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.

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.

Get up! Stand up! (version 2): An evaluation of a school-based social skills programme
O’Meara, Billy
Mary Immaculate College

Background: Social and emotional (SE) skills play an important role in a person’s development, while a range of negative outcomes are associated with poor SE skills (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning [CASEL], 2013; 2015; Gresham & Elliott, 2008). The targeting of these skills in school-based programmes can produce positive outcomes (Durlak, Dymnicki, Taylor, Weissberg, & Schellinger, 2011). Get Up! Stand Up! (Version 2) (GUSU2) (National Educational Psychological Service, 2017) is a SE skills programme currently in use in Irish schools. However, to date, no substantial evaluation of GUSU2 has been conducted. CASEL outline a framework for such school-based programmes which identifies several essential elements, including being well-designed, addressing five SE competencies, offering support and training to facilitators and being offered over multiple years. Programmes which meet these standards are noted to be associated with a range of positive outcomes for participants.

Aim: This study aims to evaluate GUSU2 as a SE skills programme in the context of the CASEL framework. This study will consider the impact of GUSU2 on participants’ SE skills, whilst also considering the perspectives of the relevant stakeholders on GUSU2 and the training and support provided.

Methodology: A mixed-method, partially mixed sequential equal status design was used to evaluate GUSU2. Documentary analysis was conducted on the GUSU2 manual. Thematic analysis, using a combination of deductive and inductive analysis (Braun, Clarke, Hayfield, & Terry, 2018; Tashakkori & Teddlie, 2010) was conducted on data from four pupil focus groups involving 27 pupils and from seven semi-structured teacher interviews. Data collected by the school psychology service, using the Social Skills Improvement System-Rating Scales (SSIS-RS) (Gresham & Elliott, 2008), was analysed using a mixed between-within subjects’ analysis of variance and post-hoc t-tests to determine the impact of participating in GUSU2 compared to participants in a business-as-usual control group. Data included pre- and post-intervention measures of SE skills from 225 pupils in 14 schools, including three control schools consisting of 68 pupils. In addition to the full study sample, a lower ability sample (n = 37) were identified based on their pre-intervention scores and analysed accordingly.

Findings: There was a statistically significant increase in participants’ total standard scores in both the GUSU2 and business-as-usual groups in both the full study and lower ability samples. There was no significant interaction effect identified, suggesting that GUSU2 is as effective as the business-as-usual approach. However, qualitative analysis suggests that pupils engaged with the programme and demonstrated learning in several competencies. Analysis of the qualitative data indicates that several aspects of GUSU2 require further development to align with the CASEL framework. Several potential barriers to implementation and learning were identified, including a lack of ongoing external support, brief training, concerns over resources, pupil over-familiarity, and small school size.

Conclusions: Several implications from this evaluation are discussed, including areas for development within GUSU2 in relation to the CASEL framework, issues regarding programme fidelity and the collection of appropriate data. Suggestions for further research and policy are also made.

“Seeking peace of mind”: Understanding desistance as a journey into recovery and out of chaos
Cambridge, Graham
University College Cork

This research examines the lived experience of 40 men from working class areas of Cork city as they attempt to desist from offending. As part of this study, addiction featured as a significant issue for all of the participants and dominated their desistance journey. This study aimed to understand how issues of masculinity, working class culture, poverty and trauma were relevant for men from the Cork area and their participation in crime. In addition, this research sought to understand the relationship between addiction and offending, and relatedly the relationship between desistance and recovery. This work uses the voices of the participants via life narrative interviews and the findings emerged via a Grounded Theory analysis that links the themes and concepts to the data.

Relationship management in intercultural business emails
Marsden, Elizabeth
University of Huddersfield

While relational networks have been an important part of much research into human interaction since at least the 1980s, there has been little research into network creation and decay, with much research simply creating a snapshot of an established network. Additionally, only a small number of studies have portrayed networks as dynamic and changing, instead viewing ties as binary, either strong or weak, but not something in between.

