Associations between Coping Strategies and Cyberhate Involvement: Evidence from Adolescents across Three World Regions

Sebastian Wachs, Juan Manuel Machimbarrena, Michelle F. Wright, Manuel Gámez-Guadix, Soeun Yang, Ruthaychonnee Sittichai, Ritu Singh, Ramakrishna Biswal, Katerina Flora, Vassiliki Daskalou, Evdoxia Maziridou, Jun Sung Hong, Norman Krause

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5 Scopus citations


Cyberhate represents a risk to adolescents’ development and peaceful coexistence in democratic societies. Yet, not much is known about the relationship between adolescents’ ability to cope with cyberhate and their cyberhate involvement. To fill current gaps in the literature and inform the development of media education programs, the present study investigated various coping strategies in a hypothetical cyberhate scenario as correlates for being cyberhate victims, perpetrators, and both victim–perpetrators. The sample consisted of 6829 adolescents aged 12–18 years old (Mage = 14.93, SD = 1.64; girls: 50.4%, boys: 48.9%, and 0.7% did not indicate their gender) from Asia, Europe, and North America. Results showed that adolescents who endorsed distal advice or endorsed technical coping showed a lower likelihood to be victims, perpetrators, or victim–perpetrators. In contrast, if adolescents felt helpless or endorsed retaliation to cope with cyberhate, they showed higher odds of being involved in cyberhate as victims, perpetrators, or victim–perpetrators. Finally, adolescents who endorsed close support as a coping strategy showed a lower likelihood to be victim– perpetrators, and adolescents who endorsed assertive coping showed higher odds of being victims. In conclusion, the results confirm the importance of addressing adolescents’ ability to deal with cyberhate to develop more tailored prevention approaches. More specifically, such initiatives should focus on adolescents who feel helpless or feel inclined to retaliate. In addition, adolescents should be educated to practice distal advice and technical coping when experiencing cyberhate. Implications for the design and instruction of evidence-based cyberhate prevention (e.g., online educational games, virtual learning environments) will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6749
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • coping strategies
  • counter-speech
  • cross-national
  • cyberhate
  • hate speech


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