Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Psychosocial characteristics associated with frequent physical fighting: findings from the 2009 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey
  1. Monica H Swahn1,
  2. Robert M Bossarte2,3,
  3. Jane B Palmier1,
  4. Huang Yao1,
  5. Manfred H M Van Dulmen4
  1. 1Institute of Public Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
  2. 2Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA
  3. 3Center of Excellence, Department of Veterans Affairs Canandaigua, New York, USA
  4. 4Department of Psychology, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Monica H Swahn, Institute of Public Health, Partnership for Urban Health Research, Georgia State University, P.O. Box 3995, Atlanta, GA 30302-3995, USA; MSwahn{at}


The goal of the current study was to determine the prevalence and psychosocial correlates associated with frequent fighting among US high school students. Cross-sectional analyses were conducted using the 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (N=16 410). Multivariate logistic regression analyses determined associations between demographic and psychosocial correlates of frequent fighting. Among students, 13.6% reported fighting once, 15.3% reported fighting 2–11 times and 2.6% reported fighting 12 or more times in the past year. Risk factors associated with frequent fighting were weapon carrying (adjusted OR=10.55; 95% CI 7.40 to 15.05), suicide attempt (adjusted OR=6.16; 95% CI 3.70 to 10.28), binge drinking (adjusted OR=3.15; 95% CI 2.16 to 4.59) and feeling too unsafe to go to school (adjusted OR=3.09; 95% CI 2.00 to 4.77). There is a clear need to better understand the patterns and psychosocial characteristics of frequent physical fighting and the prevention and interventions strategies that may be most relevant for these vulnerable youth.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.