The moderation of culturally normative coping strategies on Taiwanese adolescent peer victimization and psychological distress

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Journal of School Psychology


The current study aimed to investigate the moderation effects of coping strategies on the association between perceived peer victimization and psychological distress including loneliness and depression. Applying the person-context fit developmental model, this research hypothesized that adaptive coping strategies, which are normative in Taiwan's culture (i.e., social support seeking), would buffer the link between peer victimization and psychological distress (i.e., depression and loneliness) in comparison with the culturally non-normative coping (i.e., problem-solving strategies). We also expected maladaptive coping strategies (i.e., internalizing strategies) would exacerbate the link between peer victimization and psychological distress. A latent interaction model was conducted with a sample of 730 Taiwanese adolescents attending one middle school. The results indicated that both support seeking strategies and problem-solving strategies buffered Taiwanese adolescents from loneliness and depression. Internalizing coping strategies placed Taiwanese adolescents at great risk of depression and loneliness. Support seeking strategies that are aligned with interdependent cultural contexts appeared to have greater protective effects than the culturally non-normative problem-solving strategies for adolescents who perceived high levels of victimization. The implications for prevention and intervention were discussed.

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