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

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.

Effective Online Safety Awareness for Young People in Less Developed Countries
Herkanaidu, Kona Ramesswar Kona
University of Plymouth

In less developed countries (LDCs) there is a research deficit on the positive and negative aspects of their respective emerging digital cultures. Education programmes that seek to raise awareness of online safety, needs to be based on evidence and not simply transposed from other countries as the issues involved may be very different. Thailand, in particular, has very little data that can be used to create meaningful educational material. This was determined after a thorough literature review which found that most of the research has been carried out in the advanced economies of North America, Europe and Australasia. By contrast in South East Asia very little research had been carried out. This research proposes an integrative security awareness education framework for emerging digital cultures. It was constructed from the ground up so that it would be evidence led. In the first phase, a survey of the online behaviour and attitudes of young people in Thai schools was undertaken. Between November 2016 and June 2018, 352 students aged between 12 and 18 completed a comprehensive online questionnaire. In addition, 25 students were interviewed and asked to describe their online experiences both good and bad.

From the survey it was found that 69% of students had been upset by an online interaction with 55% experiencing some form of cyber-bullying. They were also exposed to potentially harmful content. At least a third or more had seen posts or discussions on; committing suicide, self-harm, being very thin, sexual images and hate messages against individuals and groups. In terms of mediation the interviews revealed a slightly different picture than the one painted in the survey. In the latter, young people suggested that they did sometimes talk to their parents and teachers about upsetting experiences. In the interviews most said that they did not tell their parents or teachers about negative online interactions. This was backed up during the workshops with most reasoning that what they were going through was not important enough to tell a parent or teacher or that they might be the ones that get blamed. They would either stay silent or tell a close friend.

A series of online safety workshops were carried out, structured around the theme of cyber-bullying, as that was the standout issue from the surveys and interviews. An action-research approach was taken to determine what kind of activities would be best to engage Thai students. Activities that were based around active learning strategies like gamification (i.e., using elements of game design) and involving cooperation or competition proved the most successful. Activities where students had to present something or be involved in classroom discussions did not fare too well.

The resulting education framework from the field research consists of themes and topics that are relevant to LDCs as well as the type of activities that works best. A novel component, ‘Cultural Mask’ was added to the framework. This looks at the influence of a country’s culture and its impact on education. In Thailand this includes the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy (SEP). In the education sector, SEP schools should promote student centric learning with creativity, critical thinking and problem solving amongst other goals. Knowledge they learn should lead to the betterment of their school and community. Therefore, the education framework can be adapted to reflect the SEP goals. In other LDCs by working through the education framework, awareness programmes can be developed that will be effective and culturally relevant.

A Nietzschean Analysis of Cybercrime and Deviance
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.

Lessons learned from implementing the KiVa antibullying programme in UK primary schools
Clarkson, Susan
Bangor University

Bullying is a concerning worldwide public social, mental and physical health risk and carries many adverse and long-term consequences, including depression, anxiety and psychological maladjustment. Bullying occurs regularly in most school settings, with many children frequently observing some form of bullying at school. School based victimisation is associated with increased school absence and poorer academic attainment. Chapter one explores existing literature on bullying, including definitions, categories, roles, risks and consequences, prevalence and age-related prevalence. Chapter 2 discusses legal requirements on schools to have an antibullying policy that sets out their preventive and reactive work and includes an
overview of the legislation, government guidance, and common school practice in the UK. Chapter 3 reports on the implementation of the KiVa, the Finnish school-based antibullying programme, delivered in Key Stage 2 [aged 7 to 11 years] of UK primary schools. First, it describes the baseline characteristics of approximately 12,000 pupils prior to KiVa implementation, reporting the baseline prevalence of victim, bully, and bully-victim status and then evaluates the outcomes and costs for 41 early implementer schools after one year of
implementation. Chapter 4 describes the development, theoretical foundations, and supporting Finnish and International evidence for the KiVa programme, and the introduction of KiVa to the UK. Chapter 5 presents a case study of KiVa in a UK primary school and lessons learned from implementation. The final chapter, chapter 6, provides a summary of the research findings and discusses their implications, strengths, limitations, and future directions for research and implementation of the KiVa antibullying programme.

Teens Who Intervene: Identifying Factors Related to Adolescent Cyber-Bystander Intervention in Cyberbullying
Mackay, Yasmin O.C.
Canterbury Christ Church University

Introduction: Cyberbullying experiences have been linked to mental health difficulties, highlighting the need to refine anti-cyberbullying interventions, particularly for at-risk groups, and understand what encourages bystanders to intervene. The current study compared adolescents’ prosocial cyber-bystander intentions in an intragroup (‘UK-born’ victim status) and intergroup (‘immigrant’ victim status) cyberbullying context. State empathy and state self-efficacy were examined as potential mediators, accounting for baseline trait levels of these two factors and gender.

