The co-morbidity of violence-related behaviors with health-risk behaviors in a population of high school students.
ABSTRACT To describe the frequency of violence-related behaviors and their association with other health behaviors among high school students.
The Youth Risk Behavior Survey was administered to all ninth and eleventh graders (n = 2075) of a school district in Texas. It provided information regarding violence-related behaviors and other health behaviors. Students were classified into four mutually exclusive, violence-related categories according to whether they were involved in a physical fight and/or carried a weapon.
Overall, 20% of the students were involved in a physical fight but had not carried a weapon, 10% carried a weapon but had not been involved in a physical fight, and 17% had been involved in a physical fight and had carried a weapon. Prevalence of weapon-carrying and fighting were higher among males than females, and among ninth graders than eleventh graders. Among males, 48% had carried a weapon the month prior to the survey. Students who both fought and carried a weapon were 19 times more likely to drink alcohol six or more days than students who did not fight nor carried a weapon. Logistic regression analyses showed that drinking alcohol, number of sexual partners, and being in ninth grade were predictors of fighting. These three variables plus having a low self-perception of academic performance and suicidal thoughts were predictors of fighting and carrying a weapon.
The data indicate that violence-related behaviors are frequent among high school students and that they are positively associated with certain health behaviors. Interventions designed to reduce violence should also address coexisting health-risk behaviors and target high-risk groups.
- SourceAvailable from: Andrea D Mata[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The link between violence and suicide is well documented. Previous studies, however, largely rely on cross-sectional designs or only consider violence as an antecedent of suicide. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the longitudinal relationship between violence and suicide from adolescence into young adulthood. Data were derived from Wave II (1995-1996), Wave III (2001-2002), and Wave IV (2007-2008) of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (N = 8,966). We tested (2011-2013) a series of path analysis models in Mplus to determine the longitudinal associations between violence and suicidality. Results from the path analyses indicated that violence and suicidality mutually affect each other from adolescence into young adulthood. We found some evidence that the association between suicidality and violence was stronger for males compared to females, particularly in early and young adulthood. The current study confirms previous findings by demonstrating that violence is a risk factor for future suicide. We also extended the previous literature by demonstrating that a history of suicidality is associated with future risk for violence. Our findings highlight the importance of further integrating prevention efforts to reduce violence and suicidality during adolescence and early/young adulthood.Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior 06/2013; · 1.33 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Witnessing violence has been linked to maladaptive coping behaviors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and marijuana use. However, more research is required to identify mechanisms in which witnessing violence leads to these behaviors. The objectives of this investigation were to examine the association between witnessing a violent death and smoking, alcohol consumption, and marijuana use among adolescents, to identify whether exhibiting depressive symptoms was a mediator within this relationship, and to determine if those who had adult support in school were less likely to engage in risky health behaviors. Data were collected from a sample of 1,878 urban students, from 18 public high schools participating in the 2008 Boston Youth Survey. In 2012, we used multilevel log-binomial regression models and propensity score matching to estimate the association between witnessing a violent death and smoking, alcohol consumption, and marijuana use. Analyses indicated that girls who witnessed a violent death were more likely to use marijuana (relative risk (RR) = 1.09, 95 % confidence interval (CI) = 1.02, 1.17), and tended towards a higher likelihood to smoke (RR = 1.06, 95 % CI = 1.00, 1.13) and consume alcohol (RR = 1.07, 95 % CI = 0.97, 1.18). Among boys, those who witnessed a violent death were significantly more likely to smoke (RR = 1.20, 95 % CI = 1.11, 1.29), consume alcohol (RR = 1.30, 95 % CI = 1.17, 1.45) and use marijuana (RR = 1.33, 95 % CI = 1.21, 1.46). When exhibiting depressive symptoms was included, estimates were not attenuated. However, among girls who witnessed a violent death, having an adult at school for support was protective against alcohol consumption. When we used propensity score matching, findings were consistent with the main analyses among boys only. This study adds insight into how witnessing violence can lead to adoption of adverse health behaviors.Journal of Urban Health 10/2013; · 1.89 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Introduction: A growing body of empirical research documents a significant co-occurrence of suicide attempts and interpersonal violence among youth. However, the potential role of early alcohol use initiation and current heavy alcohol use as correlates of this comorbidity has not been examined in a nationally representative sample of high school students. Methods: We based our analyses on cross-sectional data from the 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which includes a nationally representative sample (n=16,410) of high school students in grades 9 through 12 in the United States. Multinomial logistic regression analyses were conducted to test the associations between measures of alcohol use (early alcohol use initiation and heavy drinking) and comorbid suicidal and violent behavior while controlling for potential confounders. Results: Among high school students, 3.6% reported comorbid physical fighting and suicide attempt in the past year. Early alcohol use (prior to age 13) and heavy drinking (5 or more drinks in a row) were strongly associated with comorbid reports of physical fighting and suicide attempts (Adj. odds ratio [OR]=3.12; 95% confidence interval [CI]:2.49-3.89) and (Adj. OR=3.45; 95%CI:2.63-4.52). Conclusion: These findings underscore the importance of both early alcohol use initiation and heavy drinking as statistically significant correlates of comorbid fighting and suicide attempts among youth. While future research is needed to determine the temporal ordering between problem drinking and violent or suicidal behaviors, existing prevention programs may benefit from including components aimed at reducing and delaying alcohol use.The western journal of emergency medicine 08/2013; 14(4):341-6.