Non-religious prisoners’ unequal access to pastoral care

Prisoners have long been recognised as a disenfranchised group. This paper positions non-religious prisoners as further excluded from pastoral care. While chaplaincies aim to serve prisoners of all faiths and none, this paper suggests a hierarchy of access in which the benefits of chaplaincy are more available to some prisoners than others. Shortcomings in secular care mean that non-religious offenders are often the only group unable to connect with like-minded people and it is argued that they are disadvantaged as a result. The paper also explores the challenges for pastoral carers seeking to support inmates equally. It considers the barriers on both sides of the care relationship, specifically the disincentives to chaplaincy engagement faced by prisoners of no faith and the obstacles encountered by the Non-Religious Pastoral Support Network in accessing service users and delivering care. Finally, recommendations are made to narrow the gaps between religious and non-religious prisoners.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Katie Hunt, University of Lincoln, Lincoln Law School


Dogs can infer implicit information from human emotional expressions

The ability to infer emotional states and their wider consequences requires the establishment of relationships between the emotional display and subsequent actions. These abilities, together with the use of emotional information from others in social decision making, are cognitively demanding and require inferential skills that extend beyond the immediate perception of the current behaviour of another individual. They may include predictions of the significance of the emotional states being expressed. These abilities were previously believed to be exclusive to primates. In this study, we presented adult domestic dogs with a social interaction between two unfamiliar people, which could be positive, negative or neutral. After passively witnessing the actors engaging silently with each other and with the environment, dogs were given the opportunity to approach a food resource that varied in accessibility. We found that the available emotional information was more relevant than the motivation of the actors (i.e. giving something or receiving something) in predicting the dogs’ responses. Thus, dogs were able to access implicit information from the actors’ emotional states and appropriately use the affective information to make context-dependent decisions. The findings demonstrate that a non-human animal can actively acquire information from emotional expressions, infer some form of emotional state and use this functionally to make decisions.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science

Natalia Albuquerque, University of São Paulo, Institute of Psychology and University of Lincoln, School of Life Sciences

Daniel S. Mills, University of Lincoln, School of Life Sciences

Kun Guo, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology

Briseida Resende, University of São Paulo, Institute of Psychology

Are music listening strategies associated with reduced food consumption following negative mood inductions; a series of three exploratory experimental studies

Emotions play an important role in overeating, yet there is little research looking at practical strategies to reduce overeating in response to a negative mood. In three different experimental studies, we tested if exposure to music can reduce food consumption in a negative mood. Female undergraduates (N = 120–121 in each study) completed a measure of emotional eating and reported baseline hunger. Mood ratings were taken at baseline, post-mood induction and post-eating. All participants were given a mood induction (sadness for study 1, stress for studies 2 and 3) and allocated to one of three music conditions (self-chosen in study 3) or a silent (control) condition. Music was selected from three pieces reported by each participant as being listened to regularly when experiencing the negative mood being examined (sadness or stress) in order to provide solace (comforting music), diversion (distracting positive music), or discharge (angry and/or sad music). Participants were provided with several snack foods to consume whilst completing a mock taste test and intake (in grams) was compared between conditions.

In study 1 participants in the music for discharge condition consumed less than those in the control condition. Moreover, participants with high levels of self-reported EE ate more crisps in the control than in the distraction condition. In study 2 participants in the solace condition consumed less than those in the control and discharge conditions. In study 3 most participants chose music for diversion; this did not, however, lead to lower consumption, despite a reduction in reported stress. Overall, the results of these studies indicate that listening to certain types of music might reduce emotion-related eating after controlling for hunger using a standardized pre-session snack.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Annemieke Van den Tol, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology

Helen Couthard, De Monfort University, Faculty of Health & life sciences

Victoria Lang, De Monfort University, Faculty of Health & life sciences

Deborah Wallis, Birmingham City University, Department of Psychology


lgbtq+ online inclusivity toolkit

Incidents of discrimination directed at individuals due to their sexual or gender identity are commonplace, with SNS (Online Social Networking Sites) providing further opportunities for abuse. Online abuse experienced by minorities is significant; in response to this, academics from the University of Lincoln and UCLan carried out a study working with sexual and gender minorities to identify and resolve online abuse.

