Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness, associated with significant loss to quality of life, and day-to-day functioning in numerous domains. This project has the potential to build on, and to nurture, ways of being psychologically resilient to many aspects of this illness as identified by service-users. A key aim of the project is to develop an easily accessible, brief, psychological intervention which can amplify resilience, and which is transferrable to the NHS and mental health charities.
There are two main objectives:
1. To understand how people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders build psychological resilience to negative stressors and suicidal thoughts
2. To develop a simple, brief, psychological intervention which can help to nurture resilience in this population.
Preliminary qualitative work has shown that people with schizophrenia can spontaneously develop strategies which foster resilience. Based on this work, it is predicted that three sources of resilience will be evident which are: acceptance, resistance, and active coping. The latter source is expected to encompass emotional regulation techniques and social support.
Three studies are planned. The first will be qualitative and build on preliminary qualitative data. The second will be cross-sectional using quantitative methods to advance findings of the first study. Mediation and moderation regression analyses will be used to analyse the data. The third study will progress the first two, and will use a multiple baseline design to investigate focussed, brief, psychological techniques which can improve resilience. This study will adopt a mixed methods approach.
The School of Psychological Sciences hosts over 80 doctoral researchers within a thriving research environment. Given the breadth of training provided, the study will support progression into an academic or clinical fellowship role.
Applicants are expected to hold a minimum upper-second (or equivalent) undergraduate degree in a relevant social/health/psychological sciences subject. Candidates with a first class degree as well as a Masters at merit or distinction level will have a distinct advantage. Both undergraduate and Masters degree programmes must have involved substantial empirical research projects. Publications by applicants in peer reviewed academic psychology journals will be viewed very positively.
This 4-year full-time Mental Health Research UK funded studentship provides full coverage of UK/EU tuition fees and an annual minimum tax-free stipend at UK Research Council rates (£14, 057 in 2015/16). The project is due to commence September 2016 and is open to UK/EU nationals only due to the nature of the funding.
Please direct applications in the following format to Dr Patricia Gooding, [email protected]
• Academic CV
• Official academic transcripts
• Contact details for two suitable academic referees
• A personal statement (750 words maximum) outlining your suitability for the study, what you hope to achieve from the PhD and your research experience to date
Any enquiries relating to the project and/or suitability should be directed to Dr Gooding. Interviews will be held in March 2016. Candidates will be expected to prepare a presentation on their research as part of the interview process.
Deadline: Friday 12 February 2016
1. Johnson, J., Gooding, P. A., Wood, A. M., & Tarrier, N. (2010). Resilience as positive coping appraisals: Testing the schematic appraisals model of suicide (SAMS). Behaviour Research and Therapy, 48(3), 179-186.
2. Johnson, J., Gooding, P. A., Wood, A. M., Taylor, P. J., Pratt, D., & Tarrier, N. (2010). Resilience to suicidal ideation in psychosis: Positive self-appraisals buffer the impact of hopelessness. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 48(9), 883-889.
3. Gooding, P. A., Hurst, A., Johnson, J., & Tarrier, N. (2012). Psychological resilience in young and older adults. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 27(3), 262-270.
4. C Clements, S Jones, R Morriss, S Peters, J Cooper, D While, N Kapur (2015). Self-harm in bipolar disorder: Findings from a prospective clinical database. Journal of Affective Disorders 173, 113-119.
5. L McGrath, S Peters, A Wieck, A Wittkowski (2013). The process of recovery in women who experienced psychosis following childbirth. BMC psychiatry 13 (1), 341.