In this Papers Podcast, Ahmet Metin and Eyüp Sabır Erbiçer discuss their co-authored CAMH paper ‘Cyberbullying among adolescents in Turkey: the relationship between coping strategies and cyberbullying perpetration’ (https://doi.org/10.1111/camh.12622).
This paper was published in the CAMH 2023 Special Issue ‘Technology and Mental Health for Children and Adolescents: Pros and Cons’.
There is an overview of the paper, methodology, key findings, and implications for practice.
Discussion points include:
- The difference between active, negative, and avoidant coping strategies.
- Which coping strategies proved protective and which were risk factors.
- The socio-demographic variables that had the greatest impact on cyberbullying perpetration.
- The implications of the study for child and adolescent mental health professionals.
- The interventions that would increase active coping strategies in young people.
In this series, we speak to authors of papers published in one of ACAMH’s three journals. These are The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry (JCPP); The Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMH) journal; and JCPP Advances.
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Ahmet Metin has been a Ph.D. at Hacettepe University since 2023. He completed his master’s degree in the Department of Guidance and Counseling at Hacettepe University. He focused on emotion, cognitive-behavioral therapy, nonverbal communication, and cyberbullying in the last six years.
Eyüp Sabır Erbiçer has been a Ph.D. candidate at Hacettepe University since 2018. He completed his master’s degree in the Department of Guidance and Psychological Counseling at Yıldız Technical University. He focused on risk and protective factors of cyberbullying in the last four years.
- Featured paper ‘Cyberbullying among adolescents in Turkey: the relationship between coping strategies and cyberbullying perpetration’, (2022). Eyüp Sabır Erbiçer, Emre Toprak, Ahmet Metin
[00:00:01.360] Jo Carlowe: Hello, welcome to the Papers Podcast Series for the Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, or ACAMH for short. I’m Jo Carlowe, a Freelance Journalist with a specialism in Psychology. In this series, we speak to authors of papers published in one of ACAMH’s three journals. These are the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, commonly known as JCPP, the Child and Adolescent Mental Health, known as CAMH, and JCPP Advances.
Today, I’m interviewing Research Assistant Ahmet Metin of the Department of Guidance and Psychological Counselling at Erciyes University, Faculty of Education, in Kayseri in Turkey, and Research Assistant Eyüp Erbiçer of the Department of Guidance and Psychological Counselling at Hacettepe University, Faculty of Education, in Ankara. Both are Co-authors of the paper “Cyberbullying Among Adolescents in Turkey: the Relationship Between Coping Strategies and Cyberbullying Perpetration,” recently published in CAMH. This paper will be the focus of today’s podcast.
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Ahmet and Eyüp, thank you for joining me. Can you each start with an introduction about who you are and what you do?
[00:01:27.100] Ahmet Metin: Of course, Jo, thanks for your interest. I’m Ahmet, working as a Research Assistant at Erciyes University from Turkey and I have the interest psychological studies and I will be a PhD coming months.
[00:01:39.549] Jo Carlowe: And Eyüp?
[00:01:40.680] Eyüp Sabir Erbiçer: Thank you for interest. I am Eyüp Erbiçer. I’m Research Assistant in the Department of Psychological Counselling and Guidance at Hacettepe University. I’m also a PhD candidate at the same department.
[00:01:52.180] Jo Carlowe: Thank you very much. Well, let’s turn to your paper, so this is “Cyberbullying Among Adolescents in Turkey: the Relationship Between Coping Strategies and Cyberbullying Perpetration,” recently published in CAMH. Can you start with an overview, what did you look at and why?
[00:02:08.530] Ahmet Metin: I was studying to investigate the relationship between coping strategies and cyberbullying perpetration among adolescents in Turkey. We looked at active, negative and avoidant coping strategies and examined how these coping strategies related to cyberbullying perpetration. If we understand how cyberbullying perpetration [inaudible – 02:31] problems, may be we can help them, so we can work on this issue in future research.
