Online Program

A Systematic Review of Psychosocial Health Consequences of Homophobic Bullying Victimization among Adolescents Ages 12-18

Monday, November 2, 2015

Adam Eickmeyer, MPH, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Jun Sung Hong, PhD, School of Social Work, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
Dorothy Espelage, PhD, College of Education, University of Illinois, Champaign, Champaign, IL
José A. Bauermeister, MPH, PhD, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Background: Empirical evidences point out that youth experiencing homophobic bullying are at an elevated risk of poor mental health outcomes, such as depression, anxiety, and suicidality. National survey results from 2013 found that 74.1% of LGBT students had been verbally harassed because of their sexual orientation and 55.2% were verbally harassed at school because of their gender identity. The same survey found that 32.6% of LGBT students experienced physical harassment at school due to their sexual orientation and 22.7% experienced physical harassment at school due to their gender expression. In order to inform the development of effective interventions, we conducted a literature review that examined the correlates and risk factors of homophobic bullying among youth in the United States.

Methods: We conducted a systematic review of quantitative and mixed methods studies focused on the psychosocial and physical health of victims of homophobic bullying from online databases, such as PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, Scopus, PsycINFO, Google Scholar, and LGBT Life Full Text published in the last ten years focusing on homophobic bullying experienced by adolescents, ages 12-18 in the United States.

Results: Various expressions of bullying (e.g., physical, verbal, and sexual harassment) can contribute to internalizing problems. Study findings also indicate that experiences in homophobic bullying may affect youth at different ages and grades.

Conclusion: Prevention and intervention strategies that effectively address homophobic bullying victimization are suggested. Additionally, recommendations for innovative violence prevention interventions will also be discussed.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the relationship between various expressions of bullying and the internalizing problems they produce. Evaluate the need for differing types of anti-bullying interventions for LGBT adolescents ages 12-18.

Keyword(s): Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT), Child/Adolescent Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently a master of public health (MPH) student at the University of Michigan, studying health behavior and health education. I am interested in, and work on, population health, specifically health issues affecting the LGBTQ population.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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