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Bias-Based Harassment Among US Adolescents

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Abstract

Bias-based (also called identity-based) harassment refers specifically to a subset of peer victimization that targets a person’s identity, such as their gender identity, religion, immigration status, sexual orientation, race, or ethnicity. Research indicates that bias-based harassment is a particularly devastating form of victimization that has an even stronger association with poor mental health and school functioning than general forms of bullying and harassment that do not target identity characteristics. In the current study, we used the AmeriSpeak Teen Panel, a US nationally representative panel of youth ages 13–17, to examine the prevalence and predictors of bias-based harassment. Youth (N = 639) completed a self-report survey about their experiences with victimization and perpetration of bias-based harassment. A series of regression models tested the association of individual youth demographic characteristics with reports of bias-based harassment victimization and perpetration. Overall, 28.2% of youth reported experiences of bias-based victimization, and 12.4% reported bias-based perpetration. Bias-based harassment most often targeted students’ race, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Results have implications for school-based prevention and intervention planning to address bias-based harassment.

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Acknowledgements

This project was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Justice (2020-CK-BX-0005; PI: Holt).

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Correspondence to Jennifer Greif Green.

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Green, J.G., Ramirez, M., Merrin, G.J. et al. Bias-Based Harassment Among US Adolescents. School Mental Health 16, 343–353 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12310-024-09648-8

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