[00:02:36.769] Jo Carlowe: And can you say anything about why it was such an important topic to look at?
[00:02:42.370] Eyüp Sabir Erbiçer: In previous studies, usually we focus on the relationship between coping strategies and cyberbullying victimisation, but we believe that also focusing on the coping strategies of cyberbullying perpetrators is also so important to develop interventional and preventional programmes. And it’s one of main motivation; it was one of main motivation to conduct this study.
[00:03:10.080] Jo Carlowe: Can you tell us a little about the methodology used for this study?
[00:03:14.019] Eyüp Sabir Erbiçer: Of course. We used a cross-sectional design and involved a sample of 1,032 school-age adolescents from Turkey. And we collected data using self-reporting tool – screening tools, including the Cyberbullying Scale, which developed by Aricak and his colleagues to measure school-age adolescents’ cyberbullying perpetration levels. And also, we used Coping Scale for Adolescents, which developed by Spirito and his colleagues to evaluate adolescent coping strategies. And, in addition, we ran a hierarchical multiple regression to determine the effect of coping strategies and some sociodemographic variables on cyberbullying perpetration behaviours.
[00:04:03.329] Jo Carlowe: Let’s turn to the findings, what key findings would you like to share?
[00:04:08.280] Ahmet Metin: Our key findings showed that active coping strategies negatively affect involvement in cyberbullying behaviours. On the other hand, avoidant and negative coping strategies, positively affect involvement in cyberbullying behaviours.
[00:04:24.630] Jo Carlowe: In the paper, you identified active, negative and avoidant coping strategies in your study, can you tell us a little more about these different coping strategies?
[00:04:35.880] Eyüp Sabir Erbiçer: Yeah, actually, individuals who usually use active coping strategies, focus on the positive consequences of the stressors, which they encounter in their life. And sometime they take indirect actions to solve the problem, such as trying to find a solution by getting support from others or seeking help from family or friends or someone they trust, it means, namely, their significant others. And they try to calm themselves or sometimes they use [inaudible – 05:10] to handle with the stressors. And also, individuals who use negative coping strategies, usually they blame themselves and others or sometimes they express their anger, namely blaming others or self-criticism. But when we focus on individuals who use avoidant coping strategies, and generally accepting the situation. They accept the situation or trying to solve the problem alone or trying to forget the stressor by thinking about other things or doing other things.
In addition, one of main characteristics of avoidant strategies is wishful thinking. It means that, actually, we can see individuals who use avoidant coping strategies usually say that, “I wish it never happened.” Indeed, these characteristics, are – it can be mentioned when we talk about coping strategies.
[00:06:11.280] Jo Carlowe: Which coping strategies proved protective and which were risk factors and, you know, can you talk through the implications of these?
[00:06:19.919] Ahmet Metin: Our findings suggested that active coping strategies are protective factors against cyberbullying perpetration behaviours, while avoidant and negative coping strategies are risk factors. These findings highlight and proving that positive coping strategies of adolescents may lead to less involvement in cyberbullying perpetration. In addition, also [inaudible – 06:47] interaction between involvement in cyberbullying behaviours and being cyber victim. If we increase positive coping skills of school-age adolescents, we may not only reduce the possibility of being involved in cyberbullying perpetration behaviours, but also, reduce the possibility of being exposed to cyberbullying [inaudible – 07:09].
[00:07:08.970] Jo Carlowe: You mentioned active as being protective and negative as not, what about avoidant coping strategies, are they also a risk factor?
[00:07:16.970] Eyüp Sabir Erbiçer: Basically, the way of withdrawing in the online environment, it may lead to individuals who use avoidant coping strategies, lead to involvement in cyberbullying perpetration behaviours to deal with their real-life stressors.
[00:07:36.039] Jo Carlowe: Your paper also looked at sociodemographic variables. Which variables proved to have greatest impact on cyberbullying perpetration behaviours?
