Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 47, Issue 9, pp 1866–1879 | Cite as

How do Adolescents Learn Cyber-victimization Coping Skills? An Examination of Parent and Peer Coping Socialization

  • Stacey L. Bradbury
  • Eric F. Dubow
  • Sarah E. Domoff
Empirical Research


Recently, cyber-victimization has become an ever increasing concern for adolescents. Given the negative consequences of cyber-victimization, it is important to understand how adolescents learn strategies to cope (i.e., “coping socialization”) with cyber-victimization. The purpose of this study is to understand common coping strategies reported by adolescents, identify from whom youth learn cyber-victimization coping strategies (coaching), and explore how coaching is associated with adolescents’ self-reported use of coping. In a sample of 329 adolescents (49% male; 70% white), we found that positive coping strategies (e.g., problem solving, seeking social support) are used most frequently, and adolescents’ perceptions of both parent and peer coping socialization is associated with self-reported use of coping. Interventionists can use this information to adapt interventions to include influential positive socializers.


Adolescence Cyber-victimization Socialization Coping 


Authors’ Contributions

S.B. conceived of the study, participated in its design and data collection, performed statistical analyses, interpreted data, and engaged in and coordinated and drafted the manuscript; E.D. assisted in the conception of the study, participated in the design, statistical analyses, interpretation of the data, and participated in the drafting of the manuscript; S.D. participated in statistical analyses, data interpretation, and helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Data Sharing Declaration

The datasets generated and/or analyzed during the current study are not publicly available but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


