Coping with Cybervictimization: The Role of Direct Confrontation and Resilience on Adolescent Wellbeing

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Dec 4;16(24):4893. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16244893.


Background: Recent studies have consistently identified the negative consequences of cyberbullying on adolescent mental health. Nevertheless, not all cybervictims are alike, and in the last few years some evidence has appeared indicating that faced with cyberbullying, victims may manifest different emotional outcomes. In this study, we explored whether cybervictim resilience fully or partially mediates the effects of cybervictimization and whether a confrontational coping strategy impacts emotional symptoms.

Methods: The study was carried out with a sample of 474 high school students equally distributed between males and females. Data were collected using a questionnaire comprising four measures assessing cybervictimization, direct confrontation coping strategy, resilience and emotional symptoms.

Results: Structural equation modelling indicated that the effects of cybervictimization and confrontational coping strategy on emotional symptoms were mediated by resilience, with cybervictimization showing a positive effect while direct confrontation a negative effect. Cybervictimization also showed a positive direct effect on emotional symptoms.

Conclusions: These results are presented in light of their implications for designing effective interventions able to protect and promote adolescents' psychological wellbeing.

Keywords: coping strategies; cyberbullying; cybervictims; emotional symptoms; resilience.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Adolescent Health*
  • Crime Victims / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Cyberbullying / prevention & control
  • Cyberbullying / psychology*
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychology, Adolescent
  • Resilience, Psychological*
  • Students / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult