2019, Cilt 9, Sayı 1, Sayfa(lar) 037-042
The Relationship Between Mobbing and Subjective Happiness Among Teaching Staff Training Program Research Assistants
Çağdaş CAZ1, Ali Gürel GÖKSEL2, Ömer Faruk YAZICI3
1Bozok University, School of Physical Education and Sports, Department of Sports Management, Yozgat, Turkey
2Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University, Faculty of Sport Sciences, Department of Sports Management, Muğla, Turkey
3Tokat Gaziosmanpaşa University, Erbaa Vocational School, Department of Property Protection and Security, Tokat, Turkey
Keywords: Teaching staff training program, Mobbing, Subjective happiness, Research assistant
The aim of this study was to examine the level of mobbing among Teaching Staff Training Program (TSTP/OYP) research assistants and
to examine the relationship between subjective happiness and mobbing exposure. The sample of the study consisted of 213 OYP research
assistants from all over Turkey, 115 of whom were female while 98 were of whom are male. The data collection tools of the study include
the Negative Acts Questionnaire-Mobbing (NAQ) which was developed by Einarsen and Raknes (1997), and adapted into Turkish by
Cemaloglu (2007); and the Subjective Happiness Scale (SHS) which was developed by Lyubmirsky and Lepper (1999) and adapted
into Turkish by Akin and Satici (2011). Although study results revealed there were no significant differences in terms of gender, the mean
mobbing exposure score was found to be higher in male academicians. In terms of marital status, it was found that married academicians
had higher mobbing exposure scores. Also, the mobbing levels of OYP Research Assistants were found to be a significant predictor of
The rapidly increasing number of new universities in Turkey
has created many new job opportunities for academicians.
Thus, training new research assistants who form a part of
academicians at universities has become a requirement.
Considering this need, the Turkish Council of Higher Education
(YOK) initiated a new program called the Teaching Staff
Training Program (TSTP/OYP) in 2010 which includes a central
appointment system. In the context of OYP, the research
assistants of newly founded universities are employed
temporarily at long-established universities in order for them
to complete their masters and doctoral education, and then
to return to work as academicians at the newly founded
universities. Due to hierarchical relationships in academic
life, OYP research assistants are generally solicited to lecture,
so time spent on their own studies is limited, which is a wellknown
fact in academic life. Thereby, such negative situations
have made mobbing an important issue to examine among
Mobbing is taken from the English root word mob, which is
associated with extreme violence and refers to illegal disrespect.
Additionally, the verb mob means to come together in order
to attack or disturb. It derives from mobile vulgus in Latin,
and refers to a hesitant crowd. In Latin, the verb mob means
to gather to attack or disturb (Davenport, Schwartz & Elliott,
2003). Terms such as dismay, emotional assault, emotional
abuse, psychological violence, and psychological terror are
used to express mobbing in Turkish. In professional life, the
term mobbing was originally used by the German industrial
psychologist Heinz Leymann who lived in Sweden at the 1980s
and used the term in his studies to imply the long term, hostile
and aggressive behaviours among employers at a workplace
(Tinaz, 2006). Today, the number of studies concerning
mobbing is increase day by day worldwide, whereas it remains
limited in Turkey. One of the first mobbing studies in Turkey
was conducted in March in 2006. The mentioned study was
presented at a panel held at Marmara University, Faculty of
Law, Labour Law, and Social Security Department, and the term
mobbing began to be discussed in an academic platform under
the titles psychological abuse at the workplace (mobbing) and
sexual harassment (Tinaz, 2008). In addition, Dokmen (2008)
defined mobbing as the abusive behaviours of one or more
people towards a person in a workplace, resulting in organized
and continual physical or psychological harassment inflicted on
to that person.
In another definition, mobbing is seen as a phenomenon
which results in any kind of negativity in the workplace. Among
academicians, in particular, mobbing can restrict academic
productivity, creating exasperation and causing a person to
make mistakes. Additionally, the effects of mobbing gradually
increase day-by-day, ultimately resulting in negative outcomes
like committing suicide or quitting a job (Guveyi, 2013). As
well as influencing people in various ways, mobbing is directly
related to many notions, one of which is happiness (Okutan &
Sututemiz, 2015). In the psychological literature, happiness is
defined as subjective well-being. Subjective well-being refers
to experiencing positive feelings often and negative ones less,
and a high level of life satisfaction (Argyle, Martin, & Crossland,
1989; Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin, 1985). Happiness
is characterized by a high level of life satisfaction as well as
doing favourable things and low level of negative feelings.
