Thesis Database

We have developed the following database of research theses on bullying from all academic institutions in the UK and Ireland. The aim of this database is to assist those who are interested in the field of bullying and want to see what research has already been done. We have attempted to ensure that we have included all relevant theses here; but if there is an omission please let us know by emailing geraldine.kiernan@dcu.ie.

The database is here for information purposes. Those who want access to the texts of the theses need to contact the author, the relevant institution, or both.

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The experience as a document: Designing for the future of collaborative remembering in digital archives
2020
Delatte Espinosa, Marta
University of Hull

How does it feel when we remember together on-line? Who gets to say what it is worth to be remembered? To understand how the user experience of participation is affecting the formation of collective memories in the context of online environments, first it is important to take into consideration how the notion of memory has been transformed under the influence of the digital revolution. I aim to contribute to the field of User Experience (UX) research theorizing on the felt experience of users from a memory perspective, taking into consideration aspects linked to both personal and collective memories in the context of connected environments. Harassment and hate speech in connected conversational environments are specially targeted to women and underprivileged communities, which has become a problem for digital archives of vernacular creativity (Burgess, J. E. 2007) such as YouTube, Twitter, Reddit and Wikipedia. An evaluation of the user experience of underprivileged communities in creative archives such as Wikipedia indicates the urgency for building a feminist space where women and queer folks can focus on knowledge production and learning without being harassed. The theoretical models and designs that I propose are a result of a series of prototype testing and case studies focused on cognitive tools for a mediated human memory operating inside transactive memory systems. With them, aims to imagine the means by which feminist protocols for UX design and research can assist in the building and maintenance of the archive as a safe/brave space. Working with perspectives from media theory, memory theory and gender studies and centreing the user experience of participation for women, queer folks, people of colour (POC) and other vulnerable and underrepresented communities as the main focus of inquiring, my research takes an interdisciplinary approach to interrogate how online misogyny and other forms of abuse are perceived by communities placed outside the center of the hegemonic normativity, and how the user experience of online abuse is affecting the formation of collective memories in the context of online environments.

Perceptions of inclusion: A study of children with autism in the Primary School playground
2020
Young, Laura Jane
University of Southampton

Children with a diagnosis of Autism experience difficulties in social   communication and are vulnerable to bullying and social exclusion in mainstream schools. The importance of educating all children in an inclusive learning environment is enshrined in both national and international legislative policy (UNESCO, 1994; Department for Education, 2015). Yet, the numbers of children with Autism currently facing exclusion from their mainstream schools are disproportionate compared to children with other Special Educational Needs (SEN) (Department for Education, 2018; Ambitious about Autism, n.d.(a)). As a construct, ‘Inclusion’ is multi-dimensional and is expressed through full participation in the wider community, a sense of belonging and being part of a wider social group (Farrell, 2000). There is ambiguity regarding how this concept operates in practice. How children relate to others and the social repertoires they display are likely to be a core component to effective inclusion. Peer-Mediated Interventions (PMIs) have been used to promote the social skills of children with Autism. A systematic review of the literature was undertaken to examine the evidence from eighteen single-subject experimental designs (SSEDs). These studies examined the effectiveness of PMIs on improving the social outcomes of children with Autism. The review made an original contribution by using the ‘What Works Clearinghouse’ (WWC) Design Standards for evaluating SEDs (Kratochwill et al., 2010). All studies reviewed showed positive findings, yet conclusions drawn were tentative. There was considerable variability across the studies regarding the role of peers. Generalisability of findings were limited by a lack of long-term follow-up data. Outcome measures were focused on behavioural modification, and although helpful, over-simplified the complex nature of social interaction. The conclusions from the systematic review identified the need to further explore peers’ perceptions and the contextual environment in which inclusion is practiced. Chapter Two focused on exploring the experiences and perspectives of children with Autism, their peers and their teachers in the social environment of the school playground, and examined how inclusion operated in this context. Using a qualitative case study design and semi-structured interviews, children with autism, their peers and their teachers were interviewed in three different Primary Schools (n= 39). To capture peers’ perspectives of autistic behaviours, modified vignettes were used as a stimulus for discussion (Butler & Gillis, 2011; Matthews et al., 2015). Findings suggested that children’s experiences of playground inclusion were more alike than different for all child participants. Specific environmental barriers to inclusion were identified as lack of structure in the playground, and within-child factors such as difficulties in emotional regulation and social communication. Facilitators were identified as increased adult support and a wider range of play equipment for some children with autism, although the need to recognise the individuality of each child was highlighted. Peers’ understanding of autistic behaviours presented in the vignettes were variable and included hostile attributions (Dodge, 2006). Further research could explore the development of peer attributions of autistic behaviours and examine how these directly impact upon peer interaction in the playground. Implications for practice were highlighted, including the need to reflect about how EPs can support schools in educating children and staff about autism and how our attributions of difference can affect our behaviour towards others.