Methods: British adolescents (N=129; 13.5-15 years old; 59.7% female; predominately White) from two comprehensive schools in the UK took part in a two (gender: female/male) by two (victim status: British/immigrant) between-subjects quasi-experimental study. Participants were randomly assigned to read a gender-matched hypothetical cyberbullying vignette with an adolescent cyber-victim who was either ‘U.K.-born’ or an ‘immigrant’. Self-report questionnaires captured participants’ prosocial bystander intentions, state and trait self-efficacy and empathy, alongside demographic information.

Results: Findings showed that victim status did not relate to self-efficacy or prosocial cyber-bystander intentions. Higher empathy was reported by females and, unexpectedly, within the ‘immigrant victim’ condition. An indirect relationship was found between victim status and prosocial cyber-bystander intentions, with state empathy as a statistical mediator. Trait empathy did not moderate the path between victim status and state empathy.

Conclusions: The present study supports promoting bystander state empathy in anti-cyberbullying programmes, but the importance of intergroup processes is unclear. To reduce cyberbullying impact, future research should explore cyber-bystander behaviour towards at-risk groups inter-sectionally, controlling for additional intergroup variables which potentially caused a suppressor effect in the results.

Aces too high: an IPA study to examine educational exclusion and social inequality
John, G. M.
University of Sheffield

Inclusion in schools is a highly complex and much debated topic (Edmonds, 2012; Hodge, 2016; Tutt, 2007; Webster and Blachford, 2015; Whitelock, 2012). However, the voice of the ‘excluded’ is rarely heard. This study has sought to listen to the voice of the excluded to hear ‘their truth’ about educational barriers and their consequences, along with innovative preventative measures. Since lack of educational attainment has been identified as the ‘biggest driver of future poverty’ (Rowntree, 2017) and school bullying/exclusion has been identified as a precursor to self-harm and suicide; suicide being the leading cause of death in almost all European countries (Hawton, Saunters and O’ Connor, 2012), this thesis answers an urgent call to find preventative and restorative solutions. An interpretative phenomenological analysis approach (IPA) was implemented to further examine Edmonds’ stance
that the education system unfairly discriminates against individuals ‘with’ difference (Edmonds, 2012). Since published data has highlighted many gaps between Wales and the rest of the UK, for example in educational attainment (Adult Basic Skills, 2004; PISA, 2006; 2009; 2012; 2015 (cited in OECD 2006; 2009; 2012; 2015)), Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and health harming behaviour (Bellis, 2017), lack of economic regrowth (Rowntree Foundation, 2017) and rising suicide statistics compared to the rest of the UK (Samaritans, 2018); the research setting was purposely chosen because of the high rates of social poverty, inequality, opioid deaths (BBC, 2019) and self-harm compared to other localities. Semi-structured
interviews were carried out with twelve participants (aged 14-35). Seven emerging superordinate themes were identified: ACEs and trauma, missed assessment, disabling learning environments, bullying, gaslighting and systematic abuse, damages to mental health, survival coping mechanisms and self-medication, revolving door of cycles of oppression and intergenerational poverty, and preventative measures and restorative solutions. The trans-disciplinary findings combine neuro-science, education, behavioural studies, ACEs, sleep studies, neuro-diversity and suicide prevention, to tackle international public health targets which, if implemented by policy makers, could lead a process of emancipatory social reform right across society to create a better future for our children.

Bullying and Harassment of Black and Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) women within the Police Services in England: Race, Gender and Police Culture
Hasan, Marina
University of Northumbria at Newcastle

This thesis examines the ‘hidden’ and under-researched area of bullying and harassment of Black and Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) women in Police Services in England. In so doing the thesis explores the intersectionality between race and gender within the context of police culture. The thesis explores the development of the legislative and policy framework of bullying harassment within the context of English Policing. In doing so, it adopts a chronological approach, which facilitates an understanding, whilst identifying main influences and events, which have shaped English Policing bullying and harassment policy since the Macpherson Inquiry (1999).

The research argues that the failure of successive governments to develop a robust legislative framework on bullying – on the grounds that it would create an unnecessary regulatory burden to industry (Adams, 1994) – has had a massive impact on workplace bullying and harassment issues. This has led to the default position of the development of the creation of ‘dignity at work’ policies through which cases of bullying are channelled. The thesis argues that this policy framework when implemented within a command-and-control organisation such as the police makes it ‘fair game’ for undermining (EHRC, 2016).

The research identifies the impact of this historic policy failure to acknowledge the importance of intersectionality in matters of diversity and the continuing ‘struggle’ between race and gender within English policing. This factor then contributes to the ‘invisibility’ of BAME women in policing. In doing so it makes BAME women susceptible to ‘unique tactics’ of bullying and harassment, which contribute to their impeded progression as compared to their white counterparts. These ‘unique tactics’ are underpinned/enhanced by the police ‘organisation’ and enforced by police ‘culture’.

