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.

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.

Risk and Preventive Factors Related to School-Bullying and Cyber-Bullying: Comparing the Effects of Socio-Demographic, Family Environment, Friend Environment, Personality and Behavioural Factors Between School-Bullying and Cyber-Bullying
Tzani-Pepelasi, Kalliopi
University of Huddersfield

Background: Research in the field of school-bullying has been expanding for at least three decades while research in cyber-bullying is still evolving. There has been an enormous amount of empirical works and projects throughout the years, all aiming to understand how bullying functions, the motivation behind such behaviour, the related factors, the consequences, and of course to create efficient prevention and intervention models. However, in spite of the continuous efforts to decrease the rates for both forms, previous research has shown that school-bullying remains stable whereas cyber-bullying is on the rise and evolving.

Aim: This three-year project aimed to explore highly studied as well as neglected risk and preventive factors in relation to SB and CB; examine relationships, differences, and predictive effects, whilst providing a comparison of the factors’ effect on SB and CB.

Methodology: For this project 408 participants were recruited to complete the online survey in Google Forms. The questionnaire aimed to measure school-bullying and cyber-bullying both from the perspective of the victim and the perpetrator, empathy, self-esteem, aggression, anger, impulsivity, self-control, guilt, morality, copying strategy/minimisation, factors related to family, and friends. To achieve these 11 previously validated scales were employed and a series of questions were constructed to measure other related aspects.

Findings: Results showed that there are complicated relationships, differences, and predictive effects between the factors and the two forms of bullying, with some factors relating to both forms of bullying, while there appears to be an overlap between the two forms. To collectively present the results, a four-level model was developed and the school-bullying/cyber-bullying prevention/intervention model emerged.

Conclusion: Bullying is a complicated phenomenon regardless of the expressed form. There are numerous gaps in research that require further examination and several limitations that future research should address. In spite of the current project’s limitations that are addressed in detail, this project managed to provide a collective comparative picture of risk factors for both forms of bullying and has developed a detailed anti-bullying model that could potentially tackle both school-bullying and cyber-bullying.

Friendship, bullying and the impact of inclusion on attitudes towards children with autism
Cook, Anna H.
University of Surrey

Children with autism face many social challenges and these have been associated with vulnerability to social exclusion and higher levels of bullying compared to the general population. This can lead to long-term negative outcomes including damaged self-esteem and mental health difficulties. Since the majority of autistic children in the UK attend mainstream schools, the studies conducted for this thesis aimed to explore under-researched areas such as the impact of inclusion, and in particular the attitudes of neurotypical children towards their autistic peers. In Study 1, interviews with autistic girls and their parents (n=22) revealed that girls experienced high levels of bullying, school absenteeism and a tendency to mask their autism and that this was more apparent in mainstream compared to special schools. In Study 2, interviews with teachers (n=12) highlighted many challenges supporting autistic children, but also identified some creative solutions and factors that control the extent to which these were implemented. The next three studies explored attitudes of neurotypical children and whether these could be changed through exposure and contact. Studies 3 and 4 (n=775) investigated attitudes of children in schools with high versus low exposure to autism. Findings revealed that educational exposure led to an increase in prosocial emotional responses to bullying and increased personal exposure facilitated an increase in positive attitudes towards people with autism. Study 5 evaluated the influence of contact with autistic peers through group music-making (n=49) on the attitudes of their neurotypical peers. The intervention led to increased prosocial emotional responses to a vignette depicting social exclusion of a child with autism. In summary, autistic children face many challenges, which are not always addressed by teachers in mainstream schools. Furthermore, the physical and social environment of the school affects attitudes towards autistic children. Combining educational exposure within inclusive school climates, and personal exposure through structured intergroup opportunities, can improve responses to bullying and attitudes towards autism, and may ultimately increase quality of life for autistic children in mainstream schools.

Work-Related Stress Among Professionals Working Within IT Sector in Ireland: Causes and Consequences
Starolyte, Gerda
National College of Ireland

Lot of people nowadays are feeling stressed in their jobs. IT sector is not an exception and it was important to investigate the situation further in order to suggest recommendations. Purpose of this study was to examine levels of stress felt by IT workers in Ireland and main causes of that.

