Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 816–822 | Cite as

General and Ethnic-Biased Bullying Among Latino Students: Exploring Risks of Depression, Suicidal Ideation, and Substance Use

  • Jodi Berger CardosoEmail author
  • Hannah Selene Szlyk
  • Jeremy Goldbach
  • Paul Swank
  • Michael J. Zvolensky
Original Paper


Using a cross-sectional sample of 534 Latino students from middle and high schools in a large North Carolina school district, we examined the relation of general and ethnic-biased bullying to depression and the indirect pathways through depression to suicidal ideation and substance use outcomes. A structural equation model tested the direct and indirect paths. The final model fit was excellent, χ2(90) = 127.6, p = .0056, RMSEA = 0.028, CFI = 0.974, TLI = 0.961. Ethnic-biased and verbal or relational bullying had a direct effect on depression, but general and physical bullying did not. Indirect effects through depression were found for ethnic-biased and verbal or relational bullying in relation to suicidal ideation, alcohol, and illicit drug use. Child nativity was marginally associated with ethnic-biased bullying, indicating foreign-born students may experience greater ethnic-biased bullying. Implications for future research and bullying prevention are discussed.


Bullying Ethnic-biased bullying Depression Suicidal ideation Substance use New immigrant destinations 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

None of the authors report a conflict of interest, either actual or perceived.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional or national research committee and the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained for research with human subjects.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jodi Berger Cardoso
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hannah Selene Szlyk
    • 2
  • Jeremy Goldbach
    • 3
  • Paul Swank
    • 4
  • Michael J. Zvolensky
    • 5
  1. 1.Graduate College of Social WorkUniversity of HoustonHoustonUSA
  2. 2.University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  3. 3.University of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.School of Public Health, Health Sciences CenterUniversity of TexasHoustonUSA
  5. 5.University of HoustonHoustonUSA

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