The thesis argues that the failure to ‘grasp’ the issue of bullying and harassment of BAME women within British Policing is due, in part, to a lack of effective leadership; which is driven by a ‘crisis management’ culture around issues of race and gender (CRE, 2004; Ghaffur, 2004; Rollock, 2010). Furthermore, the research argues, that this situation is compounded by a paucity of evidence-based research in this area, which contributes to intensifying the perceived and actual ‘invisibility’ of BAME women within contemporary English policing.

The thesis concludes, that; the bullying and harassment of BAME women in Police Services in England, is underpinned by issues of patriarchy and racism; which are difficult to challenge in bureaucratic and hierarchical organisations like the Police. It is argued in the research that Police Services in England have developed on ‘face value’ effective policies and procedures to deal with bullying and harassment however, it is the implementation of the bullying and harassment policies and procedures and the way in which certain sections of the organisation handle them (Department of Professional Standards (DPS) and Human Resources (HR)) where the tension lies. This is due to the viewpoint established by this research that those police departments responsible for handling cases of bullying and harassment of BAME women do not have many BAME people working within them (HASC, 2016). It is argued here that this makes implementation of bullying and harassment policies difficult, as these individuals do not truly understand the nature of racism which is essential to be able to tackle the bullying and harassment of BAME women. Furthermore, the forceful police culture, does its utmost to maintain and protect the organisation from those BAME women who would expose it both internally and externally for bullying and harassment. This triggers a range of acts; aimed at undermining, discrediting, and isolating the victim through drawn out investigative processes. These acts are aimed at maintaining power and order and are enabled through the operation of police culture, which by its very nature facilitates ‘corruption’ of processes in the handling of bullying and harassment cases.

Workplace bullying and its effect on employee well-being in Ghana’s oil and gas industry
Kumako, Stephen Kodjo
The University of Nottingham

The World Health Organisation (2017) asserts that changes in the world of work have resulted in new risks to employee health and safety. The focus of occupational health and safety professionals has evolved beyond physical risks, and now includes psychosocial risks such as workplace bullying. Workplace bullying is an extreme social stressor that has the potential to affect victims, witnesses, co-workers, significant others, the organisation itself and society. Whilst much is known about this phenomenon in other parts of the world, very little research effort has examined workplace bullying in Sub-Saharan African countries such as Ghana. Accordingly, this thesis aimed at understanding the lived experiences of employees in the nascent oil and gas industry in Ghana. Furthermore, this research sought to apply the Job Demands-Resources model to workplace bullying and test an adapted theoretical model based on Einarsen et al’s (2011) comprehensive model of workplace bullying. To this end, a mixed methods design was adopted using employees from the upstream, midstream and downstream operations within Ghana’s oil and gas industry. The qualitative study used data from in-depth semi-structured interviews with fifteen employees across the oil and gas sector in Ghana. In the three quantitative studies, three hundred and twenty-six employees responded to both online and paper-based questionnaires. Results of this research indicate that work-related bullying behaviours are more common than person-related bullying in the oil and gas sector in Ghana. Additionally, aspects of Ghanaian culture, unequal distribution of power, supervisors’ perceived job insecurity as well as perceived racial discrimination were identified as causes of workplace bullying. This study also found that employees reported psychological distress, mistakes and errors, poor work attitudes, and turnover intentions as a result of bullying at work. Furthermore, recreational activities and social support as well as religious coping were identified as resources available to employees and used to deal with workplace bullying. Job demands (work pace and workload) and resources (job control and supervisor social support) were associated with workplace bullying. Results again showed that the interaction of some specific job demands, and resources was related to workplace bullying. Moreover, psychological capital and religiosity respectively moderated the relationship between workplace bullying and psychological well-being. Finally, psychological well-being mediated the relationship between workplace bullying and engagement, burnout and job satisfaction respectively. Workplace bullying is pervasive in Ghana’s oil and gas industry and occupational health and safety professionals should seek to reduce specific job demands and increase specific job resources. Organisations in Ghana can aid the development of psychological capital through training to enhance employee well-being whilst understanding coping mechanisms such as religiosity. Additionally, organisations should implement anti-bullying policies and procedures fairly and ensure a psychologically safe work environment. Findings from this thesis are integrated and further discussed in the final chapter. The limitations of the various studies are critically analysed with recommendations for future studies. Additionally, the implications of the findings for theory and practice, especially in Ghanaian organisations, are highlighted.

Toxic management and intention to quit: A qualitative investigation of the impact of toxic management and intention to quit among office staff in a wholesale office environment in Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Gargan, Helen M.
National College of Ireland

Toxic management has only recently been the subject of empirical research, despite numerous references in the popular press and in some publications. This research investigated the relationship between toxic management and intention to quit of office staff in a wholesale environment. Predominantly, the research focussed on the impact of toxic management on perceptions, attitudes and work experiences of the chosen staff.