Quantitative study was conducted, in total 94 respondents participated. The results provided evidence that the employees frequently felt stressed and nervous, as they had a large amount of work to do, which required increased concentration and high levels of knowledge. Also, most of the respondents admitted that they did not have enough physical activity and also commonly experienced some negative physical symptoms – dizziness and tiredness and psychological symptoms – irritability, lack of concentration and angriness. Correlation analysis between the perceived stress and the feelings about the work revealed that higher levels of stress were highly associated with a decreased physical and mental well-being, decreased satisfaction with the workplace and personal life and trust and communication issues with co-workers and superiors. This study confirmed the previous results and suggested that, indeed, excessive stress in the workplace negatively affects all aspects of work and family lives. Also, relationship between stress and various demographical influences were tested. No significant differences between genders were found, even though literature suggests that women tend to be more stressed in the workplace.

Companies within the IT industry should take proper actions, in order to ensure that the employees are motivated and perform well, but without exceeding certain stress limits, which negatively affect their lives.

“I want them to have a good education”: The “New Irish” parents and the primary school system
Connaughton, Claire
Mary Immaculate College

Just over one in 10 primary school age children in Ireland are first-generation immigrants (Department of Education and Skills [DES] 2018a). An even larger number of Irish primary school pupils have at least one immigrant parent (DES 2018; Central Statistics Office 2017). However, surprisingly little is known about the experiences of these “new Irish” parents (Roder et al. 2014, p.15) as they navigate the Irish primary school system. In extending the work of Cotter and Kolawole (2015) and Martin et al. (2018), this small-scale study employed semi-structured interviews to explore the lived realities of a small ethnically diverse group of immigrant parents. Some key people, including migrant rights advocates and ethnic minority community representatives, also shared their perspectives. This study used Bourdieu’s theoretical framework to understand how immigrant parents learn how to “do school” in Ireland (Hickes 2002, p.217). An examination of the personal narratives provided some insight into how immigrant parents view and enact their role in their children’s education. The qualitative findings also reveal the value which immigrant parents place on education and the high aspirations they hold for their children. Several obstacles to immigrant parent involvement were also identified. The results may help provide a better understanding of how immigrant parent-school partnerships can be supported in the Irish primary school context. Key words: immigrant parents; parent-school relationships; parental involvement; ethnic capital.

How Inequality in Education in Ireland Is Produced, Reproduced, Justified, and Resisted at the Intersection of Disability and Social Class
Ryan, Rosario
National University of Ireland Maynooth

This is a study about how disability and social class intersect in the lives of young adults in higher education in Ireland to reveal complex inequality, oppression, privilege, and power. The overall aim of this study is to identify how disability and social class are constructed and enacted in education in Ireland, how they intersect to maintain, reproduce, and sustain inequality and privilege, and how they are shaped through individual agency. I locate this study within a social constructivist and an advocacy/participatory paradigm and the theoretical framework of intersectionality. This is a mixed methods study and uses quantitative data from the Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) and the Higher Education Access Route (HEAR), national access initiatives, and interviews with ten student participants, to analyse how disability and social class, as social identities, intersect to influence progression, retention, and the experience of higher education.

The findings from this research enhances our knowledge of complex educational inequality, identifying how working-class students with disabilities are currently falling through the cracks of national and institutional policy and practice. The voices of the participants are central and offer a quite different way of thinking about disability, about widening participation policy and practice, and about access to education in Ireland. Students identified multiple embedded barriers, inferior positioning, unequal resources, hardship and sacrifice, and the negative impact on their student identities. They also describe extraordinary resilience and activism supported by parents, individual teachers, and more inclusive schools. The study identifies how current understandings of disability and social class have created a powerful regime that is reproducing inequality in education and relegating all students with disabilities, particularly working-class students, to positions of inequality and inferiority. The study illustrates that what it means to have a disability depends on each individual’s simultaneous location in the social hierarchies of disability and social class.

