African American heterosexual and sexual minority (SM) adolescents report widespread bullying victimization (BV), which is associated with poorer psychosocial functioning. However, studies examining potential protective factors that moderate this association are limited. Using data from a cross-sectional study conducted in Chicago, we examined the association between BV and psychosocial functioning among a sample of heterosexual (n = 475) and SM (n = 105) African American adolescents and examined whether four empirically-supported protective factors moderated these associations. Among SM adolescents, having close parents was protective against psychosomatic symptoms for those who reported high BV and having caring teachers was protective against substance use for those who reported both high and low BV. Among heterosexual adolescents, having close parents was protective against substance use for those who reported high BV but having high neighborhood support exacerbated the risk of developing psychosomatic symptoms for those who reported high BV. Implications for school and parental-based interventions are discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was funded by 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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- protective factors
- psychosocial functioning
- sexual minorities