July 31, 2017

The article “Life Stresses in Adolescents with Problematic Media Use: The Role of Anger Management in Cyberbullying,” authored by Family Science visiting scholar Jung Eun Kim, Ph.D., and Professors Norman B. Epstein and Jinhee Kim, explores specific life stressors as predictors of engagement in cyberbullying. The article was published in June 2017 in the Korean journal Family and Family Therapy. Their research represents collaboration between Family Science faculty and an international scholar in the study of risk factors associated with significant social problem affecting youth world-wide; in this case among adolescents living in South Korea.

The authors tested the degrees to which stressors from relationships with parents, academic pressures, and victimization by peers acted as risk factors for adolescents’ engagement in cyberbullying. The article also explored the role that adolescents’ personal anger management played in the associations between those stressors and cyberbullying. The findings indicated that all three types of stressors were associated with greater cyberbullying, and that poor anger management mediated those relationships. The findings have implications for preventive programs and family therapy interventions that can reduce risks for bullying and increase adolescents’ well-being.

“Dr. Jung Eun Kim came to our department as a visiting scholar with a professional background in consumer science, to work with Dr. Jinhee Kim,” reports Dr. Epstein. “When their studies increasingly focused on family relationship and psychological factors potentially influencing adolescents' online behavior, the three of us met to consider ways in which my expertise in family relationships and clinical psychology could enhance their research designs. Given the strong interdisciplinary emphasis in our department, this seemed quite natural, and it has led to this interesting study investigating risk factors for adolescent cyberbullying. We will continue to examine psychological and family relational factors influencing aspects of adolescent and adult consumer behavior.”

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Jinhee Kim, Norman B. Epstein