88,600 results

  • Drinking patterns, drinking in partnerships and informal social controls on drinking in New Zealand

    Meiklejohn, Jessica (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Background: National surveys have been used to measure alcohol consumption patterns and some aspects of alcohol related harm, but do not tell us much about the role of alcohol in social networks. Understanding the drinking patterns of intimate partners and social influences on drinking may help us understand alcohol’s contribution to satisfaction, disorder, and violence in families. Aim: To describe 1.Patterns of drinking in the adult population, by key demographic characteristics; 2.Similarities and differences in drinking between intimate partners; 3.The experience of informal social controls on drinking. As this research relies on survey data, an important aspect of the work was to assess the impact of incomplete response on the findings. Methods: Data were collected in a cross-sectional nationally representative survey of 18 – 70 year olds, conducted in 2007 as part of Gender, Alcohol and Culture: an International Study (GENACIS). This postal survey of a sample from the combined electoral roll, used a questionnaire designed by the International Research Group on Gender and Alcohol (IRGGA) adapted for New Zealand conditions. Standard descriptive statistics have been used, along with logistic regression models to estimate associations between variables while controlling for confounders. Potential non-response bias was investigated by comparing known characteristics of respondents and non-respondents, comparing early, intermediate and late respondents, and comparing key findings with other national surveys of alcohol use. Results: The survey had a response rate of 49.5%. Men, people of Maori ethnicity, people living in high deprivation areas, and young adults were less likely to respond to the survey. Late respondents were more like non-respondents in terms of demographics and more likely to be binge drinkers, suggesting binge drinking was underestimated in the survey. Most of the sample were current drinkers (12 month prevalence 89.6%), and prevalence of drinking decreased with age. Men were more likely to be identified as binge drinkers, along with the youngest age group, those of Maori descent, people classified as never married and people living in the most deprived areas. Most intimate partnerships (86%) differed in drinking frequency by less than 2 points, and 58% of partnerships differed in typical quantity per occasion by only 1-5 drinks. The more time couples spent drinking together the more concordant they were for both drinking frequency and quantity of alcohol per occasion. Higher concordance for alcohol per occasion was associated with higher reporting of happiness with the relationship. Pressure to drink less, came most commonly from family and spouses, rather than friends, workmates or health professionals. Binge drinkers of both sexes, and young men in general, were the most likely groups to have experienced this type of pressure. Pressure to drink more was most common in the youngest age group (60.1%), and decreased with age. Binge drinkers were most likely to experience pressure to drink more of all drinker status groups (OR=2.7 relative to lifetime abstainers). Conclusions: This study provides new insights into drinking patterns by gender and relationship status. It provides information about drinking within relationships and what informal controls are operating. This helps identify groups and situations at higher risk of alcohol-related harm. However, longitudinal research would be required to reveal whether the associations identified in this study might be causal, and where appropriate interventions might be focused.

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  • “Gee my account is in credit!” Qualitative component of the Warm Homes Pilot Study

    O'Sullivan, Kimberley Clare (2009)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Fuel poverty, or the inability to heat one’s home to World Health Organisation recommended standards for less than 10% of household income, is a significant social and public health problem in New Zealand. Those particularly at risk of fuel poverty include older people and those with chronic illness or disability. Despite estimates that around 23% of the total population of New Zealand may be experiencing fuel poverty, limited research of the phenomenon has been undertaken to date. This thesis describes the qualitative component of the Warm Homes Pilot Study, a pilot for a randomised community intervention trial undertaken in the winter of 2007. The study was designed to raise indoor temperatures and reduce morbidity among older people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, a respiratory condition that is sensitive to cold temperatures and has a significant burden in New Zealand. Participants were given a $500 electricity ‘voucher’, directly credited to their electricity accounts. The qualitative study aimed to explore the narratives of nine older COPD patients who live in cold homes in relation to home heating and health, in order to investigate the social implications of fuel poverty. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with nine participants, around the topics of home use, heating patterns and costs, and the acceptability of electricity vouchers. Labovian Structural Narrative Analysis was used to analyse the data collected. The results of this study showed that fuel poverty is a real problem experienced by the participants and their community. Participants identified housing quality and improvements that could be made to improve the thermal efficiency of their houses to make achieving adequate indoor temperatures more affordable. Heating patterns and methods for coping with the cold were described, and five of the participants indicated that being cold has a negative effect on their illness. Methods of saving electricity to mitigate electricity expenses, and trade-offs made to afford electricity were described. Some participants also spoke about their fear of disconnection because of their reliance on medical equipment. The use of electricity vouchers directly credited to electricity accounts to reduce fuel poverty was unanimously supported by the participants, particularly for older people who were identified by the group as often struggling with electricity costs. There was some disagreement between participants about how best to benefit from electricity vouchers, suggesting that not all of the benefit was taken as increased heating. While participants gave mixed reactions to the description ‘fuel poverty’, they believed that fuel poverty is a problem experienced by people in their own community and within New Zealand. This study provides some social context to the problem of fuel poverty in New Zealand through exploration of the narratives around home heating and health of a particularly disadvantaged group. It raises the problem of the extra expenses incurred through using prepayment meters. It is hoped that this study will inform the main study, and stimulate further research and discussion about how best to address fuel poverty in New Zealand.

