Adolescents from five different countries had similar frequencies of violence-related behaviors, including fighting and weapon carrying, according to an article in the June issue of The Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
According to information in the article, aggressive and violent behavior is a significant public health problem worldwide. The authors write: "In the United States, physical assault is the sixth leading cause of nonfatal injury in 15- to 19-year-olds and the seventh leading cause in 10- to 14-year-olds. Furthermore, homicide is the second leading cause of death in 15- to 19-year-olds and the fourth leading cause in 10- to 14-year-olds." Violence-related deaths among youths seem to be increasing, the article states.
Eleanor Smith-Khuri, M.D., of the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md., and colleagues compared the frequency of violent behaviors among adolescents in five countries based on information from the World Health Organizations cross-national study of Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC), which surveyed health risk behaviors and lifestyles in young adolescents in developed countries. The HBSC survey data were obtained from adolescents aged 11.5, 13.5, and 15.5 years living in Ireland, Israel, Portugal, Sweden and the United States during the 1997-1998 academic year. The survey was administered to 10,610 boys and 11,530 girls.
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