Bullying Victimization and Substance Use Among U.S. Adolescents: Mediation by Depression
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This study examined the link between bullying victimization and substance use and tested the mediating role of depression in male and female adolescents. Cross-sectional data were collected from a national sample of 1,495 tenth graders who participated in the 2005/06 Health Behaviors in School-aged Children U.S. Survey. Victimization, depression and substance use were all measured as latent variables. Substance use was measured by drinking alcohol, being drunk, smoking cigarettes and using marijuana in the past 30 days. Multiple-group structural equation modeling showed that victimization was linked to substance use in both males and females. Among females, depression was positively associated with both victimization and substance use and mediated the association between the two latter variables. Among males, depression was associated with victimization but not with substance use. Results highlight the elevated risk for victimization and substance use problems that depression poses among adolescent females.