THE INTERPLAY BETWEEN GROUP IDENTITY, SUICIDALITY, AND BULLYING IN MIDWESTERN MIDDLE SCHOOL YOUTH

Sarah J. Atunah-Jay, Susanna N. Basappa, Kristin Fischer, Monica Taylor-Desir, Sean M. Phelan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Bullying peaks in middle school and is a risk factor for negative mental health outcomes, including suicidality. Suicide rates are higher in nonmetropolitan/rural areas and for American Indian/Alaska Natives compared to other racial/ethnic groups. Stigma-related bullying, a type of interpersonal discrimination, is increasingly considered an important driver of peer victimization. This study centers on the group identity characteristics of race/ethnicity, weight status, and sex to explore how school-based and electronic-bullying victimization mediate suicidality amongst a cohort of middle school students in North Dakota. Bivariate, multivariate, and structural equation modeling were performed using data from the 2015 North Dakota Middle School Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Minoritized race/ethnicity, very overweight, and female students all experienced statistically higher suicidality than comparison groups, mediated in some instances by bullying. Group identity, stigma, and discrimination may influence suicidality in North Dakota middle school youth. More information is needed on stigma and discrimination, including intersections of identity, as drivers of bullying and suicidality in minoritized youth in nonmetropolitan/rural areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-42
Number of pages25
JournalAmerican Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Anthropology
  • History
  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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