Parents in lockdown

Prof Steve McKay, University of Lincoln, College of Social Science, School of Social and Political Science

There has been a great deal of speculation in the media about how relationships have fared during lockdown. Commitment theory sheds some interesting light on the matter in terms of predicting potential winners and losers (Stanley et al 2006).

Commitment has two different facets:

  • Dedication is the internal bond between two people that reflects their identity as a couple and sense of future. Dedication is what makes you want to be together.
  • Constraints are the external bonds that make it harder to leave a relationship, should you wish to do so. These include children, friends, shared history and cohabitation. Constraints are what make you have to be together.

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University of Lincoln, College of Social Science research

Harry Benson, Marriage Foundation
Stephen McKay, University of Lincoln, School of Social and Political Science

The predictors, barriers and facilitators to effective management of acute pain in children by emergency medical services: A systematic mixed studies review

We aimed to identify predictors, barriers and facilitators to effective pre-hospital pain management in children. A segregated systematic mixed studies review was performed. We searched from inception to 30-June-2020: MEDLINE, CINAHL Complete, PsycINFO, EMBASE, Web of Science Core Collection and Scopus. Empirical quantitative, qualitative and multi-method studies of children under 18 years, their relatives or emergency medical service staff were eligible. Two authors independently performed screening and selection, quality assessment, data extraction and quantitative synthesis. Three authors performed thematic synthesis. Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation and Confidence in the Evidence from Reviews of Qualitative Research were used to determine the confidence in cumulative evidence. From 4030 articles screened, 78 were selected for full text review, with eight quantitative and five qualitative studies included. Substantial heterogeneity precluded meta-analysis. Predictors of effective pain management included: ‘child sex (male)’, ‘child age (younger)’, ‘type of pain (traumatic)’ and ‘analgesic administration’. Barriers and facilitators included internal (fear, clinical experience, education and training) and external (relatives and colleagues) influences on the clinician along with child factors (child’s experience of event, pain assessment and management). Confidence in the cumulative evidence was deemed low. Efforts to facilitate analgesic administration should take priority, perhaps utilising the intranasal route. Further research is recommended to explore the experience of the child.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Gregory A Whitley, University of Lincoln, Community and Health Research Unit and School of Health and Social Care

Pippa Hemingway, University of Nottingham, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

Graham R Law, University of Lincoln, Community and Health Research Unit and School of Health and Social Care

Arwel W Jones, Monash University, Department of Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Medicine
Ffion Curtis, University of Lincoln, Community and Health Research Unit and School of Health and Social Care
Niro Siriwardena, University of Lincoln, Community and Health Research Unit and School of Health and Social Care


Extinction the Facts by Sir David Attenborough

Extinction the Facts by Sir David Attenborough showed the crisis we all face in preserving our planets biodiversity.  Many of these problems are global or transnational:  global warning, Illegal wildlife trafficking, overfishing our oceans…  This means our responses must be international.  As the programme showed, when there is political will to act,  we can take effective measures to ban harmful activities – such as the use of ozone depleting chemicals.  Legal researchers at the University of Lincoln, in the Centre of Ecological Justice and Law School, are working hard to find and advocate innovative legal solutions to some of our planet’s environmental crises.

  • Professor Kirk, has, for example, developed proposals as to how international law can be strengthened to stop plastics pollution.  She is now working with colleagues in Canada on improving understanding of what prompts corporate actors to undertake energy efficiency measures.  Such measures are vital if we are to reduce our carbon footprint and so limit our contribution to the climate crisis, but they are also often costly and difficult for companies to implement. This project is demonstrating the mechanisms by which companies can best be encouraged and supported to change their behaviour.
  • Professor Barnes recently completed a WWF/World Bank project to incentivise sustainable fishing on the high seas ( ). This project involved working with scientists, economists and policy experts to develop decision frameworks and tools to ensure that only sustainably caught fish enter supply chains. He is now advising government committees and advocating for stronger sustainability measures in law in the UK to ensure the effective management of fisheries post-Brexit.
  • Research by Professor Matthew Hall is showing how law can provide meaningful redress and/or compensation to the victims of environmental harm.
  • Professor Kotze is developing new understandings of environmental law focused on earth systems and so better equipped to deal with planetary scale crises.
  • Professor French’s research is identifying the structural weaknesses in international environmental law that prevent it from effectively addressing the climate, biodiversity and pollution crises we face.


COVID-19: has the pandemic affected relationships between children and their non-resident parents?

