Coping comes with the job: An exploratory study into the selection and use of coping strategies for online aggression among social media influencers

Gaëlle Ouvrein, Ana Jorge, Joana Cabral, Heidi Vandebosch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Social media influencers (SMI) are increasingly becoming the target of online aggression. The first part of this study focuses on how this group of online users deals with online aggression and more specifically which coping strategies they use. In contrast to ordinary social media users, SMI experience online aggression situations on two levels: on a personal level and a human brand level. As a second aim, this study wants to explore whether and how personal emotions on the one hand and brand concerns on the other hand explain SMI's choice of coping strategies based on a combination of Transaction Coping Theory and Conservation of Resources Theory. To meet these aims, we conducted a survey among an international sample of SMI (N = 200; Mage= 36.19; 47% female) about their experiences with online aggression, personal emotions, brand concerns and coping strategies. The results of CFA and hierarchical regressions indicate that SMI coping strategies can be classified into cognitive, behavioral and social strategies, with cognitive strategies being the most commonly used. The use of the three types of strategies can be explained by both personal emotions (e.g., being angry and scared) as well as brand concerns (e.g., being concerned about losing commercial opportunities). The brand concerns seem to overwrite part of the contributions of personal emotions, which might point to emotional labor. Lastly, how often one experiences online aggression turns out to be a very important factor above and beyond personal emotions and brand concerns.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100052
Number of pages12
JournalTelematics and Informatics Reports
Issue number2023
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO-Vlaanderen), grant number 12W1720N. The funding sources have no involvement in the study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; and in the decision to submit the article for publication.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023


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