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SAMHSA’s Award-Winning Newsletter
January/February 2010, Volume 18, Number 1 

photo of an angry adolescent girl

Violent Behaviors Involve One in Four Girls

Rates Differ by Family Income, School Attendance, Drug Use

When you think of violent behavior among teens, the first image that comes to mind may be a clump of boys fighting in a school hallway or in a park. But violent behavior among adolescent girls can be a problem as well.

A recent report from SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) shows that among girls age 12 to 17, 18.6 percent got into a serious fight at school or work in the past 12 months, 14.1 percent participated in a group-against-group fight, and 5.7 percent attacked others with the intent to hurt them seriously.

More than one-quarter (26.7 percent) of girls in this age group engaged in one of these types of violent behavior in the past year, based on averages for 2006 through 2008.

Prevalence Data

Other key NSDUH findings indicate that the percentage of girls engaging in these violent behaviors varied by family income, substance use, and school-related characteristics.

Family Income. Prevalence of these violent acts in the past year decreased as annual family income increased. Violent behaviors were reported by 36.5 percent of adolescent females who lived in families with annual incomes of less than $20,000; 30.5 percent of those in families with annual incomes of $20,000 to $49,999; 22.8 percent with annual incomes of $50,000 to $74,999; and 20.7 percent with annual incomes of $75,000 or more.

Substance Use. Adolescent females who engaged in any of these violent behaviors in the past year were more likely than those who did not to indicate past-month binge alcohol use (15.1 versus 6.9 percent), marijuana use (11.4 versus 4.1 percent), and use of illicit drugs other than marijuana (9.2 versus 3.2 percent).

School Attendance. Adolescent females who were not currently enrolled in or attending school were more likely than those who were in school to engage in one of these violent behaviors in the past year (34.3 versus 26.7 percent).

Grades. Among those who attended school in the past year, rates of violent behaviors increased as academic grades decreased. About one-sixth of girls who reported having an “A” average (16.0 percent) engaged in a past-year violent behavior compared with 26.0 percent of those with a “B” average, 38.5 percent of those with a “C” average, and 52.6 percent of those with a “D” average or lower.

Continuing Concern

Despite media attention on high-profile accounts of females’ acts of violence, rates of these violent behaviors among adolescent females remained stable when comparing combined data from 2002 to 2004 with those for 2006 to 2008.

Download Violent Behaviors among Adolescent Females.


  Cover Story & Related Articles  

Parity: Landmark Legislation Takes Effect




  Suicide Prevention   
Grantee Highlights

Grantee Highlights

Read about activities at Tufts University and Penn State Altoona.


  A Visit to SAMHSA  

  Underage Drinking  
Game Helps Parents & Children Talk about Alcohol

Game Helps Parents & Children Talk about Alcohol

An interactive way for families to discuss the dangers of underage drinking.

State Prevention Videos

State Prevention Videos

Videos describe unique challenges and successes.


  This Emotional Life  
PBS Documentary Launches Campaign of Hope

PBS Documentary Launches Campaign of Hope

Web site includes toolkits for parents and military families.


  Teens & Young Adults  
Violent Behaviors among Teen Girls

Violent Behaviors & Teen Girls

You may think only boys get into fights. Think again . . .

Drinking after 21st Birthday

Drinking after 21st Birthday

Does turning 21 affect the amount of alcohol young people drink?


  Treatment Roundup   
Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities

Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities

Characteristics of alcohol and drug abuse treatment services.

Providing E-Therapy

Providing E-Therapy

Considerations for providers incorporating technology into treatment!

Heroin Admissions

Heroin Admissions

Find out about adolescents who received treatment for heroin use.



  Recovery Month  
Now More Than Ever

Now More Than Ever

Updated Recovery Month Web site includes new theme, Web banners, and a blog.



  In Memoriam  
Remembering Judi Chamberlin

Remembering Judi Chamberlin

SAMHSA honors a courageous advocate for the fundamental rights and dignity of people with mental illnesses.



  Also in This Issue  
National Registry Offers New Feature

National Registry Search

Evidence-based programs and comparative effectiveness.

Older Adults & Illicit Drug Use

Older Adults & Illicit Drug Use

More people over age 50 are using illicit drugs.

Science and Service Awards

Science and Service Awards

Call for applications due April 9.

Community Prevention Day

Community Prevention Day

Prevention professionals gathered for the annual event.




  


Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration – 1 Choke Cherry Road – Rockville, MD 20857
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