Online Victimization Offline Consequences: Design and Effectiveness of an Online Intervention to Enhance Adolescent Coping Skills (The E-COPE Project)
Principal Investigator: Brendesha Tynes
Research Associate: Ashley Stewart
Though a growing number of internet safety and anti-bullying programs assist youth in protecting themselves from experiencing general forms of online victimization, none systematically address the increasing amount of online racial discrimination. This is despite the fact that up to 42% of youth are directly victimized because of their race or ethnicity online and 71% say they are witnesses to these interactions (Tynes, Giang, Williams, Thompson, 2008). In addition, there is mounting evidence that online racial discrimination is related to depressive symptoms and anxiety over and above offline discrimination and that these stressors require unique strategies for coping (Brandolo et al, 2009). The E-Cope Project addresses this gap in the literature with the design of the first online intervention to enhance adolescent coping skills specifically related to online racial discrimination. Using a cognitive behavioral theoretical framework, a culturally responsive online platform and app are being developed to train adolescents in adaptive coping strategies. Focus groups and interview data will be collected using a sample of 8th-10th grade adolescents from Los Angeles and Detroit. To test the effectiveness of the design, a randomized controlled trial will be conducted with 400 students from Los Angeles and Detroit-area schools.