Predictors of School Violence Perpetration and Victimization: Effects of Drug Use and Sociodemographic Characteristics

Abstract

A randomized controlled trial was conducted with 6391 7th- and 8th-grade students in 72 public schools in six Brazilian cities. A confirmatory factor analysis was performed to create a unidimensional model for validity. Linear regression was used to evaluate how baseline past-month drug use, violence, and sociodemographic characteristics affected violence at follow-up. The results showed that previous involvement in violent episodes at school (β = 0.397, p < 0.001) as well as the use of inhalants at baseline (β = 0.358, p = 0.026) predicted higher levels of violence 9 months after baseline. Additionally, girls showed lower levels of involvement in violence than boys (β = −0.144, p < 0.001). School prevention programs and policies should simultaneously address drug use and violence. Inhalant use seems to act as a proxy of future involvement in school violence, independent of previous involvement in violent episodes. Trial registration: RebEC, RBR-4mnv5g. Registered 3 July 2014, http://www.ensaiosclinicos.gov.br/rg/RBR-4mnv5g/.

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Funding

This work was supported by the Brazilian Ministry of Health - Ministério da Saúde (grant number TED 89/2014).

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Correspondence to Zila M. Sanchez.

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All procedures in our study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This study was approved by the Ethics in Research Committees at the University of São Paulo (#473.498), and supported by the Brazilian Ministry of Health (grant number TED 89/2014).

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Gusmoes, J.D., Valente, J.Y., Cogo-Moreira, H. et al. Predictors of School Violence Perpetration and Victimization: Effects of Drug Use and Sociodemographic Characteristics. Int J Ment Health Addiction (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-021-00493-3

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Keywords

  • School violence
  • Substance use
  • Prevention
  • Adolescence
  • Confirmatory factor analysis