Poly-Victimization in Polish Adolescents: Risk Factors and the Moderating Role of Coping

Faye Riley, Mark Wright, Anna Bokszczanin, Cecilia Essau

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This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of poly-victimization in Polish
adolescents and assess factors associated with poly-victimization risk across
different ecological levels. This study further examined whether coping styles
could moderate the impact of poly-victimization on emotional well-being.
Participants were 454 adolescents, aged between 13 and 19 years, from
an urban region of Poland. Adolescents completed self-report measures
assessing community, school, and family risks, along with a peer nomination
task measuring social preference. Teachers also completed a measure
assessing adolescent problem behaviors. Findings revealed that the majority
of the sample (70%) experienced more than one type of victimization in the
past year, and 35.7% were classified as poly-victims (≥ 6 victimizations). As
hypothesized, community disorganization, low commitment to school, poor
family management, family conflict, peer social preference, and teacherrated
withdrawn and disruptive behavioral problems were predictive of
poly-victimization. In addition, the relationship between poly-victimization
and emotional well-being was moderated by problem-solving coping, in that greater use of problem-solving strategies lessened the negative impact of
poly-victimization on positive affect and life satisfaction. Other investigated
coping strategies (social support-seeking, internalizing, externalizing, and
distraction) failed to demonstrate any moderation effect. Findings highlight
the high rate of victimization experienced by adolescents in Poland and
have implications for the identification of those at risk of poly-victimization,
suggesting that there is a need to consider factors related to the adolescent
themselves, their relationships with family and peers, and school and
community factors. Results also indicate that there may be value in training
victims in the use of problem-solving coping styles as a source of resilience.
Original languageEnglish
Article number24
Pages (from-to)1
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2017

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