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  • Lost in Translation? The relationship between homelessness research and policy in Wellington, New Zealand

    Amore, Kate (2007)

    Undergraduate thesis
    University of Otago

    This thesis aims to investigate the ways in which research is utilised in the emerging decentralised, participatory policy-making context in New Zealand. An in-depth study of a particular research-policy relationship is presented, exploring the impact of a public health research project on homelessness in Wellington upon the development of homelessness policy by a local inter-sectoral network. The translation of evidence into policy is a neglected area of research in public health, particularly in regard to research audiences outside the health sector. Both sides of this particular research-policy nexus are examined. On the research side, the findings of the original public health study are described, in order to provide a backdrop of the ideas that entered the policy process. These findings include a typology of pathways into homelessness and a public health framework for a comprehensive and integrated set of responses to homelessness. The utilisation of this research by its intended audience was investigated through participant observation, which allowed a detailed analysis of the policy-making process in context, the many tacit effects of research on policy-making, and the role of the researcher within this process. The research was found to be used in five distinct ways: to shape the structure of the group; conceptually; for legitimation; as a reference point; and as a networking tool. Strong researcher-user relationships enhanced ownership and use of the research; individual interests and structural constraints shaped its translation into policy. Language plays a key role in framing policy debate and responses. Conflicting frames of reference create inertia and hamper effective collaboration. Researchers have an important role in generating a common language for policy dialogue. Strong, ongoing relationships with policy-makers can enhance the use of evidence, improve the policy process, and extend the reach of research to new and diverse audiences.

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  • Deci-belles: Gender and Power in Sound Engineering for Popular Music in New Zealand

    Smith, Dianne Marie (2010)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    This thesis is a study in gender relations in sound engineering for contemporary rock music in New Zealand. I contend that music audiences and music industry workers alike discursively construct sound engineering as a masculine activity. Men greatly outnumber women in the field of sound engineering, and because the occupation is vertically segregated by gender, men also occupy positions of authority. This thesis explores the problems women face navigating a male-dominated occupation, and the tactics they employ to establish themselves within the industry. Through semi-structured interview processes with both male and female sound engineers, I was able to identify key themes in their perspectives on their work. Women sound engineers face entry level and on-the-job gender discrimination. I argue that the technological tools they use are seen as being at odds with femininity. They persist despite this, fulfilling their desires for creative input into music. As part of a collaborative team in the production of local rock music, sound engineers are in the position to help shape its sound. The power exercised within music production is not equally accessible to women, and this is one factor among many which upholds gender inequality in the music industry.

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  • A dirty determinant of health: What is the role of public health units in reducing the inequitable effects of inadequate income on health and wellbeing?

    Regan, Toby (2009)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    This study examines the role regional public health units could play in contributing to reducing the inequitable effects inadequate income has on health and wellbeing. It also recommends appropriate steps for Wellington’s Regional Public Health. It uses qualitative methods involving six group interviews with key informants from a range of public health units. From these it also examines current income-related work within public health units including views on: potential income-related interventions; how public health units could engage on these issues; and documentary analysis. These are supplemented by the six in-depth interviews with the senior people from the poverty and public health sectors. Their views and opinions on poverty, income and how public health units could address these issues were gauged and noted. Additionally, a literature review was undertaken to assess the strength of evidence of sub-national, income-related interventions both in New Zealand and internationally. The research found that while the staff from the six public health units had a solid understanding of the importance of income in health, and that this has been captured in strategic planning documents, little action could be identified which addressed the situation. There was a consensus of opinion among the six that, for the most part, the solutions to inadequate income lay outside the health sector, but that health could play an important role in the collection, analysis and dissemination of evidence on income and health. The literature and the results from the interviews suggested that to address income, consideration must be given to the enablers and disablers of income generation. Advocacy, evidence building and intersectoral action arose as key tools for public health units to use in income-related issues. However, significant concerns were raised about the perceived and actual limitations placed on public health unit advocacy. The research concludes that public health units can play an important role in reducing the effects of inadequate income through the use of intersectoral collaboration and advocacy built on a strong evidence base by a highly trained and professional workforce. A series of recommendations around these key conclusions has also been made for Regional Public Health and other public health units.

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  • Digital Forensics: A Demonstration of the Effectiveness of The Sleuth Kit and Autopsy Forensic Browser

    Dowling, Anthony (2006)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    The Sleuth Kit is a collection of Linux tools that perform different aspects of a file system analysis. The Autopsy Forensic Browser is a graphical user interface that provides a user friendly interface to the command line tools contained within The Sleuth Kit. This research project investigates the use of The Sleuth Kit and Autopsy Forensic Browser as forensic investigation tools, with the aim of demonstrating the effectiveness of these tools in real world case studies as digital forensic tools. The research found that The Sleuth Kit and Autopsy Forensic Browser provide an effective file system analysis toolset. The flexibility of the tools contained within The Sleuth Kit often lead to complex command line strings, the complexity of which is overcome by the automation provided by the Autopsy Forensic Browser. Not only do The Sleuth Kit and Autopsy Forensic browser provide an effective toolset, they also offer an affordable alternative to expensive commercial or proprietary based toolsets. Digital Forensics is an area of increasing importance with an expanding field of coverage requiring many different tools to help perform varying functions. It is with this in mind that the focus of this research project is three case studies that are utilised to demonstrate the effectiveness of The Sleuth Kit and Autopsy Forensic Browser. The demonstration of The Sleuth Kit and Autopsy Forensic Browser contained within the case studies could serve as an introductory overview of a new toolset for investigators looking for an alternative or complementary Digital Forensics toolset.

