emigrants in the Netherlands to the Poles living in Poland measuring their secure and dismissing attachment styles, while controlling for age, gender, and education in both samples. The results showed that emigrants are more secure and more dismissing than their fellow countrymen (p < .001). Furthermore, we examined, whether attachment styles might be influenced by the host culture. For that purpose, we subdivided the sample of emigrants into eleven cohorts (each cohort differentiated from the other by two more years of residence) and we compared the mean scores on secure and dismissing attachment styles in consecutive cohorts of emigrants. We observed that the mean scores on secure and dismissing attachment remained similar over cohorts of emigrants. Moreover, the differences between emigrants and non-emigrants were of similar magnitude across cohorts. This suggests that the attachment styles of emigrants are not influenced by the host culture, and that the observed differences in attachment styles between emigrants and non-emigrants last over time, and presumably, existed prior to emigration. Finally, we found that secure attachment was a stronger predictor of psychological health in the emigrant sample than in the in-country sample. In sum, evidence for a migrant personality has been found. This personality, as the results suggest, is functional for emigrants.
      1188Scopus© Citations 17
  • Publication
    Values and identity process theory (IPT) : theoretical integration and empirical interactions
    (Cambridge University Press, 2014-04) ; ; ;
    Identity and values are important driving forces in human lives. Identity Process Theory (IPT; Breakwell, 1986, 2001) and the Schwartz Value Theory (Schwartz, 1992) focus on distinct but related aspects of the self and have some overlapping propositions particularly with regards to human motivation. Hence, it is surprising that there has been no attempt so far to integrate them theoretically or empirically. This chapter provides the first attempt to address this gap in the literature. After presenting key elements of both theories, the chapter provides a theoretical integration that addresses the links between identity motives and outcomes and provides an empirical examination of the role of personal values as moderators of such links. Finally, we address identity and value change.