Childhood Bullying: Depression and Suicidal Attempts

Subject: Psychology
Pages: 5
Words: 1344
Reading time:
5 min
Study level: PhD


Childhood bullying is associated with suicidal attempts later in adulthood as shown in the field of psychology. The risk of committing suicide varies with gender whereby girls show higher tendencies of committing suicide after undergoing bullying in their childhood as compared to boys (Bauman, Toomey, & Walker, 2013). The topic of suicide attempts due to bullying has attracted numerous research works seeking to unearth the connection between bullying and suicide attempts. Depression has been indicated as the mediating factor between the two variables. Bullying causes depression among the victims, which in turn predisposes the affected individuals to the risk of committing suicide. This paper analyzes the article, “Associations among bullying, cyberbullying, and suicide in high school students” by Sheri Bauman, Russell B. Toomey, and Jenny L. Walker through the chain of reasoning suggested by Krathwohl (2009).

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Main body: Research Critique

The author justifies the need for research to uncover the mediation role of depression in the relationship between bullying and suicidal behaviors based on the view that the currently available literature does not establish a direct connection between the two. The study tests other variables that either increase or decrease the chances of suicidal attempts among the bullied such as gender and the form of bullying. The author indicates that the study is a special one since it investigates different variables contemporaneously. The author validates his research subject by stating that the research is one of its kind exploring all the major aspects affecting the intensity of suicidal attempts among the bullied population.

The author identifies the topic of the association between bullying and suicide attempts as an important one and notes that the currently available literature does not explore the subject in details to establish the connection. The author asserts that the research is meant to fill the knowledge gap that is evident in the literature. The findings documented in the literature do not examine depression as a mediator between bullying and suicide attempts. Bullying, according to him, affects the victims psychologically causing depression that in turn drives the affected to commit suicide. Additionally, the author seeks to establish the severity of suicide behaviors due to bullying across genders. The researchers in this field fail to test for the relationship between suicide attempts and the traditional and cyber forms of bullying. By examining the connection between the two mentioned forms of bullying to suicide, the author states that his research differs significantly from other studies that generalize the two forms of bullying when investigating the relationship. There have been claims that both cyberbullying and the traditional form of bullying affect the bullied differently thus the need to establish the type of bullying responsible for the suicidal attempts among the affected groups. The author reviews numerous articles centering on the topic of suicide among bullied individuals. From the reviews, he gives statistics of the number of youths who commit or attempt suicide annually in the US. The articles discussed in this paper test different variables that affect the relationship between bullying and suicide attempts.

The author uses the findings from research documented in the literature as a basis for his study. He selects articles that support his hypothesis that bullying increases the chances of committing suicide on the affected. Since the study sought to establish the relationship between suicide and bullying across genders, the author conducts a comprehensive review of the literature revolving around gender effect on suicide attempts among the victims of bullying. Besides, the author reviews a broad range of literature examining the connection between the traditional and contemporary forms of bullying and suicide attempts. The literature reviewed by the author largely shapes the research since the researchers seek to explore all the aspects of the connection as outlined in the literature. All the articles studied in the paper test different aspects affecting the relationship ranging from gender, ethnicity to the form of bullying. Based on the findings from previous studies, the author explores all the mentioned aspects contemporaneously.


The study seeks to add to the literature on the role of depression in increasing risks of suicide attempts among bullied secondary school students.

Purpose of the study

The primary objective of the study is to unearth the connection between depression emanating from bullying and suicidal attempts (Bauman et al., 2013). Other secondary objectives include:

  1. To establish the extent to which each form of bullying implicates suicide behaviors
  2. The role of gender in influencing the results of bullying
  3. The role of ethnicity in influencing the said connection

Research question

The research question for this study is “does depression play a mediator role in the relationship between bullying and suicidal behaviors?”

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Assessment of the quality

The quality and reliability of the data was checked by taking a missing data analysis. Only 1% of data was missing in all the cases hence there was no need to conduct further quality audits.

Justification of the methods used

This research uses the quantitative method of data collection and analysis whereby questionnaires are used to gather the required data. The author implicitly justifies the method through the employment of a top-down approach. He begins by reviewing the literature to develop a hypothesis and then embarks on research to verify it. Such an approach involving a comprehensive review of the literature to develop the hypothesis for later testing is quantitative in nature.

Analysis based on Krathwohl’s statement

This research paper complies with Krathwohl’s Chain of reasoning in that it is formatted in such a way that a link is established between the various aspects of the chain. The structure of the paper aligns perfectly with Krathwohl’s Chain of reasoning whereby each link is founded on a previous link (Krathwohl, 2009). The author bases his research on the currently available literature that he explores deeply to formulate a research question. The links made between this study, and the previous work by others is illustrative of the author’s proficiency with the chain of reasoning. The author also justifies his study by connecting his findings with the findings of other researchers in the same field. Moreover, the purposes of the research, as well as the research question, are well presented followed by data collection to prove or disapprove the identified hypothesis. An explanation is offered and the findings are linked to those from other similar studies. In this article, all similar findings by previous researchers are cited as a way of substantiating the author’s findings. The author also identifies the limitations of the research and proposes improvements in the future research to obtain better results.

Future studies

The study used data collected at one point in time as opposed to the collection of such data at different times. The data was collected from high school students at a single point in time. It was, therefore, hard to establish a causal relationship between the variables tested. If data were collected in different periods, perhaps there would be variations in the results obtained. Future research works ought to use advanced methods of data to allow the collection of data at different times so that a causal relationship between the variables can be established. The research forms the basis on which future research will be based. However, the sample size was too small to allow for the generalization of the results. Future researchers should use larger samples and collect information from other members of society such as parents, teachers, and peers.


Bullying is associated with the rising number of suicidal cases among youths. Depression is cited as the mediating factor in the relationship. This paper explored the article, “Associations among bullying, cyberbullying, and suicide in high school students” by Sheri Bauman, Russell B. Toomey, and Jenny L. Walker. The author utilizes Krathwohl’s Chain of reasoning to research and presents his findings. The study seeks to establish the role of depression in increasing the risk of suicide due to bullying. The author conducts a review of the literature to illustrate the basis of his research. After presenting the results, he identifies the limitations and recommends more research on the topic.


Bauman, S., Toomey, R. & Walker, J. (2013). Associations among bullying, cyberbullying, and suicide in high school students. Journal of adolescence, 36(2), 341-350.

Krathwohl, D. (2009). Methods of educational and social science research: The logic of methods. Long Grove, IL. Waveland Press

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