Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The background to some recent papers

Twitter is a great medium, but the 140 character limit is… limiting.
So I thought I would briefly explain a couple of recent postings, and add some context to some postings I will be making over the next few days and weeks.

I published a paper back in 2005 (which you can find here, unfortunately the original article is behind a pay-wall) which set out some hypotheses about the relationship between different causal and mediating factors in mental health.

We were lucky enough then to work with the BBC to conduct a large on-line study to explore – to test – these hypotheses. We published the preliminary results here, where you can read much more about the study itself.

Publishing in peer-review journals takes a little longer, but we have one paper now published, and we are very confident that more will be out soon.

I’ll share the main results papers when they are free to access (one paper has been accepted, but we’re waiting for publication) but I thought I would explain the background to our most recent publication.

The BBC well-being scale (the topic of my most recent post) was originally developed for clinical settings, but proved perfect for our online experiment with the BBC. We believe that it has great potential for researchers wanting to explore a holistic (horrible word, but applicable here) definition of well-being. We also believe it may be useful - along with other excellent measures of well-being such as the WEMWBS scale - in developing and evaluating the genuine effectiveness of mental health services. I won’t describe it in detail here, because you can read the paper itself, but we hope it measures – reliably and effectively – a representative cross-section of the elements of genuine well-being.

And… to put the preliminary findings in more scientific context… I’ll post the full results of our covariance analysis in a few days time.


  1. I have just the BBC Magazine item (Denise Waterman)about rumination and it made me think about whether rumination can be escalated by the modern preponderance to ruminate.(24 hour news etc.) . One area I feel very strongly about is this: Im in my mid-fifties and I have seen a huge change in the manner in which employers and HR depts have a hand in lay psychology when dealing with employees. 20 years ago I would naturally self-reflect about my work, but I didn’t ruminate to the point of self-blame. However, having been made to attend endless in service courses (primary school setting) I got to the point 3 years ago where I was ruminating to the point becoming physically worn out. CBT helped made me realise that these courses and , in general, today's society's tendency towards trying to make all people fit in one box and think and speak with one mind , plus the blame culture ,has made life very miserable for people who care about maintaining their own integrity. I am just a lay person as I’m sure you can tell , but would be interested in other people's take on this

    1. Hi,

      I really don't know, myself. I think modern life is very busy, pressured, stressful. But then, many of us have fewer objective reasons to be anxious than in the past - infectious disease, childbirth, even random violence, crime, war, material possessions, food, shelter… all areas in which we're much more objectively better off.
      So… I don't know. Maybe modern life is very ruminatogenic (if that's a word) or maybe we're talking about individual differences, differences in life experiences and our learned coping styles.
      Like you, I'd appreciate other people's views.