Bullying and Suicidal Behavior During Adolescence: A Developmental Perspective

John F. Gunn, Sara E. Goldstein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


This review of the literature examines the problem of suicide and bullying from a developmental perspective with a focus on the unique characteristics of adolescence that may contribute to the bullying-suicide link. Adolescence is a time of peak physical health, yet can be a period of risky behavior and heightened emotionality. In this literature review, it is argued that a number of developmental factors leave adolescents especially vulnerable to suicidal behavior following exposure to bullying. This review highlights the importance of developmental factors in understanding the bullying-suicide link during adolescence. Adolescence, with an increase in emotionality, risk-taking, and an increased focus on peer relationships, is an at-risk period for the development of suicidality following exposure to bullying. Also highlighted are gender differences, special challenges facing LGBTQ adolescents, and recommendations for intervention and prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-97
Number of pages21
JournalAdolescent Research Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2017


  • Adolescence
  • Bullying
  • Risk-factors
  • Suicide


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