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A narrative study of adults who were bullied by a sibling in childhood

Rahemtulla, Zara (2016) A narrative study of adults who were bullied by a sibling in childhood. Other thesis, University of Essex.


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Background: It is argued that sibling relationships are often overlooked in favour of parent child relationships. Sibling interactions have the potential to be emotionally intimate and complex, and experiences can influence later psychological development. Research exploring the significance of sibling relationships is developing, with the majority of studies focussing on the protective nature of this relationship. There has been limited curiosity into the expression of adults’ stories of being bullied by a sibling in childhood. By exploring people’s stories, this study aims to consider what it means to be bullied by a sibling – that is, it will explore the broad question of “how do adults describe and make sense of their childhood sibling bullying experiences?” Method: A qualitative research paradigm was chosen for this study. The method of narrative inquiry was employed, using the Narrative Orientated Inquiry approach. Interviews were completed with seven adults who perceived themselves to have been bullied by a sibling in childhood. Results: Adults’ experiences were understood within the context of content and form. The content of people’s stories were considered alongside the way in which they told their story, facilitating an understanding of what and how they integrated their experiences into the construction of their narrative identities. Adults described their perceptions of sibling bullying and the barriers to defining experience, as well as the impact on their later, sibling relationships. The results also indicated that emotional expression associated with the event varied for every narrator, as they moved towards integration of experience. Discussion: The findings are discussed within existing theoretical models of sibling bullying and subject and identity positioning theory. The clinical implications are framed within psychoanalytic theory and in relation to the perceived acceptability of sibling bullying.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Health and Social Care, School of
Depositing User: Zara Rahemtulla
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2016 12:30
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2016 12:30

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