Preservice Teachers' Coping Styles and Their Responses to Bullying

Document Type


Publication Date



The literature suggests that teacher responses to bullying are a function of the type of aggression (overt vs. relational), the gender of the children involved, and characteristics of the teacher. We extended the literature by examining teachers' dispositional coping styles as a predictor of their responses to bullying. Preservice teachers (N = 97) completed a measure of coping styles and then responded to eight vignettes showing overt or relational aggression occurring among boys or girls. Overt aggression was viewed as a bigger problem than relational aggression, and teacher interventions were deemed more necessary for overt than relational aggression. Preservice teachers who typically use more active coping, less denial coping, and less self-blame responded more actively to bullying, especially in response to relational aggression among boys. These findings point to the need to consider teacher coping styles when working with them to intervene effectively in responding to bullying.


This article was originally published as Kahn, J. H., Jones, J. L., & Wieland, A. L. (2012). Preservice teachers' coping styles and their responses to bullying. Psychology in the Schools, 49(8), 784–793.