 

The exploration of the relationship between cyber-sexual harassment and psychological difficulties in women
2020
Iroegbu, Marvin
University of Liverpool

Social media and communication technology has completely transformed the way that individuals, communities and organizations share and create information. The interactivity, accessibility and usability of social media in particular has made it an extremely popular utility. Political campaigns, celebrity promotions and news disseminations have utilised social media to share important information and raise the awareness of key social issues. Despite this, social media and communication technology also has a great deal of potential to do harm. For example, in 2013, Reddit admitted that their platform had contributed to online witch hunts when groups of users had wrongly named people as suspects in the Boston bombing (Messing & Westwood, 2012). The ease at which individuals can share content also poses risks, with a large potential for the sharing of undesirable material. A survey of 10,000 European children between the ages of 9 and 16 years, reported that 40% of children expressed shock and disgust after being sent violent or pornographic content (Livingstone, Kirwil, Ponte, & Staksrud, 2013). Social media can also contribute to acts of cyberbullying, stalking, and online harassment (Kwan & Skoric, 2013); estimates suggest that 10-40% of youth are victims of cyberbullying (Kowalski, Giumetti, Schroeder, & Lattanner, 2014), and 40% of those who cyberbully report they do so for fun (Raskausas & Stoltz, 2007; Chou & Edge, 2012). Campaigners have called for greater guidance concerning the way communication technology is used, with calls for stricter legislation (NSPCC, 2017). However, at present there is limited research exploring the association between cybervictimization and mental health, particularly in adults. Cybervictimization experiences have many different components. This thesis aims to further explore this and add to the existing evidence base, with a particular focus on cyber harassment of a sexual nature. This review will consist of two chapters. The first chapter will be a systematic review, aimed at exploring the psychological impact of all forms of cybervictimization in adults. The second chapter will specifically explore the effects of cybersexual harassment, with a view to better understanding its associations with anxiety, depression, body image, and trauma.

An Investigation into the Effects of Work Stress on Job Satisfaction amongst Employees Working in Marketing Field of Mumbai, India
2020
Nair, Ravirai Radhakrishnan
National College of Ireland

The purpose of this research is to recognize and analyse the relationship between work stress and job satisfaction. The research was conducted using a survey questionnaire which was sent to 118 participants who were working across 14 different organizations. The response received was uploaded into SPSS for analysis. The scale of reliability was conducted and the findings were reflected in chapter 4 of this document.

The major cause for work stress was identified as workload and poor interpersonal relationships, whereas the major cause for job satisfaction was identified as pay and career prospects, which contributed as a stability factor to the employee. The final objective of the study was to identify the relationship between work stress and job satisfaction, and it was concluded that they have a negative relationship. This research has supported previous studies in the similar arena and have covered the aspect of work stress and job satisfaction in marketing industry of Mumbai, India.

Evaluating the implementation of the MindOut Social and Emotional Wellbeing Programme in Irish post-primary schools
2020
Dowling, Catherine
National University of Ireland Galway

Aims: The overarching aim of this thesis was to evaluate the implementation of the MindOut social and emotional learning (SEL) programme with disadvantaged post-primary school students (15-18 years old) in Ireland. This study was conducted in three phases, each of which have been published. Phase 1 aimed to evaluate the immediate impact of the MindOut programme on students’ social emotional skills, mental health and wellbeing and academic outcomes. Phase 2 aimed to examine variability in implementation quality and to identify factors that contributed to this variability. Phase 3 aimed to determine how implementation quality impacted on programme outcomes.

Methods: The study employed a cluster-randomised controlled design with mixed methods approaches. A total of 675 students from 32 disadvantaged schools participated at baseline and data were collected from students and teachers before, during and following programme delivery. Phase 1 employed linear mixed models (LMM) to evaluate the effectiveness of the programme on students’ outcomes. Phase 2 used process measures to determine schools’ level of implementation quality across four implementation dimensions, and to identify factors that contributed to implementation quality. Phase 3 employed LMM’s to assess the relationships between the implementation data and outcome data across three time-points and between three treatment groups (high-implementation, low-implementation and control).

