Suicide among adolescents in the United States is the second leading cause of death. Bullying victimization has also been identified as a growing public health concern. Although studies have examined the association between bullying victimization and mental health outcomes, there is a dearth of research investigating the association between bullying victimization and suicidal ideation among adolescents.
The objective of this study is to investigate the association between bullying victimization and suicidal ideation among adolescents.
Data for this study came from the 2017 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey.
An analytic sample of 14,603 adolescents aged 14-18 years (52 % female) was analyzed using binary logistic regression.
About 18 % of adolescents experienced suicidal ideation during the past 12 months. About one in ten adolescents (9.1 %) were victims of both school bullying and cyberbullying. Bullying victimization was associated with suicidal ideation whereby, adolescents who experienced both school bullying and cyberbullying victimization had 3.26 times higher odds of experiencing suicidal ideation (AOR = 3.26, p < .001, 95 % CI=3.10-3.43), adolescents who experienced school bullying victimization had 2.15 times higher odds of experiencing suicidal ideation (AOR = 2.15, p < .001, 95 % CI=2.04-2.27), and adolescents who experienced cyberbullying victimization had twice the odds of experiencing suicidal ideation (AOR = 2.00, p < .001, 95 % CI=1.87-2.14). Other factors significantly associated with suicidal ideation include forced sexual intercourse, depressive symptoms, cigarette smoking, alcohol use, cannabis use, and illicit drug use.
Understanding the association between bullying victimization and suicidal ideation could contribute to early identification of adolescents who may be at risk for suicide.

Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.