About Careers MedBlog Contact us

Alarming Numbers of Violent Injuries Among Schoolchildren Discovered

by Iswarya on January 25, 2019 at 1:08 PM
Font : A-A+

Alarming Numbers of Violent Injuries Among Schoolchildren Discovered

New study finds that about one in five fifth-graders has suffered violent injuries, the majority delivered by guns or knives. The findings of the study are published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

The study analyzed data from 4,300 children when they were in fifth, seventh, and 10th grades at public schools in districts in and around cities in three U.S. communities: Houston, Los Angeles County, and Birmingham, Alabama. The children were questioned over time to see whether the number and type of injury changed.


The likelihood of injury increased as children became older, with 1 in 3 high school-age children sustaining a gunshot, stabbing wound, or assault-related injury needing medical attention.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which funded the research, bullying is common in high schools nationwide. These findings shed new light on the type of injuries occurring among children and who is most affected - bullies or victims of bullying.

"The biggest surprise was the sheer scale of intentional violent injuries children are suffering, even at elementary school age. It was also unexpected to discover how it's not bullying victims, but bullies themselves who are most likely to get seriously hurt," said first author Katelyn Jetelina, Ph.D., MPH. "This suggests the act of bullying may not necessarily be violent enough for victims to sustain serious injuries, and that bullies may be involved in other harmful behaviors." Jetelina is an assistant professor of epidemiology, human genetics, and environmental sciences at UTHealth School of Public Health in Dallas.

"It's a first-of-its-kind look at how the injuries are sustained among school-age children and whether these are different for repeat bullying victims and repeat perpetrators," Jetelina said. "The interviews were conducted privately to improve reliability, but underreporting is still a potential issue so that the problem could be even worse."

Data were obtained from Healthy Passages, a study of children and their primary caregivers followed from fifth through 10th grade between 2004 and 2011. That study's principal investigators were Susan Tortolero Emery, Ph.D., of UTHealth School of Public Health; Susan Davies, PhD, of The University of Alabama at Birmingham Center for the Study of Community Health; and Mark Schuster, MD, PhD, of Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine, who is also senior author of this paper.

In fifth grade, 16.7 percent of children sustained at least one violent injury including firearm injuries (12.5 percent), knife injuries (8.4 percent), and medically attended fighting-related injuries (3.6 percent). The volume and type of injury escalated in later years, especially among bullies.

On average, bullies were 41 percent more likely to be violently injured than other children. By 10th grade, more than a quarter of their injuries were from firearms; the research showed.

"The evidence suggests perpetrators are engaging in various risky behaviors in addition to bullying. This builds as they get older, which may indicate involvement in gangs, as well as drug and alcohol use," Jetelina said.

Boys were 22 percent more likely to sustain violent injury than girls, and black children were 30 percent more likely to experience an injury than other race/ethnicity groups, according to the results of the study. Children from lower-income families were also more vulnerable. Those whose parents were widowed had a 60 percent higher chance of reporting a violent injury, Jetelina reported.

"Injury is a leading cause of death for school children, and this research reflects the epidemic. It also underlines the importance of early intervention and prevention strategies that target specific groups," Jetelina said. "Future studies examining factors such as weapon access and gang involvement are necessary to understand more about the pathway of bully perpetrators, why they are being injured so much, and what can be done to stop this spiraling problem."

Source: Eurekalert


Recommended Reading

Latest Research News

Impact of Age-Related Methylation Changes on Human Sperm Epigenome
Link between advanced paternal age and higher risks for reproductive and offspring medical problems has been discovered.
Can Gene Astrology Predict Future Health Problems?
Can gene astrology predict disease risk? Yes, your genes can determine your future health and disease risk.
Tackling Football at Young Age: A Risk for Brain Decline Later
Injury to the white matter explains why football players are at an increased risk for cognitive and behavioral problems later in life.
Frozen Frontier: Humans Leave a Unique Microbial Mark on Mount Everest
Located at the South Col, the rocky area between Mount Everest and Lhotse serves as the final campsite for climbers as well as a frozen legacy of hardy microbes.
How Does Protein Synthesis in Diarrhea Causing Parasite Work?
The new finding is found to be valuable for screening specific medications and treatment against Giardia and other protozoan parasites.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close

Alarming Numbers of Violent Injuries Among Schoolchildren Discovered Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests