Marla Stafford's Article Accepted for Publication in Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

For release:  September 30, 2014

Dr. Marla Royne Stafford, Great Oaks Foundation Professor of Marketing and chair of the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management, recently had her article entitled, "How Gay-Straight Alliance Groups Mitigate the Relationship between Gay-Bias Victimization and Adolescent Suicide Attempts," accepted for publication into the pediatric psychiatry journal, the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. The journal's 2013 impact factor ranks it as first among 117 journals in the "Pediatrics" category. The article was co-authored with Dr. Brennan Davis, associate professor of Marketing at California Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo, and Dr. Chris Pullig, associate professor of Marketing and department chair at Baylor University.

"Much of marketing and consumer behavior is grounded in psychology, which had some bearing on the conducted research," said Dr. Stafford. "This article exemplifies one way in which cross-disciplinary studies can impact academic research efforts."

In this article, the relationships between victimization from being bullied, suicide, hopelessness and the presence of a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) on a school campus were examined. Data was analyzed from the California Healthy Kids Survey from 2005-2007 utilizing hierarchical modeling. It was found that gay-bias (versus non-gay-bias) victimization is meaningfully connected with the inwardly destructive behavior of attempted suicide among adolescents. It was also found that hopelessness helped to explain associations between gay-bias victimization and suicide attempts and that the presence of a GSA club on a school's campus attenuates significant connections between gay-bias victimization and suicide attempts by reducing hopelessness. The results show that gay-bias victims are more likely than other victims to attempt suicide while also feeling more hopeless. The presence of a GSA on campus may help reduce the attempted suicide and hopelessness associated with gay-bias victimization.

"It is exciting to see the ways in which a business discipline such as marketing can be applicable to other areas of study," said Rajiv Grover, dean of Fogelman College. "Dr. Stafford's work reflects this versatility while showcasing its utility beyond a classroom setting."