Experiences of Bullying Among Adolescents by Race/Ethnicity and Other Marginalized Identities

Although race-based discrimination is an ongoing public health crisis in the US, there has not been enough insight into experiences of identity-based bullying (IBB) that stem from other marginalized identities, such as gender identity and sexual orientation. In order to mitigate this, a study involving past PISC trainee Alison Culyba, MD, PhD, MPH, examined responses from an anonymous survey conducted at 13 public high schools in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, during 2018. Youth health, mental health, and violence involvement were then assessed using self-reported items modeled on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Among other results, the study found that among reported social identities, race/ethnicity-based experiences of bullying and bullying perpetration were the most common. The highest rates of IBB were reported by gender diverse Black and Hispanic youth, and experiencing IBB based on multiple stigmatized identities was associated with outcomes such as delayed well care, nonsuicidal self-injury, and greater violence involvement. As such, these results imply that targeting youth health, mental health, and violence prevention programs could help mitigate the impact of bullying based on multiple marginalized identities.

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