Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Aggressiveness, College students-Psychology, Bullying in schools, Reality television programs, Bullying, Indirect aggression, College students, Reality television


The aim of this project was to examine college students' perceptions about a destructive, covert form of bullying known as "indirect aggression." Indirect aggression is a type of social manipulation in which the aggressor manipulates others to attack the victim. This study also collected information about the "reality TV" viewing habits of the sample during high school. The goal was threefold: to pilot a methodology for examining perceptions of indirect aggression in the college student population, to expand our understanding of this covert form of bullying in young adults, and to examine the relationship of reality TV exposure to indirect aggression outcomes. Methods. This study was an exploratory quantitative pilot study. The sample consisted of 78 undergraduate college students who attend a metropolitan co-ed college in the Northeast. Study participants completed a well validated survey to capture their self-reports of indirect aggression, both as an aggressor and as a target. In addition study participants completed five questions pertaining to their reality television viewing habits during high school. Findings. College students are experiencing indirect aggression on this college campus. Students who live on campus are engaging in more forms of indirect aggression than those living off campus. Students with higher reality TV exposure were more likely to engage in various forms of indirect aggression. Conclusion. College faculty and health educators should be educated about this form of bullying and encouraged to develop targeted outreach and health education strategies targeting these destructive behaviors.




iv, 73 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2012. Includes bibliographical references (p. 54-60)

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