Results: Phase 1 demonstrated significant improvements in students’ social and emotional skills: reduced suppression of emotions (p=0.035), use of more positive coping strategies [reduced avoidance coping p=<0.001) and increased social support coping p=0.044)] and mental health and wellbeing: reduced levels of stress (p=0.017) and depressive symptoms (p=0.030) and reduced anxiety scores for female students (p=0.044). Phase 2 detected variability in implementation quality between schools and assigned eight schools to both the high- and low-implementation groups. Influencing factors were categorised into five themes: Programme Factors, Participant Factors, Teacher Factors, School Contextual Factors and Organisational Capacity Factors. Phase 3 revealed significant positive programme effects at post-intervention for the high-implementation group only (reduced suppression of emotions [p=.049]; reduced avoidance coping [p=.006]; increased social support coping [p=.009]; reduced levels of stress [p = .035] and depressive symptoms [p = .025]. At 12-month follow-up, reduced avoidance coping [p=.033] was the only sustained outcome.

Conclusions: Overall, these findings demonstrate that the MindOut programme can be effective in producing positive outcomes for participants, particularly those students of disadvantaged status. However, these positive outcomes were only evident in schools that implemented the programme with high-quality, signifying the importance of implementation quality in the overall success of a programme. The findings from this study have clear implications for policy, practice and future research and highlight a number of important factors to enhance implementation quality and strengthen programme outcomes.

Factors Causing Stress Among the Employees in the Apparel Factories in Sri Lanka, Its Impact and Possible Interventions
2020
Jayaratne, Weerakoon Mudiyanselage
University of Liverpool

This participatory action research (PAR) project explored the factors causing stress in the apparel industry of Sri Lanka, its impact and the coping methodologies adopted by the workers. The PAR team was made of 25 voluntary workers from the apparel industry of Sri Lanka. During the group discussions held, the possible causes for stress, coping strategies used and implications of stress on job satisfaction and intention to leave were discussed, debated, and critiqued. The research used a modified version of the Occupational Stress Indicator (Cooper et al., 1998) and Pressure Management Indicator (PMI) developed by Williams and Cooper (1996) to collect stress related information from 155 workers from different apparel factories. Financial difficulties, abusive supervision and workplace incivility, workload were identified as the main factors causing stress in the apparel industry. The researcher’s role as an insider as well as an outsider to the community and shifting positions from an outside consultant/researcher to an active role were important aspects of the data interpretation. The importance attributed to the participants lived experience, focus on social justice and emancipation were inherent characteristics of PAR. Complementary behaviour and religious support were the categories of most commonly used coping strategies by the factory workers. The relationship with others and the recognition were important factors predicting the job satisfaction. Only the ‘workload’ factor could predict intention to leave among apparel factory workers. The implications of the research suggest the importance in the culture and local context on causes and coping strategies on stress. It added abusive supervision and workplace incivility as a key factor causing stress. The impact of the culture was evident as religious support and complementary behaviour were the main categories of coping strategies.

 

Risk communication framework for parental control in the digital world
2020
Alotaibi, Moneerah N.
University of Plymouth

The Internet is growing rapidly and is becoming an essential part of children’s lives. Internet use has many benefits for learning, participation, creativity, entertainment and communication. Along with such benefits, however, Internet use might expose children to a wide range of online risks. Some of those risks, such as bullying, exposure to pornography, and sexual exploitation, are known in the offline world but there are also new ones, such as the invasion of personal data and privacy, geolocation tracking, sexual messaging and harassment.

Unfortunately, the existing mechanisms for protecting children online are ineffective. The parental controls currently available focus on monitoring and restrictive functions to reduce potential online risks, which might not satisfy the expectations of young people who want unrestricted freedom to use the Internet. Parental controls also demonstrate shortcomings in increasing parents’ awareness of the risks that their children may encounter. Parents not only need to be aware of their children’s online activities, but also to understand and mitigate the potential risks associated with their children’s online activities. Young people might engage in online behaviours that expose them to risk, although not all risk leads to harm. Therefore, parental controls should improve parents’ awareness of the potential security risks related to their children’s online activities, so that they can support their children’s use of the Internet, enhance their opportunities and help them develop the coping skills to deal with potential risk.