Cyberbullying of post-primary teachers in Ireland
Challenor, Liam
Dublin City University

Cyberbullying of teachers by their pupils has not been researched as widely as adolescent bullying or cyberbullying. The cyberbullying of teachers by pupils has been defined as “the creation of digital texts, images and recordings that portray the teacher in ways that are demeaning and/or ridicule the teacher, which are then transmitted electronically to others” (Kyriacou & Zuin, 2015, p.267). This research attempts to provide a diverse understanding of the online lives of teachers in post-primary schools in Ireland. Some of the variables for examination include how teachers self-regulate their profiles on social media, the security and privacy prevention tools used and their attitudes towards communicating with students online. This research investigates the types of cyberbullying that teachers experience and how this influences them in their roles as teachers within their school environment. Negative physical and mental health effects including severe stress, fear for personal safety, teacher and pupil performance has been identified as a result of pupils bullying and cyberbullying teachers, this is an additional area of examination. This research utilises a quantitative approach to provide further insight into teacher cyber victimisation to develop support structures for teachers and schools.

Investigation of the association between young people’s experiences of bullying and paranoia in clinical and non-clinical samples
Rankin, Calum
University of Glasgow

Paranoia is the unfounded beliefs that others intend to cause physical and/or psychological harm. Emerging evidence reflects an association between bullying and paranoia in adolescence, but lacks control of theoretically relevant covariates (beliefs about paranoia, shame, social anxiety and emotional dysregulation). The aims of the present study
were to a) examine the association between bullying and paranoia b) compare severity of paranoia between clinical and non-clinical samples and c) establish the robustness of any association by controlling for the covariates. Data from questionnaires were obtained from clinical (N = 24) and non-clinical (N = 212) samples of 16 to 18 year old adolescents. Results indicated a strong association between bullying and paranoia. The severity of paranoia did not differ between clinical and non-clinical samples. Bullying appeared to contribute
independently with paranoia after controlling for the covariates in the non-clinical sample. Using the clinical sample, an indirect association was found between bullying and paranoia via emotional dysregulation and external shame. Findings are consistent with literature highlighting that bullying is associated with paranoia. Paranoia may serve an adaptive function to detect social threats, and therefore become heightened from bullying. Furthermore, this association appears to be influenced by emotional dysregulation and external shame. Future
research should further examine the association between bullying and paranoia, as well as other specific psychotic experiences such as hallucinations, in longitudinal large sample studies controlling for effects of theoretically relevance processes, including external shame and emotional regulation. Clarifying the roles of external shame and emotional dysregulation have important clinical implications in the context of bullying and paranoia experiences.

Developing anti-bullying cultures in primary schools: what can head teachers do to ensure successful anti-bullying cultures?
Brewer, Lesley
The University of Nottingham

Bullying in schools is a widespread problem, attracting a great deal of interest and publicity in recent years. The negative impacts of bullying can have consequences for not just the victims, but also for the school, perpetrators and wider community members. Such consequences can be experienced instantaneously and/or at a subsequent time, often in later life. In recent years bullying has unquestionably moved into the spotlight as researchers and governments have investigated the phenomenon in greater depth. However, according to the NSPCC, it remains the top problem for children aged 11 and under contacting them and was the single biggest reason for boys calling CHILDLINE in 2015/16 (NSPCC, 2016). Bullying in primary school is, thus, of critical concern to educational policy makers and school leaders alike. Research would suggest that some schools experience more bullying incidents than others and that schools vary widely in both their approaches to and successes in dealing with the issue. Initiatives and approaches to bullying enter schools that serve particular communities, with particular experiences, individuals and histories, making them site specific. They are mediated by the practices of school leaders and are executed by staff with diverse levels of confidence, commitment and capacity. There is, thus, always variation in the ways in which practices are taken up. Even where schools profess to enact the same
approaches they often meet with widely ranging outcomes for anti-bullying, as was evidenced through this investigation. This research, therefore, set out to understand what it is that more successful schools do in initiating and managing anti-bullying practices. It investigates the less frequently examined area of the effects of head teacher practices on the success of anti-bullying cultures. Set in the contexts of five diverse primary school settings, this thesis scrutinizes the approaches of head teachers as they facilitate and cultivate practices that enable or constrain anti-bullying cultures. It utilizes a mixed methods approach, where questionnaires, observations and semi-structured interviews and focus groups enable the voices and experiences of school community members to be heard. To facilitate this the methodological approach began as one that combined the lenses of Bronfenbrenner’s bio-ecological model (1979) and Lave and Wenger’s Communities of Practice (1991). However, it evolved to look beyond the latter and to incorporate the work of Kemmis and Grootenboer’s Practice
Architectures which champions a dual purpose of education: to help people live well in a world worth living in (Kemmis and Gootenboer, 2008), suggesting a social justice approach to this research. This is an aspect that, until recently, was generally omitted in the discourses surrounding the nature, efficiency and sustainability of developing anti-bullying cultures’ in primary schools. I show that, in successful anti-bullying schools, although policy and targeted intervention are vital for providing focus and understanding, there is a culture of
respect, care and collaboration that pervades the sayings, doings and relatings at every level. I argue that head teachers, in shaping the cultures of their schools, are fundamental to these aspects as they maneuver the inter-subjective spaces of practice architectures (Kemmis and Gootenboer, 2008). This research reinforces the need for head teachers to build upon existing practices, taking account of the histories and social and political actualities of their schools. It suggests that, taking account of these, the perceptions of players within the field
may be as important as the actuality of situated practices as they unfold.

