Erin Mars

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Waas, Greg

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Psychology; Bullying--Research; Cyberbullying--Research; Psychology


Anywhere from 40 to 80% of students have been targets of harassment at school. Research on bullying and victimization has demonstrated gender differences in bullying involvement, as well as low scores on conscientiousness and high scores on neuroticism tests of personality among victims. The extensive set of findings regarding traditional bullying suggests that victims experience more social anxiety, loneliness, depression, and anger which may result in an increase in blame placed towards the self and others as well as a decrease in social skills and self-esteem. More recent research has turned its focus towards cyberbullying, but less is known about this new form of bullying. Therefore, the primary objective of the current study was to experimentally examine differences in victims' perception of acts of traditional aggression and cyberbullying. Adolescent participants (N= 169) were randomly assigned to one of two groups: cyber or traditional bullying. Next, they were presented with hypothetical bullying scenarios that they were to imagine they were experiencing. They were then asked to complete rating scales that measured their emotional, attributional, and behavioral responses to the bullying experiences. Results suggested no significant differences across all measures of adolescents' perceptions of both cyber and traditional forms of bullying. Rather, significant differences of affective, behavioral, and attributional responses were found for gender, neuroticism and conscientiousness independent variables. The implications of these current findings are discussed.


Advisors: Greg Waas.||Committee members: Michelle Demaray; Christine Malecki.


119 pages




Northern Illinois University

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