Fathering and Poverty: A new publication by Dr Anna Tarrant

Dr Anna Tarrant from the School of Social and Political Science released a book in August 2021 titled ‘Fathering and Poverty: Uncovering men’s family participation in low-income contexts’ (Policy Press), which is available in hardback, paperback and e-format:


The book draws on pioneering multigenerational research with men in low-income families to engage critically with dominant policy narratives that construct them as largely absent, irresponsible and uncaring. In their own words, men who are young fathers, single primary caregivers and kinship carers, discuss their family lives in-depth and describe their diverse pathways into caregiving and ‘doing kinship’ across the lifecourse. Developing the concept of family participation, the book also interrogates how men’s family involvement is affected by the resources available and the constraints upon them, considering intersections of gender, generation and work, as well as the impact of austerity and welfare support.

Illuminating aspects of care within economic hardship that often go unseen, Fathering and Poverty deepens our understanding of masculinities and family life and the policies and practices that support or undermine men’s participation.

Watch this space for further information about an online book launch.

‘There’s a Difference Between Tolerance and Acceptance’: Exploring Women’s Experiences of Barriers to Access in UK Gyms

Weight-bearing and moderate intensity exercise are increasingly recognised as important to wellbeing, yet women have been shown to participate in these activities at lower rates than men. With gym training a primary means of engaging in these health-promoting activities, one way in which disparities in exercise participation may be addressed is through understanding of women’s experiences accessing gym spaces, and barriers to participation experienced in these environments. Drawing on 18 in-depth qualitative interviews with female gym staff and gym users, and ethnographic fieldwork conducted in four commercial gyms in the South & South-West of England, this article explores the experiential realities of women seeking to access gym training and the barriers they identify to equal access in these spaces.

Findings examine four key ways in which gyms environment and the gendering of this space create barriers to women’s access: through the sharp gender segregation of weights areas and emotional barriers crossing into this ‘male space’ creates; through insufficient equipment provision for women’s needs and how this raises costs to women’s participation; issues with the performance of masculinities in gym space and associated intimidation and harassment in increasingly (hetero)sexualised gym space; and how gym structures create the impression one is always ‘on show’, and subject to scrutiny. This research offers insights into the experiential realities of women regarding how these barriers are felt and perceived, and in doing so offers understanding which can help direct gym policies toward more equitable outcomes, contributing to this important area for health and social research.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Luke Turnock, University of Lincoln, School of Social and Political Sciences


A Step to VAR: The Vision Science of Offside Calls by Video Assistant Referees

Prof George Mather, University of Lincoln, College of Social Science, School of Psychology,
The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system has had a major impact on decision-making in professional association football. However, offside decisions remain a major area of dispute and debate, with over 34 goals ruled out in the first season of VAR in the Premier League. Evidence in vision science points toward two problems with the application of the offside law in VAR, due to their use of a live TV video feed in reviews. First, due to physical and perceptual limits on spatial resolution, there is a significant probability that the spatial positions of the ball and players as judged by VAR will be several centimetres to one side of their true positions. Second, the 50 Hz TV update rate means that judgements of the time-of-contact between player and ball will on average be 10 ms too late, which translates into an increased likelihood of offside calls in fast-moving play. Suggestions are made for how to compensate for these problems during decision-making.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

George Mather, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology

Ambulance clinician perspectives of disparity in prehospital child pain management: A mixed methods study

When children suffer pain through medical illness or traumatic injury, they are often assessed, treated, and transported to hospital by ambulance. Prehospital pain management in children is considered poor. Within the United Kingdom (UK), a recent study showed that only 39% of children suffering acute pain achieved effective pain management (abolition or reduction of pain ≥2 out of 10). In Australia, a study showed that 55% of children suffering severe pain received no analgesics. This is despite pain management being considered an essential human right.

The consequences of inadequate pain management in children suffering acute pain include posttraumatic stress disorder and altered pain perception. Prehospital pain management in children is extremely complex; difficulty assessing pain and administering analgesics have been identified as key barriers to effective management. Recent efforts to improve pain management include the introduction of intranasal analgesics. Although a promising solution, there are likely to be many unrecognized barriers to prehospital pain relief in children. These require a mixed methods approach to better clarify and delineate the problems associated with effective management.

