Ireland, Jane Louise
The Importance of Coping, Threat Appraisal, and Beliefs in Understanding and Responding to Fear of Victimization: Applications to a Male Prisoner Sample.
Law and Human Behavior, 35
The current study explores conceptualizations of victimization by men, focusing on threat appraisal, coping appraisal, and beliefs, and seeking to apply protection motivation theory, the applied fear response model, and social cognition. Five hundred and sixty-six male prisoners, comprising adults and adolescents, completed a measure of victimization and perpetration (DIPC-SCALED) and of fear, appraisal, and beliefs (TAB). It was predicted that increased threat appraisal and ineffective coping appraisal would predict increased fear of victimization, particularly among the mutual perpetrator/victim group. This group was expected to select strategies for managing the threat of victimization, which carried more risk to them (e.g., such as an aggressive reaction) and to present with beliefs supporting the use of aggression as a response to victimization. Fear of victimization was predicted by threat and coping appraisal although the deficit for victims appeared in coping appraisal only. Mutual perpetrator/victims presented with a specific difficulty in appraising their ability to cope with threat. Differences in beliefs supporting an aggressive response to threat were also noted across perpetrator and/or victimization groups. The article concludes by outlining the implications for theory and clinical practice.