Downward trends in violence among adolescents in the United States: Evidence from the NSDUH 2002-2014
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CitationC Salas-Wright. "Downward trends in violence among adolescents in the United States: Evidence from the NSDUH 2002-2014." American Journal of Public Health,
OBJECTIVE: To examine trends and correlates of fighting and violence among youth from the nation's three largest racial/ethnic groups in the US. METHODS: A population-based study (National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2002-2014) of youth ages 12-17 (n = 209,393) provided prevalence estimates for fighting, group fighting, and attacks with the intent to harm by race/ethnicity. RESULTS The prevalence of youth fighting and violence decreased significantly for all racial/ethnic groups, dropping from a high of 33.6% in 2003 to a low of 23.7% in 2014, reflecting a 29% decrease in the relative proportion of young people involved in these behaviors. However, we also see a clear severity gradient in which year-by-year point estimates for fighting and violence are consistently highest among African-American youth followed by Hispanic and then non-Hispanic white youth. CONCLUSIONS Among youth in general and across racial/ethnic subgroups, fighting and violence are on the decline but with a stable pattern of disparities in youth involvement in these behaviors.