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Pediatrics. 2015 Feb;135(2):e496-509. doi: 10.1542/peds.2014-1864. Epub 2015 Jan 5.

Bullying and suicidal ideation and behaviors: a meta-analysis.

Author information

1
School of Education, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts; holtm@bu.edu.
2
Division of Violence Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; and.
3
Peabody Research Institute, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee.
4
School of Education, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts;

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES:

Over the last decade there has been increased attention to the association between bullying involvement (as a victim, perpetrator, or bully-victim) and suicidal ideation/behaviors. We conducted a meta-analysis to estimate the association between bullying involvement and suicidal ideation and behaviors.

METHODS:

We searched multiple online databases and reviewed reference sections of articles derived from searches to identify cross-sectional studies published through July 2013. Using search terms associated with bullying, suicide, and youth, 47 studies (38.3% from the United States, 61.7% in non-US samples) met inclusion criteria. Seven observers independently coded studies and met in pairs to reach consensus.

RESULTS:

Six different meta-analyses were conducted by using 3 predictors (bullying victimization, bullying perpetration, and bully/victim status) and 2 outcomes (suicidal ideation and suicidal behaviors). A total of 280 effect sizes were extracted and multilevel, random effects meta-analyses were performed. Results indicated that each of the predictors were associated with risk for suicidal ideation and behavior (range, 2.12 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.67-2.69] to 4.02 [95% CI, 2.39-6.76]). Significant heterogeneity remained across each analysis. The bullying perpetration and suicidal behavior effect sizes were moderated by the study's country of origin; the bully/victim status and suicidal ideation results were moderated by bullying assessment method.

CONCLUSIONS:

Findings demonstrated that involvement in bullying in any capacity is associated with suicidal ideation and behavior. Future research should address mental health implications of bullying involvement to prevent suicidal ideation/behavior.

KEYWORDS:

bullying; meta-analysis; suicidal behaviors; suicidal ideation; suicidality; victimization; youth

PMID:
25560447
PMCID:
PMC4702491
DOI:
10.1542/peds.2014-1864
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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