Resident-to resident bullying has attracted some attention in the popular press and is well-known to many who work with seniors in long-term care facilities. However, this is very little empirical literature that has address the topic of "senior bullying". The aim of the proposed qualitative study is to better understand the phenomenon of resident-to-resident bullying from the perspective of staff who work in long-term care facilities. Staff members (n=45) responded to a combination of open- and close-ended interview questions regarding their observations of senior-to-senior bullying. Results indicate that the majority of staff members (98%) have observed resident-to-resident bullying within senior care facilities. Verbal bullying was the most observed type of bullying, but social bullying is also prevalent among the elderly population. Both victims and perpetrators were reported to commonly have cognitive and physical disabilities such as dementia or limited mobility. Bullying was reported to most often occur in dining rooms and other common areas. Over half of the participants had not received formal training (58%) and only 21% of participants reported their facility had a formal policy to address deliberate acts of bullying. The implications of the current study support the need for detailed policies and training programs for staff members to effectively intervene in bullying situations among the elderly population.


Jeffrey Buchanan

Committee Member

Eric Sprankle

Committee Member

Kathryn Elliott

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)




Social and Behavioral Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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