Violent adolescents and their educational environment: a multilevel analysis.

TitleViolent adolescents and their educational environment: a multilevel analysis.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsThurnherr, J, Berchtold, A, Michaud, P-A, Akré, C, Surís, J-C
JournalJ Dev Behav Pediatr
Date Published2008 Oct
KeywordsAdolescent, Adolescent Behavior, Crime Victims, Dangerous Behavior, Female, Humans, Individuality, Male, Parent-Child Relations, Psychology, Adolescent, Risk Factors, Schools, Sex Factors, Sexual Behavior, Single-Parent Family, Social Environment, Surveys and Questionnaires, Switzerland, Violence, Young Adult

OBJECTIVE: This study examined the respective roles of personal and environmental factors in youth violence in a nationally representative sample of 7548 postmandatory school students and apprentices ages 16-20 years in Switzerland.

METHODS: Youth violence was defined as having committed at least one of the following in the previous 12 months: attacking an adult, snatching something, carrying a weapon, or using a weapon in a fight. Different ecological levels were tested, resulting in a three-level model only in males (individual, classroom, and school) as the low prevalence of female violence did not allow for a multilevel analysis. Dependent variables were attributed to each level. For males, the classroom level (10%) and the school level (24%) accounted for more than one third in interindividual variance.

RESULTS: Factors associated with violence perpetration in females were being a victim of physical violence and sensation seeking at the individual level. In males, practicing unsafe sex, sensation seeking, being a victim of physical violence, having a poor relationship with parents, being depressed, and living in a single-parent household at the individual level; violence and antisocial acts at the classroom level; and being in a vocational school at the school level showed a correlation with violence perpetration.

CONCLUSION: Interventions at the classroom level as well as an explicit school policy on violence and other risk behaviors should be considered a priority when dealing with the problem of youth violence. Furthermore, prevention should take into account gender differences.

Alternate URL

Alternate JournalJ Dev Behav Pediatr
Citation Key / SERVAL ID2677
PubMed ID18714210


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