Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Morris, Amanda

Second Advisor

Weems, Carl

Third Advisor

Scaramella, Laura

Fourth Advisor

Frick, Paul

Fifth Advisor

Boxer, Paul


Currently, there are competing theories on whether children's coping responses are important determinants of future victimization (Perry citations; Limber, 2004), but little longitudinal research has been conducted to test the competing theories. Utilizing student and teacher reports, the current project examined the associations between children's responses to being bullied and victimization rates over a 12-month period in a sample of 296 middle school students. Broadly, the findings indicate that the ways youth respond to being bullied do not influence future victimization rates for most children. In fact, quite the opposite relationship was found. Higher levels of victimization at the beginning of the school year predicted greater use of emotional coping responses later in the school year. When examining coping differences among highly victimized youth, however, children who experience high levels of victimization throughout the school year report more externalized and avoidant coping responses than children whose high levels of victimization decrease over the course of the school year. Thus, although coping does not predict future victimization in most children, some coping responses may exacerbate victimization in youth who are already experiencing high levels of victimization.


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