A variety of coping strategies may be used by youth to avoid the risk of peer victimization, including behaviors such as avoidance, displaying a tough demeanor, defensive behaviors, establishing a reputation, and forming affiliations with family and community members. However, little research has examined how these coping strategies are simultaneously associated with peer victimization experiences. This study explores how five coping strategies were associated with peer victimization among African American youth living in low-income urban communities, a group of youth at risk for high levels of exposure to violence and victimization. Results indicated that defensive behavior was negatively associated with peer victimization. Higher levels of tough demeanor and affiliation with family and community members were associated with higher levels of peer victimization. Coping strategies of avoidance and establishing a reputation were not significantly associated with peer victimization. Peer affiliation does not always contribute to positive outcomes, particularly among adolescents in urban areas. A further examination of the coping strategies and socialization processes of urban African American youth in low-resourced communities is warranted.
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