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Individual experiences of bullying behaviours : a portfolio of research and therapeutic practice

Ditchfield, D. (2017). Individual experiences of bullying behaviours : a portfolio of research and therapeutic practice. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


Tackling bullying within the healthcare profession is a major priority considering the costs and risks associated with it, and a full understanding of what behaviours constitute bullying is crucial (Allen, 2015). This mixed-methods study’s QUAL/Quant aims were, firstly, to establish what ALT staff considered to be their experiences of bullying (QUAL) and, secondly, to consider the prevalence of negative acts and their potential relationships to levels of reported depression (Hypothesis 1), stress (Hypothesis 2) and anxiety (Hypothesis 3) (Quant). A pragmatic epistemological framework was utilised for this study with a qualitative focus. Employees from five divisions of ALT were invited to participate in this study, and 303 (response rate 27.5%) took part in the quantitative questionnaire-based study. Eight participants who had described experiences of being bullied were interviewed qualitatively. Prevalent negative behaviours, as reported were: being exposed to an unmanageable workload, having your opinions and views ignored, excessive monitoring of work, being ordered to do work below your level of competence, and being ignored or facing a hostile reaction when you approach. All three hypotheses were strongly supported, in that there was a significant positive relationship between reported experiences of negative acts and levels of depression, anxiety and stress. A constructivist grounded theory approach was adopted for the analysis of the qualitative data. The findings suggested that the experience of bullying was far more complex than the reporting of negative acts and included a stealth-like nature prior to individuals recognising a bullying event. The integration of both methods during the analysis enabled a more thorough exploration of the experience of bullying behaviours than either a qualitative or quantitative approach would have achieved in isolation.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses > School of Arts and Social Sciences Doctoral Theses
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
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