  1. Abaied, J. L., & Rudolph, K. D. (2010). Contributions of maternal adult attachment to socialization of coping. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 27(5), 637–657.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  2. Agatston, P. W., Kowalski, R., & Limber, S. (2007). Students’ perspectives on cyber bullying. Journal of Adolescent Health, 41(6), S59–S60.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Bird, G. W., & Harris, R. L. (1990). A comparison of role strain and coping strategies by gender and family structure among early adolescents. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 10(2), 141–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bjereld, Y., Daneback, K., & Petzold, M. (2017). Do bullied children have poor relationships with their parents and teachers? A cross-sectional study of Swedish children. Children and Youth Services Review, 73, 347–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bradbury, S. L., Dubow, E. F., Domoff, S. E. (under review). Adolescent coping: In-person and cyber-victimization.Google Scholar
  6. Causey, D. L., & Dubow, E. F. (1992). Development of a self-report coping measure for elementary school children. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 21(1), 47–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cerna, A., Machackova, H., & Dedkova, L. (2016). Whom to trust: The role of mediation and perceived harm in support seeking by cyberbullying victims. Children & Society, 30(4), 265–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chan, H. C. O., & Wong, D. S. (2017). Coping with cyberbullying victimization: An exploratory study of Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong. International Journal of Law, Crimean and Justice, 50, 71–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chassin, L., Pillow, D. R., Curran, P. J., Molina, B. S. G., & Barrera, M. (1993). Relation of parental alcoholism to early adolescent substance use: A test of three mediating mechanisms. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 102, 3–19.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Clogg, C. C., Petkova, E., & Haritou, A. (1995). Statistical methods for comparing regression coefficients between models. American Journal of Sociology, 100(5), 1261–1293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Collins, W. A. & Steinberg, L. (2006). Adolescent development in interpersonal context. In W. Damon, R. Lerner (Eds.) & N. Eisenberg (Vol. Ed.) Social, emotional, and personality development. Handbook of child psychology (pp. 1003–1067). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  12. Connor-Smith, J. K., Compas, B. E., Wadsworth, M. E., Thomsen, A. H., & Saltzman, H. (2000). Responses to stress in adolescence: Measurement of coping and involuntary stress responses. Journal of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, 68, 976–992.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Darling, N., Cumsille, P., & Martínez, M. L. (2008). Individual differences in adolescents’ beliefs about the legitimacy of parental authority and their own obligation to obey: A longitudinal investigation. Child Development, 79(4), 1103–1118.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Dehue, F. (2016). Coping with cyberbullying: Which strategy works? European Health Psychologist, 18((S)), 1000.Google Scholar
  15. DeSmet, A., Deforche, B., Hublet, A., Tanghe, A., Stremersch, E., & De Bourdeaudhuij, I. (2014). Traditional and cyberbullying victimization as correlates of psychosocial distress and barriers to a healthy lifestyle among severely obese adolescents–a matched case–control study on prevalence and results from a cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health, 14(1), 224.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  16. Elgar, F. J., Napoletano, A., Saul, G., Dirks, M. A., Craig, W., Poteat, V. P., Holt, M., & Koenig, B. W. (2014). Cyberbullying victimization and mental health in adolescents and the moderating role of family dinners. JAMA pediatrics, 168, 1015–1022.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Fahy, A. E., Stansfeld, S. A., Smuk, M., Smith, N. R., Cummins, S., & Clark, C. (2016). Longitudinal associations between cyberbullying involvement and adolescent mental health. Journal of Adolescent Health, 59(5), 502–509.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Feinstein, B. A., Bhatia, V., & Davila, J. (2014). Rumination mediates the association between cyber-victimization and depressive symptoms. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 29(9), 1732–1746.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Finkelhor, D. (2008). Childhood victimization: Violence, crime, and abuse in the lives of young people. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Fisher, B. W., Gardella, J. H., & Teurbe-Tolon, A. R. (2016). Peer cybervictimization among adolescents and the associated internalizing and externalizing problems: A meta-analysis. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 45(9), 1727–1743.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Fletcher, A., Fitzgerald-Yau, N., Jones, R., Allen, E., Viner, R. M., & Bonell, C. (2014). Brief report: Cyberbullying perpetration and its associations with socio-demographics, aggressive behaviour at school, and mental health outcomes. Journal of Adolescence, 37(8), 1393–1398.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Furman, W., & Buhrmester, D. (1992). Age and sex differences in perceptions of networks of personal relationships. Child Development, 63(1), 103–115.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Gardella, J. H., Fisher, B. W., & Teurbe-Tolon, A. R. (2017). A systematic review and meta-analysis of cyber-victimization and educational outcomes for adolescents. Review of Educational Research, 87(2), 283–308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gladden, R. M., Vivolo-Kantor, A. M., Hamburger, M. E., & Lumpkin, C. D. (2014). Bullying surveillance among youths: Uniform definitions for public health and recommended data elements, version 1.0. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Department of Education.Google Scholar
  25. Gregson, K. D., Erath, S. A., Pettit, G. S., & Tu, K. M. (2015). Are they listening? Parental social coaching and parenting emotional climate predict adolescent receptivity. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 26(4), 738–752.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J. W. (2010). Bullying, cyberbullying, and suicide. Archives of Suicide Research, 14(3), 206–221.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Jacobs, N. C., Goossens, L., Dehue, F., Völlink, T., & Lechner, L. (2015). Dutch cyberbullying victims’ experiences, perceptions, attitudes and motivations related to (coping with) cyberbullying: Focus group interviews. Societies, 5(1), 43–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Juvonen, J., & Gross, E. F. (2008). Extending the school grounds?—Bullying experiences in cyberspace. Journal of School Health, 78(9), 496–505.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Kliewer, W., Fearnow, M. D., & Miller, P. A. (1996). Coping socialization in middle childhood: Tests of maternal and paternal influences. Child Development, 67(5), 2339–2357.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Kliewer, W., Sandler, I., & Wolchik, S. (1994). Family socialization of threat appraisal and coping: Coaching, modeling, and family context. In K. Hurrelman & F. Nestmann (Eds.), Social networks and social support in childhood and adolescence (pp. 271–291). Berlin: de Gruyter.Google Scholar
