Author(s)

Dana SimmonsFollow

Department

School of Education

Degree

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Chair

Gail Collins

Primary Subject Area

Education, General; Education, Sociology of; Education, Elementary; Education, Educational Psychology; Education, Early Childhood; Psychology, Social

Keywords

coping strategies, elementary school, girls, relational aggression

Disciplines

Education | Educational Psychology | Psychology | School Psychology | Social Psychology

Abstract

The purpose of this phenomenological study was to discover the coping strategies developed by young girls victimized by the phenomenon of relational aggression.This study examined the experiences and coping strategies developed by kindergarten, first, and second grade girls who attend a rural Georgia primary school. The co-researchers were selected from a pool of 294 female students who were identified by teachers as having experienced relational aggression. I used semi-structured interviews with co-researchers, document analysis, and art activities to gather data. I collected, analyzed, and interpreted data conforming to Moustakas' (1994) transcendental model. Roth and Cohen's (1986) theory on stress and coping, including approach and avoidance strategies, was the theoretical framework used when examining data and uncovering themes. A total of 22 female students were identified as having experienced relational aggression victimization. The study revealed approach coping strategies, avoidance coping strategies, and strategies deemed successful by the co-researchers as they dealt with victimization. Suggestions for future research studies are also included.

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