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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995 Nov;149(11):1254-8.

Physical abuse among high school students. Prevalence and correlation with other health behaviors.

Author information

1
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, Md, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To better understand the epidemiology of physical abuse among adolescents.

DESIGN:

School-based survey of students in grades 9 through 12.

SETTING:

Twenty-five schools throughout Oregon in 1993.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Prevalence of ever being physically abused, prevalence of most recent occurrence of physical abuse, and correlation of physical abuse with high-risk health behaviors.

RESULTS:

Of the 1957 respondents, 31.5% reported having ever been physically abused, with female subjects (34.6%) more likely than male subjects (28.0%) to have ever been abused. Overall, 3.7% of students had been physically abused in the past week, 7.8% in the past month, and 16.3% in the past year. Based on multivariate models, students physically abused in the past year were more likely than students who had never been physically abused to engage in a variety of high-risk behaviors; these included weapon carrying (odds ratio, 1.9), suicidal ideation (odds ratio, 2.1), cigarette smoking (odds ratio, 1.8), cocaine use (odds ratio, 3.2), or multiple sexual partners (odds ratio, 1.9).

CONCLUSIONS:

Physical abuse, an important problem among high school students, is correlated with many high-risk behaviors. Using consistent definitions, periodic surveys of children about physical abuse and other types of violent behavior are needed to provide better estimates of the extent of these problems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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