Recalling bullying at school: what can we learn from adult accounts of their experiences?

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsOral presentationResearch


Objective: The paper reports on a study about adults’ recollections of bullying at school to identify core features of retrospective accounts and how people make sense of what happened to them.
Design: Bullying is an experience that people remember, and we should do justice to these recollections – valuing both their individuality and shared features. Therefore, a qualitative design was used to gather personal accounts
of school-based bullying experiences.
Methods: Participants (n=247, 77% female, all over 18) were recruited via convenience sampling and completed an anonymous online questionnaire. They responded to a series of open-ended questions which prompted them
to recall their bullying experiences and guide them through a detailed account of a particular bullying incident.
Results: In the presentation, the initial findings identified through the first stage of analysis will be discussed. Data is being analysed quantitatively (using content analysis) and qualitatively (using thematic analysis) to identify the kinds of bullying incidents adults remember from school, and what characteristics and contextual factors stand out in these narratives.
Conclusions: The research reveals in-depth insight into the circumstances underpinning recounted bullying incidents, and the elements that stand out in people’s memories. Previous experiences of bullying, and how these are interpreted and reflected upon, can shape current views and attitudes. This has implications for individuals in a parental or teacher role
Period8 Sep 2021
Event titleBritish Psychological Society Psychology of Education Section Annual Conference 2021: Researching Education: Informing Practice
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionNational