2,516 research outputs found

    Providing sex and relationships education for looked-after children: a qualitative exploration of how personal and institutional factors promote or limit the experience of role ambiguity, conflict and overload among caregivers

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    Objectives: To explore how personal and institutional factors promote or limit caregivers promoting sexual health and relationships (SHR) among looked-after children (LAC). In so doing, develop existing research dominated by atheoretical accounts of the facilitators and barriers of SHR promotion in care settings. Design: Qualitative semistructured interview study. Setting: UK social services, residential children’s homes and foster care. Participants: 22 caregivers of LAC, including 9 foster carers, 8 residential carers and 5 social workers; half of whom had received SHR training. Methods: In-depth interviews explored barriers/facilitators to SHR discussions, and how these shaped caregivers’ experiences of discussing SHR with LAC. Data were systematically analysed using predetermined research questions and themes identified from reading transcripts. Role theory was used to explore caregivers’ understanding of their role. Results: SHR policies clarified role expectations and increased acceptability of discussing SHR. Training increased knowledge and confidence, and supported caregivers to reflect on how personally held values impacted practice. Identified training gaps were how to: (1) Discuss SHR with LAC demonstrating problematic sexual behaviours. (2) Record the SHR discussions that had occurred in LAC’s health plans. Contrary to previous findings, caregivers regularly discussed SHR with LAC. Competing demands on time resulted in prioritisation of discussions for sexually active LAC and those ‘at risk’ of sexual exploitation/harm. Interagency working addressed gaps in SHR provision. SHR discussions placed emotional burdens on caregivers. Caregivers worried about allegations being made against them by LAC. Managerial/ pastoral support and ‘safe care’ procedures minimised these harms. Conclusions: While acknowledging the existing level of SHR promotion for LAC there is scope to more firmly embed this into the role of caregivers. Care needs to be taken to avoid role ambiguity and tension when doing so. Providing SHR policies and training, promoting interagency working and providing pastoral support are important steps towards achieving this

    Working class gay men: Redefining community, restoring identity

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    This report presents the full results of one of a suite of three studies investigating how a range of pre-existing social and cultural factors mediate the development of gay male identity and shape the many forms of gay male social life in London today. These studies aim to problematise monolithic and (we believe) unhelpful social categories such as ‘gay community’ or ‘gay scene’ and show how the population of gay men in London is riven with cultural, political and social differences. It is common to talk simplistically about ‘gay men’ or ‘the gay community’. Commentators have unsuccessfully attempted to undermine such simplistic concepts by asserting that these identities and communities are restricted to White, middle class men. However, we believe that this position on its own is unhelpful because it fails to articulate the broader impact of such sweeping terminology. It serves to obscure the myriad ways of being gay that are not currently being described or represented in health or social policy or interventions for gay men. It implicitly robs anyone who is not White and middle class of a gay identity and sociality. It therefore uses the rhetoric of exclusion to ensure that so-called excluded groups are never considered in mainstream health and social policy for gay men because they are somehow not ‘properly’ gay. In addition, it is reductionist in relation to White middle class gay men. It is always well to be suspicious of any notion of the ‘default’ group which is considered powerful, wealthy etc. Such groups are usually one of two things: an aspirational ‘brand’ created by marketeers to sell us certain lifestyles (a quick review of the commercial gay media supports this suspicion) or a conceptual construction which everyone else uses as a benchmark to establish their own ‘individuality’ or ‘difference’. In short, we are asserting that, in policy terms, the White middle class ‘mainstream’ gay community is a useful political fallacy. In short, our representations of gay men and gay sociality remain woefully impoverished and simplistic. There is one additional over-arching effect of the White middle class fallacy. That is, by speaking the language of inclusion and exclusion, we are condemned to always consider weakness as opposed to strength. There is an implicit assumption in nearly all research and policy work on gay men that to be within the charmed circle of the White middle classes is to be without need. Thus, other experiences of being gay and other groups of gay men are described as automatically disadvantaged and weaker. These three reports will show that there is no paradigmatic gay experience or group. Rather, there are myriad ways of being gay, all of which are imbued with strengths and weaknesses. To this end, we have conducted a suite of qualitative studies into gay men resident in London. One of the others examines the relationship between ethnic minority identity and gay identity and the other investigates the lives of gay migrants in London. This report examines the experiences of blue collar or working class gay men. We aim, with all these studies to change the way that health promoters and policy makers conceive of the gay male population. We want to challenge the construction of the gay male population as having a centre which is privileged – White and middle class – and a periphery of excluded ethnic minorities, migrants, bisexuals and working class men etc. Instead, we present a conception of the gay population of London as a composite of a range of different experiences. As fractured, antagonistic and constantly changing. Moreover, the factors which fracture that population, which create the flux and antagonisms are larger social and structural factors such as ethnicity, religion, education, class, income etc. To put it simply, no gay man is simply gay, he probably also has a class background, an ethnicity, a job, a family, and a religious affiliation or history among other things. It is these differences that animate the gay population of London. Therefore, in all these reports we talk about things rarely considered in policy-oriented research on gay men. We talk of the importance of biological family and heterosexual forms of sociality for many gay men. We talk of the centrality of spirituality and organised religion. We talk about education and the passage from school to work. We talk about masculinity and health. We talk about nationalism. We talk very little about HIV and AIDS and sexual health. We have a transparent aim in doing so. We are hoping to take gay men’s health and social concerns out of the service and policy ‘ghetto’ that is HIV. We are reasserting a particularly sociological perspective that gay men’s health (sexual and otherwise) and the HIV epidemic are fundamentally influenced by broader social factors. In short, if we were to recommend one practice outcome as a result of these studies it would be to produce less community interventions telling gay men what to do (or how to be). Rather, we should be seeking to transform the education of all boys and to increase the capacity of all families to live with and enjoy their gay children; of all services to meet the needs of their gay users and of all communities to capitalise on the presence of their gay members. This is not as socially transformative an agenda as it sounds. We have much to learn from the experiences of working class gay men, gay men from ethnic minorities and gay migrants. Such interventions are, properly speaking, HIV health promotion

