Adult Family Adversities and Bullying among Urban African American Adolescents

Jeoung Min Lee, Shantalea Johns, Tamarie M. Willis, Jun Sung Hong, Dexter R. Voisin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The current study examined how adverse family events (i.e., adult family incarceration, adult family substance use, and adult family mental illness) were associated with adolescent bullying perpetration. More specifically, this study examined whether levels of future orientation mediated the link between adult family incarceration, substance use, and mental illness and bullying perpetration. A sample of 637 African American adolescents from the Southside of Chicago was used for this study. Adult family incarceration, substance use, and mental illness were all found to be positively associated with bullying perpetration. Also, adult family substance use and mental illness were positively associated with low levels of future orientation, which was significantly related to bullying perpetration. These findings demonstrate the importance of understanding how adverse family events are related to adolescent bullying. Implications for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)861-876
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Aggression, Maltreatment and Trauma
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the Center for Health Administration Studies and the STI/HIV Intervention Network at the University of Chicago and used a convenience sampling. Data were collected from August 2013 to January 2014 by trained research assistants. The sites for the study consisted of three high schools, two community youth programs, churches, and several public sites (e.g., parks, outlets, malls, and movie theater) in the Southside of Chicago. The research assistants received permission from high school principals, community youth program directors, and church leaders to conduct the study. Also, they developed a flyer with detailed information about the study and a consent form. Participants who were under eighteen-years-of-age were provided with two consent forms, one which was to be signed by a parent or a guardian. The survey was administered in high schools, churches, and community centers. For those recruited in public sites, surveys were given in a quiet location near the sites. Trained research assistants administered and supervised the survey, which took approximately 45 minutes to complete. Once the participants completed the survey, they were given 10. USD

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Taylor & Francis.


  • African American
  • bullying
  • incarceration
  • mental health
  • substance use
  • urban


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