Hence, it can be said that subjective well-being is commonly
acknowledged as synonymous with happiness (Sahin, Aydin,
Sari, Kaya, & Pala, 2012).
Considering the findings of mobbing and happiness, these
two terms are perceived to have crucial importance for
academicians. Studies in the literature have reported that
pressure, stress, and mobbing especially in the workplace
cause employees not to feel happy and good, correspondingly
social lives and work performances of employees are affected
negatively. With this regard, creating healthy and merit-based
working environments without the risk of losing ones job for
academicians in universities would help them in being happy
and peaceful at their workplace and individuals contributing to
their institution and society more and more. It is well known in
Turkey, that the number of young academicians is quite high.
However studies on the relationship between mobbing and
happiness among academicians are scarce. In the light of these
facts, this study aimed to examine perceptions of OYP research
assistants towards mobbing and happiness in their workplace
and to determine whether their perceptions concerning
mobbing differs in terms of variables including gender, age,
marital status and faculty/department of employment.
Accordingly, the primary goal of the study was to determine
mobbing and subjective happiness levels of OYP research
assistants and to examine the influence of mobbing on
subjective happiness. Following these aims, the research will
seek answers to the following questions: (1) What are mobbing
and subjective happiness levels of OYP research assistants?
(2) Do the mobbing and subjective happiness levels of OYP
research assistants differ significantly in terms of gender? (3) Do the mobbing and subjective happiness levels of OYP
research assistants differ significantly in terms of marital status?
(4) Do the mobbing and subjective happiness levels of OYP
research assistants differ significantly in terms of age? (5) Do
the mobbing and subjective happiness levels of OYP research
assistants differ significantly in terms of the institutions they
work at? (6) Do the mobbing and subjective happiness levels of
OYP research assistants differ significantly in terms of current
education status? And lastly; 7) Do the mobbing experiences
research assistants are exposed to predict their subjective
The sample of the study consisted of 213 OYP research
assistants (115 females %55; 98 males %45).
Data Collection Tools
Data of the study were collected by self-report questionnaires.
The Negative Acts Questionnaire-Mobbing (NAQ) and
Subjective Happiness Scale (SHS) were used. The Negative
Acts Questionnaire-Mobbing (NAQ) was developed by Einarsen
and Raknes (1997), and adapted into Turkish by Cemaloglu
(2007). It contains 21 items and is answered on a 5-point Likert
type scale (Everyday: 5, Once a Week: 4, Once a Month: 3,
Sometimes: 2 and Never: 1). It is a one-dimensional scale and
does not include any items requiring reverse coding. In terms
of current working, the Cronbach alpha coefficient of the scale
The Subjective Happiness Scale (SHS) was developed by
Lyubomirsky and Lepper (1999) in order to determine the
happiness levels of physical education teachers. It was adapted
into Turkish and applied to university students by Akın and
Satıcı (2011). The original form includes 4 items answered
on a 7-point Likert type scale. The highest score that can be
obtained from the scale is 28, and the lowest is 4. For the data
analysis, answers given to the 4th question were reversed. In
terms of current working, the Cronbach alpha coefficient of
consistency of the scale was 0.725.
Data were gathered both online and delivered by hand
from academicians. As online, data collected was from 150
academicians and by hands was collected from 63 academicians.
The online form was emailed to the academicians, and the link
was sent to a closed Facebook group consisting mostly of OYP
research assistants. Other forms were delivered and gathered
personally. The forms filled in incorrectly were excluded. Two
hundred and thirteen questionnaires were used for the data
Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, independent
samples t-tests, one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), Tukeys
multiple comparisons post-hoc test and linear regression.
Whether or not the data met the preconditions of parametric tests was determined by examining skewness and kurtosis
values (Büyüköztürk, 2012). Analysis showed that the data
had normal distribution. In order to determine the internal
reliability of the scales, the internal consistency coefficient
(Cronbachs alpha) was also calculated.
The mean The Negative Acts Questionnaire-Mobbing (NAQ)
score was 47.64 ±19.62 while the mean Subjective Happiness
Scale (SHS) scored was yielded 16.38 ±5.01. According to
the skewness and kurtosis values, data showed a normal
distribution (Table 1
T test results showed that both scores from NAQ (tNAQ=1.53,
p>0.05) and SHS (tSHS=0.42, p>0.05) do not differ significantly
(Table 2). For both dependent variables, the scores of males
(M. NAQ=49.86, M.SHS=45.74) were higher than females
scores (M. NAQ =16.54, M.SHS =16.25).