Analysis was performed thematically and the collected data from the semi-structured interviews were analysed to show the relationship between toxic management and the employees’ intention to quit. Previous employees who had resigned were interviewed in addition to those who had shown an intention to resign in the next short period of time. In all, six interviews were performed over a number of weeks and the collected data transcribed by this researcher.

It was found that toxic management styles had a direct effect on the individuals and on the culture of the organisation itself. There were issues around group cohesiveness, tight or abusive supervision, individual feelings of engagement, lack of communication and the relationships between the individual, their line manager and within the working group itself. Results from the analysis supported the development of a toxic climate within the organisation, a bullying culture and the impact on staff intention to remain in their role was directly related to the instances of toxic behaviour by line management.

There were suggestions for further research into other areas of the organisation and on other employees within the chosen organisation also.

Social justice for a heterogeneous population?: An investigation into the public sector equality duty in Glasgow
Laughlin, Susan R.
University of Glasgow

Policy-making and service development tends to what has been called the ‘ideal of impartiality’ whereby difference between different population groups is reduced to unity. At the same time, inherent within equality law is an understanding that the population is heterogeneous, experiencing complex forms of injustice which require the opportunity for legal redress. The Equality Act 2010 includes a general duty on public authorities, the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED), to have due regard to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between different groups in relation to nine protected characteristics. Secondary legislation in Scotland has added significant additional requirements with the potential to transform the way that public authorities think and act about equality including duties to report progress on mainstreaming the equality duty, to publish equality outcomes and report progress and to assess and review policies and practices. The way that this secondary legislation has been
conceptualised, interpreted and how it has informed planning and practice within public authorities has not previously been the subject of a body of research. This thesis has sought to contribute to greater understanding about the potential of the PSED in Scotland by applying interpretive policy analysis to the application of the duty in one city, Glasgow. Interpretive approaches to policy focus on meanings that shape actions and institutions and draw on a range of methods to follow the objects, the language, the relevant actors and the acts
associated with the policy. Within this context, an assumption has been made that a compound narrative about injustice, equality as constitutive of social justice and institutional change within the city can be derived by investigating meaning and action associated with the PSED from a number of different perspectives. Firstly, the framing and the discourses associated with formal texts required for compliance produced by five key institutions with responsibility for different facets of city life have been investigated critically. These five institutions are
the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, the Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the City of Glasgow College, selected for both their relationship to social structures which determine equality and for their responsibilities for its different dimensions. Secondly, the perspectives of three communities of meaning – those directly responsible for compliance, those indirectly responsible for compliance and advocates for social groups – have been gathered through the use of semi-structured interviews in order to compare and contrast their interpretations with the formal texts. Lastly, the meaning and actions associated with the mainstreaming requirement of the secondary duties have been considered in order to ascertain whether and how equality aspirations have shaped the strategic and operational responsibilities of Glasgow City Council, health and social care provision and further education in the city in relation to theories of urban justice. The PSED was largely viewed as an important and beneficial piece of law, that there was no room for
discrimination within the city and that equality across different social groups was an acceptable ideal. The duty was also viewed as a means of exerting pressure on public institutions both from within and from the outside to reflect on the meaning of equality and to consider the way that organisations both perpetuated and resolved inequality. At the same time, the opportunities afforded by the secondary duties to transform social systems and dimensions of equality were not met and as a consequence the potential for Glasgow to be a more just city for its heterogeneous population not realised.

Coping with School-Based Peer-Victimisation: The Role of Peers
Gardner, Sarah Evelyn
Nottingham Trent University

The focus of the thesis was to investigate the concurrent and longitudinal effects of friendship for coping with school-based peer-victimisation in late childhood. This addressed a gap in the literature pertaining to the role of friendship in children’s endorsement of coping behaviour and the buffering effect of friendship on the experience of school loneliness following reports of expected maladaptive coping behaviour. Specifically, the thesis addressed two research questions: (1) What is the role of friendship for coping with school-based peer-victimisation? and (2) Does friendship buffer against the negative effects of maladaptive peer-victimisation coping?

These research questions were addressed via a three-wave longitudinal study that examined the concurrent (Chapter 6) and longitudinal (Chapter 7) relationships between peer-victimisation, friendship (quantity and quality), expected peer-victimisation coping behaviour (internalising, retaliation, avoidance, peer support, adult support, and problem solving) and school loneliness (as an indicator of psychosocial adjustment). Longitudinal social network models (Chapter 8) were also applied to examine the co-evolution between friendship and children’s expected peer-victimisation coping behaviour. The sample used throughout the thesis was drawn from a population of primary school children aged between 9 to 11 years old (England Year 5 and Year 6). A total of 529 children were invited to take part in the study from across eight schools, this resulted in a final sample of 443 children (55.7% female) at Time 1, 334 children (55.5% female) at Time 2, and 354 children (57.9% female) at Time 3.

