A Comparative Study of Undergraduate Upperclassmen Students' Perceptions of Student and Faculty Incivility in Three Academic Disciplines: Nursing, Education, and Business

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Institution Granting Degree

Liberty University

Cedarville University School or Department


First Advisor

Amy McLemore


Bullying, higher education, horizontal violence, incivility, nursing, nursing education


Incivility, defined as rude, discourteous, and disrespectful behavior, in higher education and in nursing education, is a growing problem and concern as it affects the college learning environment and professional preparation for the workplace. Healthcare institutions and accreditation bodies require interventional actions to address the prevalence of incivility in healthcare, nursing practice specifically, and in nursing education as a precursor to the professional workplace. The purpose of this causal comparative study was to explore Heider's attribution theory using the Incivility in Higher Education (IHE) survey to compare undergraduate upperclassmen students' perceptions of student and faculty incivility among the three academic disciplines of nursing, education, and business in a large public university in the Western Mountain region of the US. The independent variable, discipline of study (nursing, education, and business), was generally defined as the undergraduate upperclassmen (junior and senior) students in those disciplines. The dependent variable was generally defined as student perceptions of student and faculty incivility. Descriptive statistics and ANOVA analysis were used to determine differences in upperclassmen students' perceptions of student and faculty incivility among the groups. The results of the research provided insight to the problem of incivility within higher education and specifically nursing education. Program educators and administrators can use results of the study to design specific interventions to address the problem. Suggestions for further research are also included.