Peer victimization and suicidality among LGBTQ youth: the roles of school belonging, self-compassion, and parental support

Tyler Hatchel, Gabriel J. Merrin, and Dorothy Espelage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Research on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth’s experiences at school has largely focused on stigma, adversity, disparities, and peer victimization. Factors like school climate, individual differences, and social support have also garnered significant attention. However, there has been a dearth of research examining how they relate to both suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. Our goal was to bolster the extant literature by examining the protective role of parental support and psychological mechanisms like school belonging and self-compassion among LGBTQ youth struggling with peer victimization and suicidality. A cross-sectional study was completed with a sample of 934 LGBTQ high school students. Structural equation modeling was employed to analyze direct and indirect effects. Peer victimization was positively associated with both forms of suicidality and negatively associated with school belonging and self-compassion. Psychological processes varied in their in prediction of suicidal ideation and attempts. Parental support did not moderate pathways between victimization and processes, but was associated with diminished suicidality and improved school belonging. Our findings illustrate the critical nature of further developing our understanding of the complexities of suicidality. School programs and interventions that are designed to cultivate belonging, self-compassion, and parental support may prove to be especially beneficial for victimized LGBTQ youth who struggle with suicidality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-156
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of LGBT Youth
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • LGBTQ youth
  • bullying
  • mental health
  • school connectedness
  • social support
  • suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Education


Dive into the research topics of 'Peer victimization and suicidality among LGBTQ youth: the roles of school belonging, self-compassion, and parental support'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this