214939 Binge drinking as a risk factor for violence among secondary school students in a nationally representative sample in Puerto Rico

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Juan C. Reyes, EdD, MS , Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Puerto Rico, Graduate School of Public Health, San Juan, PR
Margarita R. Moscoso-Alvarez, PhD , Foundations in Education, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR
Hector Colón, PhD , Center for Evaluation and Sociomedical Research, School of Public Health, San Juan, PR
Linnette Rodriguez-Figueroa, MSc, PhD , Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Puerto Rico, Graduate School of Public Health, San Juan, PR
Violence is prevalent among adolescents and has a high impact on morbidity and mortality. During 2007, the Youth Risk Behaviors Survey has shown that 36% of high school students reported being in a physical fight and 19% reported carrying a weapon. The objective of this study was to determine the association between binge drinking and violence in a representative sample of secondary school students in Puerto Rico. Consulta Juvenil has been designed as a monitoring program of the prevalence of substance use, violence, and the risk factors associated with these problem behaviors. The survey was conducted during the 2005-07 academic year (n=13,672). The study utilizes a self-administered questionnaire that was translated and adapted from the “Student Survey of Risk and Protective Factors and Prevalence of Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drug Use”. A violence index was calculated from five questions asked regarding violent behaviors. Most participants (52.4%) were females. With 18.7% classified as binge drinkers. The overall youth violence prevalence was 6.6%: 3% reported hurting someone enough that required medical treatment, 2.4% reported carrying a gun, 1.1% reported hitting a teacher, and 3.5% reported gang membership. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that those who reported binge drinking (OR=5.6, 95%CI: 4.8-6.6) and males (OR=1.3, 95%CI: 1.2-1.5) were more likely to report violent behaviors, after adjusting for sociodemographics. This study shows a positive association between binge drinking and violence among Puerto Rican adolescents, suggesting that Hispanic youth who abuse alcohol may be at higher risk for violence.

Learning Areas:
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Explain the importance of binge drinking in predicting violent behaviors. Discuss the implications of these findings for the development of interventions that can prevent alcohol abuse and youth violence.

Keywords: Binge Drinking, Violence

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a member of the research team of this study and I am an epidemiologist with more than 20 years of experience in the field of substance abuse epidemiology.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.