Most research on trends in physical aggression has shown declining levels among adolescents during the past two decades. However, few studies have attempted to explain such time trends. Based on two representative cross-sectional surveys of students in the final year of high school in 2007 (N = 6631; 58.8% girls) and 2015 (N = 4145; 60.3% girls), this study reports a substantial decline in physical aggression among Norwegian adolescents. Moreover, mediation analyses show that declining levels in problematic alcohol use and family violence during the same period are plausible explanations for some of this reduction. The results are discussed in light of contemporary changes in socialization of adolescents, and implications for violence prevention are presented.
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The authors would like to thank all the participating adolescents and the staff of the Youth Section and The Domestic Violence Research Program at Norwegian Social Research (NOVA) for comments on drafts of the article.
L.R.F. conceived the study, participated in its design and coordination, performed the statistical analyses, and drafted the manuscript. T.v.S. participated in design and interpretation of the statistical analyses and helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Data Sharing Declaration
The data that support the findings of this study are available from Norwegian Social Research (NOVA) but restrictions apply to the availability of these data, which were used under license for the current study, and so are not publicly available.
The research was supported by grants from the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. All ethical aspects of the study were approved by the Regional Committees for Medical and Health Research Ethics and the Norwegian Centre for Research Data.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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Frøyland, L.R., von Soest, T. Trends in the Perpetration of Physical Aggression among Norwegian Adolescents 2007–2015. J Youth Adolescence 47, 1938–1951 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-017-0793-2
- Time trends