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: 3.61). 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.

Download full-text


Available from: Karen Basen-Engquist, Sep 27, 2015
21 Reads
  • Source
    • "As such we term it a risk factor for violence and in the current paper we control for reported victimization from bullying in order to limit the cases in which weapon carrying is for purposes of defense. Both physical fighting and weapon carrying are highly correlated with use of illicit substances [14], [15] and early involvement in sexual behaviours [16]. They are also associated with a myriad of health-related outcomes and other forms of violence including bullying [13], [16], poor academic achievement and reduced engagement in school activities [17], suicidal ideation and behaviour [18], [19], and other measures of emotional distress [20]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Then aims of the current study were 1) to provide cross-national estimates of the prevalence of physical fighting and weapon carrying among adolescents aged 11-15 years; (2) To examine the possible effects of physical fighting and weapon carrying on the occurrence of physical (medically treated injuries) and emotional health outcomes (multiple health complaints) among adolescents within the theoretical framework of Problem Behaviour Theory. 20,125 adolescents aged 11-15 in five countries (Belgium, Israel, USA, Canada, FYR Macedonia) were surveyed via the 2006 Health Behaviour in School Aged Children survey. Prevalence was calculated for physical fighting and weapon carrying along with physical and emotional measures that potentially result from violence. Regression analyses were used to quantify associations between violence/weapon carrying and the potential health consequences within each country. Large variations in fighting and weapon carrying were observed across countries. Boys reported more frequent episodes of fighting/weapon carrying and medically attended injuries in every country, while girls reported more emotional symptoms. Although there were some notable variations in findings between different participating countries, increased weapon carrying and physical fighting were both independently and consistently associated with more frequent reports of the potential health outcomes. Adolescents engaging in fighting and weapon carrying are also at risk for physical and emotional health outcomes. Involvement in fighting and weapon carrying can be seen as part of a constellation of risk behaviours with obvious health implications. Our findings also highlight the importance of the cultural context when examining the nature of violent behaviour for adolescents.
    PLoS ONE 02/2013; 8(2):e56403. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0056403 · 3.23 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "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). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Researchers recognize that the connection between alcohol and peer violence may relate to community level ecological factors, such as the location of businesses that sell alcohol. Building on previous research among adults, this study examines the relationship between alcohol outlet density and violent behaviors among adolescents, taking into account demographic characteristics, individual alcohol use, and neighborhood level socioeconomic indicators. Data drawn from a diverse Emergency Department based sample of 1,050 urban adolescents, combined with tract level data from the state liquor control commission and U.S. Census, were analyzed. Results of multivariate multi-level regression analysis indicate that alcohol outlet density is significantly related to adolescents' violent behaviors, controlling for demographic characteristics and individual alcohol use. Census tract level socioeconomic indicators were not significantly associated with youth violence. Findings suggest that alcohol outlet density regulation should be considered as part of broader violence prevention strategies for urban adolescents.
    American Journal of Community Psychology 12/2010; 46(3-4):253-62. DOI:10.1007/s10464-010-9353-6 · 1.74 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Although there have not been many specific studies of the impact of exposure to interpersonal and community violence on sexual risk taking among African American adolescent females, existing research suggests that these relationships are established early in life. In a cross-sectional study of 9 th and 11 th grade students it was found that exposure to family violence was associated with higher numbers of sexual partners among African American adolescent females (Orpinas et al., 1995). Johnson and Harlow (1996) found that exposure to interpersonal violence was associated with a greater perceived risk of HIV and with more sexual risk behaviors. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Juvenile crime and violent victimization continue to be significant social problems (Fitzpatrick, Piko, Wright, & LaGory, 2005); in that, adolescents, females in particular, are likely to participate in health related risk behaviors as result of having been victimized or exposed to a violent environment. Specifically, abuse, neglect, sexual molestation, poverty, and witnessing violence are well known risk factors for the development of trauma-related psychopathology and poor outcomes relative to delinquency, drug and alcohol abuse, and HIV risk behaviors (Steiner, Garcia, & Matthews, 1997). HIV infection is a common public health concern disproportionally affecting adolescent African American female detainees. This unique population has a serious history of violence exposure, which subsequently tends to lead to engaging in risky sexual behaviors, mental health problems, and abusing substances. Also, as a result of little to no intervention, this population is recidivating at an alarming rate, a problem that may further exacerbate the expression of health-related risk behaviors among African American adolescent female detainees. The authors briefly describe a pilot program to be implemented in the juvenile justice system that is based on the Model of Accumulated Risk (Garbarino, 1996), Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Model (1994), and the Positive Youth Justice Model (Butts, Bazemore, & Meroe, 2009). The program proposes to reduce risky sexual behaviors, teach alternatives to abusing substances, treat mental health concerns, and reduce the rate of recidivism through "positive youth development", PYD (Butts, Bazemore, & Meroe, 2009). Tying elements of wraparound services and reeducation together, this program addresses salient concerns that may have an impact on an adolescent detainees' success following their release from prison in a holistic manner.
    Journal of Offender Rehabilitation 11/2010; 49(8):571-584. DOI:10.1080/10509674.2010.519669
Show more