Professional Boundaries of Nursing Staff in Secure Mental Health Services: Impact of Interpersonal Style and Attitude Toward Coercion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The current study explored the impact of nursing staff members’ interpersonal style and attitudes toward coercion on the management of their professional boundaries. Researchers predicted that a combination of a particular
interpersonal style, a specific attitude toward coercion, and self-reported engagement in boundary-crossing behaviour would be associated with particular
styles of boundary management as outlined by Hamilton’s Boundary Seesaw
Model. Sixty-three nursing staff members in secure inpatient mental health services completed measures of boundary management, boundary crossings, attitude toward coercion, and interpersonal style. Regression analyses showed that a submissive interpersonal style and fewer boundary-crossing behaviours were associated with a pacifier boundary management style. In contrast, a pragmatic attitude toward coercion predicted a negotiator style of boundary management. The regression model for controller boundary management style was not significant. Findings are explored, along with their impact and implications for research and practice.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-24
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services
Issue number2
Early online date1 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2019