Giving Victims of Bullying a Voice: A Qualitative Study of Post Bullying Reactions and Coping Strategies

Caroline B R Evans, Katie Stalker, Paul R. Smokowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Current research on how adolescents cope with bullying is primarily quantitative, examines youth in Grades 1 through 6, and neglects to specifically assess how victims of bullying cope with being bullied. The current qualitative study explored the coping strategies of 22 rural middle- and high-school youth victimized by bullying. Results indicated that youth report using an array of emotion focused coping strategies (an internal coping strategy that focuses on emotion regulation) and problem focused coping strategies (active behaviors that are aimed to decrease or eradicate the stressor). These coping strategies included help seeking, physical and verbal aggression, standing up for themselves, and prosocial bystander behavior. While the majority of coping strategies were similar between middle- and high-school participants, these groups reported utilizing verbal and physical aggression in different ways. Further, certain coping strategies, such as help seeking and lashing out with physical and verbal aggression, were utilized as both emotion- and problem-focused coping strategies. Implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-555
Number of pages13
JournalChild and Adolescent Social Work Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


  • Adolescence
  • Bullying
  • Qualitative research
  • Rural
  • Victim coping
  • Victimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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