Alcohol Consumption Behaviors as Predictors of Subsequent Violent Behavior: Prospective Analyses From the Add-Health Study

Monica H. Swahn, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

This study examined the impact of alcohol consumption behaviors (drinking frequency, binge drinking, drinking alone, drinking consequences, and peer drinking) on violent behaviors (physical fighting, group fighting, fighting with a weapon, shooting, stabbing, and robbery). Analyses are based on two waves of the public-use data (N=6504) of the National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health (Add-Health Study). The study included a nationally representative sample of adolescents in grades 7 through 12. Violent behavior was dichotomized to indicate the presence of any versus no violent behavior. Logistic regression analyses, adjusted for gender, grade, and race/ethnicity, were used to test the relationship between alcohol consumption at time 1 and violent behavior at time 2. Adolescents who reported drinking at least 2 days per month at time 1 were more likely to report violent behavior at time 2 (OR=3.17; 95%CI2.55-3.95) than adolescents who did not drink. Those who reported binge drinking, negative consequences from drinking and friends who drink at time 1 were also more likely to report violent behavior at time 2. These results extend our understanding of drinking patterns and alcohol consumption behaviors as predictors of involvement in violent behaviors among adolescents.

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Updated 05/20/2006