Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology



First Advisor

W. Grant Willis


Bullying, a common, persistent, and detrimental occurrence in schools, adversely affects the social, emotional, behavioral, and psychological well-being of children and youth. Independent variables that have been studied among children and youth involved in bullying in school settings are delineated, ways that bullying has been assessed and reported are described and critiqued, and the effect of hindsight bias is reviewed. Forty-eight vignettes were constructed by crossing (a) four kinds of social contact (physical aggression, verbal aggression, relational aggression, and non-aggression) with (b) male and female actors, (c) male and female and receivers, and (d) reaction of the receiver (aggressive, passive, and no reaction). Participants gave predictions of how the receiver may react to the scenario, rated vignettes on seven items assessing the seriousness, and gave qualitative responses to how they might intervene. Hindsight bias analyses revealed that when a hindsight bias exists, teachers who read an aggressive reaction by the receiver always gave a higher prediction of the likelihood that the victim would respond aggressively. Analyses of the vignettes revealed that physical aggression was perceived as more serious than any other kind of social contact, and situations that depicted female actors and male receivers were perceived as least serious across all kinds of social contact. The qualitative responses demonstrated that teachers report using different intervention strategies with the actors versus the receivers, and different intervention strategies based on kind of contact. Results are discussed in terms of applied implications for teachers in school settings and in terms of directions for future research.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.