Publication details

Effectiveness of coping strategies for victims of cyberbullying

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Year of publication 2013
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Cyberpsychology: Journal of psychosocial research on cyberspace
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Field Psychology
Keywords cyberbullying; coping strategies; effectiveness
Description Although cyberbullying is a well-studied online risk, little is known about the effectiveness of various coping strategies for its victims. Therefore, this study on 2,092 Czech children aged 12-18 examined which coping strategies were applied most often and to what extent victims of cyber aggression judged them to be effective. Effectiveness was measured in two ways: the extent to which the coping strategy buffered negative emotions, and the extent to which it stopped the cyber aggression. The subsample of 422 respondents (68% girls) who experienced online attacks was divided into two groups: victims of cyberbullying, who experienced long-term and severe victimization, and victims of less severe online harassment. The selection of strategies was compared between these groups and the most prevalent and effective strategies were identified. Overall, respondents in both groups used more than one strategy at once, but for victims of cyberbullying, most of the strategies proved less effective. Both groups showed similar patterns in their use of technical solutions, and both quite frequently sought social support. Also, both groups showed a low tendency for retaliation. Large differences were found in how respondents employed cognitive responses, such as trying to detach mentally from bullying incidents; these strategies were less frequent among victims of cyberbullying. In terms of effectiveness, victims of harassment considered technical solutions such as blocking contacts on social websites, seeking support, or ignoring the bully on purpose the most effective in stopping victimization, as opposed to victims of cyberbullying, who found them less effective, even though they used them as frequently as victims of online harassment. Differences in the effectiveness of coping strategies are discussed with regard to the intervention and prevention of cyberbullying.
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