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06-07-2021 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 11/2021

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 11/2021

Bullying Victimization and Sexual Wellbeing in Sexually Active Heterosexual, Cisgender and Sexual/Gender Minority Adolescents: The Mediating Role of Emotion Regulation

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 11/2021
Auteurs:
Alice Girouard, Jacinthe Dion, Beáta Bőthe, Lucia O’Sullivan, Sophie Bergeron
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Supplementary information

The online version contains supplementary material available at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10964-021-01471-7.
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Abstract

Bullying victimization is prevalent in adolescence and associated with adverse consequences on physical and psychological wellbeing, paricularly in sexual and gender minority youth. However, little is known about its associations with sexual wellbeing and the underlying mechanisms that could explain this association. The present study assessed the associations between bullying victimization and sexual wellbeing (sexual satisfaction, sexual desire/arousal and orgasmic function difficulties, sexual distress) via the mediating role of emotion regulation difficulties, considering potential sexual/gender minority status-based differences. Self-report online surveys were completed by 1036 sexually active (49.7% were girls) high school students (Mage = 14.6 years, SDage = 0.6). Bullying victimization was directly and negatively associated with sexual desire/arousal difficulties and positively with sexual distress. Higher emotion regulation difficulties mediated the associations between higher bullying victimization and higher orgasmic function difficulties, as well as higher bullying victimization and higher sexual distress. No significant association was observed between bullying victimization and sexual satisfaction. No significant differences were observed between heterosexual, cisgender and sexual and gender minority youth in any of the associations. The findings suggest that bullying victimization is associated with adolescents’ sexual wellbeing. The cross-sectional design and small effect sizes support the need for further prospective cohort studies.

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