Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Communication Studies



First Committee Member

Tara Emmers-Sommer

Second Committee Member

Tara McManus

Third Committee Member

Jennifer Guthrie

Fourth Committee Member

M. Alexis Kennedy

Number of Pages



Student bullying is a growing and damaging problem in society today. This study investigates the role of bullied students' attributions and coping strategies through Heider's (1958) attribution theory (AT) and Crick and Dodge's (1994) social information processing model (SIP). Rich data are obtained from bullying blogs that showcase how bullied individuals make sense of their experiences online. The important findings that emerge from this investigation relate to similarities in men's and women's attributions and differences in their coping strategies and resources to manage victimization. Additionally, both men and women experienced similar negative outcomes with particular coping strategies and resources, suggesting that future research is warranted to improve social support strategies with parents and teachers. These findings will aid those interested in bullying programs and interventions, in the hope to reduce destructive attribution formations and coping behaviors that often lead to prolonged victimization and detrimental consequences.


Attribution (Social psychology); Bullying; Life skills; Victims--Psychological aspects


Cognitive Psychology | Communication | Communication Technology and New Media | Mass Communication | Other Communication