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The long-term effects of coping strategy use in victims of bullying

Hunter, Simon C. and Mora-Merchán, J. and Ortega, R. (2004) The long-term effects of coping strategy use in victims of bullying. Spanish Journal of Psychology, 7 (1). pp. 3-12. ISSN 1138-7416

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Abstract

The ways in which children appraise and cope with school bullying are likely to influence the long-term outcomes experienced. To examine this possibility, 219 Spanish undergraduate students (73 male, 146 female) aged between 18 and 40, completed an adapted version of the Retrospective Bullying Questionnaire (RBQ; Schafer et al., 2004) and a distress scale (Rivers, 1999). Results indicated that neither coping strategies reported by victims of bullying nor the match between control appraisal and coping strategy influenced levels of distress experienced as adults. Control, threat and challenge appraisals did, however, influence long-term distress. Explanations for these effects are discussed, and include the possibility that appraisals may directly influence levels of distress and the quality of emotions experienced by victims during the actual bullying episode. Active strategies were perceived by students to be effective in dealing with bullying, whereas those centered on avoiding the conflict, or which involved aggression, were considered ineffective.