Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Education


Education and Human Services

First Advisor

Hampton, Frederick

Subject Headings

Education, Education Policy, Educational Leadership, Educational Psychology, Educational Sociology, Elementary Education, Families and Family Life, Gender, Gender Studies, Health Education, Individual and Family Studies, Law, Legal Studies, Multicultural Education, Personal Relationships, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Public Policy, School Administration, School Counseling, Secondary Education, Social Psychology, Social Structure, Social Work, Sociology, Teacher Education, Urban Planning


Bullying has become a worldwide problem of pandemic proportion and degree. (Thomas, Bolen, Heister & Hyde, 2010). In the United States over thirty-five percent of school-aged students were directly involved in bullying incidents. Tragic news stories about suicides and school violence raised awareness about the importance of addressing this global issue (Van Der Zande, 2010). To date reports further indicate that more females are involved in indirect relational bullying than males. Unfortunately, as technology becomes more and more accessible, relational bullying has become one of the fastest growing epidemics (Brinson, 2005; Rigby & Smith, 2011).

Current research explanations were limited as to how female seniors who are victims of bullying showed resilience to academically succeed despite incidences of bullying throughout their high school experiences. Therefore, the purpose of this mixed method study was to explore the coping strategies utilized by12th grade female urban high school seniors who have experienced school success despite their involvement as victims of bullying. In this study, 32 high school female seniors completed the online Olweus’ Bullying Questionnaire which included self-reported attendance, discipline referrals, grade point average, and participation in extracurricular activities as it related to their bullying experiences.

Additionally, the researcher randomly selected eight focus group participants were involved in two focus group sessions to provide rich descriptions of their experiences as victims of bullying. These victims expressed the coping strategies used to successfully defeat the negative connotations associated with bullying, and specifically acknowledged their personal triumphs. When students understood the intricacies of bullying, and were empowered to use effective coping strategies, their experience of school success should increase as the prevalence of bullying decreases.

Therefore, the purpose of this study was to decrease the number of bullying incidences in schools by providing students with effective resources or coping strategies that enabled them to no longer be victims of bullying, but to have opportunities to experience success as they develop, and learn in a safe and hostile-free environment.

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