Association Between Physical Fighting and Risk Factors in Middle School Students in Tennessee: Data from the 2013 Tennessee Youth Risk Behavior Survey
Physical fights among middle school students is a problem in our school systems, with 24.7% of students having been in a physical fight one or more times in 2013. The purpose of this study was to estimate the extent to which physical fights among middle school students in Tennessee was associated with demographic factors (age, sex and race) and to identify individual level factors that influence the likelihood of middle school students engaging in a physical fight.The 2013 Tennessee Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YBRS) data was used for this study, which is an annual cross-sectional school data collected by the National Center for Health Statistics of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. A total of 5589 Tennessee Middle school students were included in the analysis. The outcome variable was physical fighting. Explanatory variables included demographic variables, life styles and health behavior risk factors. Odds ratios (ORs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were reported.The analyses indicate that male students were more likely to be involved in a physical fight than the female students (OR 2.89, 95% CI 2.49-3.36) and white students were less likely to be involved in a physical fight than the non-White students (OR 0.50, 95% CI 0.43-0.58). For every one year increase in age, the relative odds of being involved in a physical fight increased by 9.4% (OR 1.09, 95% CI 1.02-1.18). Similarly, students who ever tried to commit suicide (OR 1.89, 95% CI 1.39-2.53), drink alcohol (OR 2.48, 95% CI 2.02-3.05) and smoke cigarettes (OR 1.95, 95% CI 1.56-2.44) were more likely to be involved in a physical fight than those who did not. Students who carried a weapon were more likely to be involved in a physical fight than those students who did not (OR 2.72, 95% CI 2.31-3.20). While Students who watched television for 3 or more hours per day were more likely to engage in physical fights (OR 1.20, 95%CI 1.04-1.39) than students who did not, students with school grades A and B (OR 0.58, 95% CI 0.49-0.68), feeling safe and secure at school (OR 0.73, 95% CI 0.62-0.87), sleeping eight or more hours per day (OR 0.80, 95% CI 0.69-0.92) were less likely to be involved in a fight in school than other students.Age, gender, race, smoking, alcohol, use of marijuana, sleeping time, school performance, school safety environment, suicide attempt and TV time were potential risk factors associated with physical fights among middle school students. Strategies to reduce physical fights among students in Tennessean middle schools are needed.
Johnson City, TN
Ogbu, Chukweumeka; Strasser, Sheryl; Morrell, Casey; Holt, Nicole; and Zheng, Shimin. 2016. Association Between Physical Fighting and Risk Factors in Middle School Students in Tennessee: Data from the 2013 Tennessee Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Poster presentation. Appalachian Student Research Forum, Johnson City, TN. http://www.etsu.edu/studentresearch/2016/documents/2016_ASRF_ProgramBook.pdf
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