Alcohol and violence: comparison of the psychosocial correlates of adolescent involvement in alcohol-related physical fighting versus other physical fighting

Addict Behav. 2006 Nov;31(11):2014-29. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2006.02.001. Epub 2006 Mar 6.


This study examined the demographic and psychosocial correlates of alcohol-related physical fighting and other physical fighting to determine if the predictors for aggressive behaviors are similar or different when alcohol is involved. Analyses were based on the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health which is a nationally representative school based sample of adolescents in grades 7 through 12 (N=18,924). The current analyses were restricted to current drinkers who could be grouped into three categories of involvement in physical fights (n=8866): no fighting; fighting not related to alcohol use; fighting related to alcohol use. Regression models were computed using a backward-elimination procedure. Overall, 38% of adolescent drinkers reported fighting, including 12% who reported alcohol-related fighting and 26% who reported other physical fighting. Non-Hispanic African-American adolescents were most likely to report other physical fighting (37.1%) but they were least likely to report alcohol-related fighting (8.2%). The correlates of alcohol-related fighting differed by age and race/ethnicity. Moreover, since the correlates of alcohol-related fighting pertain mostly to the frequency and quantity of alcohol use and to having alcohol-related problems, prevention efforts that seek to reduce alcohol use or delay alcohol use initiation may also reduce alcohol-related fighting.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Americans / psychology
  • Age Distribution
  • Aggression / psychology
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Alcohol Drinking / ethnology
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
  • Child
  • Family
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Juvenile Delinquency / ethnology
  • Juvenile Delinquency / psychology
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Psychology, Adolescent
  • Psychology, Social
  • Violence / ethnology
  • Violence / psychology*