Association Among Subtypes of Bullying Status and Sexually-Risky Behaviors of Urban African American Adolescents in Chicago


Bullying is found to be associated with various negative psychosocial outcomes. However, few studies have explored the association between bullying involvement and sexually-risky behaviors. Youth were recruited from three high schools, one youth church group, two community youth programs, and four public venues. Six hundred-and-thirty-eight urban African American adolescents (aged 12-22) in Chicago completed a self-report questionnaire. Major findings indicated that males were more likely than females to have sex with someone in exchange for drugs. Bullying perpetration, victimization, and perpetration–victimization were negatively associated with having sex with a condom. Older youth, and those identified as perpetrators and perpetrator-victims were more likely to have impregnated someone or been pregnant. Stress and coping framework should be considered. Bullying prevention should provide youth with several healthy coping strategies for reducing sexually-risky behaviors. Community-based and school-based violence prevention programs need to consider sexual risk outcomes associated with involvement in bullying.

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This study was funded by Grants from the Center for Health Administration Studies and the STI/HIV Intervention Network at the University of Chicago, which were awarded to Dr. Dexter R. Voisin.

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Correspondence to Jun Sung Hong.

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The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical Statements

All study procedure received full human subject approval from the University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration Institutional Review Board. No identifying information was retained or reported on the study participants.

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All youth provided informed assent prior to being enrolled in the study.

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Hong, J.S., Voisin, D.R., Cho, S. et al. Association Among Subtypes of Bullying Status and Sexually-Risky Behaviors of Urban African American Adolescents in Chicago. J Immigrant Minority Health 18, 1007–1016 (2016).

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  • African Americans
  • Bullying
  • Sexually-risky behaviors
  • Violence
  • Youth