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  • The associations between magnesium and the metabolic syndrome in overweight and obese women randomised to an energy-restricted high protein or high fibre diet

    Levers, Megan Tara (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Background: Dietary magnesium intake has reduced in developed countries over the last century, and consequently average magnesium intakes in New Zealand are well below the recommended dietary intake. Plausible biological mechanisms and a large body of cross sectional research have indicated a link between both dietary magnesium intake and magnesium status and cardiovascular risk factors and individual components of the metabolic syndrome. However, dietary interventions to modify magnesium intake and status and examine the effect on cardiovascular risk have not been previously carried out. Methods: A randomised controlled weight-loss trial was carried out to examine the effect of a hypocaloric high carbohydrate, high fibre diet compared with a hypocaloric high protein diet on dietary magnesium intake and status, and to examine corresponding modifications in cardiovascular risk and individual components of the metabolic syndrome. Eighty-three overweight and obese women, who were free from medicated diabetes and dyslipidaeamia, took part. Fasting plasma magnesium was measured, and dietary magnesium intake was assessed using a three-day diet record at baseline and at the end of the study. Results: Over eight weeks of follow-up, plasma magnesium and dietary magnesium intake did not change significantly in either diet group. In the high fibre diet group, an increase in 100mg of dietary magnesium daily was associated with a 1.3kg reduction in weight (p=0.005), an 8% reduction in fasting insulin concentration (p=0.043) and an 8% reduction in HOMA-IR (p=0.015). An increase in plasma magnesium concentration by 1mg/L in the high protein diet group was associated with a 600g weight loss (p=0.013), 350g reduction in trunkal fat (p=0.016) and an increase in McAuley IS (p=0.020). Conclusions: Increases in both dietary magnesium and plasma magnesium were associated with a reduction in cardiovascular risk factors and individual components of the metabolic syndrome. This study suggests that weight loss in conjunction with an increase in magnesium intake and improvements in magnesium status, may work synergistically to reduce cardiovascular risk in an at risk population.

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  • Examination of an Assessment-Informed Instructional Consultation Process Implemented with Junior Primary School Teachers

    Thurlow, Jane (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Literacy is an enabler within our society (Stanovich, 2000). The majority New Zealand (NZ) children have and are responding favourably to current teaching methods (Wilkinson, 1998). Those who continue to struggle may benefit from modified intervention methods (Fuchs & Fuchs, 2007). The current thesis used a social validity framework to examine primary school teachers’ perceptions of the instructional utility of an assessment-driven response to intervention (RTI) system, the Assessment-Informed Instructional Consultation process (A-IICp). It was hypothesised that the participants would perceive the A-IICp as acceptable, providing initial social validity support. Also, that the assessment information would inform instructional modification, providing initial support for instructional utility. Further that the teachers would, therefore, modify current instruction to better meet student needs, increasing student performance. Two studies using the A-IICp were conducted sequentially at two different primary schools. Over a ten-week school term selected students engaged in twice-weekly progress monitoring consisting of the Dynamic Indicator of Basic Early Literacy Skills, First Sound Fluency and AIMSweb, Letter Sound Fluency. First Sound Fluency is a measure of initial phonemic awareness (Dynamic Measurement Group, 2007) and Letter Sound Fluency is a measure of grapheme-phoneme correspondence (Shinn & Shinn, 2002). The students’ teachers were provided with the progress monitoring information to aid intervention decision-making at two time points within the term. The majority of the teachers indicated instructional modifications in light of the assessment information and appeared to gain a greater understanding of their students’ early literacy difficulties. The Behavioural Intervention Rating Scale was used to assess the teachers’ perceived effectiveness, acceptability and time-to-effort of the progress monitoring measures. Across both schools the teachers indicated a moderate to high level of acceptance of the A-IICp and time-to-effort, however, perceptions of effectiveness were relatively neutral. The Child Intervention Rating Profile was used to capture students’ perceptions of the process, which were generally positive. Across both schools, the students made statistically significant improvements on the progress monitoring measures over the term. Students at School A showed educationally significant improvements at the end of year on both researcher administered literacy assessment and school criterion book level. The students at School B showed educationally significant improvements on school criterion book level. Overall, the teachers indicated that the process undertaken was warranted for the target problem, but that perceived time constraints hindered instructional implementation. This raised issues of school readiness support systems necessary for engagement (Adelman & Taylor, 1997), suggesting the need for further consideration of factors influencing transportability of evidence-based assessment systems from consultation research to school settings.