The present research suggests applying a risk communication mechanism to parental controls to raise the security awareness for parents and children in order to help them make safe decisions and reduce online risks. Firstly, this research proposes a risk assessment model that assess the risk levels of children’s online activities in order to warn parents and children about them in an individualised, timely, and continuous way. The proposed system also provides appropriate protection responses to avoid those risks. Secondly, a prototype system has been designed and developed to simulate the proposed system and provide a clear image of its functionalities and how it works. After implementing the prototype system, it was important to have parents evaluate its usability and usefulness. The participants were able to use the system and were satisfied in terms of its overall appearance and the functions provided. They agreed and prefer to use the system in real life. It can also be stated that the overall feedback from the participants regarding the proposed system was very encouraging and positive.

Does Emotional Intelligence influence Work Related Stress among Irish Civil Servants
2020
Nerney, Eilish
National College of Ireland

The author’s objective was to establish if Emotional Intelligence (EI) influences work related stress among Irish Civil Servants. EI is the ability to perceive, understand and regulate one’s own feelings and emotions along with those of others essential for daily functioning. Work related stress is the perceived inability to cope due to an imbalance between demands and resources, leading to fatigue, irritability and poor communication which can challenge interpersonal and intrapersonal functioning. Stress management through EI helps workers reappraise workplace demands helping them cope. Schutte et al. (1998) Assessing Emotions Scale (AES) was employed to measure EI within the Irish Civil Service. A customised self-reported questionnaire obtained participants socio-demographic information pertaining to gender and age. An adapted Occupational stress Index (OSI) developed by Srivastava and Singh (1981) was used to measure perceived occupational stress levels among Irish Civil Servants, determining whether EI is a meditating factor of work-related stress. It is suggested that occupational stress scores reflect levels of EI influenced by one’s ability to adapt and cope through the appraisal, regulation, management and utilisation of emotions rather than what a job entails. Contrary to empirical research the inferences drawn indicated that the null hypotheses were accepted. H01: Global EI does not correlate with perceived occupational stress among Irish Civil Servants. H02: Global EI does not predict perceived occupational stress when accounting for age and gender. Further exploration was done using the three components of occupational stress: role ambiguity, role overload and role conflict. Age was the only variable factor which significantly contributed to role ambiguity, rejecting H02. It is suggested that Human Resource Management evaluate the organisational role structure to mitigate any risk of occupational stress. Employees could develop self-focused EI as it is believed to have positive effects on psychological and physiological occupational well-being.

Workplace Bullying in Primary Schools: Teachers’ Experience of Workplace Bullying: An organisational response perspective
2020
Fitzpatrick, Kathleen
University of Limerick

The aim of this doctoral research is to contribute to the growing body of knowledge concerning workplace bullying by considering the help-seeking experiences of targets of bullying and organisational responses to their complaints. A phenomenological research design was adopted. Twenty-two Irish primary school teachers (7 male, 15 female) self-selected for interview. Data were analysed utilising an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis framework.

All those interviewed had made complaints in accordance with the nationally agreed procedures stipulated to address workplace bullying in their schools. Redress procedures comprises several stages. All had engaged in stage one and two of the official complaints procedures; and all had availed of counselling, with most engaging with the recommended employee assistance service (formerly known as ‘Care Call’ now Medmark). Some participants had ceased engagement at stage 2, while other participants who had proceeded to stage three, ceased engagement at this juncture. Further participants proceeded to stage 4, of whom two are currently proscribed from returning to their posts due to ongoing disputes based upon retaliation for complaints, which comprised challenges to their fitness to work.

It is significant that no participant expressed satisfaction with the outcome of exercising agency and engaging with redress procedures. In fact, complaints procedures served as technologies of power for bullies who launched counterattacks. This doctoral study traced the pre-action, action, response, and overall consequences for the teacher as the target of workplace bullying describing targets’ resistance within the context of complex social interactions and considered possible supportive, preventative, and resolution strategies.

The resultant approach has wide-ranging implications for the present pernicious practices, and it identified a number of proposals for professional practice and modifications in the way in which workplace bullying may be countered and contained. This thesis contributes to discourses of agency in workplace bullying and challenges both researchers and policymakers to fully elucidate the various issues surrounding pathways to redress for bullying. In addition through its emphasis on the power dynamics which characterize redress it extends the limited available literature in the substantive area about the ineffectiveness of complaints procedures.

