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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1020-4989

Abstract

ORPINAS, Pamela. Who is violent?: factors associated with aggressive behaviors in Latin America and Spain. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 1999, vol.5, n.4-5, pp. 222-231. ISSN 1020-4989.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49891999000400007.

The main purpose of this paper was to evaluate the strength of the association between: 1) ag gres sive behaviors and 2) attitudes and self-efficacy for alternatives to violence, in different cities of the Region of the Americas and Spain. Results were based on a cross-sectional household survey of a sample of the population aged 18 to 70 years. The survey was conducted in eight metropolitan areas of Latin America and Spain: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Salvador, Bahia, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; Cali, Colombia; San José, Costa Rica; San Salvador, El Salvador; Caracas, Venezuela; and Madrid, Spain. Each sample of approximately 1 200 respondents per city was stratified by clusters and was proportional in terms of socioeconomic position and population density. In all cities and for all targets of aggression studied, people who reported using aggression were less likely to feel confident that they could solve conflicts without violence, and they were more likely to hold attitudes supporting violence. Young persons were also more likely to commit aggression against all the targets. In addition, aggression toward nonfamily members was found most frequently among young men who reported binge drinking, who either carried a firearm or would have liked to carry one, or who perceived the police as inefficient. Additional studies need to be done in each country to describe more specific attitudes as so ciated with aggression within each subculture. Future prevention programs should focus on modifying attitudes that support violence, increasing self-efficacy in solving problems without using violence, supporting the development of a police system that people can trust, regulating firearms and access to alcohol, and raising people’s education levels.

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