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Title: 'Snitches get stitches' : a qualitative exploration of childhood bullying amongst individuals with early psychosis experiences
Author: Wheeler, Claire
ISNI:       0000 0004 8502 3139
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2019
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Background There is a strong argument throughout the literature that childhood trauma and adverse experiences should be considered when working with individuals who experience psychosis. There has been a developing interest in the relationship between childhood bullying and psychosis, although to date, there is limited research in this area. Bullying is a pertinent issue for young people, which argues for further consideration in Early Intervention for Psychosis (EIP) settings. Aims The aim of this research is to explore the subjective experiences of childhood bullying for individuals who access EIP services. A secondary aim is to explore whether individuals perceive bullying to be relevant to their experiences of psychosis. Methodology Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight individuals. Interviews were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis Results Four superordinate and accompanying subordinate themes emerged. The superordinate themes were 'facing daily threat', 'overcoming systemic mistrust', 'negotiating power imbalance' and 'a process of evolving identity'. 'Facing daily threat' conveyed how participants experienced bullying as traumatic. Bullying experiences were considered highly relevant to current experiences of paranoia. 'Overcoming systemic mistrust' reflected neglectful responses from teachers and the ways participants felt unheard when first engaging with services. 'Negotiating power imbalance' reflected both the complex power relationships within school and the influence of wider social power. 'A process of evolving identity' explores the gradual shifts in how participants viewed themselves after verbal bullying. Participants' psychosis experiences included hearing critical, attacking voices, reinforcing the same messages received from bullies in school. Discussion The results are clinically important as they contribute to understanding experiences of psychosis in the context of bullying history. They also highlight the wish for individuals to have more opportunities to discuss bullying in EIP services. Finally, they argue for school systems to further consider their responses to children who seek help for bullying.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: H Social Sciences (General)