This thesis addresses both these problems using intercultural business email data to map relationships from the first introduction of two parties, to eventual decay, including stages of change along the way. A comprehensive model of dynamic relational networks is also presented, adding significant detail to the descriptions presented by prior studies, and presenting the idea graphically for the first time. The thesis uses a corpus of 1072 emails sent between a sole trader and 19 of her clients. Initially, an exploratory data analysis is conducted to present some of the structural and statistical aspects of the data. Then, using an inductive qualitative research process, tie creation is examined looking at how relationships are initiated and begin to progress. How strong functional ties are developed is then examined through linguistic strategies such as self-disclosures, multimedia sharing, and paying compliments. A systematic analysis of the usage of CMC (computer mediated communication) cues for relational work is given particular attention. The maintenance of weak ties is also examined, including using politic behaviour, adherence to one’s line, and recipient design. Tie decay, an under-explored area, is also analysed by describing how language differs before and after a break in contact, how a relationship can be destabilised and (possibly) repaired, or how it may become dysfunctional.

It is found that traits put forward by prior studies categorising relationships as strong, e.g., homophily, time dedication and trust, can be exemplified through linguistic elements in those relationships which are moving towards being strong (and, importantly, functional i.e., friendly, rather than dysfunctional, i.e., bullying). The thesis also shows how in all the business relationships presented, there is some amount of relational communication, which is important for ensuring a smooth business relationship.

Seeing Through a Bourdieusian Lens: A Field-level Perspective of Anti-bullying Interventions in a UK Police Force
Callaghan, D.L.
University of Liverpool

This thesis contributes to our understanding of anti-bullying intervention (ABI) strategies. Situated in a UK police force, the study focused on the voices of three key agent groups that hold important yet different relationships with the ABIs in the participant police force. The research extends current understanding of how different groups with different constructs of bullying engage with the mechanisms in place to manage and control it. These three groups are referred to throughout the thesis as Creators, Disseminators and Users. Creators are primarily responsible for the ownership of ABIs, while Disseminators provide advice and guidance on the ABIs to the workforce, and the Users represent those targeted or accused of workplace bullying. This multi-agent perspective is important given that extant literature has focused predominantly on single-agent type groups.

The study uses Bourdieu’s theory of practice as a framework to reconcile the structure versus agency challenge and provides opportunity to understand the factors that shape attitudes and responses to bullying and the ABIs that are in place to manage and control it. Given that workplace bullying is complex, the Bourdieusian lens extends the opportunity to explore how these complexities are understood through individual, multi-level and socio-historical organisational contexts.

Using an interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) methodology, semi-structured interviews were used to investigate the deep-level responses from this multi-agent perspective.

The findings hold important implications for research and practice and extend current discussions in the workplace (anti)bullying field. Firstly, they suggest that contemporary ABI strategies may no longer fit the requirements of a modern police force. New recruits holding deinstitutionalised and individualistic career trajectories reject informal approaches to dealing with bullying at work that are favoured by those with longstanding careers in policing, in favour of more formalised ABI strategies. Secondly, the findings indicate that, beyond formal ownership of the anti-bullying strategies, the hidden organisational network predicated upon social alliances is a powerful mediator in shaping how the ABI strategy is understood and enacted. This extends current understanding of how bullying is maintained and moves discussions to the networked level of organisation. Thirdly, the use of gendered language applied at the individual and organisational levels of organisation were found to be influential in diminishing the value and role of the ABI. The findings further suggest self-seeking system abuse of the ABIs, particularly by those seeking promotion or whose work performance is negatively brought into question. Finally, and importantly, the study also offers new theoretical insights into the reported gap between ABI policy/strategy construction and implementation. Drawing on the concept of habitus, the study utilises habitus as a new way of understanding how different workplace demographics and policy/ strategy developers create their own understanding of bullying at work and the mechanisms in place to manage it.

“Oi! Dancing Boy!”: How Adolescent Boys Recuperate Masculinity and (Hetero) Sexuality in Dance Schools and Secondary Schools
Marlow, Christopher Thomas
Lancaster University

This thesis is an empirical study into the experiences of young male dancers, aged 11-18 years, in the north west of England who, outside of their secondary schools, attend private-sector dance schools for tuition in one or more dance genres such as ballet, ballroom/latin-american, contemporary, jazz, tap and urban dance. Its prime focus is to explore the ways in which these young dancers contest the two dominant Western discourses that position dance as a ‘feminine’ activity (e.g., Sanderson, 2001; Stinson, 2001; Risner, 2002a; Gard, 2003) and males who dance as subject to a homosexual presumption (e.g., Rodgers, 1966; Grant, 1985; Hamilton, 1999; Risner, 2007).

