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Lynde Paule


Cyberbullying can negatively influence adolescents' overall wellbeing. Previous studies on cyberbullying provided knowledge about ways youths cope with cyberbullying; yet the literature lacks information about the efficacy of the coping strategies of cyberbullying victims. The purpose of this straight qualitative study was to investigate what coping strategies cyberbullying victims found effective for handling cyberbullying. The transactional model of coping, approach-avoidance coping, and self-efficacy theory formed the conceptual model to explore, analyze, and understand coping with cyberbullying. Using flyers and snowball sampling, 6 adolescents in Grades 10 to 12 were recruited to participate in the study. Data from semistructured phone interviews were analyzed using the Colazzi method. Pattern matching was used to assess the validity of the findings and to examine the viability of previously used coping theories for explaining coping with cyberbullying. According to the findings, situational context influenced coping strategy development, use, and effectiveness. Adolescents' age, experience, and maturity were significant to their approaches to cyberbullying. Whether the adolescents were attempting to thwart or to keep the cyberbullying from being hurtful were significant to coping strategy use and effectiveness. Future research would benefit from further exploring the role of context in coping strategy use and effectiveness, developmental differences in coping with cyberbullying, examining the efficacy of the support cyberbullying victims receive, and developing a practical coping model for cyberbullying. These findings may inform prevention and intervention efforts for cyberbullying and may foster new research on coping with cyberbullying.

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