Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Psychology (MA)

Degree Level



Psychological Science


Lauren B. Quetsch

Committee Member

Ellen W. Leen-Feldner

Second Committee Member

Matt Judah


disclosure of school bullying, internalizing symptoms, peer victimization


Children who are bullied by their peers are at risk for several negative developmental outcomes and are therefore advised to tell an adult when they are. However, victims of school bullying are often reluctant to disclose to adults that they are being bullied. Some bullied children also experience symptoms of anxiety or depression, which could further reduce their likelihood of telling an adult. In this study, I tested the degree to which children’s internalizing symptoms predicted their likelihood of telling adults about being bullied at school, and if this relation was exacerbated by children’s negative feelings associated with telling an adult. I also tested whether this relation was different for boys and girls. Data were drawn from a short-term, longitudinal study (N = 375, 52% female, M age = 9.33 years, SD = 1.07) that spanned a single academic year. Findings suggest that boys with internalizing symptoms are less likely to tell an adult when bullied, compared to peers. Findings also indicate that children with internalizing symptoms likely feel heightened negative emotions when telling a teacher about being bullied. Implications are discussed.