Examining Classes of Bully Perpetration among Latinx High School Students and Associations with Substance Use and Mental Health

Ashleigh E. Jones, Dorothy L. Espelage, Alberto Valido, Katherine Ingram, Gabriel J. Merrin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Latino(a) (also called “Latinx”) are the fastest growing ethnic population in the U.S.; however, there is a dearth of literature that examines intracultural bullying behaviors and their association with mental health and substance use for this population. The current study uses a person-centered approach to examine bully perpetration among Latinx high school students and association with substance use and mental health. Latent Class Analysis was used to identify classes of bullying perpetration among a sample of Latinx adolescents drawn from 9 Colorado high schools (n = 2929). Age and sex were used as predictors to examine differences between classes. Identified bullying classes were then related to mental health (i.e., depression and suicide ideation) and perceptions of future substance use. The latent class analysis identified five classes that included a high bully perpetration class (4.5%, n = 133), a moderate class (13.8%, n = 405), a class that reported high rates of teasing behaviors (13.5%, n = 396), a class that reported high rates of cyberbullying perpetration (7.3%, n = 215), and a low bully perpetration class (60.90%, n = 1780). Females reported lower odds of being in the High and Teasing classes compared to males. Further, the High and Cyberbullying perpetration classes reported the highest rates of depression, suicide ideation, and perception of future substance use compared to other classes. Understanding the risk profile of students who engage in bullying perpetration is essential in creating useful and appropriate resources and interventions. Inclusive efforts are needed to create more effective prevention programs that attend to the growing ethnic diversity among U.S. students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-179
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Bullying Prevention
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 15 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Bullying perpetration
  • Latent class analysis
  • Latinx student
  • Mental health
  • Substance use perceptions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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