Additionally, t test results showed that in terms of marital
status, NAQ scores differ significantly (tNAQ=2.18, p<0.05)
where married scored lower than single, while they do not
differ in SHS (tSHS=-1.24, p>0.05) (Table 3). Regarding both
dependent variables, the average scores from NAQ are higher
among married academicians (M. NAQ=51.70, M. SHS=45.56),
while in SHS, the scores are higher among single academicians
(M. NAQ=16.68, M. SHS=15.79) (Table 3).
Academicians scores from both scales do not differentiate
significantly in terms of gender variable (F-NAQ=2.31, p=0.10;
F-SHS=1.00, p=0.37). The NAQ scores are higher among 31
year old and higher academicians (M. NAQ=53.20), while the
scores in SHS are higher among 27-30 year old academicians
(M. SHS=16.95) (Table 4).
Both NAQ and SHS scores of academicians do not differ
significantly in terms of the institution they work at
(F-NAQ=0.66, p=0.52; F-SHS=2.12, p=0.12). Table 5 shows that
the average scores of academicians working at academies are
found to be higher than the average scores of academicians
working at faculties and institutions (M. NAQ=51.14, M.
The scores from both NAQ and SHS do not differ in terms of
current educational status among academicians (F-NAQ=0.55,
p=0.58; F-SHS=0.87, p=0.42). In NAQ, the average scores
of academicians who are in the studying for master degree
category are higher than academicians in the bachelors and
studying for doctorate categories (M. NAQ=48.77), while
for SHS, the average scores of bachelors are higher than
academicians in the studying for master degree and studying
for doctorate categories (M. SHS=17.40) (Table 6).
Click Here to Zoom
|Table 6: The Distribution of Scale Scores in Terms of Current Educational Status
The regression analysis results suggest that the mobbing levels
which OYP research assistants are exposed to, is a significant
predictor of their subjective happiness levels (R=0.50; R2=0.25;
F=69.44; p<0.01). In other words, 25% of the total variance related to the subjective happiness level can be explained by
participants mobbing levels (Table 7).
Click Here to Zoom
|Table 7: The Regression Analysis Results between the Scores of Mobbing and Subjective Happiness
The purpose of this study was to examine the level of mobbing
among Teaching Staff Training Program (OYP) research
assistants and to find out the effect of it on subjective
happiness. Considering the averaged scores from both scales,
and especially in NAQ, it can be inferred that academicians are
exposed to a medium level of negative behaviour and attitudes
(x=47.64). The common study of Sabanci and Yucel (2014)
about discouraging behaviours also indicated low levels of
psychologically discouraging behaviours.
Results in gender variable show that the mobbing (NAQ) scores
of academicians do not differ significantly. Additionally, many
studies are in accordance with these results. For example, in his
study with teachers, Akpunar (2016) did not find a meaningful
difference between male and female teachers. Hacicaferoglu
and Hacicaferoglu (2014) found no statistically significant
difference between male and female staff in Youth Centres. In two different studies, Hacicaferoglu (2014; 2015a) did not see
any meaningful differences between male and female referees
and staff. Karakale (2011) studied mobbing victims and found
similar results among genders. Akan, Yildirim and Yalcin (2013)
reached the same results with male and female executives
and demonstrated no significant differences between genders,
which are all in accordance with the current study results.
However, some other researchers found significant differences
between genders. For instance, Sabanci and Yucel (2014)
showed this difference between male and female parents;
Hacicaferoglu (2013) also defined the same findings between
male and female teachers working in secondary education; in
his study with academicians Cayvarli (2013) could not find any
meaningful difference between male and female academicians
in terms of discouraging behaviours; and Yumusak (2013)
reached similar meaningful differences among primary school
teachers, which is contrary to other study results. These studies
show that females and males undergo mobbing behaviors.
Marital status variable shows meaningful differences among
academicians scores. In this context, Cayvarli (2013) studied
the marital status and mobbing levels of academicians and
found significant differences between single and married
academicians; Yumusak (2013) reached similar results in
his study with primary school teachers, which supports the
findings of the current study. However, there are other studies
showing no statistically meaningful differences between
married and single academicians in terms of mobbing they
are exposed to (Akpunar, 2016; Hacicaferoglu, 2013; Karakale,
2011). Hacicaferoglu (2014; 2015b) studied mobbing levels
and marital status of referees and reached similar results.