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  • Biophysical Study of the Molecular Chaperone DnaK by Intramolecular FRET

    Rogawski, David (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    DnaK is a 70 kilodalton heat shock protein and molecular chaperone from Escherichia coli with an N-terminal nucleotide binding domain and C-terminal substrate binding domain. During chaperone function DnaK occupies at least two conformational states characterized by distinct biochemical properties and interdomain distances. Here we develop a method for fluorescent double labeling of DnaK, creating a reagent that reports DnaK’s conformational shift via changes in Förster resonance energy transfer. We show that selective labeling can be accomplished by identifying a pair of cysteine residues whose local environments render one thiol several-fold more reactive than the other. Reactivity of cysteines introduced at various positions on the surface of DnaK was assayed using two different fluorescent dyes and two distinct assays. The fluorescent compound 7-diethylamino-3-(4’-maleimidylphenyl)-4- methylcoumarin reacted threefold faster to DnaK single-cysteine variant T136C/C15S than to S423C/C15S (rate constants of 0.124 ± 0.003 s-1 and 0.0433 ± 0.0005 s-1, respectively). This difference in reactivity was predictive of relative reactivity to Alexa Fluor 555 maleimide, for which we observed a twentyfold difference in reactivity between T136C and S423C (rate constants of 0.029 ± 0.003 s-1 and 0.00144 ± 0.00004 s-1, respectively). We prepared a variant of DnaK that contains two cysteines at positions 136 and 423 and showed that Alexa Fluor 594 maleimide reacts 13-fold faster to T136C in the nucleotide binding domain than to S423C in the substrate binding domain (rate constants of 0.048 ± 0.005 s-1 and 0.0036 ± 0.0006 s-1, respectively). Limited proteolysis demonstrated that DnaK T136C/S423C/C15S is capable of undergoing a nucleotide-dependent conformational change, suggesting it is functionally active. We overcame low solubility of double-labeled DnaK T136C/S423C/C15S by optimizing buffer conditions and labeling with donor and acceptor fluorophores sequentially in the same reaction vessel. Our improved labeling method allowed us to make doublelabeled protein that reports DnaK’s conformational change with a 16% decrease in Alexa Fluor 555 donor fluorescence upon addition of adenosine triphosphate. We use Förster resonance energy transfer together with small angle x-ray scattering and limited proteolysis to show that therapeutically applicable heat shock protein 70 activity modulators interfere with DnaK’s conformational shift.

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  • Manufactured complementary foods for infant and young child feeding in Asia: micronutrient adequacy and improvement

    Gibbs, Michelle (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Introduction: The complementary diets of infants and young children in Asia often contain inadequate levels of the problem micronutrients - iron, zinc, and calcium, and sometimes, high levels of phytate which inhibit the absorption of these micronutrients. As a result, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the consumption of fortified complementary foods. However, to date, no studies have assessed the nutrient adequacy or quality of manufactured complementary foods currently sold in Asia. The aims of this study were to assess the adequacy of the iron, zinc, and calcium content of some manufactured complementary foods currently sold in Asia, and to establish appropriate levels of fortification for these micronutrients in selected cereal-based manufactured complementary foods sold in three Asian countries – the Philippines, Mongolia, and Cambodia. Methods: A market sample of 33 commercially available, cereal-based manufactured complementary foods, were collected from Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, China, and Mongolia. The iron, zinc, and calcium content of the manufactured complementary foods were analysed using atomic absorption spectrophotometry, and the phytate content (based on hexa- and penta-inositol phosphate) was measured using high-performance liquid chromatography. The micronutrient adequacy of the manufactured complementary foods were assessed through comparison with the WHO estimated needs for iron, zinc, and calcium, assuming that breast-fed infants aged 9-11 mos consume 50 g per day (dry weight). The potential bioavailability of iron, zinc, and calcium in the complementary foods was estimated by a comparison with the recommended phytate-to-mineral molar ratios. Appropriate fortification levels of cereal-based manufactured complementary foods using WHO guidelines were determined for infants and toddlers aged 9 to 36 months from the Philippines, and toddlers aged 12 to 36 months from Mongolia, and Cambodia. Observed nutrient intake distributions for children from each respective country were transformed to usual intakes using the programme PC-SIDE, adjusting for within-subject variation based on intake data from two days during the 2003 National Nutrition Survey of the Philippines. Appropriate levels of fortification were determined using two methods recommended by WHO: the IOM conventional approach (EAR cut-point method for zinc and calcium, and full probability approach for iron), and the WHO alternative approach. Results: Although 85% of the manufactured complementary foods analysed were fortified, none met the estimated needs for breastfed infants aged 9-11 months for all three problem micronutrients. However, nine met the estimated needs for calcium alone. Furthermore, 76% of the manufactured complementary foods had a phytate-to-iron molar ratio above the level said to be indicative of satisfactory iron bioavailability. Derivation of fortification levels using the IOM conventional approach yielded much higher levels of fortification than those estimated using the WHO alternative approach (i.e. 6.5 – 9.8 mg vs 0 – 4 mg of iron per day, and 318 – 389 mg vs 5 – 256 mg of calcium per day). However, the IOM conventional approach plans for a low prevalence (i.e. 2-3%) of inadequate intakes of micronutrients, whereas the WHO alternative approach plans fortification levels at the estimated average requirement (i.e. 50% of the population have inadequate intakes). No additional zinc as a fortificant appear to be required in the three populations studied, as determined by both the IOM conventional and the WHO alternative approach. Conclusion: These results highlight the urgent need to fortify manufactured complementary foods at appropriate levels of absorbable micronutrients. Simpler, informed guidelines for the fortification of cereal-based complementary foods are required to inform policy and regulation at the government level, and to help manufacturers produce manufactured complementary foods that are adequately fortified with bioavailable micronutrients.

