Online Program

Coping styles of adolescents experiencing multiple forms of discrimination and bullying: Evidence from a sample of ethnically diverse urban youth

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 9:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.

Bernice Raveche Garnett, MPH, ScD, Department of Education, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
Katherine E. Masyn, PhD, Human Development and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA
S. Bryn Austin, ScD, Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA
David R. Williams, PhD, MPH, Department of Society, Human Development and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
K. Viswanath, PhD, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health / Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute / Center for Community-Based Research, Boston, MA
Background: There is limited research examining the coping strategies of youth and their associations with discrimination and bullying. We used a latent class analysis (LCA) to characterize coping styles of ethnically diverse urban youth and examined if coping styles moderated the association between experiencing discrimination and bullying and depressive symptoms. Methods: The data come from the 2006 Boston Youth Survey (BYS), where students were asked to select two behaviors they do most often when they are upset, from a list of 14 options. A total of 927 (75%) students contributed to the LCA analytic sample (45% Non-Hispanic Black, 29% Hispanic and 58% female). Relative and absolute fit indices determined the number of classes. An interaction term between types of discrimination/bullying experienced and coping style tested for moderation. Results: The LCA revealed that 3-class solution had the best fit (LMR-LRT, 4-class vs. 3-class, p-value 0.12). The largest coping style class was characterized by high endorsement of distractive coping strategies (59%), the second class by using supportive coping strategies (27%), and the third class by using avoidant coping strategies (12%). We found a significant interaction between discrimination and coping style for depressive symptoms, indicating avoidant coping style exacerbated the risk of depressive symptoms associated with experiencing discrimination/bullying. Conclusion: Further research is needed to understand the coping strategies that youth use to buffer the effects of bullying and discrimination and which may have the most protective effects.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate the utility of latent class analysis in bullying, discrimination, and coping research among adolescents Discuss the relationship between coping styles, discrimination, and depressive symptoms among a sample of ethnically diverse urban youth

Keyword(s): Adolescent Health, Violence Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: This research is part of my doctoral dissertation and I was responsible for leading and conducting all analyses.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.