American Sociological Association

Cumulative Effects of Bullying and Racial Discrimination on Adolescent Health in Australia

This study examined how cumulative exposure to racial discrimination and bullying victimization influences the health of Australian adolescents (n = 2802) aged 10 to 11 years (19.3% visible ethnic minorities [nonwhite, non-Indigenous]; 2.6% Indigenous) using data from three waves (2010–2014) of the nationally representative Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC). Cumulative exposure to racial discrimination and bullying victimization had incremental negative effects on socioemotional difficulties. Higher accumulated exposure to both stressors across time was associated with increased body mass index z-scores and risk of overweight/obesity. Studies that examine exposure to single risk factors such as bullying victimization or racial discrimination at one time point only are likely to miss key determinants of health for adolescents from stigmatized racial-ethnic backgrounds and underestimate their stressor burden.


Naomi Priest, Anne Kavanagh, Laia Bécares, and Tania King





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