HOW SUCCESSFUL HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS COPE WITH
BULLYING: A QUALITATIVE STUDY
Robert Q. Valles, Jr.
A Dissertation Presented to the
FACULTY OF THE ROSSIER SCHOOL OF EDUCATION
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
In Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree
DOCTOR OF EDUCATION
Copyright 2007 Robert Q. Valles, Jr.
Recent school shootings have generated an effort to understand why children choose to victimize their peers. A major study found that students who had murdered their classmates had one factor in common: they were chronically bullied. This finding amplifies the need for researchers to more fully understand the cognitive and behavioral attributes of students who are victims of school bullying. Other research has shown that individuals who were bullied were found to have higher levels of depression and poorer self-esteem at the age of 23, despite the fact that, as adults, they were no more harassed or socially isolated than were their peers. Finally, another study found that 8- to 15-year olds considered bullying a big problem, ranking higher than racism, AIDS, and peer pressure to use drugs and alcohol.; When examining bully-victim problems from the perspective of the victim, the most important variables are those relating to coping. Some victims are able to find ways to cope with bullying and, counter to prevailing trends, do well in school. Understanding the coping processes in these successful victims of bullying may improve our ability to help other victims of bullying, give us a better idea of how children and adolescents cope, and us to develop targeted anti-bullying strategies.; This study investigated the use of coping strategies that 25 successful high school students used whenever bullied and the conditions under which these students apply them. Identifying these conditions could result in earlier interventions that may decrease the incidence of bullying.