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The Prevalence of Violent Behavior among Lebanese University Students: Association with Behavioral and Mental Health Factors

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Objectives: We estimated the prevalence of 2 key violent behaviors (weapons carrying and physical fighting), determined the health risk correlates of violent behavior, such as current tobacco smoking, alcohol binge drinking, and having multiple sexual partners, and investigated the potential mental health factors related to violent behavior among Lebanese university students. Methods: Using a cross-sectional design, data were collected from 450 Lebanese university students based on proportionate cluster sampling. Various health and behavioral risk factors were considered for the analyses. Results: The overall prevalence of weapon carrying and physical fighting was reported at 12.7% and 19.1%, respectively. Males reported more violent behavior than females; weapon carrying (20.7% vs 5.2%, p < .001), and physical fighting (31.8% vs 7.3%, p < .001). Students who engaged in violent behaviors were more likely to have risky health behaviors than those who were not involved in violent behaviors. Religiosity had a significant protective effect against engaging in physical fighting after adjusting for socio-demographic factors. Conclusions: This study bridges the gap in the literature about violent behavior among emerging adults in Lebanon. There is a need to monitor weapon carrying by university students especially in a volatile setting like Lebanon.
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Keywords: EMERGING ADULTS; INJURY PREVENTION; MENTAL HEALTH; UNIVERSITY STUDENTS; YOUTH VIOLENCE

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Research Associate and Doctoral Candidate, Department of Public Health Medicine, School of Public Health, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany;, Email: [email protected] 2: Post-doctoral Researcher, Department of Public Health Medicine, School of Public Health, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany 3: Research Associate, Department of Public Health Medicine, School of Public Health, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany 4: Professor, Department of Public Health Medicine, School of Public Health, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany

Publication date: November 1, 2017

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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