  31. Korchmaros, J. D., Mitchell, K. J., & Ybarra, M. L. (2014). Technology-based interpersonal victimization: Predictors of patterns of victimization over time. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 29, 1297–1317.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Kowalski, R. M., & Limber, S. P. (2013). Psychological, physical, and academic correlates of cyberbullying and traditional bullying. Journal of Adolescent Health, 53(1), S13–S20.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Landoll, R. R., La Greca, A. M., Lai, B. S., Chan, S. F., & Herge, W. M. (2015). Cyber victimization by peers: Prospective associations with adolescent social anxiety and depressive symptoms. Journal of Adolescence, 42, 77–86.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Larrañaga, E., Yubero, S., Ovejero, A., & Navarro, R. (2016). Loneliness, parent-child communication and cyberbullying victimization among Spanish youths. Computers in Human Behavior, 65, 1–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lenhart, A. (2012). Teens, smartphones, & texting. Pew Internet and American Life Project, 21, 1–34.Google Scholar
  36. Lenhart, A., Duggan, M., Perrin, A., Stepler, R., Rainie, H., & Parker, K. (2015). Teens, social media & technology overview 2015. Pew Research Center [Internet & American Life Project].Google Scholar
  37. Li, Q. (2007). New bottle but old wine: A research of cyberbullying in schools. Computers in Human Behavior, 23(4), 1777–1791.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Machackova, H., Cerna, A., Sevcikova, A., Dedkova, L., & Daneback, K. (2013). Effectiveness of coping strategies for victims of cyberbullying. Cyberpsychology, 7(3), 1–12.Google Scholar
  39. Machmutow, K., Perren, S., Sticca, F., & Alsaker, F. D. (2012). Peer victimisation and depressive symptoms: can specific coping strategies buffer the negative impact of cybervictimisation? Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, 17(3–4), 403–420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Mitchell, K. J., Jones, L. M., Turner, H. A., Shattuck, A., & Wolak, J. (2016). The Role of Technology in Peer Harassment: Does It Amplify Harm for Youth? Psychology of Violence, 6, 193–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Pabian, S., & Vandebosch, H. (2016a). Short-term longitudinal relationships between adolescents’(cyber) bullying perpetration and bonding to school and teachers. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 40(2), 162–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Pabian, S., & Vandebosch, H. (2016b). (Cyber)bullying Perpetration as an Impulsive, Angry Reaction Following (Cyber)bullying Victimisation? In M. Walrave, K. Ponnet, E. Vanderhoven, J. Haers & B. Segaert (Eds.), Youth 2.0: Social Media and Adolescence. Cham: Springer.Google Scholar
  43. Palladino, B. E., Nocentini, A., & Menesini, E. (2016). Evidence‐based intervention against bullying and cyberbullying: Evaluation of the NoTrap! program in two independent trials. Aggressive Behavior, 42(2), 194–206.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Raskauskas, J., & Stoltz, A. D. (2007). Involvement in traditional and electronic bullying among adolescents. Developmental Psychology, 43(3), 564–575.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Reindl, M., Gniewosz, B., & Reinders, H. (2016). Socialization of emotion regulation strategies through friends. Journal of Adolescence, 49, 146–157.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Roberto, A. J., Eden, J., Savage, M. W., Ramos-Salazar, L., & Deiss, D. M. (2014). Outcome evaluation results of school-based cybersafety promotion and cyberbullying prevention intervention for middle school students. Health Communication, 29, 1029–1042.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Selkie, E. M., Fales, J. L., & Moreno, M. A. (2016). Cyberbullying prevalence among US middle and high school–aged adolescents: A systematic review and quality assessment. Journal of Adolescent Health, 58(2), 125–133.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Silk, J. S., Steinberg, L., & Morris, A. S. (2003). Adolescents’ emotion regulation in daily life: links to depressive symptoms and problem behavior. Child Development, 74, 1869–1880.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Sontag, L. M., Clemans, K. H., Graber, J. A., & Lyndon, S. T. (2011). Traditional and cyber aggressors and victims: A comparison of psychosocial characteristics. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 40, 392–404.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. Steinberg, L. (1990). Autonomy, conflict, and harmony in the family relationship. In S. Feldman & G. Elliot (Eds.), At the threshold: The developing adolescent (pp. 255–276). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  51. Tokunaga, R. S. (2010). Following you home from school: A critical review and synthesis of research on cyberbullying victimization. Computers in Human Behavior, 26(3), 277–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Valkenburg, P. M., & Peter, J. (2007). Preadolescents’ and adolescents’ online communication and their closeness to friends. Developmental Psychology, 43(2), 267–277.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Van Geel, M., Vedder, P., & Tanilon, J. (2014). Relationship between peer victimization, cyberbullying, and suicide in children and adolescents: a meta-analysis. Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics, 168(5), 435–442.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. Wadian, T. W., Jones, T. L., Sonnentag, T. L., & Barnett, M. A. (2016). Cyberbullying: Adolescents’ experiences, responses, and their beliefs about their parents’ recommended responses. Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology, 6(2), 47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Williams, K. R., & Guerra, N. G. (2007). Prevalence and predictors of internet bullying. Journal of Adolescent Health, 41(6), S14–S21.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Wills, T. A., Windle, M., & Cleary, S. D. (1998). Temperament and novelty-seeking in adolescence: A test for convergence of dimensions of temperament with constructs from Cloninger’s theory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 387–406.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. Windle, M. (2000). Parental, sibling, and peer influences on adolescent substance use and alcohol problems. Applied Developmental Science, 4(2), 98–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Weinstein, E. C., Selman, R. L., Thomas, S., Kim, J., White, A. E., & Dinakar, K. (2016). How to cope with digital stress: The recommendations adolescents offer their peers online. Journal of Adolescent Research, 31(4), 415–441.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Ybarra, M. L., & Mitchell, K. J. (2007). Prevalence and frequency of Internet harassment instigation: Implications for adolescent health. Journal of Adolescent Health, 41(2), 189–195.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stacey L. Bradbury
    • 1
    • 3
  • Eric F. Dubow
    • 1
  • Sarah E. Domoff
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyBowling Green State UniversityBowling GreenUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyCentral Michigan UniversityMt. PleasantUSA
  3. 3.Traumatic Stress CenterAkronUSA

Personalised recommendations