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Racial/Ethnic Bullying Subtypes and Alcohol, Tobacco, and Marijuana Use Among US Adolescents

Abstract

Background

The study examines the rate of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use among White, African American, and Latino adolescents and whether racial/ethnic bullying subtypes (victim-only, bullies-only, and bully/victim) are related to alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use.

Methods

We used data from the 2009–2010 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study (n = 9863) to examine differences in alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use among White, African American, and Latino adolescents in the USA, and assessed whether racial/ethnic bullying involvement was associated with alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use among these adolescents. Adolescents were categorized into four groups based on whether they had experienced racial bullying perpetration, victimization, both perpetration, and victimization, or neither perpetration nor victimization. Descriptive statistics were conducted to examine the distributions of the study variables and describe the samples. Spearman’s rank-order correlation analyses were used to examine the relationships among the variables. Multinomial logistic regression was conducted to examine alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use among the racial bully victimization, perpetration, and victimization-perpetration groups compared to the non-involved group by race/ethnicity.

Results

The White victim–only group was more likely to use alcohol but less likely to use tobacco. The African American victim–only group was more likely to use alcohol, and the bully/victim group was more likely to use marijuana. The Latino victim–only group was more likely to use alcohol, whereas the bully/victim group was more likely to use tobacco.

Conclusion

Our findings have implications for the development and implementation of prevention and intervention programs across different racial/ethnic adolescent groups.

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Data Availability

The study utilized a publicly available dataset.

Code Availability

Not applicable

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Acknowledgements

We wish to express our deepest gratitude to Dr. Suzanne Brown, Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at Wayne State University, for her insightful comments in the initial draft of the manuscript.

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Authors

Contributions

Conceptualization, JSH. Methodology, DHK. Validation: JSH, DHK, SCH, LRC, CAL, JJL, and JK; writing—original draft preparation, JSH, DHK, SCH, LRC, CAL, JJL, and JK; writing—review and editing, JSH, SCH, LRC, JJL. Supervision, JSH. Project Administration, JSH, DHK, SCH.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Jun Sung Hong or Dong Ha Kim.

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The study utilized a publicly available dataset with no identifiers and was exempted from all IRB oversights.

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Hong, J.S., Kim, D.H., Hunter, S.C. et al. Racial/Ethnic Bullying Subtypes and Alcohol, Tobacco, and Marijuana Use Among US Adolescents. J. Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40615-021-01081-w

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40615-021-01081-w

Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • Bullying
  • Ethnicity
  • Marijuana
  • Race
  • Tobacco