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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2019 Sep;58(9):907-918.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2018.10.018. Epub 2019 Mar 26.

Bullying Victimization and Suicide Attempt Among Adolescents Aged 12-15 Years From 48 Countries.

Author information

1
Research and Development Unit, Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Déu, Universitat de Barcelona, Fundació Sant Joan de Déu, Barcelona, Spain; Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Salud Mental, CIBERSAM, Madrid, Spain; ICREA Pg. Lluis Companys 23, Barcelona, Spain. Electronic address: a.koyanagi@pssjd.org.
2
University of Southern California, Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, Los Angeles.
3
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, ON, Canada.
4
The Cambridge Centre for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK.
5
Research and Development Unit, Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Déu, Universitat de Barcelona, Fundació Sant Joan de Déu, Barcelona, Spain; Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Salud Mental, CIBERSAM, Madrid, Spain; ICREA Pg. Lluis Companys 23, Barcelona, Spain.
6
KU Leuven Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Leuven, Belgium; KU Leuven University Psychiatric Center, Leuven-Kortenberg, Belgium.
7
South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Denmark Hill, London, UK; Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK; Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford, UK.
8
Graduate School of Social Service, Fordham University, Bronx, NY.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Adolescent suicide is a global public health problem. Bullying is a risk factor for suicidality in adolescence; however, global data on its association with suicide attempts are lacking, and data from low- and middle-income countries and non-Western settings are scarce. Thus, this study assessed the association between bullying victimization and suicide attempts using data from 48 countries (predominantly low- and middle-income countries) across multiple continents.

METHOD:

Data from the Global School-based Student Health Survey were analyzed. Data on past 12-month suicide attempts and past 30-day bullying victimization were collected. Multivariable logistic regression and meta-analysis with random effects were conducted to assess the associations.

RESULTS:

The final sample consisted of 134,229 adolescents 12 to 15 years of age. The overall prevalences of suicide attempts and bullying victimization were 10.7% and 30.4%, respectively. After adjustment for sex, age, and socioeconomic status, bullying victimization was significantly associated with higher odds for a suicide attempt in 47 of the 48 countries studied, with the pooled odds ratio being 3.06 (95% CI 2.73-3.43). A larger number of days bullied in the past month was dose-dependently associated with higher odds for suicide attempts. The past-year prevalence of suicide attempts ranged from 5.9% for the "no bullying" group up to 32.7% for the "being bullied for 20 to 30 days/month" group (odds ratio 5.51, 95% CI 4.56-6.65).

CONCLUSION:

Bullying victimization could be an important risk factor of suicide attempts among adolescents globally. Thus, there is an urgent need to implement effective and evidence-based interventions to address bullying to prevent suicides and suicide attempts among adolescents worldwide.

KEYWORDS:

bullying; global health; peer victimization; suicide attempt

PMID:
30926574
DOI:
10.1016/j.jaac.2018.10.018

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