Prevalence and correlates of victimization and weapon carrying among military- and nonmilitary-connected youth in Southern California.Prev Med. 2014 Mar; 60:21-6.PM
The present analysis sought to explore the normative rates and correlates of school victimization and weapon carrying among military-connected and nonmilitary-connected youth in public schools in Southern California.
Data are from a sub-sample of the 2011 California Healthy Kids Survey (N=14,512). Items to assess victimization and weapon carrying were separated into three categories: physical acts (e.g., being pushed or shoved), nonphysical acts (e.g., having rumors spread about them) and weapon carrying.
The bivariate results indicate that youth with a military-connected parent had higher rates of physical victimization (56.8%), nonphysical victimization (68.1%), and weapon carrying (14.4%) compared to those with siblings serving (55.2%, 65.2%, and 11.4%, respectively) and nonmilitary-connected (50.3%, 61.6%, and 8.9%, respectively) youth. Having a parent in the military increased the odds of weapon carrying by 29% (Odds Ratio=1.29, 95% confidence interval=1.02-1.65). Changing schools and a larger number of family member deployments in the past 10years were associated with significant increases in the likelihood of victimization and weapon carrying.
The results of this analysis warrant a focus on school supports for youth experiencing parental military service, multiple relocations and deployments of a family member.