Thus, these findings are not in accordance with the current
study results in terms of a marital status variable.
Academicians scores from NAQ do not differ significantly
in terms of age. In this sense, in his two different studies,
Hacicaferoglu (2013; 2014) studied the relationships between
age and mobbing levels among branch teachers and referees
and found no statistically meaningful differences at any age
group. This finding was supported by the study findings of
Karakale (2011) and Akan et al. (2013). However, in the study
examining age groups of academicians, Cayvarli (2013, s.66)
found a significant difference between age groups on behalf
of 29-year-old and under. Similarly, Yumusak (2013) found this
difference among primary school teachers, too, which are not
consistent with the current studys findings of age. Current
studies showed that younger individuals underwent mobbing
behaviors. The existence of hierarchy caused that young
individual to face mobbing more frequent.
Considering the findings concerning the educational status
of academicians, it can be seen that the scores do not differ
significantly in this variable. In his two different studies,
Hacicaferoglu (2013; 2014) did not find any meaningful
difference among teachers and referees in terms of their
educational status. Karakale (2011) reached similar results
with his participants. Additionally, Akan et al. (2013) showed
no significant differences among participant executives in
terms of mobbing levels and educational status. Hacicaferoglu (2015c) also studied with Youth Centre staff and did not find
any meaningful difference between mobbing levels and
educational status. These findings are in accordance with the
current study results concerning the education status variable.
However, Akpunar (2016) examined this variable and found
meaningful differences between bachelors and masters
degree students. Also Sabanci and Yucel (2014) studied
parents with associates, bachelors or masters degrees, and
found a positive difference in favour of parents who had a
masters degree. These results are not in accordance with the
current study results. Differences in the results of the studies
stem from the differences of an occupational group, work
environment, and occupational conditions.
In terms of gender, SHS scores do not differ significantly.
Saygin and Arslan (2009) also found no statistically meaningful
differences among male and female university students.
Additionally, in his study with high school students, Canbay
(2010) reached similar results. These findings are in accordance
with the findings of the present study. On the other hand,
opposite conclusions were found in Dilmac and Bozgeyikli
(2009) study with teacher candidates, who found significant
differences between male and female participants in terms of
gender. In terms of marital status variable, academicians SHS
scores do not differ significantly. In the study of Yazici, Caz and
Tunckol (2016), there were meaningful differences among SHS
scores of staff, but this difference was in favor of married staff
rather than single, which in line with this study findings. It can
be said that because married individuals have regular lifestyle,
responsibilities and being happy with these responsibilities
cause the difference between single and married individuals in
terms of happiness.
When we examine the normality distribution of data gathered
from both the Negative Acts Questionnaire-Mobbing (NAQ)
and the Subjective Happiness Scale (SHS), there is a normal
distribution. It can be inferred that marital status is of critical
effect on mobbing levels of academicians. The significant
differences and high scores especially indicate the married,
which means that married academicians are exposed to higher
levels of mobbing and negative behaviours.
In terms of age, the academicians at the age of 31 and higher
show a low level of mobbing, which is consistent with study
data and findings. The study results also suggest that the
mobbing levels of participants are a determinant predictor of
their subjective happiness levels. In terms of academicians
workplaces, the scores from both NAQ and SHS do not differ
significantly, which means that academicians working at
different faculties have similar levels of happiness and are
exposed to similar rates of negative behaviours. The findings
also suggest that the scores of academicians from NAQ and
SHS do not differ significantly in terms of educational status.
The regression analyses reveal that the mobbing levels the
academicians are exposed to are a meaningful predictor of
their subjective happiness levels.
The sample of the study is consisted only by OYP research
assistants working at different universities in Turkey, which
can be accepted as a limitation to the study. It is thought
that in future studies, samples can include larger amounts
of academicians. In order to prevent mobbing and negative
behaviours in institutions, academicians should be given more
freedom. Additionally, for a better understanding of this studys
results, the number of related studies should rise.
We would like to thank Vahdet ÖZKOCAK, president of
Instructors Association, for helping us to reach OYP research
assistant consisting our sample group and OYP research
assistants participated in the study.
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