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

Faye Riley, Mark Wright, Anna Bokszczanin, Cecilia A. 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low commitment to school, poor family management, family conflict, peer social preference, and teacher-rated withdrawn and disruptive behavioral problems were predictive of poly-victimization.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
Pages (from-to)1515-1538
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2017

Bibliographical note

Faye Riley, Mark Wright, Anna Bokszczanin, Cecilia A. Essau, Poly-Victimization in Polish Adolescents, Journal of Interpersonal Violence,. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.


  • bullying
  • etiology
  • child abuse
  • anything related to child abuse
  • cultural contexts


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