The co-morbidity of violence-related behaviors with health-risk behaviors in a population of high school students

School of Public Health, University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center 77225, USA.
Journal of Adolescent Health (Impact Factor: 2.75). 04/1995; 16(3):216-25. DOI: 10.1016/1054-139X(94)00067-O
Source: PubMed

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.

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Available from: Karen Basen-Engquist, Aug 17, 2015
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    • "Among adolescents reporting peer violence, hazardous alcohol use was also associated with an increased frequency of violent incidents. These findings replicate previous research that has documented a relationship between alcohol use and violence among adolescents (Fergusson et al. 1996; Orpinas et al. 1995; Swahn and Donovan 2004, 2006; Swahn et al. 2004; Brewer and Swahn 2005; White et al. 1999). "
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    • "We also found that fighting was more common among those who used alcohol, tobacco and cigarettes when compared to those who do not use them. Under aged drinking, smoking and drug use are major risk factors associated with fighting (Lowry et al., 1999, Orpinas, et al 1995). Whether substance use contributes to fighting behavior or that these behaviors co-occur is not clear from this cross sectional analysis. "
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