Bullying Linked to Suicidal Behavior in Adolescents

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Bullying Linked to Suicidal Behavior in Adolescents

Children and teens who are bullied may be more likely to think about or attempt suicide, a new study from the Netherlands suggests.

Children in the study who had been bullied were twice as likely to have suicidal thoughts, and more than twice as likely to attempt suicide as kids who weren't bullied, according to the study, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

Notably, cyberbullying was even more strongly correlated with suicidal thoughts than traditional (in-person) bullying, the researchers said.

Estimates suggest that between 15 and 20 percent of adolescents are involved in bullying, whether as a bully, a victim or both.

In the study, the researchers analyzed 34 previous studies on the relationship between bullying and suicidal thoughts, and nine previous studies on the link between bullying and suicide attempts in young people.

The children and young adults ages 9 to 21 who were victimized were 2.2 times as likely to have suicidal thoughts as those who were not victimized, and bullying victims were 2.5 times more likely to attempt suicide, compared with nonvictims.

Source: LiveScience