Findings from across the thesis indicate that children’s friendship experiences are concurrently and longitudinally related to expected peer-victimisation coping behaviour. However, these relationships were dependent upon the type of friendship experience (quantity and quality) and the type of expected coping behaviour. Furthermore, negative friendship experiences (conflict within friendships and low levels of reciprocated friendships) were found to exacerbate the negative effects of expected maladaptive (internalising) coping. This was associated with increased feelings of school loneliness in children and continued experiences of verbal peer-victimisation. Through longitudinal and network data, the empirical research presented in this thesis highlights the important contribution of friends and peers for peer-victimisation coping (or expected coping) in children.

Power and resistance: A Foucauldian analysis of workplace bullying and harassment in the National Health Service
Leaver, Nancy.
The University of Manchester

There has been a lot of recent media coverage of, and research that has drawn attention to, the increase in reporting of workplace bullying (WPB) and harassment in the National Health Service (NHS). These reports have indicated that this culture of bullying has impacted on the quality of care for service users (Francis, 2013). The first aim of this research was to understand the lived experiences of WPB or harassment in the NHS and to examine the dynamics of power that construct the bullying relationship at different levels; the institutional
level (macro level), the workplace (meso level) and at the individual level (micro level). The second aim was to understand how employees are both affected by, and resist power. The potential for resistance in an organisation could be used to expand knowledge in the counselling psychology profession (CPP) at the level of both research and intervention. This is an area that the CPP is well able to support. Therapists and Healthcare Professionals (HCP), who had left the NHS, were recruited from WPB websites and word of mouth and invited to
attend a narrative interview. All were from different parts of the UK, representing varied NHS healthcare settings. Therapists and HCP were chosen because they are situated at the interface of the competing institutional systems that often reproduce bullying cultures, whilst at the same time could be facing the challenges of offering therapy to some service users who could be experiencing the same thing. Narratives were transcribed and analysed using narrative inquiry (NI) and a Foucauldian Discourse Analysis (FDA) as these allowed a
deepening of an analysis of power at different levels. WPB and harassment manifested as discrimination, such as one narrator who was not offered a senior post for being black and challenging, whilst at other times this was impersonal, such as the general pressure of not conforming to workplace standards, such as working overtime, manifesting in group ganging. Whilst racism manifested as a visible, personal and humiliating attack, WPB experienced by the white narrators tended to be job related where the main threat was being made invisible in the service. All the narratives indicated how WPB and harassment reproduced normative structures in NHS workplace cultures that often discriminated against difference. They also revealed that not only were the narrators subject to WPB and harassment at an individual level, but this was also manifested through the organisation and institutionally, as racism and sexual discrimination. In summary, these findings indicated strongly that ‘the personal’ is indeed, ‘political’. Implications and recommendation for the counselling psychology profession were made and expanded upon.

The experiences of transgender young people and their parents: Informing the work of Educational Psychologists
Freedman, Abigail
University College London

There has been a recent increase in the reported number of young people accessing specialist gender identity services. Transgender children and young people face a number of issues such as bullying and victimisation, academic difficulties, and mental health needs. Their parents also face issues such as feelings of fear and loss, and judgement and hostility from others. Previous research has highlighted the importance of support for transgender young people and their parents, both at school and in the community. However, there is a lack of research in the United Kingdom which examines the perspectives of transgender young people and their parents to inform the work of Educational Psychologists.

This study explored the experiences of transgender young people and their parents about home, community, and school. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with four secondary school age transgender young people and five mothers, four of whom were parents of the young people interviewed. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was used to inform the analysis of the interview data in order to gain an in-depth understanding of how the participants made sense of their experiences and the meaningfulness of these experiences.

From the young people’s accounts, four superordinate themes were identified which related to understandings of gender, complexities of transitioning, experiences in school and support networks. Four superordinate themes were identified from the parents’ data, relating to understandings of gender, how they came to terms with their child being transgender, experiences with their child’s school and support networks. Implications for Educational Psychology policy and practice are discussed, including how Educational Psychologists might develop their work with transitioning young people and their parents.