The project had two key aims:

  • Firstly, to identify experiences of online discrimination directed at different sexual and gender minorities; and
  • Secondly, to work collaboratively with those communities to begin to develop an anti-discrimination toolkit.

The toolkit aims to raise awareness of online abuse and to provide practical strategies to prevent the online discrimination directed at sexual and gender minorities.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Dr Rachela Colosi, University of Lincoln, School of Social and Political Sciences

Dr Nick Cowen, University of Lincoln, School of Social and Political Sciences

Dr Megan Todd, University of Central Lancashire


Hierarchies of Masculinity and Lad Culture on Campus: Bad Guys, Good Guys and Complicit Men

Research on ‘lad culture’ and gender-based violence (GBV) in student communities has examined ‘hypermasculine’ gender performances, with little attention paid to hierarchies of masculinity. We explore ‘lad culture’ by analysing qualitative, in-depth interviews with students. Our findings challenge simplistic constructions of ‘good guys’ as allies/protectors in opposition to hypermasculinised, deviant ‘bad guys’. We demonstrate how such binary constructions are premised upon gendered norms of men-as-protectors/women-as-weak, and bolster problematic hierarchies of masculinity. We also highlight the crucial role of complicit masculinity in maintaining GBV-tolerant cultures. Our research suggests academic understandings of lad culture could benefit from a more comprehensive picture of the relationship between masculinity/ies and campus GBV. By theorising complex negotiations of hegemonic masculinity in this context, the paper also advances conceptual debates around the promise/limitations of changing, ‘softer’ masculinities. Practice implications include rethinking how/whether prevention education can deploy ‘softer’ masculinities whilst avoiding reinstating gender hierarchies that ultimately scaffold GBV.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Ana Jordan, University of Lincoln, School of Social and Political Sciences

Sundari Anitha, University of Lincoln, School of Social and Political Sciences

Jill Jameson, Independent Researcher

Zowie Davy, De Montfort University, School of Applied Social Sciences


‘Oh sorry, I’ve muted you!’: Issues of connection and connectivity in qualitative (longitudinal) research with young fathers and family support professionals

The COVID-19 crisis has placed unique restrictions on social researchers in terms of how they conduct their research. It has also created opportunities for adaptation and critical reflection on methodological practice. This article considers how the unanticipated use of remote qualitative methods impacted processes of research connection and connectivity in qualitative (longitudinal) research. The reflections are based on fieldwork conducted for a qualitative longitudinal study about the parenting journeys and support needs of young fathers. We elaborate our key strategies and provide worked examples of how the research team modified their methods and responded in the crisis context. First, we consider questions of connection when seeking to (re)establish and retain connections with project stakeholders and marginalised participants through the pivot to remote methods. Second, we reflect on how processes of maintaining participation and interaction were impacted by practical and technological issues associated with the digitally mediated forms of connectivity available.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Anna Tarrant, University of Lincoln, School of Social and Political Sciences

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

Linzi Ladlow, University of Lincoln, School of Social and Political Sciences


Parenting styles and types: Breastfeeding attitudes in a large sample of mothers

The importance of breastfeeding for both maternal and infant health is well established. However, it remains the case that only a small percentage of infants are breastfed after the first six months of life. Maternal negative breastfeeding attitudes are associated with a reduced likelihood of breastfeeding an infant, but they are a malleable target for practitioner interventions. By adjusting perceptions, and therefore behaviours within the population, maternal and infant health outcomes may be improved. As such, it is important to understand whether certain types of mother might feel more negatively about breastfeeding. Here. we investigated the relationships between parenting styles, personality traits, and breastfeeding attitudes. In addition, we aimed to address the interrelated nature of parenting styles by identifying ‘types’ of mother who may feel more negatively about breastfeeding.

University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Abi M.B. Davis, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology and The Open University, School of Psychology and Counselling

Charlotte Coleman, The Open University, School of Psychology and Counselling and Sheffield Hallam University, Department of Psychology

Robin S.S. Kramer, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology

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.