Associations between caregiver support, bullying, and depressive symptomatology among sexual minority and heterosexual girls: Results from the 2008 Boston Youth Survey

Renee M. Johnson, Jeremy D. Kidd, Erin C. Dunn, Jennifer Greif Green, Heather L. Corliss, Deborah Bowen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although sexual minority (SM) youth are at an increased risk for being bullied and experiencing depression, it is unclear how caregiver support is interrelated with those variables. Therefore, we sought to assess (a) the prevalence of nonphysical bullying, depressive symptomatology, and caregiver support among heterosexual and SM girls, (b) the association between caregiver support and bullying in both groups, and (c) whether sexual orientation moderates the interactive effect of caregiver support and bullying on depressive symptoms. Data come from a survey of students in 22 Boston public high schools; 99 of the 832 girls in the analytic sample were SM. We used chi-square statistics to examine group differences, and multiple regression to estimate the association between the caregiver support, sexual orientation, being bullied, and depressive symptomatology. SM girls reported similar levels of caregiver support as heterosexual girls, but reported higher levels of depressive symptomatology. They were also more likely to report nonphysical bullying. Tests for interactions were not statistically significant, suggesting that bullying, caregiver support, and sexual orientation are independently associated with depressive symptomatology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-200
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of School Violence
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bullying
  • Depression
  • Sexual minority
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality

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