Moreover, despite the research limitation respecting the modest scale of the study involving self-selecting teachers, the richness of the data elicited underscores the problematic and contingent assumptions underpinning anti-bullying policies and procedures which purportedly address workplace bullying within small organisations.

Genetic and Environmental Contributions to Trajectories of Depressive Symptoms
2020
Kwong, Alex Siu Fung
University of Bristol

Depression is a complex mental health disorder, predicted to be the highest global burden of disease by 2030. Research has examined the antecedents of adolescent depression in order to limit and prevent depression from occurring. However, depression during this phase of development is multifactorial and variability in depression is characterised by important features such as the age of onset, chronicity and severity. Identifying these features, and how depressive mood changes across time along with potential risk factors may aid in our understanding of the nature of adolescent depression and help develop new interventions and treatments.

This thesis uses longitudinal methods to explore the nature of trajectories of depressive symptoms and examine how genetic and early environmental risk factors contribute to trajectories of depressive symptoms across adolescence and young adulthood in a UK population based cohort, the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Using group-based and multilevel frameworks, trajectories of depressive symptoms are estimated across adolescence and then various risk factors are explored to investigate how these trajectories change across time.

Genetic risk for depression, childhood bullying, female sex and

childhood trauma are all associated with less favourable trajectories of depressive symptoms. Importantly, several risk factors are associated with changes in depression across time, and not just at certain stages of development. This implies they have lasting effects and that it may be possible to identify when particular risk factors are having their greatest effect on later depression.

This work provides further evidence that depressive symptoms

across adolescence to young adulthood are complex and associated with both genetic and environmental contributions. Examining depressive symptoms across time within a longitudinal framework provides a powerful opportunity to examine the nature of depression in more detail than in previous research.

Employee well-being and Organisational Growth
2020
Bharti, Sumit Kumar
National College of Ireland

The research finds the connection between employee well-being in an organisation with organisational growth and well-being. It is seen that organisational well-being or growth rate will depend positively on the well-being of the employees since employees are the human resource of the organisation that defines the functional capabilities of an organisation. Poor work condition of organisations like stress and work pressure deteriorates the well-being of the employees, and they become ill, both physically and mentally. The illness of the employees reduces the productivity level of the organisations, which in turn diminishes the organisation’s well-being and growth.

The research introduces the topic by explaining the background of it, and then in the next section, the aims of the research are stated. The following sections cover the rationale for performing the research, the relevance of the research. The introduction part ends with the research questions. The next chapter of this dissertation is the literature review which is divided into four parts and discussed in brief for the support of the study. Then in the third & fourth chapters, research problems are discussed relating to the research objective.

The fifth chapter is the methodology part, where the sections of performing research are discussed. The first section introduces the methodology then the particular research philosophies, approach and strategies are considered for this research. The analysis was done with the help of primary data gathering and using graphical representation to express the data. The data are gathered by surveying 100 respondents in which those 100 respondents are employees of different large multinational corporations or organisations in India. The respondents are sent the questionnaire form through email, and the data will be represented with pie charts. The graphical representation that is used in the study is the Pie chart. The final chapter is a conclusion of this study along with the recommendation, future aspects and suggestions.

A Nietzschean Analysis of Cybercrime and Deviance
2020
Noble, Wayne
University of Central Lancashire

The intention of this thesis is to examine various types of online deviance, such as ‘trolling’ and other forms of cyber bullying with special attention paid to the deviance which occurs on social networking sites and peer-2-peer file sharing websites.

The central claim of this thesis is that deviant behaviour can be influenced (encouraged, magnified) by ‘ressentiment’, which can reside within the individual. This ‘ressentiment’ forms part of a complex array of situational factors called ‘Flexible Causal Prediction’, whereby individuals may experience a particularly strong influence on behaviour but are not predetermined to act in certain ways. In this thesis the author uses Nietzsche’s philosophical notions of ‘Nihilism’, ‘Slave Morality’, ‘ressentiment’, ‘Will to Power’ and the ‘Übermensch’ to build an existential picture of deviant behaviour.