Prof Steve McKay, University of Lincoln, College of Social Science, School of Social and Political Science

The well-being and outcomes of children living in separated families are associated with the quality of their relationship with their non-resident parent, and child maintenance provided by that parent. It is therefore important to understand how COVID-19 has affected these. While the Understanding Society COVID-19 survey suggests a strong degree of stability in many children’s relationships with their non-resident parent, those relationships most at risk (of becoming less close or having less contact) during the pandemic are those which were of poorer quality beforehand. Child maintenance is most likely to have reduced during the pandemic where children had less contact beforehand.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Caroline Bryson, partner of Bryson Purdon Social Research LLP and a PhD student at CASE

 Stephen McKay, University of Lincoln, School of Social and Political Sciences

PGR Connect Series

The PGR Connect Series drew to a close last week after nine excellent seminars over the course of July, August, and September. With the cancellation of many conferences in recent months and doctoral researchers now finding themselves working from home rather than alongside their peers in postgraduate offices, the sport and exercise psychology team in the School of Sport and Exercise Science (Twitter: @LincsSpExPsych) sought to fill these voids by organising a multi-institutional, international seminar series throughout the summer period. The goals of the series were to provide doctoral researchers in the area of sport and exercise psychology with an opportunity to showcase their work, obtain feedback, and facilitate networking opportunities for attendees. While the presenters on the series were all doctoral researchers, the series was also attended by undergraduate and Masters students in the School of Sport and Exercise Science, as well as academics from the UK, Ireland, and Australia. Over the course of the nine weekly seminars, 22 speakers from 13 institutions across the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia delivered talks about their research. Five speakers from the University of Lincoln presented their doctoral research on the series: Rachel Langbein, Oliver Williamson, Rebecca Hawkins, Joanna Blackwell (all School of Sport and Exercise Science), and Thomas George (School of Health and Social Care). The sport and exercise psychology team will continue to run virtual internal seminars throughout the year. Please contact Trish Jackman ( to hear more or get involved.

Punk is just a state of mind: Exploring what punk means to older punk women

What does punk mean to older punk women? And how are such understandings interwoven with experiences of ageing and gender? The complexity in defining punk has been noted and it has been suggested that this complexity in part results from punk’s dislike of being labelled/categorised. Drawing upon interviews with 22 self-identifying older punk women, this article considers how they conceived punk as ‘a state of mind’, exploring the four shared punk values seen to comprise this: DIY, subversion, political consciousness and community. An unpacking of these values in terms of what they might ‘look like’ and how they are put into action by the women highlights the considerable roles ageing and gender play.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science research 

Laura Way, University of Lincoln, School of Social and Political Science


The Effectiveness of a Must-Have Practical Work in Tertiary Life Science Education

The teaching of sciences has long been associated with practical work; an instructional tool that is believed to be effective in terms of both promoting learning as well as making the teaching of sciences enjoyable. However, empirical evidence on its effectiveness as a teaching method and whether it has any affective value for undergraduates is still lacking, when it has been deemed as one of the costliest aspects of science education. This paper reports on the preliminary findings of a mixed-methods case study conducted at a British university to examine the perceived aims of practical work as well as the effectiveness of practical work on conceptual understanding and motivating undergraduates according to the academic staff of a life sciences department. For the qualitative data presented here a questionnaire was administered to the academic staff who, along with Year 1 and Year 2 undergraduates, were interviewed and also observed during practical work classes. The preliminary findings showed that the perceived aims of practical work by the academic staff vary across years, while the observations revealed two types of lessons in which the importance of providing theoretical scaffolds during experiments so as to help undergraduates in linking concepts and theories with observables was prominent

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Marina Constantinou, University of Lincoln, School of Education

Nikolaos Fotou, University of Lincoln, School of Education


The Law of Responsibility and the World Health Organisation: A Case Study on the West African Ebola Outbreak

Dr Scarlett McArdle, University of Lincoln, College of Social Science, Lincoln Law School

The delay between the WHO being made aware of the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa and declaring it a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) has been the subject of some considerable criticism in the literature, as well as in the Report of the Ebola Interim Assessment Panel commissioned by the WHO, which stated that that ‘significant and unjustifiable delays occurred in the declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) by WHO.’ This paper examines this late declaration of a PHEIC for Ebola through the lens of the law of responsibility, arguing that the WHO incurs responsibility for this delay. The law of responsibility is long standing in international law as the framework for providing redress for breaches of law. It gives rise to an obligation to provide redress and ensures some form of culpability for a breach of international law. In this paper we argue that the WHO does not merely have the power to declare a PHEIC via the International Health Regulations (2005), but also has a legal obligation to do so when the criteria are met. An obligation which we argue, they breached in failing to declare the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa a PHEIC in a timely manner. This breach should then engage the law of responsibility for the consequences of the delay. The paper argues, however, that there exist substantial issues with the application of the principles of responsibility to international organizations.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Mark Eccleston-Turner, Keele University

Scarlett McArdle, Univeristy of Lincoln, Lincoln Law School