Trends in Fighting and Violence Among Adolescents in the United States, 2002-2014

Objectives. To examine trends in and correlates of fighting and violence among youths from the 3 largest racial/ethnic groups in the United States. Methods. We derived race/ethnicity-specific prevalence estimates for fighting, group fighting, and attacks with intent to harm from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a population-based study of youths aged 12 to 17 years. Results. The prevalence of youth fighting and violence decreased significantly in all racial/ethnic groups over the study period (2002–2014), dropping from a high of 33.6% in 2003 to a low of 23.7% in 2014, reflecting a 29% decrease in the relative proportion of young people involved in these behaviors. However, there was also a clear severity gradient in which year-by-year point estimates for fighting and violence were consistently highest among non-Hispanic African American youths, followed by Hispanic and then non-Hispanic White youths. Conclusions. Although fighting and violence are on the decline among young people in general and across racial/ethnic subgroups, there is a stable pattern of disparities in youth involvement in these behaviors.

Publication Date:
May 12 2017
Date Submitted:
Nov 21 2018
Am J Public Health
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 Record created 2018-11-21, last modified 2019-04-03

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