Trends in Suicidality and Bullying among New York City Adolescents across Race and Sexual Identity: 2009–2019

Devin English, Elizabeth Kelman, Nneka Lundy De La Cruz, Azure B. Thompson, Karolyn Le, Marné Garretson, Aishwarya L. Viswanath, Diksha Brahmbhatt, Cynthia Lockwood, Danielle R. Busby, Marivel Davila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Despite evidence showing rising suicidality among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) and Black adolescents, separately, there is scant research on suicide risk trajectories among youth groups across both racial and sexual identities. Thus, we examined trajectories of self-reported suicidal ideation and attempt and their associations with bullying among New York City-based adolescents. We analyzed 2009–2019 NYC Youth Risk Behavior Survey data. We ran weighted descriptive and logistic regression analyses to test for trends in dichotomous suicidal ideation, suicide attempt, bullying at school, and e-bullying variables among students across both race/ethnicity and sexual identity. We assessed associations between suicidality trends and bullying with logistic regressions. Models controlled for age and sex. Suicidal ideation and attempt were 2 and 5 times more likely among LGB than heterosexual participants, respectively. Bullying at school and e-bullying were 2 times more likely among LGB than heterosexual participants. Black LGB participants were the only LGB group for which both suicidal ideation (AOR = 1.04, SE =.003, p <.001) and attempt (AOR = 1.04, SE =.004, p <.001) increased over time. Both increased at accelerating rates. Conversely, White LGB participants were the only LGB group for which both suicidal ideation (AOR = 0.98, SE =.006, p <.001) and attempt (AOR = 0.92, SE =.008, p <.001) decreased over time. These changes occurred in parallel with significant bullying increases for Black and Latina/o/x LGB adolescents and significant bullying decreases for White LGB adolescents. Bullying was positively associated with suicidal ideation and attempt for all adolescents. Findings suggest resources aimed at curbing rising adolescent suicide should be focused on Black LGB youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Urban Health
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Black or African American
  • Bullying
  • Cyberbullying
  • Sexual and Gender minorities
  • Students
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Suicide attempt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Urban Studies
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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