"It Was My Fault": Bullied Students Causal and Controllable Attributions in Bullying Blogs

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Student bullying is a growing and damaging social problem. The devastating outcomes bullied individuals often experience due to such treatment make understanding this phenomenon imperative. Utilizing Heiders (1958) attribution theory, this study explores how bullied students (n = 100) attribute locus of causality and controllability for their victimization in 5 bullying blogs. Findings from this investigation reveal that (a) male and female bloggers causal and controllable attributions do not differ; (b) bloggers most often attribute blame to bullies, although a noteworthy portion also attribute internal causation; and (c) bloggers often attribute bullying as uncontrollable for several reasons. This study also identifies factors that influence shifts in negative attributions about bullying. These findings inform bullying programs with the hope of reducing destructive attribution formations that potentially lead to prolonged victimization and detrimental consequences. © Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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