Data were generated from semi-structured interviews with 26 male dancers, 4 parents, 6 teachers and 4 dance policymakers / administrators. Explored through the theoretical lens of ‘inclusive masculinity theory’, characterised by a softening of masculinity and an erosion of homophobia (Anderson, 2009), data were analysed thematically (Braun and Clarke, 2006). Findings suggest that most male dancers continue to experience bullying, marginalisation, and stigmatisation, especially from their male peers in secondary schools, where orthodox forms of masculinity proliferate still.

While my analysis finds ‘inclusive masculinity theory’ inadequate to explain the lived experiences of most of these young male dancers, I nonetheless find much value in the related concepts of ‘masculine recuperation’ (Hansen, 1996) and ‘heterosexual recuperation’ (McCormack, 2012), these being identity-management techniques adopted by some males who transgress heteromasculine boundaries. Drawing on these 2 concepts, I pinpoint 6 strategies employed by boys to shore up their masculine and/or heterosexual identities: professing attraction to females; acquiring a ‘sporty’ boy identity; reconceptualising dance as a sport; opting for ‘cool’ dance genres; acquiring popularity through dance and, finally, the policing of movement and choreographic practices. I find that by employing some, most or all of these recuperative techniques, boys are able to contest the aforementioned dominant discourses – that dance is for females (via masculine recuperation) and that boys who dance are presumed gay (via heterosexual recuperation).

Attention is also given to boys’ experiences of dance in their secondary schools. I conclude that while ostensibly a prescribed component of the P.E. curriculum (at Key Stage 3), dance continues to be marginalised and coded as a ‘feminine’ subject and one delivered mostly by non-specialist, female teachers – a problematic, discursive, and material (re)production of gender normativity. Attempts to woo boys into dance via heteronormative schemes of work in schools or through external initiatives such as ‘Project B’ from the Royal Academy of Dance, are also deemed problematic in their gender essentialism. Furthermore, the philosophy of dance education in schools, one that privileges ‘process’ over ‘product’, does little to foster boys’ engagement with dance. Taken collectively, these findings are a cause for concern as well as a call to action.

By furthering our understanding of how young male dancers contest the dominant discourses that pertain to dance and masculinity, this thesis contributes to knowledge in the fields of both dance and education, the former still hitherto under-researched in the UK, especially regarding boys’ experiences of dance education and training in the private sector. In drawing upon the concepts of ‘masculine recuperation’ (Hansen, 1996) and ‘heterosexual recuperation’ (McCormack, 2012), I illuminate how young male dancers re-inscribe their masculinity, and heterosexuality if appropriate, by their deployment of various recuperative strategies – findings that are apt, novel, and original to the sociology of dance in England.

Management accounting control and managerial bullying: economic, social, and political dynamics in Bangladesh RMG sector.
Ahmed, MD Shoaib
University of Essex

This study revisits the behavioural aspect of management accounting control (MAC) that has remained mostly unexplored over the last four decades. In particular, this study investigates; how managers and supervisors use accounting technologies and other management control mechanisms (MCMs) to intentionally or unintention- ally bully the shop floor workers of selected privately owned RMG factories located in a high-power distance emerging economy. Drawing on Max Weber’s ‘social stratification’ (i.e. class, status and party), this study has revealed that to maximise organisations’ profit and secure their personal gains, managers and supervisors frequently use accounting technologies and other MCMs to deliberately (most of the cases) bully the subordinate workers. In so doing, managers and supervisors justified their bullying behaviours through workers’ class situation, educational credential, geographic location and gender. Owners of the selected factories, on the other hand, legitimised MAC based- managerial bullying (MB) through their economic resources and social status. In fact, by involving in state politics and obtaining legislative power, they also influenced government policies (e.g. labour laws and national minimum wage) to reduce the collective bargaining of workers in a particular sector of the economy. Nevertheless, owners also patronise insiders (e.g. supervisors and managers) and outsiders (e.g. members of political parties, state police, government employees, and bureaucrats) to bully the workers institutionally through intimidation, harassment, and violence. This study, therefore, argues that there is a strong connection between MAC and MB that might succeed through the existence of social stratification and political patronage in a particular sector of a high-power distance emerging economy.

