250065 Psychosocial correlates of multiple forms of violent exposures: Analyses of the 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey

Monday, October 31, 2011: 11:30 AM

Monica H. Swahn, PhD , Institute of Public Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
Robert. Bossarte, PhD , Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Jane Palmier, JD, MPH , Institute of Public Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
Claire Huang Yau , Instittue of Public Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
Manfred H. M. van Dulmen, PhD , Psychology, Kent State University, Kent, OH
Objective: There is a growing body of empirical research indicating a significant co-occurrence of multiple forms of violence exposures and victimizations among U.S. youth. However, very little information is available about shared risk factors across forms of violence.

Methods: Analyses were based on cross-sectional data from the 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey which includes a nationally representative sample (n=16,410) of high school students in 9th-12th grades in the U.S. Multinomial logistic regression analyses were conducted to test the associations between psychosocial risk factors and reports of multiple violence exposures ( i.e., physical fights, dating violence, forced sex and being bullied at school).

Results: Among high-school students, 33.0% reported 1 exposure, 11.4% reported two exposures, and 4.0% reported 3-4 exposures. Multivariate logistic regression analyses indicate that exposure to 3-4 forms of violence were highly associated with sadness, feeling too unsafe to go to school, early alcohol use, binge drinking, drug use, weapon carrying, asthma, low academic grades and suicide attempts relative to those who did not report exposure to violence.

Discussion: These findings underscore that multiple exposures to violence are relatively common among U.S. high school students. Moreover, multiple exposures to violence are associated with a relatively broad range of psychosocial risk factors. Because of the strength of the associations between these risk factors and violence exposures, the youth who report multiple exposures seem to be particularly vulnerable and in need of assistance, in particular because of the strong association between multiple violent exposures and suicidal behaviors.

Learning Areas:
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the prevalence and demographic characteristics associated with violent victimizations. 2. Compare risk factors associated with different levels of violent victimizations. 3. Explain the characteristics of youth who are most likely to report multiple victimizations.

Keywords: Violence, Youth

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an epidemiologist trained to analyse secondary data.
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.