To use it or not to use it: differences between adolescent males carrying a weapon and those using it in a fight

TitleTo use it or not to use it: differences between adolescent males carrying a weapon and those using it in a fight
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsJoan, CSuris, Thurnherr, J, Berchtold, A, Akré, C, Michaud, P-A
Conference NameSociety for Adolescent Medicine Annual Meeting, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA, 26-29 March 2008
ISBN Number1054-139X
Accession Numberserval:BIB_782258F40379
KeywordsAdolescent, Male, Switzerland, Violence, Violence/psychology, Weapons
Abstract

Purpose Data indicate that 19% of male adolescents living in Switzerland carried a weapon in the last 12 months. The main objective of this research is to compare the characteristics of male adolescents carrying a weapon and having used it in a fight from those who have carried but not used it in the previous 12 months.
Methods Data were drawn from the 2002 Swiss Multicenter Adolescent Survey on Health (SMASH02) data base, a survey including 7,548[3,710 males] in-school adolescents aged 16-20 years in Switzerland. Only males declaring having carried a weapon (N = 711; 19.2% of the sample) were included in the analysis. Three groups were created: those not having used a weapon (WO; N = 538 subjects), those having used a weapon in a fight once or twice (W12; N = 127), and those having used a weapon in a fight 3 or more times (W3+; N = 46). Multinomial logistic regression was performed to compare the 3 groups on individual, family, school, and social factors using WO as the reference category. Analyses were performed with STATA9. Results are presented as relative risk ratios (RRR).
Results W12 males were significantly more likely to perceive their puberty as advanced compared to their peers (RRR: 2.1), to be foreign born (RRR: 2.6), to live in an urban environment (RRR: 1.9), to be in vocational school (RRR: 4.7), to have a poor school connectedness (RRR: 1.8), to skip classes (RRR: 2.1) and to quarrel while intoxicated (RRR: 5.3). W3+ males were significantly more likely to be foreign born (RRR: 3.6) and to live in an urban environment (RRR: 2.4), to be current users of illegal drugs other than cannabis (RRR: 3.8) and to quarrel while intoxicated (RRR: 4.1). No differences were found between groups for tobacco, alcohol, or cannabis use.
Conclusions Within a national sample of Swiss youth aged 16-20 years, almost one fifth of male adolescents have carried a weapon in the previous 12 months. Nevertheless, most of them (75.7%) have never used a weapon in a fight. Whether they carry a weapon for defense purposes or as a manly behavior remains to be elucidated. However, urban foreign-born adolescents who quarrel while intoxicated are the most at risk of using a weapon in a fight, and therefore culturally-sensitive prevention approaches need to be developed to decrease violence in this specific population of youth. Having school problems or using illegal drugs other than cannabis seem to differentiate between those who use it in a fight occasionally (once or twice) and those who do it more often.

Notes

oai:serval.unil.ch:BIB_782258F40379

DOI10.1016/j.jadohealth.2007.11.057
Citation Key / SERVAL ID5412

                         

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