The author also draws upon the criminological/sociological notions of ‘Drift’, ‘Master Status’ and the ‘Techniques of Neutralisation’ (Sykes and Matza 1957) to introduce the new concepts of ‘Flexible Causal Prediction’ (previously referred to as ‘Causal Probability’); and the idea of ‘Situational Influences’. This undertaking is done with the intention of building upon the Meta-theoretical work of Owen (2007 – 2015), which seeks to build bridges between the social and physical sciences. The theory of ‘Flexible Causal Prediction’ is also applied to the deviant activities of internet trolling and anti-social behaviours to demonstrate the influences on behaviour.

Nietzsche’s philosophical notion of ‘Slave Morality’ and ‘ressentiment’ will also be extended when looking at some radical social justice movements, such as ‘AntiFa’, ‘Black Lives Matter’ and the ‘#MeToo’ movement to demonstrate the role that ‘ressentiment’ may play in behavioural choices. To assist this analysis Saul Alinksy’s 1971 book ‘Rules for Radicals’ will be referenced to demonstrate how the rules are based on a collectivist ‘herd’ mentality of slave ‘ressentiment’ and how these rules have themselves lead directly to deviant behaviour, online and offline and how a politically correct ideology could be responsible for encouraging such behaviours.

Comparison of Job Satisfaction between Irish-born and Immigrant Employees in Non-Supervisory Positions in Dublin’s Pubs, Bars and Restaurants
2020
Hadzikadunic, Dino
National College of Ireland

In the last few decades, the immigration of the workforce to more developed countries has noted a significant increase. That trend did not avoid Ireland as well. The increased levels of immigration to Ireland has followed the strong economic growth in the 1990s. In 2019, there were 622,700 non-Irish national residents in Ireland accounting for 12.7% of the total population with many of them starting their employment in Ireland through jobs in hospitality. In light of these numbers, it is relevant to examine immigrant’s job satisfaction within the industry. There have been numerous studies on job satisfaction of immigrants, as well as on the overall workforce in the hospitality sector. However, the literature did not compare job satisfaction levels between host nationals and immigrants employed in nonsupervisory positions in pub, bars and restaurants.

The aim of this research was to examine whether differences in job satisfaction between Irish-born and immigrant employees existed in positions which are already recognised for low levels of job satisfaction and to define the categories which made up the biggest difference between the two groups of employees.

A quantitative approach was used for this research with 78 questionnaires completed in full. In the survey, the author has used the well-established Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire which is known for its reliability. The sample was taken by the convenience sampling method. The gathered information was analysed by using IBM SPSS 26 software.

The research has found that immigrant’s job satisfaction is significantly lower compared to their Irish-born employees. The biggest difference between the two groups is shown in the categories of co-workers, responsibility, and supervision−human relations.

The findings will help to fill the above-mentioned gap in existing research and can be used by hospitality managers in order to recognise and reduce the gap in job satisfaction between their immigrant and Irish-born employees.

Young people’s understandings of youth suicide: A qualitative study
2020
Labor, Melanie Nicole
Trinity College Dublin

In Ireland, youth suicide is a serious public health issue accounting for approximately thirty percent of all deaths among young people aged between 15 and 24 years old. Youth suicide has received considerable attention from academics, policy makers and campaigners. Nonetheless, the phenomenon has commonly been approached from a singular medicalized perspective. By contrast, the youth perspective has received far less attention. Hence, this was a poorly understood topic. This study asked: what does youth suicide mean to young people in Ireland? The present study aims to gain a better understanding of the meanings of youth suicide, seeking to build a conceptual framework. This will be achieved by exploring participants’ individual understandings of suicide in relation to local community discourses, norms, values, and beliefs. This study makes an original contribution to suicidology by exploring the phenomenon from the youth perspective leading to greater conceptual clarity. This research offers an alternative reading of suicidality in addition to the dominant bio-psycho-medical model encouraging new approaches to suicide prevention. This study views suicide as a multifactorial phenomenon and that young people’s constructions of suicide are subjective. This research is underpinned by a symbolic interactionist theoretical perspective which asserts that meanings are socially constructed through one’s interactions with social phenomena. Hence, the meanings young people attribute to youth suicide are shaped by local norms, values and beliefs. This is a constructivist grounded theory study. Data were generated through qualitative interviews with 25 young men and women between 18 and 22 years old who lived in Dublin. Participants were selected based on the criteria that they were neither bereaved by suicide nor experienced suicidal ideation within the twelve months prior to the interview. Data was analysed simultaneously and iteratively. The study resulted in a conceptual framework through initial, focussed and theoretical coding consisting of five core categories: i) Perceptions of suicide; ii) Stigmatisation of suicidality; iii) Problems associated with suicide; iv) Explanations of suicide; and v) Help-seeking behaviour: barriers and facilitators. These categories are underpinned – primarily – by concepts of stigma and shame, as well as traditional understandings of gender.

