Risk behaviors related to violence and injury among school-going adolescents in Karnataka, Southern India.
Swain S., Mohanan P., Sanah N., Sharma V., Ghosh D.
BACKGROUND: Adolescence is a crucial stage of life. The development and practice of various risk behaviors predisposes the risk of getting injured and consequences in later life. STUDY METHODS: This cross-sectional study was conducted among 381 adolescents (15-19 years) studying in different schools and colleges of Udupi. The Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), Center for Disease Control (CDC) Questionnaire and the Atlanta Questionnaire and Guidelines was adopted for data collection. Behaviors such as poor obeying traffic rules while driving, violence at school premises, and suicidal thoughts of the participants were explored. Univariate analysis followed by multivariate logistic regression was done to estimate the predictors of violence-related behavior using the Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS) v. 20. RESULTS: In our study, 27.03% of students (total=381) had knowledge of traffic rules in detail, where 65% drove a motorized vehicle. Nearly 75% of students did not use a helmet or seatbelt while driving and 17% used a mobile phone for either talking or texting while driving. Considering all violence risk behaviors, 33.07% of students had at least and 18% had at least two violence-related risk behaviors. Nearly 21.78% thought of hitting somebody, 16.34% of boys and 9.5% of girls carried sharp objects to school, 18.81% of boys and 10.39% of girls damaged or stole other students' property, 18.37% bullied others in the past month at the school campus, and 11.32% were involved in serious fights. Out of 381 students, 114 (30.32%) were bullied, 10% had been slapped intentionally, and 18% of girls felt unsafe to go out of their home because of threat compared with 15% of boys. In total, 71 (18.93%) students thought of suicide and 22 of them attempted it. Logistic regression showed that boys [odds ratio (OR): 1.72, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.02-2.93) and students of 16 years of age (OR: 3.02, 95% CI: 1.06-9.02) affected or victimized by violent activities at school (OR: 3.23, 95% CI: 1.76-5.93) and bullied by others (OR: 2.6, 95% CI: 1.55-4.36) were determining factors for violence-related behaviors after adjusting for other variables. CONCLUSION: There is a need to identify students at risk and for intervention addressing the risk factors. Further qualitative studies could provide more insight.