Victims’ Characteristics, Coping Strategies, and Problem Resolution in Picture Books for Young Children on Bullying

Wonho Jang, Minjin Kim
page. 159~178 / 2020 Vol.14 No.2


This study aimed to analyze the internal and external characteristics of victims of bullying, their coping strategies, and how victims’ concerns regarding bullying are finally resolved, based on narratives and illustrations in picture books for young children (ages 3–5) published in Korea. The final sample of 55 picture books was selected using a three-step process. The contents were then coded using content analysis. Results are as follows. First, the internal and external characteristics of the victims were found to be “An introverted personality and low self-esteem”, “Unique appearance and deficient physical ability” (e.g., odd ears), and “Tastes and behavior distinct from peers” (e.g., an unusual fashion style). Second, the victims’ coping strategies involved “Avoiding the situation”, “Treating bullies with kindness”, “Making new friends other than bullies”, “Standing up to the bullies”, “Asking others for help”, and “Overcoming the causes of bullying by oneself”. Third, problem resolution involved “Resolving with the victim’s active efforts”, “Resolving with the aid of others”, and “Resolving through the self-reflection of the bullies”. These findings emphasize the use of picture books as an educational medium to prevent early childhood bullying, with the caveat to exercise caution regarding stereotypes that may potentially affect young children.

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