Youth Violence and Related Risk Factors: A Cross-sectional Study in 2800 Adolescents

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Community Medicine and Family Physician, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Dentistry, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: Youth violence is an important public health challenge, and the literature on this problem in developing countries has been limited. The present study aims to determine the prevalence of violence its related risk factors in in a sample of students in Isfahan, Iran.Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 2800 middle and high school, aged 11–18 years in urban and rural areas selected in a multistage sampling procedure and were questioned using a self-administered questionnaire. Collected data included sociodemographic and family characteristics, students' knowledge, verbal and physical violence (as a perpetrator and/or victim), risk-taking behaviors (weapon carrying, threatening behaviors), family violent status, watching movies, and accessibility of sport facilities. Results: The prevalence of verbal and physical violence in studied students was 45% and 33.3%, respectively. The prevalence of verbal and physical victimization was 45.8% and 23.6%, respectively. The prevalence of physical violence was higher in middle school students than high school students (P = 0.0001) and in boys was higher than in girls (P = 0.0001). Being boy, carried a weapon out of home or in school, victimization, feel unsafe at school, and violence in the family are the significant related risk factors with students violence (P < 0.05). Conclusion: The prevalence of students' violence in Iranian students is similar to the most of other developing countries, although, high rate violence and related risk factors emphasize the need for comprehensive and interventional prevention programs to reduce and manage student violence and associated risk behaviors


Butchart A, Mikton C, Dahlberg LL, Krug EG. Global status report on violence prevention 2014. Inj Prev 2015;21:213.  Back to cited text no. 1
Reza A, Mercy JA, Krug E. Epidemiology of violent deaths in the world. Inj Prev 2001;7:104-11.  Back to cited text no. 2
World Health Organziation. Preventing Youth Violence: An Overview of the Evidence. World Health Organziation; 2015.  Back to cited text no. 3
Jansen PW, Verlinden M, Dommisse-van Berkel A, Mieloo C, van der Ende J, Veenstra R, et al. Prevalence of bullying and victimization among children in early elementary school: Do family and school neighbourhood socioeconomic status matter? BMC Public Health 2012;12:494.  Back to cited text no. 4
Resnick MD, Ireland M, Borowsky I. Youth violence perpetration: What protects? What predicts? Findings from the national longitudinal study of adolescent health. J Adolesc Health 2004;35:424.e1-10.  Back to cited text no. 5
Hughes K, Bellis MA, Hardcastle KA, Butchart A, Dahlberg LL, Mercy JA, et al. Global development and diffusion of outcome evaluation research for interpersonal and self-directed violence prevention from 2007 to 2013: A systematic review. Aggress Violent Behav 2014;19:655-62.  Back to cited text no. 6
Pinheiro PS. World Report on Violence against Children. United Nations Publishing Services (UN Geneva). United Nations; 2006.  Back to cited text no. 7
Kaya F, Bilgin H, Singer MI. Contributing factors to aggressive behaviors in high school students in Turkey. J Sch Nurs 2012;28:56-69.  Back to cited text no. 8
UNESCO. School Violence and Bullying: Global Status Report. Paris: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization; 2017.  Back to cited text no. 9
Fakhari A, Tabatabavakili M, Javid YS, Farhang S. Family violence influences mental health of school girls in Iran: Results of a preliminary study. Asian J Psychiatr 2012;5:24-7.  Back to cited text no. 10
World Health Organziation. Global School-Based Student Health Survey (GSHS). Geneva: World Health Organziation; 2009.  Back to cited text no. 11
Yang L, Zhang Y, Xi B, Bovet P. Physical fighting and associated factors among adolescents aged 13-15 years in six Western Pacific countries. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2017;14. pii: E1427.  Back to cited text no. 12
Mat Hussin SF, Abd Aziz NS, Hasim H, Sahril N. Prevalence and factors associated with physical fighting among Malaysian adolescents. Asia Pac J Public Health 2014;26:108S-15S.  Back to cited text no. 13
Fraga S, Ramos E, Dias S, Barros H. Physical fighting among school-going portuguese adolescents: Social and behavioural correlates. Prev Med 2011;52:401-4.  Back to cited text no. 14
Rudatsikira E, Muula AS, Siziya S. Variables associated with physical fighting among US high-school students. Clin Pract Epidemiol Ment Health 2008;4:16.  Back to cited text no. 15
Celedonia KL, Wilson ML, El Gammal HA, Hagras AM. Physical fighting among Egyptian adolescents: Social and demographic correlates among a nationally representative sample. PeerJ 2013;1:e125.  Back to cited text no. 16
Kann L, McManus T, Harris WA, Shanklin SL, Flint KH, Hawkins J, et al. Youth risk behavior surveillance – United States, 2015. MMWR Surveill Summ 2016;65:1-74.  Back to cited text no. 17
Rudatsikira E, Siziya S, Kazembe LN, Muula AS. Prevalence and associated factors of physical fighting among school-going adolescents in Namibia. Ann Gen Psychiatry 2007;6:18.  Back to cited text no. 18
Williams K, Rivera L, Neighbours R, Reznik V. Youth violence prevention comes of age: Research, training and future directions. Annu Rev Public Health 2007;28:195-211.  Back to cited text no. 19
Román M, Murillo FJ. Latin America: School bullying and academic achievement. Cepal Rev 2011;104:37-53.  Back to cited text no. 20
Pickett W, Molcho M, Elgar FJ, Brooks F, de Looze M, Rathmann K, et al. Trends and socioeconomic correlates of adolescent physical fighting in 30 countries. Pediatrics 2013;131:e18-26.  Back to cited text no. 21
Swahn MH, Gressard L, Palmier JB, Yao H, Haberlen M. The prevalence of very frequent physical fighting among boys and girls in 27 countries and cities: Regional and gender differences. J Environ Public Health 2013;2013:215126.  Back to cited text no. 22
United Nations Children's Fund, Hidden in Plain Sight: A statistical analysis of violence against children, UNICEF, New York, 2014.  Back to cited text no. 23
Owens L, Daly A, Slee P. Sex and age differences in victimisation and conflict resolution among adolescents in a South Australian school. Aggress Behav Wiley Online Libr 2005;31:1-12.  Back to cited text no. 24
Zhang A, Musu-Gillette L, Oudekerk BA. Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2015. NCES 2016-079/NCJ 249758. National Center for Education Statistics. ERIC; 2016.  Back to cited text no. 25
Khubchandani J, Price JH. Violence related behaviors and weapon carrying among hispanic adolescents: Results from the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 2001-2015. J Community Health 2018;43:391-9.  Back to cited text no. 26
Frisell T, Lichtenstein P, Långström N. Violent crime runs in families: A total population study of 12.5 million individuals. Psychol Med 2011;41:97-105.  Back to cited text no. 27