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.
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The original sample included 4150 youth. However, inconsistent responders such as participants who: (a) endorsed lifetime or 30-day use of a fictitious drug, (b) endorsed 30-day use but did not endorse lifetime use, (c) stated their age of initiation of a given substance was greater than their initial age, and (d) had data missing on all outcome variables (nondemographic variables) were removed from the sample.
With a directional hypothesis, the path between nativity and ethnic-biased bullying would be significant, p = .035.
With a directional hyptothesis, the indirect effect of child nativity on depression through ethnic-biased bullying would also be significant, p = .045.
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Conflict of interest
None of the authors report a conflict of interest, either actual or perceived.
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 was obtained for research with human subjects.
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Cardoso, J.B., Szlyk, H.S., Goldbach, J. et al. General and Ethnic-Biased Bullying Among Latino Students: Exploring Risks of Depression, Suicidal Ideation, and Substance Use. J Immigrant Minority Health 20, 816–822 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-017-0593-5
- Ethnic-biased bullying
- Suicidal ideation
- Substance use
- New immigrant destinations