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Peer Victimization, Depression, and Suicidiality in Adolescents

Authors

  • Dr. Anat Brunstein Klomek PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. an assistant professor clinical psychology at Columbia University in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
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  • Dr. Frank Marrocco PhD,

    1. an Instructor of Clinical Psychology in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
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  • Dr. Marjorie Kleinman MS,

    1. a research scientist in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
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  • Dr. Irvin Sam Schonfeld PhD, MPH,

    1. a lecturer at Columbia University in the Department of Psychiatry and a Professor at the City College of the City University of New York
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  • Dr. Madelyn S. Gould PhD, MPH

    1. a Professor at Columbia University in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Department of Epidemiology (School of Public Health), and a research scientist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute.
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  • This project was supported by National Institute of Mental Health grant RO1-MH64632.

Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University/NYSPI, 1051 Riverside Drive, Unit 72, New York, NY 10032; E-mail: klomeka@childpsych.columbia.edu

Abstract

The association between specific types of peer victimization with depression, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts among adolescents was examined. A self-report survey was completed by 2,342 high-school students. Regression analyses indicated that frequent exposure to all types of peer victimization was related to high risk of depression, ideation, and attempts compared to students not victimized. Infrequent victimization was also related to increased risk, particularly among females. The more types of victimization the higher the risk for depression and suicidality among both genders. Specific types of peer victimization are a potential risk factor for adolescent depression and suicidality. It is important to assess depression and suicidality among victimized students in order to develop appropriate intervention methods.

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