Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Bullying in the workplace, Mental health personnel, Mental health facilities-Employees, Workplace bullying, Workplace abuse, Workplace harassment, Occupational bullying


Numerous forms of aggression in the workplace have been systematically studied in recent years; however, there is a gap in the literature with regards to the mental health field. The present study used a mixed method approach to examine the impact of workplace bullying on mental health professionals (n=48). Data were collected using an anonymous online survey containing The Negative Acts Questionnaire (NAQ), a standardized measure of workplace bullying. The NAQ assessed frequency of exposure to bullying behaviors during the previous six months while multiple choice questions and comment/essay boxes obtained further information about participants' experiences with bullying, perceptions of the problem, characteristics of targets and perpetrators, and the personal and professional impacts of negative workplace dynamics. The major findings were that many professionals in the mental health field were exposed to or witnessed negative acts in their workplaces during the past six months and over the course of their working lives. Of further significance was participants' unwillingness to self-identify as being targets of workplace bullying, despite reporting repeated exposure to negative behaviors. These conflicting responses suggest that mental health professionals who persistently encounter negativity at work may not perceive their experiences as fitting into the construct of "bullying," or they may be unwilling to categorize themselves as being victims.




v, 112 p. : col. ill. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2010. Includes bibliographical references (p. 49-51)