Experiences with and perceptions of workplace bullying among athletic trainers in the secondary school setting

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Bibliographic Details
Title translated into German:Erfahrungen mit und Wahrnehmungen des Arbeitsplatzes bei Sportlehrern an weiterführenden Schulen
Author:Pitney, William A.; Weuve, Celest; Mazerolle, Stephanie M.
Published in:Journal of athletic training
Published:51 (2016), 9, S. 709-716, Lit.
Format: Publications (Database SPOLIT)
Publication Type: Journal article
Media type: Electronic resource (online) Print resource
ISSN:1062-6050, 0160-8320, 1938-162X
Online Access:
Identification number:PU201612009088

Author's abstract

Context: Workplace bullying (WPB) has recently received much attention in society. Research on WPB in athletic training practice settings is limited.
Objective: To determine the prevalence of WPB in the secondary school setting and explore the factors related to it.
Design: Mixed-methods study.
Setting: Secondary school.
Patients or Other Participants: A total of 567 athletic trainers (women = 322 [56.8%], men = 245 [43.2%]), aged 36.5 ± 11.1 years with 11.9 ± 9.5 years of experience took part in phase I. Ten participants (7 women and 3 men), aged 39.3 ± 10.1 years with 14.3 ± 8.3 years of experience, took part in phase II.
Data Collection and Analysis: For the online survey, we used the previously validated and reliable (Cronbach α = .84) Athletic Training Workplace Environment Survey, which included the Negative Acts Questionnaire-Revised. The prevalence of WPB was measured with descriptive statistics, and χ2 analyses were used to compare differences between groups (ie, females and males, perpetrators' titles). The interview data were examined using an inductive content analysis.
Results: Of the participants, 44 (7.8%) were empirically identified as targets of bullying, though a higher percentage (12.4%, n = 70) self-identified as bullying targets. Men and women did not differ with respect to having experienced WPB, but more perpetrators were male (71.6%, n = 48) than female (28.4%, n = 19; χ21 = 12.55, P = <.001). We also observed a difference in perpetrators' titles, with the vast majority of bullies being coaches or administrators (χ26 = 33.82, P = <.001). Lack of administrator support and discrimination were antecedents of bullying. Stress, depression, and sleep disturbances were reported consequences. Participants coped with bullying by avoidance and role refocusing.
Conclusions: Bullying was experienced by a small percentage of athletic trainers in the secondary school setting, a contrast to the findings in the collegiate practice setting.