Lgbt youth experiences of bullying: power, intersectionality and participation
Dominski, Hilke, G.
The University of Nottingham

The ensuing thesis is the result of an in-depth interrogation of the following research question: What are the school experiences of LGBT youth? Despite much research on homophobic bullying in school, little is known about how power intersects and prolongs a bullying event after the initial victimization is over. This study sheds a light on this issue, examining how LGBT youth understand bullying, their capacity within individual events, while uncovering how power shapes a bullying incident. The first part of the thesis forms the central argument demonstrating key principles underpinning challenges sexual minority youth face while at school. Interrogating political and neoliberal influences, this thesis introduces young people’s stories through multiple lenses. This thesis uncovers schools ineffectual use of inclusion policy revealing policy and practice are failing young people. Furthermore, LGBT young people’s human rights are also largely overlooked in policy practice. Not treated as having the same rights as other students interferes with their education, and therefore, their human rights. The first two chapters are grounded in present literature as demonstrated in chapter three, which is followed by methodologies in chapter four, rounding out the first section. Chapters five through seven establish the second part of this thesis. Here the reader is introduced to young people’s accounts unpacking bullying incidents. Introducing critical incidents revealed through narrative inquiry, leads to an interrogation of bullying and how power punctuates, intersecting a single event. Chapter eight concludes this thesis. Up to thirty young people participated in sessions, ranging in ages from sixteen to nineteen. Eighteen filled out a questionnaire, while surveys ranged from eight to seventeen participants. Eighteen participated with the one-to-one interview lasting from 30 to 60 minutes. Interviews revealed all young people had experienced bullying at school while several were severely physically bullied and harmed. Girls reported experiencing and identifying bullying differently than boys, while boys reported struggling with homophobic bullying representing their lost male privilege suggesting girls and boys experienced, perceived and defined bullying and power differently. Results revealed not everything defined as bullying, is understood as such. Additionally,
power exerted onto the victim during a bullying incident came from multiple sources. First, it came from the initial attacker then moved to the teacher attempting to resolve the incident, and then to the administration. How they interrogated bullying informed and prolonged a bullying incident long after the initial event ceased. This thesis will reveal how bullying is understood and addressed in schools is ineffective due to its universal ideology considering all experience as the same, and is faulty.

Risk and protective factors for bullying and peer victimisation of children with and without special educational needs and disability
Ralph, Nicola
Keele University

Children with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) have been found to be at greater risk of experiencing peer victimisation and bullying behaviours than children without SEND (Mishna, 2003). This thesis investigated how individual level factors (e.g. SEND, emotional symptoms, reciprocal friendships, attitudes) and school level factors (e.g. inclusion) are related to peer victimisation and bullying, as well as the additional bullying roles, such as followers and defenders. 1,599 pupils (aged 11-14) from nine schools completed self-report measures to assess the variables of interest. Data on teacher (n = 194) and parent (n = 193) attitudes towards inclusion were collected along with parents’ experiences of inclusion at the schools as proxy measures of school inclusion. Each school’s inclusion/SEND policy and the Ofsted report also provided information on ‘inclusion’ at the school. Multilevel models were run for victimisation and bullying to investigate which variables predicted these experiences. Disability and emotional symptoms positively predicted victimisation while friendships negatively predicted victimisation with an interaction between emotional symptoms and disability also being significant. Attitudes towards SEND significantly positively predicted bullying behaviour. In both models, Ofsted scores were included at the school level and showed that as general Ofsted scores improved, levels of bullying and victimisation decreased. Although the developed measures of school inclusion (Ofsted reports and school policy analyses) did not appear to predict bullying of children with SEND, this study adds to a growing body of research which suggests that school level factors are important, with schools rated highly by Ofsted appearing to have lower levels of bullying.

