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Adolescent Coping Strategies in the Face Of Their “Worst Online Experienceâ€

Minas Michikyan, Fantasy T. Lozada, Jennifer V. Weidenbenner and Brendesha M. Tynes
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Minas Michikyan: California State University, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Fantasy T. Lozada: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Jennifer V. Weidenbenner: Master's Theological Research Institute, Evansville, IN, USA
Brendesha M. Tynes: University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations (IJGCMS), 2014, vol. 6, issue 4, 1-16

Abstract: Adolescents' increased use of virtual environments (e.g., online games, social networking sites) provides opportunities for social and emotional learning and development. Negative online experiences in particular require adolescents to use social and emotional competencies to navigate these experiences. The present study used qualitative methods to describe adolescents' (N = 245; Median age ˜ 16) worst online experiences and to examine their coping strategies in managing these experiences. Results indicated that adolescents most frequently described negative experiences with themes of sexual and relational harassment, online stalking and feuds, followed by ethnic/racial harassment, online fraud, bystander experiences, and technical issues. Adolescents' coping strategies with these experiences included direct problem solving, positive cognitive restructuring, distraction, avoidance, and support seeking. Gender and white vs ethnic minority differences in negative online experience types and coping strategies were examined. Findings extend work that explores the application of offline coping strategies to virtual environments.

Date: 2014
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