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  • Reconceptualizing Knowledge Management: Knowledge, Social Energy, and Emergent Leadership in Social Complex Adaptive Systems

    Faucher, Jean-Baptiste (2010)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    The field of knowledge management struggles among apparent paradoxical standpoints. Beyond the facts that knowledge remains poorly defined, and is also not easily ‘managed’, theories of knowledge management propose opposing views traditionally ranging from an information science perspective to a more social orientation. There is also an epistemic gap between the concepts of knowledge and knowledge management. Although this is primarily experienced at the practitioners’ level, it is essentially due to a theoretical disintegration at the academic level between the micro and macro levels of knowledge management and a myriad of non-integrated frameworks. There is currently no integrated theory of knowledge management. This thesis employs a radical socio-cultural constructivist epistemology, adopting complexity theory as a lens to provide the first step towards an integration of the field of knowledge management. Using a disjunctive logic and a holistic approach, this thesis makes several significant contributions: • This research presents a Delphi study utilizing a panel of experts to explore existing consensus and dissension within the field of knowledge management. • This research introduces the E2E Model, a new complexity-based conceptualization of the cognitive system of knowledge which revisits the position of the traditional constructs of data, information, knowledge, and wisdom within an interlinked feedback system of increasing levels of understanding, allowing multidirectional interstate transitions, bound between two states of being: existence and enlightenment (hence “E2E”). • This research introduces the LIFE Model (Leadership Invigorating Flows of Energies) which provides a comprehensive description of the organizational Knowledge Processing System. It highlights the role of emergent leadership and flows of social energies as forces invigorating the Knowledge Processing System, and describes how knowledge is created, assimilated, and diffused dynamically within an organization through the Knowledge Processing. • This research also presents a first application of the LIFE model with the case analysis of Wikipedia illustrating why this organization can be considered as a social complex adaptive system and how the LIFE model facilitates its analysis. This analysis demonstrates how continuous flows of positive and negative feedback among users and the processes of the Knowledge Processing Cycle lead to the emergence of a complex feedback system that nurtures the self-organization of the Wikipedia community and its outputs. Together, the E2E Model and the LIFE Model provide a sound foundation for a reconceptualization of knowledge management. They open the path to the creation of an integrative theory of knowledge management, of which a first stepping stone is presented in this thesis.

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  • Towards the Development of 'Good Practices' for Recording Social Work Supervision in Aotearoa New Zealand after the Introduction of Registration

    Gillanders, Margaret Jean (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Registration of social workers was introduced in 2003. The increased accountability expected of registered social workers, expectations of the role of supervision and the implications these have for record keeping in supervision stimulated the questions that led to this research. This study set out to learn from a small group of supervisors and supervisees how record keeping is practiced currently in supervision, and ask what 'best practice' should look like in future. This qualitative study consisted of interviews of four social work supervisor/supervisee pairs, two external supervisors and one cultural advisor. Interviewees were contacted through the local ANZASW network and by approaching social welfare agencies in the local area seeking social work supervisors interested in participating in the research. Supervisors were asked to recruit a supervisee to participate. The interviewees were invited, along with other interested social workers to participate in a focus group for supervisors (nine attended) or a focus group for supervisees (three attended). Eight agencies (four statutory ones and four from the non government sector) were asked to provide policies for analysis of supervision record keeping practices. Three (two NGO and one statutory) agencies provided some policy information for this research. The research found that participants were generally comfortable that supervision and current record keeping practice met the development needs of supervisees and legal and safety needs for clients. Some areas of practice that need clarification of expectations are: • the purpose of record keeping for agencies • expectations of external supervision and reporting on that supervision back to agencies and • supervision record keeping for new graduates gaining practical experience for registration. Both supervisors and supervisees wanted to retain a trusting supervision relationship. Agency policies, other than supervision ones, were used to protect the safety of clients. The limited scope of the data gathered means results are only indicative of future directions for research on this topic. It does indicate that multiple ‘good practices’ in recording social work supervision could be developed through consulting with the groups most involved in supervision: social work supervisors, supervisees, clients and employing agencies with involvement of ANZASW and the SWRB.

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  • Does Providing Undergraduate Students the Opportunity to Draw Facilitate Verbal Reports of Emotional Experiences?

