Teen fighting down in many nations, but not US: study
"It was not something that we anticipated," said William Pickett, lead author of the study, which appeared in the journal Pediatrics.
"If anything, given what you hear in the news, I would have anticipated the reverse." Fighting among children is an important public health problem, added Pickett, a professor at Queen's University in Kingston, Canada. Not only does it increase their chances of getting hurt, but it's also tied up in other dangerous behaviors, such as drinking and using drugs.
To gauge how big the problem is internationally, Pickett and his colleagues surveyed nearly half a million school children in 30 countries, most of them in Europe. The children were between 11 and 15 years old.
In 2002, 154,000 children responded to the questionnaire, which asked how often they fought. Another 166,000 responded in 2006, and 174,000 responded in 2010.
Taken together, nearly 14 percent of the children reported that they got into a fight at least three times in the previous 12 months in 2002. That number dropped closer to 13 percent in 2006, and in 2010 to 11.6 percent. "We saw this as very positive news," Pickett told Reuters Health. "As society has evolved, there's probably less tolerance of fighting in school systems and probably (more prevention) efforts across
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