The present study examined the relationship between cyber bullying and psychosocial variables, including parenting styles, and coping strategies. A sample of Canadian students from junior high schools in the Calgary area (N = 125) ages 11 to 15 years (boys= 42, girls = 82, unknown sex = 1) completed online self-report questionnaires on cyber bullying, parenting styles, and coping strategies. To analyze the data, descriptive statistics, t-tests, and analyses of variances of the variables related to parenting styles, coping strategies, and cyber victims were calculated. Results from the quantitative analyses revealed that cyber victims reported significantly lower levels of parental autonomy than their non-cyber victim peers, but did not significantly differ on levels of parental warmth. In terms of coping strategies, cyber victims reported significantly higher levels of avoidance coping strategies than their non-cyber victim peers. In addition, females reported significantly higher levels of parental warmth and avoidance coping strategies than males. Significant, positive correlations between age and parental autonomy were found for both the cyber victim and non-cyber victim groups, but no significant relationships were found between grade and each of the six dependent variables (Warm Involvement, Psychological Autonomy, Active Coping, Distraction Coping, Avoidance Coping, and Support Coping).
This study contributes to the understanding of cyber bullying by highlighting the importance of parenting style and the ways children cope with cyber bullying. Empirical and applied implications from this research are suggested and discussed.