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    ABSTRACT: The Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS) is a relatively new measure and to date has been validated in student samples in England and Scotland, and in population samples in Scotland. No data exist on the psychometric properties of the WEMWBS when used within a general population in Northern Ireland, a region that might be expected to differ in health and well-being given its troubled history. This paper represents the first attempt to assess mental well-being in Northern Ireland using this new questionnaire. Data came from the 2009/2010 Continuous Household Survey and analyses are based on the responses of 3355 people aged 16 years and over who completed the full WEMWBS. The results suggest that the data collected using the WEMWBS among a large-scale random sample of adults in Northern Ireland are comparable to those produced for adults in other parts of the UK. The findings from this study are important as any measure of mental well-being purported to have been validated for the UK needs to include Northern Ireland, given that region's recent history in terms of the civil conflict and its potential impact on the health and well-being of its population.
    Journal of Mental Health 06/2012; 21(3):257-63. DOI:10.3109/09638237.2012.670883
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    ABSTRACT: The number of children identified as having intellectual or developmental disability is rising worldwide and their education has been found wanting. It has been said that "they simply need better teaching." At the same time, there is an increasing evidence base that pedagogy that is based on the discipline of behaviour analysis offers the best prospect for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. On the basis of this evidence, it is proposed that behaviour analysis should be applied more broadly to improve teaching for all children with intellectual or developmental disability.
    Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability 06/2012; 37(2):169-80. DOI:10.3109/13668250.2012.685705
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    ABSTRACT: Almost without exception, research into the range and quality of childcare provision, and its correlates with children's development, comes from the perspective of adults. Parents, childcare workers, teachers and the general public have all been asked for their views on childcare. In contrast, there is a dearth of information on attitudes to childcare provision and its correlates from the perspective of the children themselves. A total of 3657 Primary 7 children, who are 10 or 11 years of age, completed the KIDSCREEN-27 health-related quality of life (HRQoL) measure along with questions on their childcare provision as part of an online survey carried out in schools. Most children receiving childcare from people other than their parents were completely happy with their care. Childcare was related to poorer HRQoL for girls on four of the five KIDSCREEN domains, although the effect sizes were small. For both boys and girls, there were statistically significant, although modest, correlations between happiness with childcare and scores on all five domains of the KIDSCREEN-27. Overall, the findings suggest that most children are happy with their care and that any differences between the HRQoL of those who are cared for by their parents and those who are not are small to moderate.
    Child Care Health and Development 06/2011; 38(2):244-50. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2214.2011.01254.x
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    ABSTRACT: A variety of cognitive, cultural, attitudinal and personality tests were administered to two unrelated samples of sixth-form arts and science specialists attending grammar schools in Northern Ireland. Scientists were found to perform better on the cognitive and cultural variables; to endorse theoretical and economic values and to have lower Neuroticism and higher Psychoticism scores. Arts specialists endorsed aesthetic and social values to a greater extent and religious values marginally when compared with scientists. The implications of these findings are discussed.
    05/2011; 53(2):222 - 233. DOI:10.1111/j.2044-8279.1983.tb02553.x
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    ABSTRACT: Previous factorial studies of attainment have been largely confined to a restricted range of subjects, and have not revealed a clear pattern of results. In the present study an analysis is made of the attainments of 173 boys in a balanced range of eleven subjects (English, French, Latin, history, geography, arithmetic, algebra, geometry, physics, chemistry and biology) after a three-year grammar school course. In a centroid analysis the general factor proved to be by far the most important (accounting for about 40 per cent. of the total variance), while the signs of the bipolar factors indicated the linkage of (i) arithmetic, algebra and geometry (i.e., a mathematical factor) and (ii) physics, chemistry and biology (i.e., a scientific factor) as additional and separate group factors. Some evidence for the partial separation of history and geography from English, French and Latin was also seen. A subsequent group factor analysis confirmed the existence of the mathematical and scientific factors as being of roughly equal importance. The importance of the latter is probably related to the organized teaching of general science in the schools concerned.
    05/2011; 31(P3):241 - 248. DOI:10.1111/j.2044-8279.1961.tb01713.x
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    ABSTRACT: The capacity of 10-year-olds in coping with a mixed (double theme) text was examined. In a “distributed” version of the mixed text a story theme was used to carry an additional load of historical information which was evenly distributed throughout the narrative. In a second “consolidated” version of the mixed text the history material occurred en bloc midway through the story. Performance on the mixed texts was compared with that in a “separated” condition where the story and history information were presented in two separate texts. Recall of the history material was substantially better in the separated text condition than in either of the other two and recall of the story was poorer in the consolidated than in either of the other two conditions. The findings are interpreted in terms of the effects of attentional set and the extra processing demands incurred in disentangling two different themes in a mixed type text.
