Coping with Cyberbullying: Differences Between Victims, Bully-victims and Children not Involved in Bullying


Trijntje Völlink, Department of Psychology, Open University of the Netherlands, Valkenburgerweg 177, 6419 AT Heerlen, PO Box 2960 DL Heerlen, The Netherlands.



This study investigated the relationship between the use of coping strategies to deal with daily stressors in general (n = 325) and the use of coping strategies to deal with cyberbullying in particular (n = 88) among children aged 11 and 12 years. Additionally, it investigated the impact of coping strategies on depression and health in victims of cyberbullying (n = 88). The results showed that victims differed significantly from bully-victims (i.e. victims that also bully) and from children not involved in cyberbullying, in that they use certain emotion-focused coping strategies for daily stressors in general more than others. Additionally, this study investigated among victims of cyberbullying the relation between coping strategies in daily life, cyberspecific coping, depressive feelings and health complaints. Coping through emotional expression, avoidance and depressive coping in daily life will lead to more cyberspecific depressive coping when confronted with cyberbullying. This in turn will lead to more depressive feelings and/or health complaints for victims of cyberbullying. These results stress the importance of teaching children how to stand up for themselves and employ effective coping strategies to deal with stress in daily life in general and to deal with cyberbullying in particular. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.