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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787


CASTRO, Marta de Lima; CUNHA, Sergio Souza da  and  SOUZA, Delma P Oliveira de. Violence behavior and factors associated among students of Central-West Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2011, vol.45, n.6, pp. 1054-1061.  Epub Sep 23, 2011. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the prevalence of violence among adolescents and young adults and to identify associated factors. METHODS: Cross-sectional study carried out in 2008 with systematic random sampling of 699 elementary and high school students enrolled in urban state schools of Barra do Garças, Central-Western Brazil. A self-administered questionnaire was applied in the classrooms without the presence of the teacher. The outcome "violent behavior" was defined as (1) use of firearm or sharp instrument, and/or (2) aggressions against oneself and/or others, and/or (3) suicide attempt. The analyzed independent variables were age, gender, socioeconomic status, use of alcohol, use of psychoactive drugs, sexual activity, and relationship between parents. Univariate analysis was conducted, as well as multiple regression adjusted for effect of clustering. RESULTS: Violence prevalence was of 18.6%, varying with age: 10.1% in the group aged 10 and 11 years; 20.2% for those aged 12-19 years; and 4.5% in the group aged 20-21 years. The factors associated with violent behavior were use of alcohol (RP = 2.51, 95%CI 1.22;5.15), use of psychoactive drugs (RP = 2.10, 95%CI 1.61;2.75), male gender (RP = 1.63, 95%CI 1.13;2.35) and unsatisfactory relationship between parents (RP = 1.64, 95%CI 1.25;2.15). CONCLUSIONS: Results indicate high prevalence of violence among adolescents in the age group 12-19 years, mainly among users of alcohol and drugs, of the male sex, from families whose parents do not have satisfactory relationships. Although without statistical significance in the final regression model, school result discrepancy and socioeconomic level should be considered in educational actions for prevention of violence behavior among students.

Keywords : Adolescent; Young Adult; Violence; Risk Factors; Cross-Sectional Studies.

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