Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Lisa L. Weyandt

Abstract

Although bullying research has burgeoned over the past two decades, only recently have studies begun to explore bullying of students by teachers. Preliminary findings suggest that teacher bullying and the maltreatment of students may result in loss of trust, feelings of hopelessness and depression, oppositional behavior and increased fighting amongst peers (Pottinger & Stair, 2009). To date, only one study (Chapell et al., 2004) has addressed the prevalence of teacher (professor/instructor) bullying in college student populations. Given the impact professor/instructor relations can have on college student outcomes (Wilson et al., 2010) and the severe consequences teacher bullying can have on primary and secondary students, it is important to identify whether college students report bullying by their professors/instructors. The present study examined the self-reported prevalence of instructor bullying among college students. Results revealed that 51% of students endorsed seeing another student being bullied by a professor/instructor at least once and 18% endorsed being bullied by a professor/instructor at least once. The findings also revealed a relationship between teacher bullying and professor/instructor bullying. Additional characteristics of student victims of teacher and professor/instructor bullying were explored; however, no significant differences were demonstrated between male and female students or between students with and without disabilities in their self-reported ratings of being bullied by teachers and professors/instructors. Finally, the psychometrics of a newly formed questionnaire addressing student perceptions of professor/instructor and teacher bullying were explored and established. Implications for universities and colleges are discussed and suggestions for future research are advanced.

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