PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to understand cybervictims’ attributions, emotional responses, and coping strategies for cyberbullying incidents that they actually experienced.Design/methodology/approachThere were 76 cybervictims (51 percent girls) between the ages of 12 and 14 included in this study. Adolescents participated in one-on-one interviews to provide comprehensive information about their attributions, emotional responses, and coping strategies for their actual experiences of cyberbullying.FindingsFindings from the study revealed that cybervictims felt insecure and paranoid after experiencing cyber victimization. Cybervictims attributed to their experience of cyberbullying to drama or a fight between themselves and the perpetrators as well as being targeted by an ex-significant other or ex-friend seeking revenge against them for relationship dissolution. They also used adaptive (e.g. social support) and maladaptive (e.g. revenge) coping strategies to deal with cyber victimization, sometimes utilizing a combination of these strategies.Originality/valueThe findings of this study could help with the design of intervention and prevention programs designed to reduce or prevent the negative effects of cyberbullying.
Safer Communities – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 11, 2016