[00:07:46.830] Eyüp Sabir Erbiçer: Yeah, actually, in our study, we found that the mother’s education level was a significant sociodemographic variable related to cyberbullying perpetration behaviours. In other words, involvement in cyberbullying behaviours increases as the mother’s education level increases. However, some sociodemographic variables, such as gender, family income and the father’s education were not predicting factors of cyberbullying perpetration behaviours.
[00:08:19.770] Jo Carlowe: Can you elaborate on that? And I was surprised by that finding. So the finding is that the perpetration behaviours increase if the mother’s education level is…
[00:08:29.379] Eyüp Sabir Erbiçer: Yes.
[00:08:30.379] Jo Carlowe: …higher? But what do you feel the reasons is for that?
[00:08:33.260] Ahmet Metin: Actually, in Turkey, we should – educated mothers are involved in business and other official jobs, and that situation lead to mothers spend less time with their children, and therefore, actually, some – also, some studies especially highlighted that mothers spend less time with their children because of that. Their children spend more time on the Internet, name like playing games and user – using social media platforms. And we already know that there is a positive relationship between spending more time on the Internet and cyberbullying perpetration behaviours. It’s a kind of – there is not any caregiver. And we also should have stated that in Turkey, it’s a cultural characteristic, usually mothers care about their children, it’s a kind of cultural characteristic of Turkey. This situation led us to explain the finding of our study, actually.
[00:09:43.820] Jo Carlowe: Is there anything else in the paper that you would like to highlight?
[00:09:47.070] Ahmet Metin: Are study showed that using active coping strategy was a protective factor for cyberbullying. More specifically, if we teach adolescents to use strategies for active coping with problems in their routine, perhaps we can minimise their exposure to cyberbullying or its negative impact.
[00:10:06.810] Jo Carlowe: So, given what you’ve said, what are the implications of your findings for CAMH professionals?
[00:10:12.070] Ahmet Metin: Our findings suggested that professionals should promote active coping strategies, such as seeking social support and problem-solving amongst school-age adolescents to reduce the risk of cyberbullying perpetration. They should also be aware of the sociodemographic factors that increase the risk of cyberbullying perpetration and target interventions accordingly.
[00:10:39.420] Jo Carlowe: And are there any particular interventions that you believe would increase active coping strategies in young people?
[00:10:46.930] Eyüp Sabir Erbiçer: Yeah, actually, some preventional and intervention programmes such as, you know, coping with anger or developing skills in empathy, social skills and peer support should be developed to improve adolescents’ positive coping strategies, especially – actually, especially cop – considering the associations between active coping strategies and some protective and risk factors, such as anger, aggression, empathy, self-esteem, social skills and extroversion. These prevention – preventive and interventional programmes probably will have a great impact on reducing cyberbullying perpetration behaviours. For example, especially at that point we should mention that cognitive behavioural intervention effectively increase active coping strategies.
[00:11:40.889] Jo Carlowe: Thank you. Are you planning any follow-up research or is there anything else in the pipeline that either of you would like to share with us?
[00:11:48.959] Eyüp Sabir Erbiçer: Yeah, actually, we already have focused on a follow-up research. We aim to conduct a meta-analysis and systematic review on the associations between risk factors and protective factors related to coping strategies and cyberbullying perpetration and victimisation amongst school-age adolescents in Turkey, but especially I have to mention that. And we base it on this study and the follow-up research, we aim to develop a mobile application for school-age adolescents to fight against cyberbullying.
[00:12:27.560] Jo Carlowe: Thank you both so much. For more details on Ahmet Metin and Eyüp Erbiçer, please visit the ACAMH website, www.acamh.org, and Twitter @acamh. ACAMH is spelt A‑C-A-M-H, and don’t forget to follow us on your preferred streaming platform, let us know if you enjoyed the podcast, with a rating or review, and do share with friends and colleagues.