Trends and Socioeconomic Correlates of Adolescent Physical Fighting in 30 Countries

Departments of Community Health and Epidemiology, and.
PEDIATRICS (Impact Factor: 5.47). 12/2012; 131(1). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2012-1614
Source: PubMed


Background and objectives:
No recent international studies provide evidence about its prevalence, trends, or social determinants of physical fighting in adolescents. We studied cross-national epidemiologic trends over time in the occurrence of frequent physical fighting, demographic variations in reported trends, and national wealth and income inequality as correlates.

Cross-sectional surveys were administered in school settings in 2002, 2006, and 2010. Participants (N = 493874) included eligible and consenting students aged 11, 13, and 15 years in sampled schools from 30 mainly European and North American countries. Individual measures included engagement in frequent physical fighting, age, gender, participation in multiple risk behaviors, victimization by bullying, and family affluence. Contextual measures included national income inequality, absolute wealth and homicide rates. Temporal measure was survey cycle (year).

Frequent physical fighting declined over time in 19 (63%) of 30 countries (from descriptive then multiple Poisson regression analyses). Contextual measures of absolute wealth (relative risk 0.96, 95% confidence interval 0.93-0.99 per 1 SD increase in gross domestic product per capita) but not income inequality (relative risk 1.01, 95% confidence interval 0.98-1.05 per 1 SD increase) related to lower levels of engagement in fighting. Other risk factors identified were male gender, younger age (11 years), multiple risk behaviors, victimization by bullying, and national homicide rates.

Between 2002 and 2010, adolescent physical fighting declined in most countries. Specific groups of adolescents require targeted violence reduction programs. Possible determinants responsible for the observed declines are discussed.

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    • "Whereas some international research in schools indicated that forms of violence (Pickett et al., 2012) and bullying (Finkelhor, 2013; Kim et al., 2009; Molcho et al., 2009; Rigby & Smith, 2011;) in student-to-student victimization tended to decrease during last thirty years in general prevalence whereby being still a significant serious problem for students, teachers, staff, and parents. Pupils targeted bullying in the schools has received in the literature more attention than teacher targeted bullying, especially when viewing teachers as multi-targeted victims and when describing teacher targeted workplace bullying trends over times (e.g. "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to describe changes in the prevalence of teacher multi-targeted workplace bullying in Estonia by means of a repeated cross-sectional design comparing two studies conducted 10 years apart. A comparison was conducted between participants from teachers’ self reports (n=573) in 2003 and those of (n=564) in 2013. The findings show a substantial increase during ten years in the prevalence of teacher targeted bullying in the teacher-pupil, teacher-teacher, teacher-school administrative staff, teacher-school maintenance staff, and teacher-parent relationships across different categories of victimization: Threat to professional status, threat to personal standing, isolation, and physical aggression.
    Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 01/2015; 171. DOI:10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.01.098
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    • "A ggressive behavior in youth is a serious community problem, and is a common reason for referral to pediatric mental health services, contributing to almost 50% of presentations (Scott et al. 2001; Connor 2002; Dean et al. 2006; Pickett et al. 2013). Aggression contributes to poor educational achievement, reduced employment prospects, social isolation, violence, crime and suicide (Scott et al. 2001; Bor 2004; Connor et al. 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Epidemiological research links aggression to low serum concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in fish oil. However, no studies have specifically examined whether fish oil supplementation can reduce the frequency and severity of impulsive aggression in children with disruptive behavior disorders. Methods: Children presenting with impulsive aggression and meeting research criteria for diagnosis of disruptive behavior disorders were randomized to receive either: 1) Fish oil capsules (4 g daily) for 6 weeks followed by placebo (identical-looking capsules) for 6 weeks; or 2) placebo for 6 weeks, followed by fish oil for 6 weeks, in a double-blind, crossover design. Primary outcomes were the Children's Aggression Scale and the Modified Overt Aggression Scale. Secondary outcomes included emotional and behavioral functioning (Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire [SDQ]), hyperactivity symptoms (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder [ADHD] Rating Scale), family functioning (Family Assessment Device), and cognitive functioning (Stop Signal Task, Trail-Making Task, and Eriksen Flanker Task). Serum concentrations of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids were measured at baseline, and at 6 and 12 weeks. Results: Twenty-one children participated (81% male; mean age 10.3±2.2 years; range 7-14). Fish oil treatment increased serum concentrations of eicosapentanoic acid (F=14.76, p<0.05) and total omega-3s (F=20.56, p<0.05), but did not influence primary ratings of aggression. In fact, a trend suggested that fish oil worsened a secondary measure of aggression (SDQ Conduct Subscale, F=4.34, p=0.06). Fish oil treatment was associated with an improvement in one rating of hyperactivity (SDQ Hyperactivity Subscale, F=2.22, p<0.05), but did not influence any other outcome measures. Conclusions: These findings suggest that fish oil treatment does not improve aggression in children with disruptive behavior disorders.
    Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology 04/2014; 24(3). DOI:10.1089/cap.2013.0093 · 2.93 Impact Factor
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    • "Given the variability in the prevalence of frequent fighting across countries and regions in this study, future research should examine the risk factors for fighting from an international and comparative perspective in order to inform prevention strategies that may have broader global relevance. Moreover, given recent cross-national comparisons outlining a decline in fighting across primarily European countries [13] "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Using nationally representative data, this study examined the prevalence of very frequent physical fighting (≥12 times per year) among youth in 27 countries and cities. Frequent physical fighting has rarely been reported in the previous literature despite the implications for research and practice. Methods: Analyses were based on the Global School-based Student Health Survey (2003-2008) and the 2009 US Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Multinomial regression analyses were conducted to determine gender differences in frequent fighting. Countries were categorized into five regions (Sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South America, Asia, Eastern Mediterranean, and the United States), and one-way ANOVA tests were used to determine regional differences. Results: The prevalence of frequent fighting was highest in Zambia (7.7%) and lowest in Myanmar (0.5%). Gender differences were found in 20 countries, with boys being more likely to report frequent fighting than girls. The prevalence of frequent fighting varied by region (F(3,22) = 4.78, P = .01), with the Eastern Mediterranean having a significantly higher prevalence of frequent fighting than Asia (P < .01). Conclusion: The prevalence of frequent fighting varies by gender in many countries and varies across world regions. More cross-national research is needed to better understand the sociocultural context of frequent fighting and to inform youth violence prevention efforts.
    Journal of Environmental and Public Health 06/2013; 2013(8):215126. DOI:10.1155/2013/215126
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