Coping styles and aggressiveness in adolescents

Ewa Łodygowska, Natalia Hendzelewska, Martyna Tyl


Introduction: Aggressiveness and aggression are important factors contributing to the functioning of young people and their adaptation to the environment. Despite numerous studies on aggression, there are actually no studies on methods of coping with stress among aggressive adolescents. Therefore, the aim of the presented research was to verify whether adolescents with different levels of aggressiveness/aggression reveal different tendencies in the use of styles of coping with stress.
Materials and methods: We studied 135 adolescents (aged 16–18), using: 1) the Psychological Inventory of Aggression Syndrome (IPSA) by Gas – enabling identification of three main dimensions of aggression: S – self-aggression, U – internal aggression, and Z – external aggression; and 2) the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS) by Endler and Parker, in the Polish adaptation by Strelau et al.
Results: Based on their level of aggression, the participants were divided into three groups. Compared to their more aggressive peers, in stressful situations, adolescents scoring low on S, U, and Z significantly more frequently use task-oriented and significantly less frequently use emotion- and avoidance-oriented coping styles. There is a link between the level of aggressiveness/ aggression and the tendency to prefer emotion-focused coping and avoidance-oriented coping in the form of distraction, described as a tendency to engage in substitute activities.
Conclusions: Elevated aggressiveness/aggression significantly limits the individual’s ability to use constructive methods of coping with stress.


aggression; aggressiveness; styles of coping with stress; adolescents.

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