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Physical Fighting among School-Attending Adolescents in El Salvador: An Examination of the 2013 Global School-Based Health Survey

  • omer, mazin
  • shaikh, masood ali
  • stiller, mariella
  • wilson, michael lowery
Publication Date
Feb 15, 2020
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Background: Violence among school-attending adolescents is an important public health problem worldwide. The present study examined demographic correlates for physical fighting behavior among a nationally representative sample of school-attending adolescents in El Salvador. Methods: Initial cross-tabulations to screen for correlations was then followed by logistic regression to understand the direction and the strength of selected demographic variables for physical fighting behavior, which occurred within a 12 month period of recall. Results: Out of a sample of 1910 school-attending adolescents in El Salvador, 11.5% reported having been involved in two or more physical fights during the recall period. Regression analyses indicated that being male (OR = 3.55 / 95% CI = 2.11&ndash / 6.00) / having experienced bullying (OR = 2.16 / 95% CI = 1.44&ndash / 3.24) / physical activity (OR 0.61 / 95% CI 0.46&ndash / 0.80) / a sedentary lifestyle (OR 1.54 / 95% CI 1.05&ndash / 2.27), suicide planning (OR 2.28 / 95% CI 1.46&ndash / 3.56), and having non-understanding parents (OR = 1.45 / 95% CI 1.06&ndash / 1.98) were significantly associated with physical fighting among the sampled adolescents. Conclusion: Within the limitations of cross-sectional surveys conducted in school settings, the results of the present study suggest that giving attention to preventing bullying behavior among males and involving parents should be components of a multi-pronged strategy to preventing physical fighting in schools in El Salvador.

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