Table of Contents
Journal of Criminology
Volume 2013, Article ID 416976, 10 pages
Research Article

Emotion-Focused Coping Worsens Depressive Feelings and Health Complaints in Cyberbullied Children

Department of Psychology, Open University of the Netherlands, Valkenburgerweg 177, 6419 AT Heerlen, The Netherlands

Received 1 March 2013; Accepted 29 May 2013

Academic Editor: Byongook Moon

Copyright © 2013 T. Völlink et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Coping may explain why being cyberbullied affects children’s well-being differently, though previous studies are inconclusive. This survey among 325 children focused on the role coping strategies may play in the relationship between cyberbullying and depressive feelings and health complaints. Being cyberbullied was measured with the Cyberbullying Questionnaire, general coping with the Utrecht Coping List, and cyberbullying-specific coping with a questionnaire developed for this study. Health complaints were measured with the Short Questionnaire for Experienced Health and depressive feelings with the shortened Children’s Depression Inventory. The results showed that 18.8% of the children were bullied by mobile phone and 24.1% through the internet. Correlation analyses showed strong relationships between victimization, coping, depressive feelings, and health complaints. In the regression analyses conducted in all children, victimization, general emotion-focused, and problem-focused copings had main effects on depressive feelings and health complaints; emotion-focused coping interacted with victimization in health complaints. Simple slope analyses of children with high scores on emotion-focused general coping showed a stronger positive relationship between victimization and health complaints. Regression analyses of only cyberbullied children showed that only emotion-focused cyber-specific coping was associated with more health complaints and depressive feelings.