Students come to school each day to learn, socialize, and grow as individuals. Unfortunately, these basic reasons for attending school are disrupted when the student is threatened and/or bullied. Edmondson and Dreuth-Zeman (2011) tell us that, “School districts have a responsibility to provide education in a safe and effectual climate that minimally threatens students’ rights (p. 36)”. Schools have started to acknowledge bullying as a growing issue, and have implemented anti-bullying policies. Simply acknowledging the existence of bullying in school and addressing the perpetrator is not enough. Multiple studies have been conducted on the behaviors of those involved in bullying (Cross et. al, 2009; Olweus, 1993; Rigby, 1996; Salmivali, 2001) and the long-term affects the involvement with bullying can have on the individual (Sourander et al. 2010; Vanderbilt & Augustyn, 2010; Salmivalli, Kaukiainen, & Lagerspetz, 2000; and Smokowski and Kopasz, 2005). Based on the review of literature, seldom have their been studies conducted to learn how victims cope with bullying, so that schools can educate and support future generations of students.
In order to address the purpose of this study, the researcher developed the Student Utilized and Perceived Strategies (SUPS) scale designed to measure the coping strategies utilized by victimized students, the effectiveness of these strategies by victimized students, and the perceived effectiveness of other coping strategies. The level of data received from the participants in this study will determine which statistical models the researcher will employ to address each of the three research questions. The statistical models that will most likely be considered are the Chi-Square test, the Pearson’s Correlation Coefficient, and a One-Way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). The three research questions that drive this study are as follows:
• Is there a statistically significant relationship between students from suburban and urban schools and the types of coping strategies they utilize?
• How effective are the perceived coping strategies for bullied victims between suburban and urban schools?
• Is there a statistically significant relationship in the victimization by bullying between students in grades 6, 7, and 8 from suburban and urban schools?
The study focused on the victimized student, and sought to understand and determine how students, who have been traumatized, utilized coping strategies to escape the bully. Information from this study can be used to educate students, schools, parents, and other community members of positive coping strategies for victimized students.