Prevention Science

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 355–359 | Cite as

Bullying Victimization and Substance Use Among U.S. Adolescents: Mediation by Depression

  • Jeremy W. Luk
  • Jing Wang
  • Bruce G. Simons-Morton


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.


Victimization Depression Substance use Mediation Sex difference 



This research was supported by the Intramural Research Program of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (Contract # N01-HD-5-3401) and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration.


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Copyright information

© Society for Prevention Research 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeremy W. Luk
    • 1
  • Jing Wang
    • 2
  • Bruce G. Simons-Morton
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Prevention Research Branch, Division of Epidemiology, Statistics, and Prevention ResearchEunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human DevelopmentBethesdaUSA

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