The Spectrum of Inclusive Practice for Pupils with Autism Attending Mainstream Primary Schools
McElroy, Colin
Trinity College Dublin

The experiences and attitudes of inclusion for pupils with autism attending mainstream primary schools and relevant stakeholders in Leinster were ascertained through the use of questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, visual methodology and documentary analysis. Eight primary schools participated in this research and each school had access to a special class for pupils with autism. This study looked at the impact of inclusive policies on the provision of supports and services for pupils with autism and their overall learning and social experiences in each school. The findings of this research highlight many positive elements of good practice in each school. It was apparent throughout this research that professionals in schools were committed to enhancing the learning and social experiences for pupils with autism. The importance of positive home-school relationships was identified, as positive relationships greatly influenced the outcomes for young children with autism. The majority of teachers, principals and SNAs would like to see more opportunities regarding continuous professional development to accommodate the diverse needs of pupils presenting in schools on the autism spectrum. Evidence in this study highlighted inconsistencies in practice and mixed experiences for all stakeholders across each school environment. Findings from this study suggest that schools are working within a policy vacuum that is negatively impacting on the learning and social experiences for pupils with autism. In this research, the majority of parents had difficulty accessing adequate clinical and educational supports. Many parents do not have access to a special class in their locality, which can cause isolation and loneliness for their children locally. Most schools had exclusionary clauses in enrolment policies that made school choice difficult for parents. There was overwhelming consensus from parents and professionals that mixed ability special classes are not viable and the current structure, purpose and role of the special class needs to be revised in that regard. Mixed experiences were reported from parents regarding their children transferring between schools. The transfer from primary to post-primary was a great source of anxiety for the majority of parents of children with autism. This research suggests that inclusive policies must be implemented to provide adequate resource provision and requisite funding to enhance the learning and social experiences for all pupils with autism attending mainstream primary schools.

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.

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.

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.

Adolescent bullying and intrasexual competition: body concerns and self-promotion tactics amongst bullies, victims and bully-victims
Lee, Kirsty
University of Warwick

Bullying is ubiquitous and a major cause of psychological distress and disease. While most bullying research investigating the predisposing, precipitating and perpetuating factors has focused on victims, important gaps remain regarding the theoretical drivers of bullying perpetration. Using sexual selection and intrasexual competition as a theoretical framework, researchers have argued that bullying is an evolved behaviour that enables bullies to obtain or maintain a strong position in the social hierarchy and have greater access to resources, including sexual and romantic experiences. Intrasexual competition comprises two key features: competitor derogation and self-promotion. Bullying could be considered as a type of repeated competitor derogation, but the extent to which bullies engage in self-promotion tactics is unknown. As body shape and size are of central importance to males and females in the context of intrasexual competition, the aims of this thesis were: to determine whether body weight or body image independently or jointly predict bullying role; and to examine the extent to which bullies, victims and bully-victims are preoccupied with self-promotion through body alteration, and whether this is related to psychological functioning. A large school-based study (The Bullying, Appearance, Social Information Processing and Emotions Study; The BASE study) of adolescents in the UK was conducted. Study 1 investigated whether body weight or body image (i.e., actual or perceived underweight or overweight) was independently associated with bullying role (bully, victim or bully-victim), and whether body weight and body image interacted to predict bullying role amongst adolescent boys and girls. Study 2 examined whether bullies, victims and bully-victims were at increased risk of weight loss preoccupation compared to adolescents uninvolved in bullying, whether psychological functioning mediated the relationship between bullying role and weight loss preoccupation, and whether sex was a key moderator. Study 3 examined whether bullies, victims and bully-victims had a higher desire for cosmetic surgery compared to adolescents uninvolved in bullying, whether the relationship between bullying role and desire for cosmetic surgery was direct or mediated by psychological functioning, and whether any effects were sex-specific. The findings offer several new contributions to knowledge. Firstly, it was revealed that body image, rather than actual body weight, is associated with being a victim and bully-victim. Bullies were of average weight and were more likely to be at an advanced pubertal status (girls only). Secondly, being a male or female bully was directly associated with increased desire for cosmetic surgery and weight loss preoccupation (boys only). The relationship between being victimised (as a victim or bully-victim) and cosmetic surgery desire and weight loss preoccupation was mostly mediated by reduced psychological functioning. Overall, victims had the highest desire for cosmetic surgery, whilst bully-victims had the highest weight loss preoccupation; there were no significant differences between male and female victims or bully-victims. In conclusion, the findings that male and female adolescent bullies are engaging in or cognizing about self-promotion strategies to improve physical appearance, which was unrelated to psychological functioning, are consistent with the theory of bullying as a form of intrasexual competition. Bullies are thus multi-strategic in their attempt to obtain or maintain social dominance. Bullied adolescents are similarly concerned about their appearance, but this is mostly because of reduced self-esteem, body-esteem and emotional problems as a result of being bullied. Thus, adolescents involved in bullying are at increased likelihood of attempting to alter their physical appearance, albeit via different pathways and with likely different outcomes. The research advances theoretical understanding about bullies and has practical implications for understanding the body concerns and self-promotion tactics of bullies, victims and bully-victims.

