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The hidden bullied

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

In this article the authors look at those who have been largely ignored in previous research, those who experience bullying negative behaviours but who do not label themselves as bullied. The research objective is to examine the reliability of asking people to self-labelling themselves as bullied as a measure of actual bullying and to see if there is a threshold in the bullying experienced that leads to the bullied being willing to self label themselves as bullied and to what extent labelling as a victim of bullying impacts on the degree of emotional reaction to the negative behaviour experienced. Quantitative methods are used to analysis two large data sets to highlight a sub-set of people who do not self-label and test differences between them and the self-labelled bullied. The findings indicate that using a dichotomous system of the bullied and the not-bullied is confounding. Even at very high levels of negative behaviour there persists a tendency for respondents to not self-label. Also found was that regardless of whether self-labelled as a victim of bullying or not those who experience negative behaviour have similar strong emotional reactions to bullying. The research finds that self-labelling is a valid but unreliable measure of workplace bullying and suggests that using a Negative Behaviour index of experiences that takes into account persistence and intensity is a much more reliable measure that captures the totality of bullying.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-33
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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