Gender and Sexual Orientation Bullying Victimization are Associated with Gun Carrying Among Adolescent Boys

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Gender and Sexual Orientation Bullying Victimization are Associated with Gun Carrying Among Adolescent Boys

Category: Behavior, Youth|Journal: Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal|Author: J Nagata, K Ganson|Year: 2020

Gun carrying and bullying victimization are associated among adolescent boys, however the type of the bullying remains relatively unknown. This study aimed to identify whether experiencing bullying victimization based on gender and sexual orientation is associated with carrying a gun to school among adolescent boys. A cross-sectional analysis among a representative sample of high school boys (n = 3672) from the 2015 Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey was conducted. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were obtained using logistic regression analyses while controlling for grade level, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, suicidal ideation, alcohol and marijuana use, and gun access. Among the sample, 3.3% reported carrying a gun to school at least one time in the previous 12-months, 9.5% reported experiencing gender-based bullying victimization, and 7% reported experiencing sexual orientation-based bullying victimization. Regression analyses indicated that adolescent boys who experienced gender-based bullying victimization (OR 3.40, 95% CI 1.64, 5.62, p < .001) or sexual orientation-based bullying victimization (OR 3.57, 95% CI 1.91, 6.67, p < .001) had greater odds of reporting they carried a gun to school while controlling for grade level, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, suicidal ideation, alcohol and marijuana use, and gun access. These results expand upon previous gun carrying and bullying research by identifying the specific type of the bullying experienced and have important implications for social workers and school personnel. Importantly, these results emphasize the need to address two of the Grand Challenges for Social Work: building healthy relationships to end violence and ensuring the healthy development for all youth.

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