Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Applied Developmental Psychology



Major Professor

Frick, Paul J.

Second Advisor

Marsee, Monica

Third Advisor

Laird, Robert

Fourth Advisor

Weems, Carl

Fifth Advisor

Bauer, Daliah


This study investigated the factorial validity, stability, and social, behavioral and emotional correlates of several different roles that students can play in the context of bullying. Data were collected from students at two time points across two school years, April and May of 2006 (n=284) and again in November and December of 2006 (n=185). A confirmatory factor analysis provided evidence for the validity of 4 participant roles (i.e. bully, reinforcer, assistant, and defender). However, further analysis revealed that there was a strong degree of intercorrelation between the three bully factors (i.e., bully, reinforcer, and assistant). Analyses found that participant roles are fairly stable across school years and that the greater the percentage of same raters across the time points, the greater the stability. All of the bullying roles (i.e., bully, reinforcer, and assistant) were significantly related to callous unemotional traits, emotional dysregulation, positive expectations for aggression, conduct problems, reactive relational aggression, proactive relational aggression, reactive overt aggression, and proactive overt aggression, but these relationships were stronger in boys. It was also found that the defender role was associated with less aggression and more prosocial behavior. These associations were stronger in girls. Finally, a linear regression analysis of the interaction between participant roles and victimization revealed that at T1, the association between bullying roles and aggression was moderated by victimization. Specifically, the association was stronger in those low on victimization. At T2, the association between defending and lower aggression and greater prosocial behavior was stronger in those low in victimization.


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