Research Reports - Possession of weapon and school violence among adolescents and their association with history of traumatic brain injury

 Injury. 2017 Feb;48(2):285-292. doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2016.09.030. Epub 2016 Sep

Ilie G(1), Mann RE(2), Boak A(3), Hamilton HA(2), Rehm J(2), Cusimano MD(4).

PURPOSE: Assessment of the association between illegal possession of weapon and
assault on school property among adolescents with and without a history of
traumatic brain injury (TBI) while assessing risk factors for these outcomes.
METHODS: Data were derived from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health's 2013
Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey completed by students in grades 7-12
(ages 11-20).
RESULTS: In this sample of 5478 adolescents, 6.1% (95% CI: 5.0, 7.4) reported
carrying a weapon (e.g., gun or knife) on school property, 10.8% (95% CI: 9.5,
12.3) were engaged in a physical fight and 6.4% (95% CI: 5.4, 7.6) reported
having beat up or hurt someone on purpose at school, during last year. Youth who
reported carrying a weapon, who were engaged in a physical fight and those who
assaulted peers on school property during last year had statistically
significantly higher odds of reporting a history of TBIs, being male, in first
years of high-school, scored positive for elevated psychological distress, and
were current regular alcohol (weapon possession only) and cannabis users.
CONCLUSION: Previously it was thought that alcohol and drugs were the main
contributors to school violence. Here we show that history of TBIs is yet another
significant predictor of violence at school among adolescents. The results
suggest that school vigilance and combined violence and TBI prevention, treatment
and rehabilitation programs in this population are warranted. 

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