Non-Suicidal self-injury and suicide in depressed Adolescents: Impact of peer victimization and bullying.J Affect Disord. 2019 02 15; 245:744-749.JA
While prior research has demonstrated that peer victimization and bully perpetration contribute to non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) and suicidal thoughts and behaviors (STBs), it remains unclear whether these interpersonal processes differentiate self-injuring adolescent suicide ideators and attempters.
The study included adolescents aged 13-18 years (n = 223; M = 15.31, SD = 1.34) recruited from an acute inpatient program. Participants were divided into two groups: (1) NSSISI (n = 106): endorsed past year NSSI, current suicide ideation, and no lifetime suicide attempts and (2) NSSISI+SA (n = 117): endorsed past year NSSI, current suicide ideation, and lifetime suicide attempts. Adolescents completed clinical interviews (i.e., mental disorders, NSSI, and STBs) and self-report measures assessing peer victimization, bully perpetration, and depression severity.
NSSISI+SA youth reported higher levels of peer victimization and bully perpetration than NSSISI youth (ps < 0.01, ds = 0.36-0.37). Among the NSSISI+SA youth, bully perpetration was associated with a greater number of past month suicide attempts (p = 0.02, RR = 1.07). Only peer victimization was associated with greater NSSI behaviors in the past month (p = 0.04, RR = 1.01).
The study is cross-sectional, and reports of peer victimization and bully perpetration rely on self-report assessment.
Peer victimization and bully perpetration differentiated adolescent suicide ideators and attempters, highlighting the need to address bully perpetration in addition to peer victimization in suicide interventions and research.