Associations of School Violence With Physical Activity Among U.S. High School Students

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

This study investigated associations of violence-related behaviors with physical activity (PA)-related behaviors among U.S. high school students.

Methods:

Data from the 2009 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a cross-sectional survey of a nationally representative sample of 9th–12th grade students, were analyzed. Sex-stratified, adjusted odds ratios (aORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated for associations between violence-related behaviors and being physically active for ≥ 60 minutes daily, sports participation, TV watching for ≥ 3 hours/day, and video game/computer use for ≥ 3 hours/day.

Results:

Among male students, at-school bullying victimization was negatively associated with daily PA (aOR: 0.72; 95% CI: 0.58–0.87) and sports participation; skipping school because of safety concerns was positively associated with video game/computer use (1.42; 1.01–2.00); and physical fighting was positively associated with daily PA. Among female students, atschool bullying victimization and skipping school because of safety concerns were both positively associated with video game/computer use (1.46; 1.19–1.79 and 1.60; 1.09–2.34, respectively), and physical fighting at school was negatively associated with sports participation and positively associated with TV watching.

Conclusions:

Bullying victimization emerged as a potentially important risk factor for insufficient PA. Schools should consider the role of violence in initiatives designed to promote PA.

Demissie, Lowry, and Eaton are with the Division of Adolescent and School Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA. Hertz is with the Division of Violence Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA. Lee is with the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.