Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Sherry K. Bain

Committee Members

R. Steve McCallum, Jeannine R. Studer, John W. Lounsbury


This cross-sectional study examined the prevalence of bullying and victimization among children identified as gifted who are in the last grade of elementary school (4th grade) and first two grades of middle school (5th and 6th grades). Additionally, I investigated if the children experienced distress associated with bullying and victimization and if the distress varied systematically across the three grades. The study took place at one elementary school and two middle schools located in Tennessee. There were a total of 35 participants [4th grade (n = 15), 5th grade (n = 13), and 6th grade (n =7)]. The results indicated that the 4th graders reported a significantly higher prevalence of bullying compared to the 5th graders. Furthermore there were significant, strong correlations between victimization and level of total distress; bullying and level of externalizing distress; and victimization and level of internalizing distress. The principal limitation of the study was the small sample size (N = 35). Additional studies investigating this topic should be conducted to help educators become more aware of the prevalence of bullying and victimization during the elementary-middle school transition period among children who are gifted. Such studies can also potentially shed light on the manner in which children who are gifted handle bullying and victimization.

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