The perceived role of bullying bystanders in mexican secondary school settings
Lopez Romero, Maria E.
University of York

Bystanders play an important role in school bullying dynamics, having the power to provide or withhold the social rewards bullies seek. Bystander support is also beneficial for bullying victims, who experience less social and mental health problems if they have defenders. Even though bystanders generally disapprove of bullying, they rarely intervene in bullying incidents. Research suggests that two factors closely related to bystander intervention in bullying are moral disengagement and self-efficacy. Cultural influences and gender may also play a part in bullying and bystander dynamics. The main aim of this study was to explore Mexican secondary school students’ perceptions of their role in bullying situations. The study focused on gender differences in these perceptions, students’ levels of self-efficacy, students’ use of moral disengagement dynamics, and student receptivity to material that encourages prosocial bystander behaviour. A questionnaire was developed to gauge students’ views on these topics, and administered to a sample of 186 secondary school students. Focus groups were also conducted to gain insight on group understandings and norms. A six-session workshop was designed and implemented to expose students to material on prosocial bystander behaviour. Results suggested that most students feel empathy towards bullying victims and acknowledge that they have the power to make a difference. However, participants are reluctant to put ideas into action for fear of bully retaliation and the belief that they cannot rely on support from other peers and school staff. This sense of powerlessness seems to have a cultural component to it, and is more common in male students. Other gender differences were observed: females displayed higher self-efficacy to help and lower moral disengagement levels. Research on cultural influences on bullying and bystander behaviour worldwide is needed, as well as further research on the implications, obstacles and opportunities of gender differences in this regard. Studies on what bystanders need to feel safe when helping bullying victims would also be a valuable resource for anti-bullying intervention efforts.

Adolescent-to-parent violence and abuse (apva): an investigation into prevalence, associations and predictors in a community sample
McCloud, Elizabeth Jane
University of Portsmouth

Adolescent-to-Parent Violence and Abuse (APVA) is a form of family violence and abuse that has, in recent years, received increasing attention within academic literature. In England and Wales, APVA is beginning to have more of a presence in policing, youth justice and domestic violence and abuse policy. However, there remains a dearth of empirical quantitative research arising from the UK about this topic. In response, this research aims to report the prevalence of APVA from a UK cross-sectional community sample of 890 secondary school students (aged 11 to 18 years). Furthermore, adolescent characteristics and behaviours, familial characteristics, and school bullying experience are measured to ascertain whether these factors are associated with, and can predict, APVA. APVA was found to be prevalent amongst 64.5% of the sample; psychological APVA was more prevalent than physical APVA (64.4% and 4.3% respectively). Significant associations and predictors of APVA have been identified and three statistically significant logistic regression models are presented that can predict the probability of psychological APVA, physical APVA, and severe APVA occurring. This research contributes to the understanding of the experiences and characteristics of young people who exhibit APVA. The findings demonstrate that APVA is a complex phenomenon that is associated with and can be predicted by individual, family and school bullying characteristics. The results have implications for policy and practice, in particular that a holistic and whole-family approach should be taken to the assessment and subsequent planning of intervention for APVA and that APVA can be screened for in universal settings, such as schools. Therefore, awareness raising and prevention strategies could be incorporated into existing policy and practice frameworks. It is proposed that these findings are best interpreted and understood by ecological theories which can provide a useful framework with which to develop future research.