Workplace bullying: The role of perseverative cognition and coping in its impact on frontline employees’ health and well-being
Mokhtar, Daniella
University of Sheffield

This thesis investigates workplace bullying which refers to repeated negative acts between two parties where power imbalance exists, normally the victim being the one with less power. The aim of this thesis is to (1) investigate the longitudinal impact of workplace bullying on employees’ health and well-being, (2) examine the cognitive reactions (PC) and behavioural reactions (coping strategies) as a mechanism of frontline employees in dealing with workplace bullying and (3) explore how employees perceive and make meaning of their bullying experiences in the workplace. This research uses a sequential explanatory mixed-method approach to identify and explore workplace bullying trough frontline employees’ perception. Study 1 examined 70 frontline employees from various organizations living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This study focuses on the longitudinal impact of workplace bullying on employees’ health and well-being and its reverse causation, mediating mechanism of perseverative cognition on the bullying-well-being relationship as well as the moderating role of coping in the mediating relationship through a survey approach. Meanwhile, Study 2 identified and explored actions that were perceived as bullying, experiences and reactions both cognitive and
behavioural of the victims dealing with workplace bullying, and the impacts on their health and well-being through a narrative approach. This study involved 20 participants recruited from Study 1 who were identified as victims. Results revealed that bullying was prevalent within the workplace which gives negative impact to the employees’ physical and psychological health. Repetitive negative thinking and worrying mediated the bullying-well-being relationship and this is moderated by certain acts of coping (e.g. problem solving and ignoring
the problem). Silent retaliation and religious coping were one of the themes that emerged from the second study. Results of the two studies will be discussed further in the following chapters. The findings from this thesis reveals the need to improve the awareness of workplace bullying phenomena and organization’s current practice that would fit the needs of front line employees. This includes providing greater organizational support, better reinforcements of current policies, improve communication and develop preventive interventions.

An exploration of teachers’ perceptions and experiences of the student’s voice in bullying situations in post-primary schools
Doyle, Padraig
University of Limerick

The aim of this qualitative study is to explore teachers’ perceptions and experiences of the student’s voice in bullying situations in post-primary schools. This research aims to establish the manner in which student voice is incorporated in areas relating to bullying. The researcher believes that an empirical gap for such interpretivist research exists, as there seems to be inadequate exploration of this subject. An interpretive paradigm was engaged using semi-structured interviews in this research to amass in-depth information (Thomas 2013). The researcher utilised a thematic approach to analyse the interview data (Guest et al., 2012). The researcher employed Braun and Clarke’s (2006) six-phase thematic model to identify, analyse and describe patterns in the data gathered. In the primary findings three overarching themes emerged. Firstly, student voice is an integral aspect in school life and needs to be further promoted. Secondly, teacher–student relationship is vitally important in nurturing student voice in all situations, including bullying. Finally, many barriers exist which impede the promotion of student voice. The importance of the role of student council was promulgated by all nine participants, with a feeling, however, that this should not be an exclusively singular approach and that other initiatives were warranted to really cultivate student voice. The role of the pastoral care team in the promotion of student voice was highlighted, with particular attention given to the role of guidance counsellors because of their extensive training and knowledge of the student body. Findings from this study suggest that there is an appetite to incorporate student voice in all educational situations and not exclusively in the context of bullying. It is evident, however, that lack of appropriate training, time and resources are impeding such a valuable endeavour. This thesis concludes with recommendations to inform policy, practice and research in this area.

Act now: You have control over workplace bullying
Tay, Chye Thiam Austin Aloysius
Birkbeck University of London

This thesis research aims to identify and test the efficacy of a self-administered intervention that victims of workplace bullying can use to help themselves if they have fallen into a state of psychological inflexibility. Some such individuals will resort to using an active or passive approach to confront a bully. While these approaches can be useful to temporarily alleviate the negative experiences arising from workplace bullying, they do not help to address the negative thoughts and emotions, such as self-blame and shame, that can manifest themselves because of bullying. Individuals dwelling in their negative experiences are essentially allowing themselves to get stuck in their thinking, which can eventually lead to depression and stress. There is currently no self-administered intervention that deals with this. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) was chosen to be examined as a possible solution for this problem in this thesis research. ACT has been found to be useful in helping individuals who suffer from depression, stress and anxiety disorders, all of which are symptoms suffered by victims of workplace bullying. In the ACT model, there are six inter-related processes (acceptance, defusion, being present, self-as-context, committed action and values) and the
culmination of all these processes helps individuals to become psychologically flexible. Three studies were conducted in this thesis research and the participants were from Asia, specifically from Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. Study 1 involved a total of 50 participants using a questionnaire, sent using Qualtrics, an online software. It was conducted to identify whether those who have been exposed to workplace bullying are indeed low in psychological flexibility. This was found to be the case in this research. In Study 2, ten participants from those who had participated in the questionnaire were identified to have been bullied and to have scored low in their psychological flexibility score. The ten participants were randomly allocated into either an intervention group or a control group. Those who were in the intervention group received three sessions of skills training, and, apart from two participants, the remaining participants were found to have shown some change in their psychological flexibility. Using a qualitative approach in Study 3, thematic analysis was conducted and revealed that the participants did show a change in their mindset and were able to apply what they had learned to attain psychological flexibility. This thesis research reveals preliminary evidence of the efficacy of ACT for individuals who have been exposed to workplace bullying. This thesis should pave the way for further research in the area of workplace bullying, to explore and focus on intervention that bullied targets can use to help themselves to navigate through the residual psychological thoughts and emotions they carry as a result of their bullying experiences.

