The protective role of connectedness on depression and suicidal ideation among bully victimized youth
Arango, A., Cole-Lewis, Y., Lindsay, R., Yeguez, C.E., Clark, M., & King, C.
This longitudinal study examined the relationship between connectedness subtypes (family, school, community) and youth depression and suicidal ideation across a 6-month period within a sample of bully victimized youth. Participants were 142 youth (74.6% female, 47.18% African American, 36.62% Caucasian), 12–15 years of age (M = 13.6, SD = 1.12), recruited from an emergency department, who screened positive for elevated levels of bullying victimization and were reevaluated at a 6-month follow-up assessment. Data on bullying victimization, depression, suicidal ideation, and connectedness (family, school, community) were collected at baseline and 6-month follow-up assessments. Separate Bayesian mixed models were used to examine the effects of connectedness (family, school, community) on depression and suicidal ideation while accounting for dependent observations across time points. Prospectively, family and school connectedness were negatively associated with depression and suicidal ideation. Across time points, community connectedness was negatively associated with suicidal ideation. Results highlight the importance of acknowledging and understanding subtypes of interpersonal connectedness among victimized youth as the three subtypes examined (family, school, community) were associated with depression and suicidal ideation. Findings support the importance of bolstering distinct subtypes of connectedness in efforts to improve functioning and attenuate suicide risk among victimized youth.