Objective: To identify factors associated with fighting among African American, Asian/Pacific Islander, Latino, and white youth, with a focus on family and school connectedness. Methods: Subjects were 4010 adolescents (12-17 years old) from the 2003 California Health Interview Survey. Stratified logistic regression examined whether fighting in the past year was associated with various risk and protective factors among African American, Asian/Pacific Islander, Latino, and white youth subsamples. Results: Fighting was reported by 27% of African American, 24% of Latino, 16% of white, and 6% of Asian/Pacific Islander youth. Male gender, alcohol use, and smoking were associated with higher odds of fighting among whites and Latinos. Poverty was associated with higher odds of fighting among whites and African Americans, as was depression among Latinos. Higher family support was associated with decreased odds of fighting for white youth. Higher school support was associated with decreased odds of fighting for Latino youth. Conclusions: A higher proportion of African American and Latino youth report fighting than do whites and Asians/Pacific Islanders. There is, however, important variation in racial/ethnic disparities in risk and protective factors associated with fighting. Family and school factors may be protective against fighting. Prevention and intervention efforts to decrease youth violence might benefit from tailoring to communities' racial/ethnic composition and paying greater attention to family and community influences on adolescent fighting.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health