A longitudinal study of the role of sociodemographic factors and childhood aggression on adolescent injury and "close calls"

J Adolesc Health. 1995 Dec;17(6):381-8. doi: 10.1016/1054-139X(95)00059-2.


Purpose: This study examined the: (1) relationships among gender, race, and socioeconomic status and the incidence of adolescent injury and "close calls" (near accidents); (2) ability of childhood aggression to predict injury and "close calls" during adolescence; and (3) characteristics of injury and "close-call" events, including contributing mechanisms and risk-taking behaviors.

Methods: Subjects were a subsample (N = 271) of the Carolina Longitudinal Study who reported an injury (48%) or "close-call" (52%) during a 9th, 10th, or 11th grade interview (mean age 16.3 years); 52% were female and 23% African American. They were recruited beginning at grade 4 and grade 7 and were interviewed annually.

Results: More males than females reported an injury (chi 2 = 4.97, p < .05); motor vehicles and sports were major contributors. Caucasian females reported more injuries (chi 2 = 3.90, p < .05) and "close calls" (X2 = 4.13, p < .05) than African American females. More males than females reported risk-taking behaviors associated with injuries (chi 2 = 4.35, p < .05) and "close calls" (X2 = 4.29, p < .05), especially Caucasians. Logistic regression demonstrated that childhood aggression was a robust predictor of adolescent injury and "close calls."

Conclusions: Reports of "close calls" by a majority of the sample suggest that mortality and morbidity statistics in this age group may underestimate the vulnerability of youth to serious injury. These results further add risk for physical injury in adolescence to the sequalae of childhood aggression. These findings suggest the need for the incorporation of injury prevention into school curriculum and activities of all children, but especially for children assessed as aggressive.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / psychology
  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data
  • Adolescent
  • Aggression / psychology
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • North Carolina / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control
  • Wounds and Injuries / psychology