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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557

Abstract

MOREIRA, Taís C. et al. Community violence and alcohol abuse among adolescents: a sex comparison. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2008, vol.84, n.3, pp. 244-250. ISSN 0021-7557.  http://dx.doi.org/10.2223/JPED.1795.

OBJECTIVE: To verify whether there is an association between victimization and alcohol use among boys and girls in Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study of students from public schools, aged 10 to 19 years, from the fifth grade of primary education to the third grade of secondary education, selected by two-stage cluster sampling, defined by the socioeconomic characteristics of the neighborhood in which each school is located and by school class. Data collection was by means of a questionnaire which was completed anonymously and voluntarily. RESULTS: Fifty-four percent of the older adolescent boys (aged 14-19) drank alcohol, compared to 17% of the younger adolescent boys (10-13), as did 58% of the older adolescent girls and 19% of the younger adolescent girls. Fifty-seven percent of the students had suffered severe victimization, and 53% had suffered moderate victimization. When the samples were separated by sex, it was observed that boys and girls who drank alcohol reported 2.6 and 1.8 times more severe victimization respectively, while alcohol was associated with 3.1 and 2.5 times greater prevalence of moderate victimization, among boys and girls respectively. When episodes of drunkenness were analyzed, it was observed that adolescents got drunk more than pre-adolescents and that exposure to violence exhibited an increased association with drunkenness. Thirty-two percent of the boys (prevalence ratio, PR = 4.4; 95%CI 2.6-7.3) and 22% of the girls (PR = 2.2; 95%CI 1.2-4.1) who had been the victims of severe violence reported being drunk at least once. CONCLUSIONS: Adolescents of both sexes who consume more alcohol are at greater risk of suffering community violence.

Keywords : Community violence; alcohol; adolescents.

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