Using hybrid deep learning and word embedding based approach for advance cyberbullying detection
2020
Bhatt, Jigar
National College of Ireland

The ever-increasing use of social media in the internet space have induced a number of problems like cyberbullying and cyberaggression over the internet. Researchers have made a commendable progress on the ongoing fight against cyberbullying but a lot of unresolved issues still persist that primarily motivates the purpose of the research. The paper aims to integrate recent advances in the field of word embedding like fastText, ELMo and stacked flair embeddings combined with a host of robust deep learning techniques to further the efficiency of detection over the state-of-art. Two distinct datasets Formspring and Wikipedia were requested and processed for the purpose of the research. A number of different combinations of word embedding with deep learning methods were tested and compared with CNN with ELMo embedding delivering the most promising results with an F1 score of 0.82 on both datasets. On the other hand, CNN with fastText obtained F1 score of 0.82 on Formspring and 0.64 on Wikipedia dataset but was computationally faster than the counterparts. Moreover, transfer learning was performed using the models to test and prove the robustness and efficacy of the models. The system performed considerably well with superior scores in precision, recall and F1 over the state-of-the-art across all the test cases performed.

Who is More Stressed? An investigation into the effect that stress has on blue-collar workers versus white-collar workers
2020
O'Reilly, Seán
National College of Ireland

This research hones in on the differing stress levels between blue and white-collar employees. The research looked at the particular reasons for developing stress in the workplace of blue and white-collar workers, as the author found an opening for such research. Previous research states that it is the white-collar industry that has to endure the higher levels of stress, however further research states that blue-collar workers have to put up with similar and even more stress than those in the white-collar industry. Therefore this study will attempt to explore the different reasons for stress in both industries and see which sector has to deal with the most stress. The individuals who participated in this quantitative study participated in an online survey, which was comprised of 10 demographic questions, and a 35-question questionnaire developed by the Health Service Executive (HSE) put together to calculate participants stress level. The results showed that the only significant result displayed a negative correlation between work being brought home and stress. All the other correlations were not statistically significant.

Men who report difficulties in adult relationships and the links they make to their boarding school experiences: A thematic analysis
2020
Harris, Craig
University of Leicester

Systematic Literature Review: Twenty-six articles investigating the psychological experiences of boarding students were identified and subjected to a systematic analysis. Some studies indicated that boarders experience higher levels of psychological distress (especially soon after boarding transition), experience greater incidences of bullying victimisation, engage in more bullying perpetration, and may be at a higher risk of presenting with eating disorder psychopathology. However, other results reported general parity between wellbeing outcomes for boarders and non-boarders, or modest benefits for boarders measures of wellbeing and personality characteristics. Analysis highlighted the lack of research conducted in UK boarding schools, and the need for further research with extended follow-ups. Limitations of the literature and recommendations for professional practice and future research are discussed. Research Paper: Thematic analysis was used to explore the experiences of male ex-boarders who had identified experiences of difficulties in relationships. Three superordinate themes were presented: Disempowerment depicted how participants felt powerless or controlled by others, and the impact this had in later relationships; Suppressing aspects of self and personality related to how participants described hiding emotions or parts of their personality to ‘get by’, and how these strategies presented in adulthood; and A process of recovery was concerned with how participants sought ways to ‘recover’ from their experiences. Findings were discussed in relation to existing theory and literature and highlighted the importance for educational and care institutions to recognise ideological powers, as well as the use of therapeutic interventions that are underpinned by theories of attachment.

