Dick, G.P.M. and Rayner, C.
The Hidden Bullied.
International Journal of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, 2
In this article the authors look at those who have been largely ignored in previous research, those who experi-ence 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 experi-ence 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.
Keywords Dignity at Work, Bullying, Negative Behaviour, Harassment, Self-labelling, Measurement
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