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Ybarra M.L.,Center for Innovative Public Health Research | Mitchell K.J.,University of New Hampshire | Palmer N.A.,Gay | Reisner S.L.,Harvard University
Child Abuse and Neglect | Year: 2014

In today's technology-infused world, we need to better understand relationships youth form with friends online, how they compare to relationships formed in-person, and whether these online relationships confer protective benefits. This is particularly important from the perspective of peer victimization, given that social support in-person appears to reduce the odds of victimization in-person. To address this literature gap, data from a sample of 5,542 U.S. adolescents, collected online between August 2010 and January 2011, were analyzed. The main variables of interest were: online and in-person peer victimization (including generalized and bullying forms) and online and in-person sexual victimization (including generalized and sexual harassment forms). Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth were more likely than non-LGBT youth to have online friends and to appraise these friends as better than their in-person friends at providing emotional support. Peer victimization and unwanted sexual experiences were more commonly reported by LGBT than non-LGBT youth. Perceived quality of social support, either online or in-person, did little to attenuate the relative odds of victimization for LGBT youth. For all youth, in-person social support was associated with reduced odds of bully victimization (online and in-person) and sexual harassment (in-person), but was unrelated to the other outcomes of interest. Online social support did not reduce the odds of any type of victimization assessed. Together, these findings suggest that online friends can be an important source of social support, particularly for LGBT youth. Nonetheless, in-person social support appears to be more protective against victimization, suggesting that one is not a replacement for the other. © 2014.

Kosciw J.G.,Gay | Palmer N.A.,Gay | Kull R.M.,New York University | Greytak E.A.,Gay
Journal of School Violence | Year: 2013

For many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth, intolerance and prejudice make school a hostile and dangerous place. This study examined simultaneously the effects of a negative school climate on achievement and the role that school-based supports-safe school policies, supportive school personnel, and gay-straight alliance (GSA) clubs-may have in offsetting these effects. Data were drawn from a survey of a diverse sample of 5,730 LGBT youths who had attended secondary schools in the United States. Results from structural equation modeling showed that victimization contributed to lower academic outcomes and lower self-esteem; however, school-based supports contributed to lower victimization and better academic outcomes. Moderating effects of supports on esteem and academic outcomes were also examined through hierarchical linear regression. Results suggested that a hostile school climate has serious ramifications for LGBT students but institutional supports can play a significant role in making schools safer for these students. © 2013 Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Ahuja A.,Drexel University | Webster C.,Harvard University | Gibson N.,Outreach | Brewer A.,The Trevor Project | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Gay and Lesbian Mental Health | Year: 2015

Responding to increased awareness of the plight of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth who may be isolated and subject to bullying, the Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists (AGLP) collaborated with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the Trevor Project and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) to present a symposium on Bullying and Suicide at the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Annual Meeting in 2013. The objectives of the symposium were the following: to understand the link between anti-LGBTQ bullying and mental illness and to identify ways to help such patients. To identify the academic research being done on anti-LBGTQ bullying, and how this informs tactics to combat this problem. To identify areas of weakness in the approaches being used, ways to improve them, and areas of future research. To identify ways clinicians can be involved in furthering the awareness of bullying of all kinds, including research on prevention efforts. © 2015, Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Mitchell K.J.,University of New Hampshire | Ybarra M.L.,Center for Innovative Public Health Research | Korchmaros J.D.,Center for Innovative Public Health Research | Kosciw J.G.,Gay
Health Education Research | Year: 2014

We examine reasons why youth of different sexual orientations look for sexual health information online, and what, if anything, they do with it. The Teen Health and Technology study involved online surveys of 5542 Internet users, ages 13 through 18 in the United States. Searching for sexual health information online was reported frequently and varied significantly by sexual orientation: from 19% of heterosexual youth to 78% of gay/lesbian/queer youth. The most common reasons youth look for sexual health information is for privacy and curiosity. Sexual minority youth are more likely than heterosexual youth to report that they looked for information online because they did not have anyone to ask. Once youth have the information, no differences by sexual orientation were noted as to what they did with it. Instead, seeking out the information for privacy-related reasons and having no one to ask were related to taking some action on the information received. Findings indicate that online information is most valuable to those youth who lack alternatives. Care needs to be taken to help ensure that the sexual health information online is accurate and includes topics specific to sexual minority youth. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

Ybarra M.L.,Center for Innovative Public Health Research | Mitchell K.J.,University of New Hampshire | Kosciw J.G.,Gay | Korchmaros J.D.,Center for Innovative Public Health Research | Korchmaros J.D.,Southwest Research Institute
Prevention Science | Year: 2015

While there is an extant research base regarding suicidal ideation in relation to bullying and peer harassment, how findings may be similar and different for lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) and non-LGB youth is less well understood. To address this gap, we analyzed data from 5,542 13- to 18-year-old youth who were nationally surveyed online in the United States in 2010. Results suggest that the relative odds of suicidal ideation are elevated for youth who are victims of bullying (OR = 5.61, 95 % CI, 4.11, 7.64), as well as those who are victims of peer harassment (OR = 2.06, 95 % CI, 1.53, 2.79). Within the context of other important factors, bullying was associated with odds of suicidal ideation twice that of non-victimized youth (aOR = 2.02, 95 % CI, 1.30, 3.13). Within sexual identity, the relation between bullying and suicidal ideation was particularly strong for gay, lesbian, and queer youth, even after adjusting for other influential factors (aOR = 6.29, 95 % CI, 2.69, 14.66). Across sexual identities, the odds of suicidal ideation are higher for bisexual youth (aOR = 1.77, 95 % CI, 1.23, 2.55) but not for other sexual minority youth when compared with otherwise similar heterosexual youth. Other factors, including depressive symptomatology and low self-esteem, were also predictive of recent ideation across all sexual identities. Findings highlight the complexity of bullying and suicidal ideation. Furthermore, given the relation between bullying and suicidal ideation, and the disproportionate level of bullying experienced by LGB youth, our findings suggest the need for more protective environments for LGB youth. © 2014, Society for Prevention Research.

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