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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 94, Issue 3, pp 212–217 | Cite as

Secular Trends in Self-reported Violent Activity Among Ontario Students, 1983–2001

  • Angela PagliaEmail author
  • Edward M. Adlaf
Article

Abstract

Introduction: This paper examines secular trends in violence among Ontario students between 1983 and 2001, and variation by sex.

Methods: Using data from the Ontario Student Drug Use Survey, we examined self-reports of assault, weapon carrying, and gang fighting based on 10 cross-sectional surveys from 1983 to 2001. Respondents were derived from representative samples of Ontario students in grades 7, 9, 11, and 13 (OAC) who completed in-class anonymous self-administered surveys. Data were weighted to account for the complex survey design and analyzed using logit trend analyses.

Results: Short-term trends (1991–2001) showed assault, weapon carrying, and gang fighting have been on downward trajectories since the mid-1990s, reaching the lowest prevalence in 2001 among males and females. Long-term trends (1983–2001) among 11th-graders showed assault increased between 1985 and 1999, but declined in 2001. Gang fighting among males increased during the late 1980s and again during the mid-1990s, but declined between 1997 and 2001. Gang fighting among females remained at a stable, low level.

Discussion: Future monitoring is necessary to understand whether the decline in self-reported violent behaviour among adolescents is robust.

Résumé

Objectif: Les auteurs examinent les tendances générales de la violence parmi les élèves de l’Ontario entre 1983 et 2001 et les différences selon le sexe.

Méthode: À l’aide de 10 échantillons (de 1983 à 2001) du Sondage sur la consommation de drogues parmi les élèves de l’Ontario, on a étudié des comptes rendus personnels de voies de fait, de port d’armes et d’échauffourées entre gangs. Les répondants étaient des élèves des 7e, 9e, 11e et 13e années qui ont rempli des questionnaires anonymes pendant les heures de classe. Après avoir ajusté les données pour tenir compte du plan complexe du sondage, on a fait des analyses logistiques des tendances.

Résultats: Les tendances à court terme (1991–2001) montrent que les voies de fait, le port d’armes et les échauffourées entre gangs ont diminué depuis le milieu des années 1990. Chez les garçons comme chez les filles, la plus faible incidence de ces problèmes a été observée en 2001. Les tendances à long terme (1983–2001) parmi les élèves de la 11e année montrent que les voies de fait ont augmenté entre 1985 et 1989, mais diminué en 2001. Les échauffourées entre gangs composés de garçons ont augmenté à la fin des années 1980 et au milieu des années 1990, mais elles ont diminué entre 1997 et 2001. Les échauffourées entre gangs composés de filles sont restées à un niveau constant et bas.

Discussion: Il faut encore des études pour déterminer la solidité de la baisse de la violence observée parmi les adolescents.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Addiction and Mental HealthPopulation and Life Course StudiesTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Department of Public Health SciencesUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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