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Revista de Saúde Pública

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HORTA, Rogério Lessa; HORTA, Bernardo Lessa; PINHEIRO, Ricardo Tavares  and  KRINDGES, Manuela. Violent behavior in adolescents and parent-child cohabitation. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2010, vol.44, n.6, pp.979-985.  Epub Oct 08, 2010. ISSN 0034-8910.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze the association between violent behavior in adolescents and parent-child cohabitation. METHODS: A population-based cross-sectional study with multiple-stage sampling was performed in the urban area of the city of Pelotas, Southern Brazil, in 2002. A total of 960 adolescents were interviewed using a self-applied questionnaire. The dependent variables (use of weapons and involvement in fights in the previous year were reported by adolescents) and the independent variable (parent-child cohabitation) were analyzed with the chi-square test and prevalence ratios, adjusted for age, sex, socioeconomic level and reporting of alcohol, tobacco or illicit drug use, both recently and throughout life. RESULTS: Involvement in fights in the previous year was reported by 23% of participants and use of weapons by 9.6%. Prevalence ratios of occurrence of such behaviors was 1.38 (95% CI: 0.71; 2.68, p=0.34) for involvement in fights and 1.68 (95% CI: 1.06; 2.67, p=0.03) for use of weapons, including "adolescents living with the father, mother or both" as reference. CONCLUSIONS: Parent-child cohabitation must be considered in policies aimed at preventing the use of weapons by children and adolescents, although it is recommended that care should be taken not to stigmatize children and adolescents who do not live with their fathers and mothers.

Keywords : Adolescent Behavior; Violence; Parent-Child Relations; Family Relations; Socioeconomic Factors; Cross-Sectional Studies.

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