The aims of the proposed study are to test resiliency theory in a sample of middle school aged Polish youth. Resiliency theory provides a conceptual framework for studying why some youth exposed to risk factors do not develop the negative behaviors they predict. We will examine several risk/promotive factors associated with adolescent problem behaviors including alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use; violence behavior, non- violence delinquency, and school problems. These interrelated behaviors constitute a great risk for healthy development among Polish youth (Mazur & Malkowska 2003). We will focus on several psychosocial factors associated with adolescent development including: participation in meaningful instrumental behavior (e.g. extracurricular activities, church involvement), social influences (e.g. parent and peers support and modeling), cognitive factors (e.g. perceived norms, approval of violence), school motivation and achievement (e.g., bonding, GPA), psychological distress (e.g. depression), neighborhood context (e.g. violence in neighborhood). Our longitudinal design will be especially critical because it will permit analyses of resiliency processes during three middle school years and provide critical information for the development of evidence- based prevention programs interventions for adolescents. This project addresses a major public health problem for Polish population as well as other industrialized countries. Poland continues to be in a transition to a market economy and democracy. This period of transition has had a strong effect on health compromising behaviors among youth population. A significant increase in youth substance use including alcohol, cigarettes and illegal drugs (CBOS 2003, Sierostawski & Zielinski 2000, Mazur et al. 2003), juvenile delinquency (Kirwil 2003), and school violent behavior including psychological and physical bullying (Mazur & Malkowska 2003) has been documented in Poland. In response to these growing problems, a number of prevention programs have been implemented in Poland over the last 10 years. Most of the prevention programs, however, are not theoretically or empirically informed. The proposed study will be especially useful to develop locally relevant and culturally sensitive interventions that also focus on assets and strengths instead working solely to reduce or eliminate risks. ? ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Fogarty International Center (FIC)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-ICP-3 (51))
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Liu, Xingzhu
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Institute of Psychiatry & Neurolgy
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Pisarska, Agnieszka; Eisman, Andria; Ostaszewski, Krzysztof et al. (2016) Alcohol and Cigarette Use Among Warsaw Adolescents: Factors Associated With Risk and Resilience. Subst Use Misuse 51:1283-96
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