Researchers demonstrate a strong link between involvement in bullying and suicide. Dorothy Espelage and Melissa K. Holt, authors of "Suicidal Ideation and School Bullying Experiences After Controlling for Depression and Delinquency," show that the idea of suicide and attempts at suicide among middle school students were three-to-five times greater than among uninvolved students.
By applying public health strategies, researchers assert that bullying can be prevented, improving health and mental outcomes for many youth. Articles such as "Suicidal Thinking and Behavior Among Youth Involved in Verbal and Social Bullying: Risk and Protective Factors," by Iris Wagman Borowsky, Lindsay A. Taliaferro, and Barbara J. McMorris, reinforce the call for an integrated approach of multiple strategies to prevent suicide by focusing on shared risk and protective factors, including individual coping skills, family and school social support, and supportive school environments.
Notes the supplement's guest editor, Marci Feldman Hertz, "Given the prevalence and impact of bullying, it is important to move forward while public health strategies are still being developed. We can begin by implementing and evaluating strategies that have demonstrated effectiveness at increasing protective factors and decreasing risk factors associated with both bullying and suicide." Education and health stakeholders, she adds, should consider broadening their focus beyond just providing services to those already involved in bullying or suicide-related behaviors. They should also implement strategies to prevent bullying and suicide behavior from occurring in the first place.
|Contact: Eileen Leahy|
Elsevier Health Sciences