We have previously identified a number of predictors of effective pain management in children within a UK ambulance service. Children, who were younger (0‐5 years) compared to older (12‐17 years), administered analgesics, attended by a paramedic, or living in an area of medium (index of multiple deprivation [IMD] 4‐7) or low (IMD 8‐10) deprivation compared to those living in an area of high (IMD 1‐3) deprivation were more likely to achieve effective pain management. We aimed to explain these four predictors, along with two other previously identified predictors; child sex (male) and type of pain (traumatic), using the perspectives of ambulance clinicians within a mixed methods approach.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Gregory Whitley, University of Lincoln, Community and Health Research Unit
Pippa Hemingway, University of Nottingham, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Graham Law, University of Lincoln, Community and Health Research Unit
 Niro Siriwardena, University of Lincoln, Community and Health Research Unit

Building partnerships and undertaking impactful research in collaboration with vulnerable groups and the services that support them

We are a team of four academics from the Schools of Health and Social Care, and Psychology, with experience in frontline services and conducting research into homelessness, addiction, criminal justice and mental health.

In the past 2 years, we have worked on multiple mixed-methods projects with people who are vulnerable due to complex needs. Projects have included investigation into the critical success factors for Nottinghamshire Rough Sleeper Initiative Services; investigation of the effectiveness of a local social impact bond project supporting people experiencing entrenched rough sleeping; a review of the Lincolnshire Blue Light Service which supports people considered ‘treatment resistant drinkers’; and an exploration of the impact of Covid-19 on people experiencing homelessness locally. The findings inform future delivery to underpin continuous service improvement for services supporting people experiencing multiple and complex needs.

In our discussion, we will share our learning from undertaking such research including collaboration with local organisations; ethical and practical considerations for interviewing people who are vulnerable; adapting and undertaking research within the pandemic; the benefit of undertaking smaller scale projects to inform the development of future successful applications; the effectiveness of inter-disciplinary working across schools; and the importance of drawing upon practice experiences alongside academic experience.

Dr Jim Rogers, School of Health and Social Care
Dr Lauren Smith, School of Psychology
Dr Amanda Roberts, School of Psychology
Mr Thomas George, School of Health and Social Care

Prisons in a Pandemic – Examining the Impact on Prisoner Well-Being and Mental Health

Rachael Dagnall joined the University of Lincoln in 2018 following a 17-year career as a Chartered and Registered Forensic Psychologist within Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS). Rachael will deliver a talk on how her previous experiences of working within the Offender Personality Disorder Pathway (OPDP) services have enabled her to become part of a research team that has recently been successful in securing funding for a national research project within HMPPS. Still in its infancy, Rachael will describe the teams plans for the Swansea University led project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council as part of UK Research and Innovation’s rapid response to Covid-19. The project, led by Professor Jason Davies, has collaborators from universities in Belfast, Lincoln, Liverpool and Leicester as well as from the Ministry of Justice. Rachael will describe how the team plan to focus on a sub-group of people living in prison who will be following the Offender Personality Disorder Pathway, to establish the impact of introducing restrictions – and of easing them – on prisoners’ psychological wellbeing and behaviour.

Mrs Rachael Dagnall, School of Psychology


Reflections on interviewing at a distance with young fathers and professionals

Following Young Fathers Further is a 4-year qualitative longitudinal and participatory study exploring the lives and support needs of young fathers, funded by UKRI. The pandemic has required us all to adapt our research in various ways. In this presentation, the research team will talk through some of our reflections on interviewing and conducting research at a distance. We began with a series of questions; how do we ensure inclusivity and adhere to principles of participation and co-production? Which technological formats are accessible and valuable to young fathers? How do we access participants and build relationships at a distance? In tackling these questions, we worked closely with our project partners to rapidly develop a new research strategy. In our presentation we will briefly reflect on both the ethics and practicalities of fieldwork at a distance focusing on themes of connection and connectivity. Researching from a distance has provided an opportunity to try new methods and to critically reflect on our methodological practice. At the heart of our approach is a commitment to core ethical principles and a responsibility of care towards our participants.

Dr Linzi Ladlow, School of Social and Political Sciences
Dr Laura Way, School of Social and Political Sciences
Dr Anna Tarrant, School of Social and Political Sciences

Covid-19: Relationships between children and their non-resident parents in the early months of the pandemic

Covid-19 has had particular ramifications for separated families. It has introduced potential barriers to children seeing their non-resident parents and risks to these parents having the earnings to provide financial support. Using data from the UKHLS Covid-19 study, for June 2020, this paper presents an encouraging picture of more solid relationships and financial support arrangements weathering the early storm. However, this sits alongside concerning reports of deterioration among those with poorer relationships prior to the pandemic. If this pattern persists, the pandemic has the potential to have an impact on the well-being and longer-term outcomes of children from separated families.

Prof Steve McKay, University of Lincoln, School of Social and Political Sciences

Caroline Bryson, Bryson Purdon Social Research LLP. and LSE doctoral student