Attributional and coping styles of involved and non-involved children in peer victimization

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This dissertation study examines the coping methods and attributional styles of peer victimized children versus those who are not involved with acts of bullying. Data corresponding to elementary school children

This dissertation study examines the coping methods and attributional styles of peer victimized children versus those who are not involved with acts of bullying. Data corresponding to elementary school children (n=317) over a period of four years from four public elementary schools in the Southwest United States was used in the present study. Latent class analyses and correlations were conducted to explore (1) whether externalizing versus internalizing or passive emotional reactions differentially influence the attributions children make regarding victimization, (2) whether externalizing types of emotional reactions differentially influence the coping methods victimized children utilize, and (3) whether children identified as "bullies" experience different types of emotional reactions than those identified as "victims." Findings revealed that children who identified as self-reported victims tended to report higher levels of internalizing feelings. However, contradictory to what was hypothesized, the victim group also reported higher levels of being mad. Specific patterns arose between the types of attributions that victimized and non-victimized children made, where the children who identified more frequently as being victims tended to report that they believed bullying took place due to reasons that were more personal in nature and more stable. Lastly, findings also revealed similarities in the ways victimized children coped with bullying.