Date of Award

8-1-2019

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Cashel, Mary Louise

Abstract

Bullying victimization is a common experience for many students (Hoover, Oliver, & Hazler, 1992; Lund & Ross, 2017; Modecki, Minchin, Harbaugh, Guerra, & Runions, 2014). The vast majority of studies on the subject have focused on children and adolescents, but research shows that bullying victimization may continue into adulthood for some (Chapell, Casey, & De la Cruz, 2004; Finn, 2004). This suggests that certain students are at risk throughout their lifetime likely due to stable or innate risk factors. Researchers have proposed that personality traits, specifically neuroticism, and emotion regulation deficits are risk factors for bullying victimization (Hemphill, Tollit, Kotevski, & Heerde, 2015; Mynard & Joseph, 1997; Nielsen & Knardahl, 2014). The current study assessed bullying victimization for students attending a public Midwestern university. The rates for college students, influence of prior bullying victimization, and common associated difficulties were assessed. In addition, the current study measured difficulties in emotion regulation and changes in affect in response to bullying victimization vignettes. The results from the current study indicated that bullying continues into college for some students and is best predicted by bullying victimization in primary and secondary school. Results from this study supported the use of a vignette as a mood induction procedure for both victimized and non-victimized students. When taken together, these findings have implications for future research and intervention efforts, which are discussed.

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