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South African Journal of Education

On-line version ISSN 2076-3433
Print version ISSN 0256-0100

Abstract

WOUDSTRA, Marit Helen; JANSE VAN RENSBURG, Estie; VISSER, Maretha  and  JORDAAN, Joyce. Learner-to-teacher bullying as a potential factor influencing teachers' mental health. S. Afr. j. educ. [online]. 2018, vol.38, n.1, pp.1-10. ISSN 2076-3433.  http://dx.doi.org/10.15700/saje.v38n1a1358.

Learner-to-teacher bullying is a focus area that has not been widely researched. The current research, underpinned by the ecosystemic paradigm, examined the proportion of teachers who reported exposure to bullying by learners. The study was carried out by using the Learner-to-teacher Bullying Questionnaire developed for this research. Additionally, the potential effect that learner-to-teacher bullying may have on teachers' experience of mental health was investigated using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Questionnaire. In a convenience sample consisting of 153 public secondary school teachers in the Tshwane area, 62.1% of the teachers reported exposure to verbal bullying, 34.6% to physical bullying, 27% to indirect bullying, and 6.6% to cyber bullying. Mann-Whitney U Tests were performed and indicated significant differences in teachers' mean anxiety and depression scores across the four types of learner-to-teacher bullying. Learner-to-teacher bullying can result in negative emotions, disempowerment, low morale, and low motivation of various roleplayers in the school system. It is thus of vital importance to protect teachers, create adequate resources to eliminate learner-to-teacher bullying, and work towards improving teachers' mental health.

Keywords : anxiety; depression; high school teachers; learner-to-teacher bullying; quantitative research; workplace bullying.

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