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J Youth Adolesc. 2014 Aug;43(8):1225-39. doi: 10.1007/s10964-013-0073-8. Epub 2013 Dec 8.

The intersectionality of discrimination attributes and bullying among youth: an applied latent class analysis.

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Department of Education, College of Education and Social Services, University of Vermont, 533 Waterman Building, 85 South Prospect Street, Burlington, VT, 05405, USA,


Discrimination is commonly experienced among adolescents. However, little is known about the intersection of multiple attributes of discrimination and bullying. We used a latent class analysis (LCA) to illustrate the intersections of discrimination attributes and bullying, and to assess the associations of LCA membership to depressive symptoms, deliberate self harm and suicidal ideation among a sample of ethnically diverse adolescents. The data come from the 2006 Boston Youth Survey where students were asked whether they had experienced discrimination based on four attributes: race/ethnicity, immigration status, perceived sexual orientation and weight. They were also asked whether they had been bullied or assaulted for these attributes. A total of 965 (78%) students contributed to the LCA analytic sample (45% Non-Hispanic Black, 29% Hispanic, 58% Female). The LCA revealed that a 4-class solution had adequate relative and absolute fit. The 4-classes were characterized as: low discrimination (51%); racial discrimination (33%); sexual orientation discrimination (7%); racial and weight discrimination with high bullying (intersectional class) (7%). In multivariate models, compared to the low discrimination class, individuals in the sexual orientation discrimination class and the intersectional class had higher odds of engaging in deliberate self-harm. Students in the intersectional class also had higher odds of suicidal ideation. All three discrimination latent classes had significantly higher depressive symptoms compared to the low discrimination class. Multiple attributes of discrimination and bullying co-occur among adolescents. Research should consider the co-occurrence of bullying and discrimination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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