Exposure to violence and victimization, depression, substance use, and the use of violence by young adolescents.J Pediatr. 2000 Nov; 137(5):707-13.JPed
To examine the relationships among exposure to violence; tobacco, alcohol, and other substance use; depression; church attendance; and the use of violence among very young adolescents.
An 86-item confidential questionnaire was administered to 722 sixth grade students (mean age = 11.9+/-0.8 years) attending 4 middle schools serving neighborhoods in and around public housing.
Boys had a higher mean violence scale score than girls (P < or =.0001), and students living in public housing had higher violence scale scores than other students (P< or =.0001). Self-reported use of violence was significantly associated with exposure to violence (r =.45); age (r =.28); frequency of church attendance (r = -.14); depression (r =.28); the probability of being alive at age 25 (r = -.09); the frequency of use of cigarettes (r =.39), alcohol (r =.37), and multiple substances (r =.38); and interest in a gang (r =.37). When all of these variables were analyzed with multiple linear regression, multiple substance use, exposure to violence, interest in a gang, male gender, cigarette smoking, and depression level accounted for 49.7% of the variation in the use of violence scale.
Recent multiple substance use and lifetime exposure to violence and victimization were the strongest correlates with the frequency that these youth reported using violence and carrying weapons.