Date of Conferral

2019

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Psychology

Advisor

Martha Giles

Abstract

Victims of childhood bullying often use passive coping strategies and experience depression, substance abuse use, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to examine adults’ lived experiences of coping methods they used as victims of bullies during adolescence. Lazarus and Folkman’s transactional theory of stress and coping provided the framework for the study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 young adults who were bullied as adolescents. Coding analysis indicated 7 emerging themes for coping: confrontation, self-controlling, seeking social support, accepting responsibility, escape-avoidance, problem-solving, and positive reappraisal. Participants reported that some coping methods were perceived as effective. The results suggested that self-support and the support of friends and family were key factors in overcoming childhood victimization. Findings may be used by parents, teachers, counselors, and community members to assist bullied or at-risk adolescents in developing coping methods to support their ongoing personal development.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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