    Burton, Melanie (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    The transition to a tertiary institution is a major period of change for individuals as they encounter increased access to new experiences and opportunities while adapting to different living arrangements, styles of teaching, and other changes to their lifestyle. During this transition, levels of psychological distress are at their highest. The high prevalence of mental illness in the adolescent student population is a major concern and developmentally appropriate assessment tools are required. The main aim of this thesis was to examine the utility of using drawing with undergraduate students to elicit information about emotional experiences that may be relevant in clinical settings. Thirty-five undergraduate psychology students from the University of Otago, aged between 17- and 22-years-old were asked to provide an account of a time when they experienced four different emotions; two positive (happy or proud/confident) and two negative (angry or worried/nervous). Participants were given the opportunity to draw while describing one negative event and one positive event; for the remaining two events participants were just asked to tell. Overall, drawing did not facilitate the recall of emotional events in undergraduates. When the data were compared to prior studies conducted with children, undergraduates reported two to three times more information than did children. In fact, even without the addition of drawing, the undergraduates‘ reports contained much more information than did the reports of children. Given their more sophisticated language and narrative skills, participants of this age (17- to 22-years) no longer benefited from the additional support that was provided by drawing. This initial finding suggests that drawing may not be a particularly useful tool to utilise in mental health settings with undergraduate students.

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  • Promoting childhood nutrition through primary schools: A complex analysis of policy options

    Walton, Mathew David (2010)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    The negative social, educational and health consequences of obesity for children have been well documented, with downstream impacts on chronic disease for adults. A diet high in energy-dense nutrient-poor foods, and low in nutritious foods, is an important contributor to obesity. Such diets tend to have negative health and educational outcomes for children. Childhood nutrition can be considered a complex system, with many influences on children's diets across home, community and school settings. Schools are often identified as a site for interventions to promote healthy diets. However, given the complexity of influences, the impact of school based actions is likely to be limited. The first aim of this study was to identify a 'portfolio' of interventions across school, home and community settings that, taken together, will support primary schools to effectively promote healthy nutrition. Informed by complexity theory, a policy research method of analysis was developed. The research method sought to combine an understanding of case study primary school food environment 'systems', with the views of policymakers. Testing the research method for use in policy analysis of complex issues was the second aim of this study. The food environments of five case study primary schools within the Wellington region of New Zealand were mapped using interview, documentary and observational data. Intervention options to improve the school food environment were identified across case studies, with support for interventions gathered from school principals. Interviews with sixteen policymakers considered the national level context of interventions. To inform implementation, identified interventions were prioritised based on: (i) the level of support from case study school principals and policymakers; (ii) evidence of effectiveness from international literature; and (iii) theoretical likelihood of impacting on the complex system of childhood nutrition. The top identified priority was to encourage schools to develop food policies that would promote consumption of healthy foods and minimise unhealthy foods within the school. Such school policies can be supported with external expertise, nutrition focused health promotion programmes such as Fruit in Schools, and policy settings that direct schools to consider nutrition issues. Second and third priorities focus on home and community environments and include restricting food marketing to children, increasing the affordability of healthy foods, and social marketing campaigns. Comprehensive actions across policy settings are required for effective healthy nutrition promotion within primary schools. Overall, the method proved to be useful for identifying intervention options to address complex policy issue. A manageable portfolio of interventions was identified to work across the systems under study. A number of tensions were evident within the complexity theory informed research method used for this study. These tensions included: balancing central government planning with flexibility at the community level; capturing enough information to adequately understand the entire 'child nutrition system'; and the degree to which a 'system perspective' challenges the current machinery of government. In conclusion, improving child nutrition is a significant public policy issue. Taking a complexity theory perspective to policy research and analysis aided development of a portfolio of interventions to impact widely across the 'system', from which child nutrition practices 'emerge'. Taken together the interventions are likely to act to support schools to improve their food environments and effectively promote healthy nutrition. The results are a starting point for detailed policy design. This research suggests that the analysis method used deserves further investigation and refinement. The test for policymakers will be to develop cost effective interventions, which take account of local complexities, within a government system that favours linear programme logic and accountability lines.

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  • High Street quaking : a history of Dunedin’s "Inner Circle"

    Sinclair, Fergus R. J. (1997)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    This study plots the history of Dunedin's "inner circle", a group roughly equivalent to the "limited circle" of Stone's Auckland business community. The "inner circle" is defined and located in the structure of business around 1870. Its role within the major limbs of the Otago economy is assessed and the social development of the wider business community is examined against the background of demographic and economic change in the 1860s. The influence of business interests in Provincial politics s examined and the constraints upon that influence are considered. The business community is shown to have become a more conspicuous social group through its political opposition to the Otago "Liberal Party". Otago's interaction with other centres of business power is illustrated by several developments arising from the expansion of the BNZ and its associated companies. These events aggravated divisions within the "inner circle", producing antagonisms that affected ventures such as the New Zealand Agricultural Company. Revisionist interpretations of the Long Depression are reviewed as part of a survey of the Otago economy in the 1880s. This discussion forms the background to the later progress of the "inner circle". The idea of the business community as a social elite is tested against the experience of this group as revealed in preceding sections. There are also some observations about the supposition that Otago exhibited a distinctive morality of business because of its Free Church origins.

