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Open AccessArticle

Associations between Witnessing and Perpetrating Online Hate in Eight Countries: The Buffering Effects of Problem-Focused Coping

1
Department of Educational Studies, University of Potsdam, 14476 Potsdam, Germany
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Department of Psychology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
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Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University, 60200 Brno, Czech Republic
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Kids and Youth Development Research Unit, Research Center for Educational Innovations and Teaching and Learning Excellence, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Prince of Songkla University, Muang, Pattani 94000, Thailand
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Department of Human Development and Family Studies, G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar 263145, Uttarakhand, India
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Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, National Institute of Technology, Rourkela 769008, India
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Department of Communication, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
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Department of Biological and Health Psychology, Autonomous University of Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain
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Department of Psychology, Neapolis University Pafos, 8042 Pafos, Cyprus
10
Department of Psychology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(20), 3992; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16203992
Received: 3 September 2019 / Revised: 14 October 2019 / Accepted: 17 October 2019 / Published: 18 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyber-Aggression among Adolescents and Psychological Wellbeing)
Online hate is a topic that has received considerable interest lately, as online hate represents a risk to self-determination and peaceful coexistence in societies around the globe. However, not much is known about the explanations for adolescents posting or forwarding hateful online material or how adolescents cope with this newly emerging online risk. Thus, we sought to better understand the relationship between a bystander to and perpetrator of online hate, and the moderating effects of problem-focused coping strategies (e.g., assertive, technical coping) within this relationship. Self-report questionnaires on witnessing and committing online hate and assertive and technical coping were completed by 6829 adolescents between 12 and 18 years of age from eight countries. The results showed that increases in witnessing online hate were positively related to being a perpetrator of online hate. Assertive and technical coping strategies were negatively related with perpetrating online hate. Bystanders of online hate reported fewer instances of perpetrating online hate when they reported higher levels of assertive and technical coping strategies, and more frequent instances of perpetrating online hate when they reported lower levels of assertive and technical coping strategies. In conclusion, our findings suggest that, if effective, prevention and intervention programs that target online hate should consider educating young people about problem-focused coping strategies, self-assertiveness, and media skills. Implications for future research are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: online hate; hate speech; bystander; perpetrator; coping strategies; cyber aggression online hate; hate speech; bystander; perpetrator; coping strategies; cyber aggression
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Wachs, S.; Wright, M.F.; Sittichai, R.; Singh, R.; Biswal, R.; Kim, E.-M.; Yang, S.; Gámez-Guadix, M.; Almendros, C.; Flora, K.; Daskalou, V.; Maziridou, E. Associations between Witnessing and Perpetrating Online Hate in Eight Countries: The Buffering Effects of Problem-Focused Coping. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3992.

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