Patterns of Adolescents’ Coping with Bullying and Peer Victimization: the Link to Psychosocial Maladjustment and the Role of School Bonding

Ting Lan Ma*, Hsun Yu Chan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Grounded in the social-ecological theory, in this study, we examined the heterogeneity in young adolescents’ self-report patterns of coping strategies in response to school bullying and peer victimization. We also examined the linkages between adolescents’ coping patterns and the patterns of psychosocial maladjustment, and to what extent such linkages were moderated by adolescents’ perceived school bonding. The latent profile analysis and the latent transition analysis were conducted with a sample of 730 Taiwanese adolescents (M age = 12.8 years, age range = 11–13 years, 49% girls) attending one middle school. The results indicated the existence of four distinctive patterns of adolescents’ coping strategies against peer victimization (i.e., disengaged, adaptive, moderate, approach with avoidant) and three patterns of psychosocial maladjustment (i.e., high, moderate, low). Across all coping patterns, the adaptive copers demonstrated the least serious psychological maladjustment, followed by moderate copers, avoidant with approach copers, and disengaged copers. Second, school bonding buffered adaptive and moderate copers from psychological maladjustment, but such a link was absent for adolescents who utilized very little coping strategies (i.e., disengaged copers) as well as those who endorsed all coping strategies including positive ones to a particularly high extent (i.e., approach with avoidant copers). The results suggest that adolescents’ coping with bullying and peer victimization should be understood as a holistic pattern instead of treated as separate strategies. Also, the positive effects of adaptive coping were canceled out if adolescents simultaneously use an excessive degree of externalizing and internalizing coping. The implications for prevention and intervention were discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-129
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Bullying Prevention
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jun
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Coping
  • Maladjustment
  • Patterns
  • Peer victimization
  • School bonding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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