    05/2011; 56(3):286 - 293. DOI:10.1111/j.2044-8279.1986.tb03041.x
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    ABSTRACT: Differences in attainment in English and arithmetic between primary schools in mixed-language areas of Wales are studied with respect to differences in both intelligence and linguistic background. School attainments tended to increase with intelligence, though not regularly; and the school differences in intelligence did not account fully for the differences in attainment. Generally, the attainment of schools with pupils of a strongly Welsh background—i.e., bilingual pupils—was lower than that of other schools, this tendency being strong in English and slight in arithmetic. It is concluded that a bilingual environment may be regarded as an important factor with respect to primary-school differences of attainment in English which cannot be accounted for by intelligence.
    05/2011; 30(1):63 - 70. DOI:10.1111/j.2044-8279.1960.tb01522.x
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    ABSTRACT: The effects of co-education on attainment in examinations, as shown in the Northern Ireland Senior Certificate examination, were studied. Comparisons between co-educated and segregated boys and girls were made on the basis of success in gaining the Certificate, and marks in individual subjects. In general, co-educated boys seemed superior to segregated boys but co-educated girls tended to have lower marks than segregated girls. The possible influence on these results of age, I.Q., or social class, was considered; no conclusive evidence of the effect of these factors was found.
    05/2011; 31(P2):158 - 169. DOI:10.1111/j.2044-8279.1961.tb02928.x
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    ABSTRACT: People diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) deserve the same respect as any other person and should be free to benefit from scientific research that can help them achieve skills which enable them to reach their full potential. Over the past 40 years Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) has utilised inductive, natural science methods to investigate techniques for the analysis and augmentation of socially significant behaviours. Unfortunately, many individuals with ASD in the UK cannot avail of these techniques because of an obdurate reliance on randomised controlled trials (RCTs) as the single most respectable measure of effectiveness of interventions. In this paper we focus on how the debate about RCTs is played out in the ‘autism wars’.
    Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders 01/2011; 5(1-5):1-13. DOI:10.1016/j.rasd.2010.02.003
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    ABSTRACT: Social disadvantage can have a significant impact on early child development, health and wellbeing. What happens during this critical period is important for all aspects of development. Caregiving competence and the quality of the environment play an important role in supporting development in young children and parents have an important role to play in optimising child development and mitigating the negative effects of social disadvantage. Home-based child development programmes aim to optimise children's developmental outcomes through educating, training and supporting parents in their own home to provide a more nurturing and stimulating environment for their child. To determine the effects of home-based programmes aimed specifically at improving developmental outcomes for preschool children from socially disadvantaged families. We searched the following databases between 7 October and 12 October 2010: Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (2010, Issue 4), MEDLINE (1950 to week 4, September 2010), EMBASE (1980 to Week 39, 2010), CINAHL (1937 to current), PsycINFO (1887 to current), ERIC (1966 to current), ASSIA (1987 to current), Sociological Abstracts (1952 to current), Social Science Citation Index (1970 to current). We also searched reference lists of articles. Randomised controlled trials comparing home-based preschool child development interventions with a 'standard care' control. Participants were parents with children up to the age of school entry who were socially disadvantaged in respect of poverty, lone parenthood or ethnic minority status. Two authors independently selected studies, assessed the trials' risk of bias and extracted data. We included seven studies, which involved 723 participants. We assessed four of the seven studies as being at high risk of bias and three had an unclear risk of bias; the quality of the evidence was difficult to assess as there was often insufficient detail reported to enable any conclusions to be drawn about the methodological rigour of the studies. Four trials involving 285 participants measured cognitive development and we synthesised these data in a meta-analysis. Compared to the control group, there was no statistically significant impact of the intervention on cognitive development (standardised mean difference (SMD) 0.30; 95% confidence interval -0.18 to 0.78). Only three studies reported socioemotional outcomes and there was insufficient data to combine into a meta-analysis. No study reported on adverse effects. This review does not provide evidence of the effectiveness of home-based interventions that are specifically targeted at improving developmental outcomes for preschool children from socially disadvantaged families. Future studies should endeavour to better document and report their methodological processes.
    Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) 01/2011; DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD008131.pub2
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