Purpose To determine: (a) the prevalence of physical fighting while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and (b) the associations among demographic factors, other risk behaviors, and physical fighting while under the influence of substances. Methods Cross-sectional analysis of The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) 1994-1995, a school-based, nationally representative survey of 6504 7th to 12th graders. The dependent outcome variables of interest were: "The most recent time you got into a fight, had you been drinking?" and "Have you ever gotten into a fight when you had been using drugs?" Independent variables included: demographics, adolescent characteristics and risk behaviors, home environment, and peer substance use. Univariate and bivariate analyses, and logistic regressions, using SUDAAN, were performed for the two outcome behaviors for the overall sample (p ≤ .05). Results Eleven percent of both drinkers (n = 1110) and drug users (n = 1869) reported being under the influence while fighting. These adolescents were significantly more likely to injure or sustain injury than their counterparts. Selling drugs, gang fighting, and peer substance use were significantly associated with both outcomes. Conclusions A significant proportion of adolescents who use substances also engage in physical fighting while under the influence. Health providers should counsel their patients about the potential for injury and be mindful that concurrent fighting and substance use may be markers for other more high-risk delinquent behaviors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health