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  • Some neuro-computational investigations into the reviewing of object-files

    Liddle, Michael David (2010)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    When a person attends to an object, a temporary working memory representation is created for it, specific to that individual “token” object. This differs from more general accumulated memories for “types” of objects. Kahneman, Treisman, and Gibbs (1992) conducted a series of “object-reviewing” studies showing that these token object representations are able to persist after focal attention is withdrawn from an object, and can be reactivated when the same object is reattended to shortly afterwards. Kahneman et al. (1992) used the term “object-files” to refer to these working memory representations. In the years since the publication of these seminal results many subsequent studies have further probed this type of memory. However, the question of the neural mechanisms which implement object-files is still largely an open one. In this thesis I attempt to examine these mechanisms, asking what is required computationally for such memory traces to persist and be reactivated, and how and why they might be implemented in the brain. My study has three distinct parts. Firstly, I present a computational analysis of the problem, the results of which provide number of avenues of further enquiry. Secondly, I present a neural network implementation of a mechanism, hypothesised in the previous analysis, that is able to account for results of the object-reviewing paradigm. Finally, I present the results of a series of human psychophysical experiments, investigating the relationship of object-reviewing performance with the ability to track multiple moving objects, first observed by Pylyshyn and Storm (1988). The results of these experiments would appear to have implications for the theoretical foundations of both object-reviewing and multiple object tracking research.

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  • Immigration and national identity in 1970s New Zealand

    Mitchell, James (2003)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    This thesis is an attempt to understand the evolution of national identity in New Zealand through an examination of New Zealanders' evolving attitudes to immigrants and immigration. It begins with the premise that through selecting whom to admit to New Zealand as immigrants and become New Zealanders, we are collectively expressing what we believe a New Zealander to be. A rapidly evolving body of international literature sparked by Benedict Anderson's 1991 work "Imagined Communities", places the self and the process of identification at the heart of understandings about national and other forms of collective identity. I draw on these models of national identity to critically evaluate the 'ethno-cultural' model of the New Zealand nation adopted by writers such as Keith Sinclair and James Belich. I contend that, in trying to write national histories which stress the unique cultural elements of the nation, these writers have produced artificially homogenous and static models of New Zealand's cultural identity. My thesis proposes that a model of national identity as a state of shared consciousness attained by a defined and mutually understood group of people is inadequate. Instead, I argue that notions both of what constitutes the nation and who belongs within its boundaries are a source of constant debate and evolve over time. I examine national identity in relation to immigration on two levels: at the level of immigration policy, which determines who is formally admitted to the nation-state, and at the level of public debate over immigration which is a more popular expression of a nation's boundaries. The 1970s in New Zealand provides excellent material for examining both of these aspects of the relationship. The decade witnessed both significant changes in immigration policy and bitter public debate about immigration. Before the 1970s, New Zealand's immigration policy was based around a popular identification with Britain and the assumption that New Zealand was part of a British family of nations. Consequently, immigration policy strongly favoured white people from Great Britain. Britain's entry into the European Economic Community in 1973, however, forced New Zealanders to reevaluate the idea that New Zealand identity was part of a broader British identity category and this had implications for immigration policy and attitudes to British immigrants. At the same time, the arrival of an increasing number of Pacific Island immigrants, a group which fell without the boundaries of a culturally defined nation, contributed to debate about cultural diversity and national culture. The presence of Pacific Islanders presented a challenge to the idea of the nation should or could be defined in terms of a single unitary culture. In this way, the 1970s debate over immigration can be understood as part of a broader debate about the place of multiculturalism in New Zealand. This thesis interprets the 1970s as a pivotal time in the evolution of New Zealand identity. At the same time, by examining contestation over immigration as a manifestation of a broader uncertainty and debate about national identity, it makes a case for a broader understanding of New Zealand identity as a debate and as an evolving process.

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  • Genetic basis of the activation of the cryptic dct genes in Mesorhizobium loti

    Sharma, Utsav (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    Previous studies showed that, although non-symbiotic mesorhizobia carry a copy of the dctABD genes responsible for C4-dicarboxylate transport, most strains isolated from soil were unable to utilise succinate as a carbon source, indicating that the genes were cryptic. Following prolonged incubation on solid media containing succinate as a sole carbon source, two strains (CJ1 and N18) gave rise to succinate-utilising colonies at a frequency much greater than expected by random mutation alone. Sequence analysis revealed that point mutations had occurred within the dctB or dctD genes in these strains. A cosmid clone pJW5 that conferred the mutator phenotype on other Dct- non-symbiotic strains was isolated from a CJ1 genomic DNA library. Two gene clusters similar to the toxin-antitoxin module hipAB, designated hipB1A1 and hipA2B2, found on pJW5 were implicated in the mutator phenotype. pJW5 was mutagenised with transposon Tn5 and two insertions both within hipB2 were the only insertions found that abolished the mutator phenotype. Furthermore, it was reported that subclones of pJW5 containing either or both hipAB loci conferred the mutator phenotype. These findings led to the hypothesis that the hipAB loci enable the cells to mutate to succinate utilisation by allowing them to undergo adaptive mutation through a dormant state known as persistence (Weaver, 2003 and personal communication). In this study subcloning was employed in an effort to confirm that hipAB act as a toxin-antitoxin module and further define the contribution of the hipAB loci to the mutator phenotype. Attempts to express hipA1 or hipA2 from an inducible promoter failed to show that HipA acted as a toxin. Further subcloning studies suggested that neither individual hip genes, hipB1A1, hipA2B2, or both hipAB clusters alone could promote mutation to succinate metabolism, indicating that other gene(s) in addition to hipB2 present on pJW5 are required. Subsequent restriction digests of pJW5 demarcated a region to the left end of pJW5 as most likely being involved in the mutator phenotype. The underlying mechanism of mutation to succinate utilisation, although still ambiguous, seems to harbour some functions of stress-induced mutagenesis (adaptive mutation) and cryptic activation of silent genes. Involvement of other genes in the phenotype was postulated and the Bacterial Transcription Repair Coupling Factor (TRCF or Mfd) gene was identified as a possible candidate. Mfd facilitates recruitment of repair proteins to DNA lesions present on the coding DNA strand of actively transcribed genes. An R7ANS mfd mutant was constructed and analysis of the mutant suggested that the mfd gene plays a role in the mutator phenotype as the onset of mutant colonies was delayed in the mutant and their numbers were reduced.

