This study explored effective techniques girls use in coping with relational aggression victimization. A qualitative approach was used to capture the experience and problem solving process in arriving at solutions. Participants included 7 female students age 12 to 14 who attended a western New York junior high school. A semi-structured interview format was employed. Results indicated that victims of relational aggression were targets of rumors that frequently involved a theme of denigration. Initial reactions to the victimization always included a negative emotional response followed by a behavioral response. Victims engaged in a step-by step problem solving process to arrive at a solution. In most cases, the problem was solved when an adult such as a school counselor or school social worker intervened. These results suggest that the actions of school personnel are integral in helping girls effectively cope with relational aggression.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Bullying in schools; Aggressiveness in adolescence; Rumor; Problem solving; Teenage girls--Psychology; Adjustment (Psychology)
Department, Program, or Center
Department of Psychology (CLA)
Haderer, Rebecca M., "Coping with relational aggression: a qualitative study" (2009). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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