Reflective smartphone disengagement as a coping strategy against cyberbullying: A cross-country study with emerging adults from the United States and Indonesia

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Cyberbullying is a highly prevalent phenomenon among emerging adults, and it may lead to severe psychosocial harm for some targets. Understanding how emerging adults can cope with cyberbullying by altering their media use but without risking one of their crucial social lifelines, mobile social media, during the process is essential. To this end, this study examines a stress-coping process that involves cyberbullying as a stressor and reflective smartphone disengagement as a well-balanced coping strategy, accounting for gender-related, dispositional, and cultural specificities of emerging adults (aged 16–25, N = 4029) from the United States and Indonesia. With substantial invariance across countries, findings show that cyberbullying is related to higher perceived stress, especially for men and people with high levels of self-esteem, which, then again, is associated with reflective smartphone disengagement, in particular among American men and people with higher self-esteem.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNew Media & Society
Early online date28 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 May 2024

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 508007 Communication science


  • Cross-cultural
  • cyberbullying
  • gender
  • perceived stress
  • reflective smartphone disengagement
  • self-esteem

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