Addressing the Influence of Leadership Incivility upon Employees: Understanding Individual Experiences and Developing Organisational Interventions
Dodd, Frances M.G.
University of Northumbria at Newcastle

This thesis explored the influence of leadership incivility upon employees, with the aim of understanding individual experiences and developing organisational interventions. The research was undertaken within an acute NHS Trust setting, where through the author’s professional work, the issue of lack of confidence in dealing with uncivil leadership became apparent. Recent research has explored incivility within different workplaces, but studies within the clinical setting are limited, and incivility within the Allied Health Professionals (AHPs), including Physiotherapy, is a current literature gap.

A qualitative exploration of uncivil leadership was undertaken within the NHS Trust, and template analysis used to analyse data from semi structured interviews (N=20) conducted within the Physiotherapy department. The findings were presented and discussed in relation to 6 key themes, of “What it feels like to work with these leaders”, “Hierarchy”, “Why they behave that way”, “Patient care”, “Workplace culture and culture of leadership” and “Challenging the behaviours” (study 1). These themes informed the basis and design of an organisational intervention to give AHPs increased confidence in managing situations with uncivil behaviour. The intervention examined different strategies and coping techniques, ranging from directly challenging the uncivil individual, to learning to live with the behaviour through various techniques. A quasi-experimental study (study 2) consisted of pre- and post-measurements among AHPs in the NHS Trust. Participants completed a survey prior to the intervention (T1) and then after the intervention workshop (T2), split into an experimental group (n=50) and a control group (n=23). Measures of confidence (self-efficacy), Resilience (CD-RISC) were analysed using two-way mixed ANOVA’S. Measures of confidence in having a challenging conversation across different groups in the workplace, and in two different situations were analysed with paired t-tests.

The intervention was successful and levels of confidence and resilience in having a challenging conversation significantly increased after the intervention. The results also demonstrated a significant increase in the confidence of the participants in having challenging conversations, across the groups and within different situations, so when the uncivil behaviour was directed at themselves or their team. Overall, the research programme contributes an evidence base for interventions to develop confidence and resilience in challenging uncivil behaviour of those in senior leadership positions.

Attitudes to sexting amongst post-primary pupils in Northern Ireland: A liberal feminist approach
York, Leanne
Queen's University Belfast

The dominant discourse in the media is that we live in a post-feminist era, in which feminism is no longer needed as women have achieved equality (McRobbie, 2004), and are assertive, confident, dominant, and equal. However, in sexting research (Ringrose et al., 2013; 2012), girls and boys still inhabit contradictory positions on what it means to do femininity or masculinity.

This study focuses on sexting amongst young people in Northern Ireland about which there is very little qualitative research. Interviews were conducted with four stakeholder organisations who assist schools in the delivery of Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE), and with pastoral care co-ordinators in three post-primary schools to ascertain how their school is currently responding to sexting issues. Focus group interviews were then conducted with seventeen (ten girls and seven boys) 14–17-year-olds.

Stakeholder organisations and schools view sexting behaviour in various ways: as child sexual abuse, bullying, selfish gratification, and a child protection issue. By contrast, young people see sexting as normal behaviour. The young people report that it is more likely to be boys pressurising girls for a picture, a common finding in sexting research. Unlike the literature, however, this study found that girls also instigate sexting and put pressure on boys to send pictures. Despite this, there is still an unequal relationship between girls and boys because of the objectification of girls (and, rarely, boys). The study concludes that young people should advise on the content of RSE lessons and resources, and that RSE should move away from telling young people not to sext but to help them explore appropriate relationship behaviours, including sexting. Teachers should have access to appropriate training to help them feel confident about teaching such material.




Cyberbullying and Young People: Behaviours, Experiences and Resolutions
Dennehy, Rebecca
University College Cork

Introduction: Cyberbullying is a complex and multifaceted public health issue among young people. Research indicates deleterious effect on the mental health and wellbeing of victims which warrants action to address this issue. Adults do not have first-hand experience of cyberbullying in their youth and so the development of prevention and intervention strategies can benefit from the engagement of young people’s perspectives. However, young people’s voices are largely absent from the current discourse. This thesis aims to explore the nature, causes, and consequences of cyberbullying from the perspective of young people with a view to informing the development of evidence-based prevention and intervention strategies.

