Adolescent Bullying Victimization at Secondary School and Adult Suicidality and Depressive Symptoms Among 2152 Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Adults in South Korea

Jooyoung Park, Hyemin Lee, Bokyoung Choi, Ji Hwan Kim, Jaehong Yoon, Horim Yi, Sungsub Choo, Seung Sup Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study examined the association between adolescent bullying victimization (ABV) and adult mental health among lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals in South Korea (hereafter Korea). We conducted a cross-sectional survey of 2152 Korean LGB adults in 2016. Based on experiences of and reasons for ABV, participants were categorized into 4 groups: “never bullied,” “bullied due to sexual orientation and gender expression (SOGE),” “bullied due to other reasons,” and “bullied, reason unspecified.” Compared with participants who have never been bullied during adolescence, those who have been “bullied due to SOGE” were 1.56 times (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.36-1.80), 1.53 times (95% CI = 1.30-1.81), and 3.59 times (95% CI = 2.05-6.28) more likely to report depressive symptoms, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts, respectively. Statistically significant associations with all 3 mental health indicators were also observed among those who have been “bullied due to other reasons”: depressive symptoms (adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR] = 1.72, 95% CI = 1.55-1.92), suicidal ideation (aPR = 1.48, 95% CI = 1.29-1.70), and suicide attempts (aPR = 3.15, 95% CI = 1.84-5.38). This study suggests that ABV may increase depressive symptoms and suicidality in adulthood among LGB individuals.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Public Health
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • bullying victimization
  • depressive symptoms
  • LGB
  • sexual minority
  • South Korea
  • suicidality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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