Forgiveness as a Coping Strategy to Allow School Students to Deal With the Effects of Being Bullied: Theoretical and Empirical Discussion

  • Egan L
  • Todorov N
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In recent decades, school bullying has come to be recognized as a serious problem for students across the world. A substantial body of research has demonstrated that school bullying leads to significant negative outcomes for its targets. Bullying is also difficult to combat, with even the best interventions achieving only limited success. Thus, it is inevitable that some students will be bullied. This is why many researchers have investigated various coping strategies by which students might deal with the harmful effects of bullying. It is proposed that the process of forgiveness could act as an effective coping resource, allowing students to replace bullying-induced negative emotions with other-focused positive emotions. Indeed, bullying is characterized by interpersonal transgressions, and forgiveness has been conceptualized as a coping response to precisely such offenses. This paper explores the links between bullying and forgiveness, presents a new model of the pathways linking forgiveness and coping, and discusses how forgiveness could be applied within school-based initiatives. Theoretical issues and directions for future research are also discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract).

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  • Luke A. Egan

  • Natasha Todorov

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