Cyber bullying: Lived experience, Impact of Victimization and Coping

Author: Madiha Qayyum

Supervisor: Aisha Sitwat, PhD

Degree: MS

Year: 2011-2013

University: Institute of Applied Psychology, Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan


The current study was carried out to explore the lived experience of cyber bully victims its impact on them and how did they cope with this bullying. For this purpose I had selected 4 female participants whose commonality was their lived experience of cyber bullying. Data were analyzed through Interpretive Phenomenological analysis (IPA). Through particular steps of IPA certain themes emerged. It was reviewed that participants were cyber bullied through cell phone and internet medium. Content of cyber bullying was harassment through sexual messages. Factors unique about their experience were repetition, anonymity, excessive usage of technology, and perpetrator perceived as more powerful and emotionally disturbed. All these factors were relevant to traditional bullying as well as cyber bullying. Themes emerged regarding the impact of cyber bullying were Psychological, educational, Social and Physiological. Psychologically participant felt insecurity, fear, anger, and helpless. They were suspicious about people and have conflict about self and others. Their social interaction was reduced; they felt difficulty in concentrating in studies. There was decline in sleep, diet and weight of the victims. Coping style were categories in emotion focused coping (religious coping, helpless coping) and problem focused coping (technical coping, social coping, and cognitive coping). Themes elicited from transcriptions were significantly related to the literature. This research will spread awareness and explain about the nature of cyber bullying.

Keywords: Cyber bullying, Lived experience, Impact of Victimization, Coping.

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Corresponding Address: Department of Applied Psychology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. Email:, Phone: 92-42-9231245