Domestic and school violence among high school students in Jamaica.West Indian Med J. 2000 Sep; 49(3):232-6.WI
This study determined the prevalence of domestic and school violence among high school students in Jamaica. A self-report questionnaire was administered to 3124 students (1467 boys and 1657 girls) from 34 randomly selected high schools in 13 of the 14 parishes in Jamaica. There were 1590 tenth graders (mean age 16 years) and 1534 eleventh graders (mean age 17 years). One thousand six hundred and seventeen students were from rural and 1507 from urban communities and 1642 and 1482 were children/wards of professionals and nonprofessionals, respectively. The results revealed that 78.5% of the students had witnessed violence in their communities, 60.8% in their schools, and 44.7% in their homes. Twenty-nine per cent of the students had caused injury to persons. Several weapons and techniques were used by the students during violent acts and these included the use of hands or feet 59.8%, nasty words 59.1%, kicks and punches 54.5%, blunt objects 26.5%, knives 18.4%, ice picks 9.3%, machetes 8.9%, scissors 8.5%, forks 7.5%, guns 6.9%, other weapons (e.g. bottles, dividers) 6.7%, acids 5.5%, and alkalis 4.9%. Significantly higher numbers of boys, 10th graders, and urban students indicated that they used more of the 14 weapons than girls, 11th graders and rural students, respectively. Effective programmes are urgently needed to address the high rate of violence recorded in this study among high school youths in Jamaica.