Mediation by peer violence victimization of sexual orientation disparities in cancer-related tobacco, alcohol, and sexual risk behaviors: Pooled youth risk behavior surveys

Margaret Rosario*, Heather L. Corliss, Bethany G. Everett, Stephen T. Russell, Francisco O. Buchting, Michelle A. Birkett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

32 Scopus citations


Objectives. We examined the role of adolescent peer violence victimization (PVV) in sexual orientation disparities in cancer-related tobacco, alcohol, and sexual risk behaviors. Methods. We pooled data from the 2005 and 2007 Youth Risk Behavior Surveys.We classified youths with any same-sex sexual attraction, partners, or identity as sexual minority and the remainder as heterosexual. We had 4 indicators of tobacco and alcohol use and 4 of sexual risk and 2 PVV factors: victimization at school and carrying weapons. We stratified associations by gender and race/ethnicity. Results. PVV was related to disparities in cancer-related risk behaviors of substance use and sexual risk, with odds ratios (ORs) of 1.3 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.03, 1.6) to 11.3 (95% CI = 6.2, 20.8), and to being a sexual minority, with ORs of 1.4 (95% CI = 1.1, 1.9) to 5.6 (95% CI = 3.5, 8.9). PVV mediated sexual orientation disparities in substance use and sexual risk behaviors. Findings were pronounced for adolescent girls and Asian/Pacific Islanders. Conclusions. Interventions are needed to reduce PVV in schools as a way to reduce sexual orientation disparities in cancer risk across the life span.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1113-1123
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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