Cyberbullying in China: The connection between language and behaviour
2020
Li, Wan-Qi
University of Nottingham

Cyberbullying refers to individual or group behaviours involving the use of offensive language online, and it is a global issue that causes serious social problems. Research on cyberbullying has thus emerged in several fields, such as psychology, sociology, computer science, and linguistics. However, studies of cyberbullying in China have met with limitations and challenges, despite cyberbullying there becoming a serious and prevalent problem, making China a meaningful case study for cyberbullying investigations. This thesis thus used a new combined theoretical framework, a Socio-ecological Framework with Language Feature and Management Approaches, to analyse cyberbullying language features and usages, cyberbullying motivations, and the variables affecting cyberbullying in the Chinese context. Based on its overall findings, this research also made some extrapolations to cognate social issues in order to discuss the consequences of cyberbullying, and to develop potential measures for detecting or regulating cyberbullying. The methodologies selected for this thesis were content analysis, social network analysis, and interviews; thus, the work is both qualitative and quantitative. Content analysis was used to examine cyberbullying language usage, formations, and features using an author-created 2,000-word database. Based on these results, social network analysis was applied to provide deeper insights into how contextual and sociolinguistic variables affect cyberbullying, while the interviews helped to gather additional views on cyberbullying, providing new ways to examine the challenges of regulating cyberbullying, as well as highlighting potential approaches to doing this. The main finding of this thesis is that not all cyberbullying words are inherently offensive; emotional and even ordinary words may have cyberbullying functions in context. Additionally, during cyberbullying, the context for communication, current events, and the forms adopted all affect the use of cyberbullying language. Both males and females both use a range of offensive words in cyberspace, and cyberbullying can affect any internet users, not only minors. The consequences of cyberbullying may also be more serious than those of traditional bullying. These findings were then adopted to draft a set of preliminary measures for addressing cyberbullying.

Legality, Social Media and the Criminal Law
2020
Bliss, Laura
Edge Hill University

Social media has changed how society communicates, transformed how individuals access the latest headline news and has altered many aspects of everyday life. It has, in turn changed the way in which individuals can target other members of society. In recent years, society has seen the likes of Facebook and Twitter used to distribute hate speech, accommodate revenge pornography and abuse others online. Consequently, the Government and the criminal justice system are being put under increasing pressure to tackle online abuse. Many of the current legal provisions contained in the law of England and Wales were enacted before the creation of social media. Yet these Acts are used to prosecute those who conduct abusive behaviour online. Issues are therefore arising with the adaptation of Acts of Parliament never intended to cover a digital age.

This thesis will critically examine several Acts of Parliament which have been used to control unlawful behaviour on social media sites, including, though not limited to, the Public Order Act 1986, the Malicious Communications Act 1988, and the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. It will be argued that the current use of these Acts breaches the fundamental principle of legality in the criminal law, before turning to examine freedom of speech and privacy online. Legality, at its very basic means the law needs to be accessible and clear to maintain the rule of law.

The final parts of this thesis will examine how other countries and institutions govern online behaviour. In the conclusive chapters, recommendations will be put forward as to how the legal system and society can better protect those who are abused online, including a draft social media Bill and a proposed universal code of conduct.

Bullying in schools: A complexity approach to sustainable restorative approaches?
2020
Roberts, Luke
University of Cambridge

The issue of bullying is an international concern; specifically, the harmful influence that bullying has on young people in educational settings. Restorative approaches have been viewed as an appropriate intervention for addressing bullying. A review of the literature suggests that the Whole School Approach is the most common form of implementing restorative approaches in English schools.

This research has sought to address a substantial gap in the existing literature, which has focused on implementation rather than the sustainability of restorative approaches. This research has developed a qualitative inquiry using a constructionist epistemology to explore the phenomena of change from the perspective of secondary school educationalists in their local ecosystems. Prior to the research phase, a soft systems methodology was used to stimulate opportunities for internal creativity with staff developing restorative approaches in their school. This enabled staff to develop a range of self-generated activities to enhance restorative interventions in their setting. A phenomenological methodology was used to focus on staff perceptions of change happening over an academic year. Focus groups were conducted in each of the four inquiry schools using a semi-structured interview process. A complexity-informed thematic analysis was conducted to synthesize and critique the data collected during the focus groups.

The findings from this research suggest that staff perceptions construct a complex and nuanced understanding of restorative approaches, whilst exploring the tensions and accommodations of school change. Furthermore, this research reveals how systems can innovate or distort initiatives such as restorative approaches.

Consequently, there then follows a discussion for implications of the findings from this research in response to the research questions. Furthermore, there is a wider discussion on the implications for the field of restorative approaches. This includes how a complexity theory-informed analysis provides insights into the phenomena of school change and the sustainability of restorative approaches. The thesis ends with reflections and possibilities on how those seeking to implement and sustain change in complex adaptive systems can act as system-synthesis leaders to engage with complex phenomena.