An Exploratory Study of Bullying Involvement for Sexual Minority Youth: Bully-Only, Victim-Only, and Bully-Victim Roles


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

Bullying victimization disproportionately affects sexual minority youth. However, little research exists that explores bullying role involvement for this population. This is an important gap as bully-victims (i.e., perpetration and victimization involvement) consistently report the highest rates of mental and behavioral health problems compared with bully-only, victim-only, and no involvement roles. This study seeks to identify the frequency of bullying perpetration and victimization by type (i.e., verbal, relational, electronic, and physical), the percentages of sexual minority youth who assume bully-only, victim-only, bully-victim, and no involvement roles, and the social ecological correlates of bullying role involvement. This study utilizes structured interviews with 125 sexual minority youth (15–19 years old) to examine four types of bullying perpetration and victimization. Social ecological correlates of bullying role involvement are identified utilizing multinomial logit regression. The most common role type is victim-only (46.4%), followed by no involvement (36.8%), bully-victim (12%), and bully-only (4.8%). Gender-role conformity, sexuality disclosure, psychological distress, social support, school disciplinary problems, and positive school climate are significant predictors of bullying role involvement. Future research is needed to confirm these rates of bullying role involvement and to examine their developmental processes (e.g., emergence, desistance, fluidity of entering and exiting role types) for sexual minority youth.

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