Coping with bullying: Strategies used to deal with traditional and cyber bullying in Irish post-primary school

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Hyland, Pauline
Lewis, Christopher Alan
McGuckin, Conor
Hyland, John
Issue Date
Dublin Business School
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Recent research in the field of traditional and cyber bullying has explored the coping strategies employed by victims of bullying (Machmutow et al., 2012) in response to hypothetical scenarios. However, the focus of the current research was to extend this research to examine the actual methods utilised by adolescents. Furthermore, the incidence rates of cyber and traditional bully/victim problems and their associated psychological variables were assessed. A sample of 1,335 13 to 19 year old post-primary school students in Ireland completed measures assessing traditional and cyber victimisation and bullying, methods of coping with bullying and a number of psychological variables. Results indicated that adolescents were involved in both cyber (75.7%) and traditional (84.9%) bully/victim problems, and that the effects of victimisation on mental health can be mediated by coping strategies adopted by the individual. Consequently, the coping strategy adopted may lessen the significant impact to mental health for those that these experience victimisation. Future research should address the effectiveness of coping strategies further. This may help to reduce potential future involvement in bullying and associated psychological effects. Author keywords: Bullying, coping, cyberbullying, mental health