Date of Paper

5-2014

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Catherine Marrs Fuchsel

Abstract

This qualitative research project explores the long established social problem of bullying among the expanding population of adults over 65. One of the main goals is to identify effective interventions in addressing the problem, specifically Playback Theatre. Grounded theory was implemented in data analysis. The social work theory of Person in Environment (PIE) and Systems Theory were used as the theoretical framework for formulating questions and interpreting answers. Seven professionals working in assisted living and senior public housing were questioned regarding their observations and experiences of elderly bullying within their facilities. Data analysis occurred within a three-month period. The main theme that emerged is the lack of evidence-based interventions. Other prominent themes include: (a) what bullying looks like in the studied population, (b) where bullying most often occurs, (c) reasons for bullying among older adults, (d) what interventions are currently being used, (e) Playback Theatre, (f) use and attitudes towards art-based interventions, (g) what type of training professionals have in dealing with bullying, and (h) messages communities can use to address bullying.

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