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  • Molecular and structural analysis of natural variants of Parapoxvirus chemokine binding proteins reveals a diverse range of chemokine class specificity

    Corbett, Michael Stephen Paul (2010)

    Masters thesis
    University of Otago

    The Poxvirus family is a group of large DNA viruses whose host range encompasses both vertebrate and invertebrate hosts. Their large genomes allow them to encode genes for replication and assembly as well as numerous accessory genes that aid in virulence and immune evasion. The Parapoxviruses comprise a genus of poxviruses that cause highly contagious, pustular skin lesions in ruminant animals and zoonoses in human. The prototypical parapoxvirus Orf virus (ORFV) encodes immunomodulatory genes that aid viral replication and control inflammation in the skin. The parapoxviruses are one of three genera of poxviruses that encode a chemokine binding protein (CBP) that sequester host chemokines preventing chemokine signalling and the recruitment of leukocytes to the site of viral replication. The key feature of CBPs is that they lack sequence and structural homology to any host chemokine receptor. The ORFV CBP has previously been shown to bind the CC- and XC-chemokine classes, in contrast to the CBPs from the other poxvirus genera that specifically target CC-chemokines. The CBP gene has subsequently been identified and cloned from three other species of parapoxvirus; Bovine papular stomatitis virus (BPSV), Pseudocowpox virus (PCPV) and Parapoxvirus of red deer in New Zealand (PVNZ) which encodes three unique CBPs. Interestingly, the parapoxvirus CBPs have a diverse amino acid sequence, sharing only 20 – 45 % identity. This study set out to further characterise the interactions between the ORFV CBP and its chemokine ligands and determine if the parapoxvirus CBPs are functional chemokine inhibitors. An indirect chemokine capture ELISA was used to determine the chemokine ligands for the parapoxvirus CBPs. Consistent with previous findings the ORFV CBP bound the CC- and XC-chemokines, and was also shown to bind the CXC-chemokines CXCL2 and CXCL4. The soluble version of the glycosaminoglycan (GAG) heparin did not inhibit the interaction of the ORFV CBP with the chemokine CCL2 indicating that the ORFV CBP was not binding the GAG binding domain of chemokines. However, in an immobilised heparin-BSA assay ORFV CBP was demonstrated to be removed from solution by heparin that together suggest chemokine and GAG binding by the ORFV CBP is similar to the M-T1 CBP from the Myxoma virus. Chemokine competition and displacement ELISAs were used to determine whether the ORFV CBP has one or multiple binding sites for the various classes of chemokines. The ORFV CBP preferentially bound the chemokine XCL1 over CCL2 and CXCL2, but its relative affinity of binding is greater for CXCL2 and CCL2 than XCL1. Mutational analysis of the ORFV CBP to determine regions of the ORFV CBP involved in ligand binding indicates the predicted Loop7 region is involved in high affinity ligand binding and the C-terminus contributes to the correct formation of the ORFV CBP. Together these findings support the working theoretical structural model of the ORFV CBP that predicts one region of the CBP to be involved in binding, but contains distinct regions involved in specificity and affinity. The BPSV and PVNZ gene 112.0 CBPs were shown to have an ORFV CBP-like binding spectrum inhibiting the same chemokines as the ORFV CBP with similar affinities. The PVNZ gene 112.3 CBP had a novel CXC-chemokine specific binding spectrum, binding an extended range of CXC-chemokines; CXCL2, CXCL4, CXCL8 with high affinity and CXCL10 with low affinity, and did not bind any CC- or XC-chemokines with high affinity. The PVNZ gene 112.6 CBP was only able to bind the chemokines CCL5 and CCL19 with high affinity and the PCPV CBP only bound CCL19 with high affinity. The parapoxvirus CBPs that bound the CC-chemokines had a higher affinity for the CC-chemokines than the Vaccinia virus (VACV) 35 kDa CBP. In summary this study has shown that ORFV CBP is able to bind a wider range of chemokine classes than previously reported and is also able to interact with the GAG heparin. Structural and preliminary mutational analyses indicate a single binding region of the ORFV CBP for chemokine binding and a separate region for heparin binding. These results also confirm that the parapoxviruses all encode functional CBPs despite the large variation in sequence.

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  • A choice of difficulties : national mental health policy in New Zealand, 1840-1947

    Brunton, Warwick Anthony (2001)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    xi, 517 leaves, [59] leaves of plates :ill. ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 476-517). "March 2001". Photocopy.

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