Trends in fighting and violence among adolescents in the United States, 2002-2014

Christopher P. Salas-Wright, Erik J. Nelson, Michael G. Vaughn, Jennifer M.Reingle Gonzalez, David Córdova

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives.To examine trends in and correlates of fighting and violence among youths from the 3 largest racial/ethnic groups in the United States. Methods. We derived race/ethnicity-specific prevalence estimates for fighting, group fighting, and attacks with intent to harm from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a population-based study of youths aged 12 to 17 years. Results. The prevalence of youth fighting and violence decreased significantly in all racial/ethnic groups over the study period (2002-2014), 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, there was also a clear severity gradient in which year-by-year point estimates for fighting and violence were consistently highest among non-Hispanic African American youths, followed by Hispanic and then non-Hispanic White youths. Conclusions. Although fighting and violence are on the decline among young people in general and across racial/ethnic subgroups, there is a stable pattern of disparities in youth involvement in these behaviors. (Am J Public Health. 2017;107:977-982.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)977-982
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jun

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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