Adolescent Coping: In-Person and Cyber-Victimization



Cyber-victimization has become a serious concern facing adolescents in the digital age. Given the differences and similarities between cyber-victimization and in-person victimization, research needs to examine whether prior understanding of coping with in-person victimization applies to coping with cyber-victimization. The purpose of this study was to compare the use and effectiveness of coping strategies in both in-person and cyber-victimization contexts in a sample of adolescents (N = 321; 11-15 years old) in the United States. Results indicated that adolescents tend to use more strategies overall to cope with in-person victimization than cyber-victimization, and female adolescents used more distraction and social support from friends than male adolescents. Adolescents also used problem solving, social support from friends and family/adults, and distraction more frequently than distancing and retaliation; when problem solving was used, adolescents felt positive about the outcome, regardless of victimization type. The use of retaliation was negatively associated with coping efficacy for both situations. Further, social support from friends and social support from family/adults were associated with coping efficacy for cyber-victimization. Our findings can be used to inform interventionists about which strategies adolescents perceive work best to cope with cyber-victimization.

Victimization; bullying; cyberbullying; coping; coping efficacy

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