Research from StopBullying.gov suggests best parent practices when addressing cyberbullying issues

(U.S.) – In a research abstract released by Stopbullying.gov, researchers highlight the best approach by parents when trying to help children caught up in cyberbulling.

Researchers acknowledge in the abstract, Parenting Strategies and Adolescents’ Cyberbulling Behaviors: Evidence from a Preregistered Study of Parent-Child Dyads, that while little is known about how parents may protect against cyberbulling, it is a growing problem-behavior among youth.

Officials explain that guided by self-determination theory, a theory concerned with effectively motivating and regulating behavior, six preregistered hypotheses concerning parenting strategies of regulating cyberbullying behavior were tested in 1004 parent-child dyads. 45.9% were female adolescents and adolescents were either 14 (49.5%) or 15 ( 50.5%) years old.

The study revealed that the hypotheses was largely supported. The hypotheses was: Parents who used more autonomy-supportive strategies – understanding the adolescent’s perspective, offering choice, and giving rationales for prohibitions – had adolescents who reported engaging in less cyberbulling than parents who used controlling strategies (especially using guilt, shame, and conditional regard).

Additionally, there were lower feelings of reactance to, or a desire to do the opposite of, parents’ requests, according to authors of the abstract.

The abstract states, “The discussion focuses on the limits of this study to investigate reciprocal effects of adolescent behavior shaping parents strategies – a critical agenda for future research – as well as the potential benefits of interventions aimed at increasing parental autonomy support for reducing cyberbulling and other problem behaviors in adolescents.”

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