The Impact of Bullying Victimization and Sexual Orientation on the Severity of Suicidal Behavior

Annalyn S. Demello, Melissa F. Peskin, Ryan M. Hill, Rebecca L. Casarez, Diane M. Santa Maria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth face a disproportionate risk of suicidal ideation and attempt compared to heterosexual counterparts. Escalation from ideation to attempt can occur quickly, and youth who survive suicide attempts are likely to pursue subsequent, riskier attempts. This study examines the effects of bullying and sexual orientation on suicidal outcomes. Methods: Data came from the national, school-administered 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (N = 14,765). Bivariate associations, binomial logistic regressions, and ordinal logistic regressions were performed. Results: Lesbian/gay, bisexual, and unsure youth reported greater odds of ideation and attempts compared to heterosexual youth. For ideation, increased effects were inconsistent across bullying types and significant interactions were found for bisexual youth who were bullied in school, and for lesbian/gay youth who were cyberbullied. Conclusion: These results underscore the need to understand bullying victimization for lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth. Awareness of increasing cyberbullying and creating school environments of no-bullying tolerance in the post-pandemic era are among the challenges ahead.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)641-658
Number of pages18
JournalViolence and victims
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2022


  • adolescent
  • mental health
  • suicide
  • youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Health(social science)
  • Law


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