    IGFBP-5 as a biomarker of de-differentiation in hepatocytes

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    Describes IGFBP-5 as a biomarker of de-differentiation in hepatocytes presented at the 47th Congress of the European-Societies-of-Toxicolog

    Living with fragility : children in New Crossroads

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    Living with Fragility, traces the lives of sixteen African children between 1992 and 1995. It explores the intimate spaces of children's social relationships and charts discontinuities they experienced. The eight girls and eight boys, aged between and sixteen years, resided in New Crossroads, Cape Town, a suburb marked by poverty, inadequate schooling, and a history of violent intervention by the apartheid state and other power holders. The thesis shows that institutions of childhood are fragile, that children's social relationships are fragmented, as are their senses of self. Fragility is traced within and the social domains the children inhabited and created. The thesis argues that children's senses of self are subject to flux and interruption. Narrative ethnographies about the children demonstrate their individuality. Nuanced descriptions of children and the changes in their lives over time challenge bald categorisations of, for example, the African child, or, youth at risk. The descriptions demonstrate the agency, dexterity and responsibilities of children in fluid circumstances and lead to a critical appraisal of predominant notions of childhood. The work also outlines processes of social and relational reconstitution to which children and care-givers had recourse. Methods used in gathering data included a series of formal interviews conducted in Xhosa (the children's first language) in which economic descriptions of households, life histories, social networks, and ritual and religious affiliations of children and care-givers were sought. The formal interviews complemented by repeated visits to each child's home to record changes time. The sixteen children were brought together in workshops where discussion directed towards themes to do with mobility between care-givers, violence, sexuality and senses of self the data were enriched by use of dramatic improvisations and drawings. Improvisations yielded insight into children's bodily style and their critical appraisal of trends in social relationships in New Crossroads. The ethnography describes the social circumstances of children in urban South Africa. It is analysed through use of an eclectic set of theoretical fragments because they resonate with the study's ethnographic material. The eclecticism impelled by the data raises questions

    Poly-substance use and sexual risk behaviours: a cross-sectional comparison of adolescents in mainstream and alternative education settings

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    Background: Surveys of young people under-represent those in alternative education settings (AES), potentially disguising health inequalities. We present the first quantitative UK evidence of health inequalities between AES and mainstream education school (MES) pupils, assessing whether observed inequalities are attributable to socioeconomic, familial, educational and peer factors. Methods: Cross-sectional, self-reported data on individual- and poly-substance use (PSU: combined tobacco, alcohol and cannabis use) and sexual risk-taking from 219 pupils in AES (mean age 15.9 years) were compared with data from 4024 pupils in MES (mean age 15.5 years). Data were collected from 2008 to 2009 as part of the quasi-experimental evaluation of Healthy Respect 2 (HR2). Results: AES pupils reported higher levels of substance use, including tobacco use, weekly drunkenness, using cannabis at least once a week and engaging in PSU at least once a week. AES pupils also reported higher levels of sexual health risk behaviours than their MES counterparts, including: earlier sexual activity; less protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs); and having 3+ lifetime sexual partners. In multivariate analyses, inequalities in sexual risk-taking were fully explained after adjusting for higher deprivation, lower parental monitoring, lower parent-child connectedness, school disengagement and heightened intentions towards early parenthood among AES vs MES pupils. However, an increased risk (OR = 1.73, 95% CI 1.15, 2.60) of weekly PSU was found for AES vs MES pupils after adjusting for these factors and the influence of peer behaviours. Conclusion: AES pupils are more likely to engage in health risk behaviours, including PSU and sexual risk-taking, compared with MES pupils. AES pupils are a vulnerable group who may not be easily targeted by conventional population-level public health programmes. Health promotion interventions need to be tailored and contextualised for AES pupils, in particular for sexual health and PSU. These could be included within interventions designed to promote broader outcomes such as mental wellbeing, educational engagement, raise future aspirations and promote resilience

    Oxidative stress via hydrogen peroxide and menadione does not induce the secretion of IGFBP-5 in primary rat hepatocytes

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    Conference abstract describing how oxidative stress via hydrogen peroxide and menadione does not induce the secretion of IGFBP-5 in primary rat hepatocytes. Presented at the 2010 annual congress of the british toxicology societ

    Pathogens: the plight of plants

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    A report on the British Society for Plant Pathology Presidential meeting 'Plant pathogen genomics - from sequence to application', University of Nottingham, UK, 15-18 December 2003
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