Dr. Daniel Clay
Participation year
Project title

Optimism and Coping as Moderators of Bullying Effects On Children's Psychological and Health Outcomes


Bullying is identified as a significant psychosocial problem with important consequences for child physical and mental health. Between 7% and 34% of school-aged children are involved in bullying occasionally during the school term in both the capacity of bully and as victim. Despite the efforts of schools to prevent or stop bullying, it still occurs worldwide. Research suggests that bullies attempt to seek or gain power or to ward off attacks from others by appearing tough. Due to an increase in peer victimization in schools, bullying has become the focus of much psychological research. Research has linked bullying behaviors in schoolchildren to psychological problems, psychosomatic symptoms and poor academic performance. Consequently, research is needed that examines factors mediating the negative effects of bullying on children. We examined optimism/Pessimism and coping style as potential moderators in 34 school children aged 13 to 17 years old from a Midwest school. Outcome variables include internalizing behaviors, externalizing behaviors, somatic complaints and child quality of life. In the current study, it is expected that an optimistic explanatory style and an active coping style would be associated with better outcomes for all students regardless of bully status.

Theresa  Woodard
Jackson State University