Factors exacerbating suicidal behavior in bullied teens
James Cook University researchers have found three lifestyle factors that predispose bullied adolescents to plan or attempt suicide.

Researchers analyzed data from a survey of more than 280,000 students aged 13–17 from 90 countries. Investigator stated that suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents.

"Compared to adolescents who were not bullied, adolescents who experienced bullying have more than twice the odds of thinking about and planning suicide, and close to three times greater odds of attempting it."

The researchers said there were a number of factors linking bullying and suicide, but three were significant. "The strongest links between bullying and suicidal behaviors were loneliness, sleep disturbances, and alcohol consumption.

"Nearly one-fifth of the total association between bullying and suicidal ideation was linked to loneliness. Sleep disturbances and alcohol consumption were the links between bullying and suicidal behaviors in 4 to 9 percent of cases," said the investigator. The three factors may reinforce each other.

"This highlights the importance of screening adolescents for these intermediate factors and designing community-wide policies and programs that promote social engagement, good sleep health and less alcohol consumption."

Psychiatry Research
Source: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2021.113992