Methods: The research was framed by the Medical Research Council guidelines for intervention development. Qualitative and participatory research methods were employed. In the first instance a systematic review and meta-ethnographic synthesis of qualitative studies related to young people’s conceptualisations of cyberbullying was conducted. Secondly, a rights-based model was developed to facilitate the active involvement of young people in the research process. A Young Person’s Advisory Group was purposefully formed to collaborate in the design, conduct, and interpretation of a qualitative study of young people’s perspectives on cyberbullying as well as in priority setting for intervention development. Young People’s involvement in the Advisory Group was evaluated to determine the effectiveness off the model in facilitating young people’s participation in the research process and the acceptability of the approach. The co-designed qualitative study comprised focus groups with secondary school students which were conducted in the school setting.

Findings: The meta-ethnography highlighted that the fundamental role of cyber technology in young people’s lives and the complexity and ambiguity of the cyber world in which they connect are inherent to young people’s conceptualisations of cyberbullying. The participatory evaluation of young people’s involvement in the research process indicated that the elements necessary for the effective realisation of young people’s participation rights were present in this study. Based on their interpretation of preliminary findings from the qualitative study, Advisory Group Members identified the non-consensual distribution of nude images and the mental health impact of cybervictimisation as serious concerns for young people and priorities for intervention development. Findings indicate that non-consensual distribution involves a complex process that is produced by, and reinforces, gender power dynamics. Young males, under pressure to conform to societal constructs of masculinity, coerce females to send explicit images which are screenshot and intentionally distributed, without consent, to male peers in exchange for social kudos. Regarding the mental health impact, cyberbullying was described as more psychological in nature and impact than traditional bullying with increased deleterious effect on the mental health and wellbeing of victims. Analysis identified several barriers which prevent victims from seeking social support and participants’ perception that suicide is a viable escape route for young victims defeated and entrapped by cybervictimisation.

Conclusion: This research makes a valuable contribution to the existing knowledge base in that it privileges youth voice on the nature, causes, and consequences of the phenomenon and highlights young people’s priorities with regard to intervention development. In response to research findings and suggestions from the Young Person’s Advisory Group a number of recommendations are made in relation to research, policy, and practice which are grounded in young people’s experiences, values, and norms.

‘Snitches Get Stitches’: A Qualitative Exploration of Childhood Bullying Amongst Individuals with Early Psychosis Experiences
Wheeler, Claire
University of Essex

Background: There is a strong argument throughout the literature that childhood trauma and adverse experiences should be considered when working with individuals who experience psychosis. There has been a developing interest in the relationship between childhood bullying and psychosis, although to date, there is limited research in this area. Bullying is a pertinent issue for young people, which argues for further consideration in Early Intervention for Psychosis (EIP) settings.

Aims: The aim of this research is to explore the subjective experiences of childhood bullying for individuals who access EIP services. A secondary aim is to explore whether individuals perceive bullying to be relevant to their experiences of psychosis.

Methodology: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight individuals. Interviews were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.

Results: Four superordinate and accompanying subordinate themes emerged. The superordinate themes were ‘facing daily threat’, ‘overcoming systemic mistrust’, ‘negotiating power imbalance’ and ‘a process of evolving identity’. ‘Facing daily threat’ conveyed how participants experienced bullying as traumatic. Bullying experiences were considered highly relevant to current experiences of paranoia. ‘Overcoming systemic mistrust’ reflected neglectful responses from teachers and the ways participants felt unheard when first engaging with services. ‘Negotiating power imbalance’ reflected both the complex power relationships within school and the influence of wider social power. ‘A process of evolving identity’ explores the gradual shifts in how participants viewed themselves after verbal bullying. Participants’ psychosis experiences included hearing critical, attacking voices, reinforcing the same messages received from bullies in school.

Discussion: The results are clinically important as they contribute to understanding experiences of psychosis in the context of bullying history. They also highlight the wish for individuals to have more opportunities to discuss bullying in EIP services. Finally, they argue for school systems to further consider their responses to children who seek help for bullying.

An Investigation into High Labour Turnover and Retention of Front Line Employees in The Hospitality Sector in Ireland with a Particular Emphasis on a Fun Work Culture
Cronin, Serena
National College of Ireland

This research was conducted to investigate labour turnover and retention in the hospitality industry in Ireland with a particular emphasis on a fun culture. The data collected was from front line employees of generation Z, generation Y and Generation Baby Boomers. These employees are employed as front line employees in hotels and bars of the hospitality sector in the North and East of Ireland. The method of collecting this data was the use of semi-structured interviews, for the purpose of generating rich qualitative data and to gain the realities of these employees working in the industry. Additionally, a thematic analysis was conducted to permit new and existing themes to emerge from the qualitative data.

A significant amount of findings was discovered. The findings show the impact of a fun culture, socialisation, implications of management, organisational citizen behaviour and compensation for low-wages has on the intention of employee turnover in the hospitality industry in Ireland.

The research findings may be of significant value to front line management and human resource management.