The experience of migrant students in an irish second level school
Condon, John
National University of Ireland, Maynooth

Immigration to Ireland in the late 20th and early 21st century has transformed Irish society from being a largely mono-cultural to a more intercultural society. This study is concerned with the experience of migrant students in a second level school. It explores the experiences of a small number of migrant students who completed five years of second level education in a provincial Irish town. The students came from a range of countries in Eastern Europe and Africa. This is a one-school insider case study where the principal is the researcher using qualitative interviews with students and staff to build a picture of intercultural education with its strengths, weaknesses and suggestions for improvement. In-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with students in the year or two after they completed school. Teachers’ experiences were also analysed using questionnaires and interviews. The portrait that emerges is that of a school in transition with a vibrant and complex intercultural student population. Themes emerging as significant from the research include the school curriculum, bullying and racism, relationships with teachers, the role of parents, the experience of socialisation and schooling and pedagogical responses. These complex issues are discussed in light of student experiences, teacher comments and insights from literature. Recommendations are made for a more inclusive curriculum, for celebrating the resource that is an intercultural classroom, for a pedagogy of cooperative learning, peer education and action research by students and teachers.

Using the implicit relational assessment procedure (irap) to explore implicit versus self-report attitudes toward bullying with students at post-primary and university levels
Curtis, Aisling
National University of Ireland, Maynooth

The current research sought to develop the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) as a measure of bullying attitudes amongst Secondary School and University Students in South East Ireland. The research assessed whether IRAP performance differed between University and Secondary School Students; and investigated the impact of picture versus word stimuli on IRAP performance. It also examined whether an educational intervention video affected participant responding on implicit measures by presenting the IRAP at pre and post-intervention. Explicit measures were presented at pre-intervention only and compared across studies. Implicit measures were presented at pre and post-intervention and compared across groups, gender, and IRAP stimuli (words versus pictures). In Study 1, 30 University Students and 30 Secondary School Students were exposed to (i) a word-based IRAP designed to assess attitudes towards toxic (e.g. Just go die/Rot in hell) and innocuous phrases (Go on ya fool/Don’t be daft) pertaining to bullying; (ii) explicit measures including the Bullying Prevalence Questionnaire (BPQ), the Revised Pro-Victim Scale (RPV-S), the Bullying Attitudes Questionnaire Modified (BAQ-MM) and the Cyberbullying Survey (CS) and (iii) an educational intervention video about the negative and lasting effects of bullying. IRAP trial-type analysis for Study 1 revealed statistically significant effects on the Toxic- Abusive and Innocuous-Harmless trial-types. Results revealed no statistically significant differences between data for groups, gender, or between pre and post-intervention responses on the IRAP. Using Pearson’s product-moment correlation coefficient, statistically significant correlations were found between the Pro-Social subscale of the BPQ and Toxic-Harmless and Innocuous-Abusive IRAP trial types. In Study 2, 30 University Students were exposed to a picture-based IRAP with images pertaining to cyberbullying and the same intervention and explicit measures as in Study 1. Again, participants were exposed to the explicit measures at pre-intervention, and to the IRAP at pre and post-intervention. Trial-type analysis for Study 2 revealed statistically significant effects on the Toxic-Abusive and Innocuous-Harmless trialtypes. Results revealed no statistically significant differences between participants’ pre and post-intervention scores on the IRAP or explicit measures; and no correlations between implicit and explicit measures. Further analysis using a 2x2x4 mixed repeated measures ANOVA found no statistically significant differences between University Students’ responses on a word-based IRAP in Study 1 versus a picture-based IRAP in Study 2. Overall, participant responding on the IRAP showed a statistically significant effect for the Toxic- Abusive and Innocuous-Harmless trial-types. Findings are discussed with reference to the research literature.

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

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