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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
September 8, 2004

Violence-Related Behaviors Among High School Students—United States, 1991-2003

JAMA. 2004;292(10):1168-1169. doi:10.1001/jama.292.10.1168

MMWR. 2004;53:651-655

1 table omitted

Homicide and suicide are responsible for approximately one fourth of deaths among persons aged 10-24 years in the United States.1 Two of the national health objectives for 2010 are to reduce the prevalence of physical fighting among adolescents to ≤32% and to reduce the prevalence of carrying a weapon by adolescents on school property to ≤4.9% (objective nos. 15-38 and 15-39).2 To examine changes in violence-related behaviors among high school students in the United States during 1991-2003, CDC analyzed data from the national Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS). This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which indicated that most violence-related behaviors decreased during 1991-2003; however, students increasingly were likely to miss school because they felt too unsafe to attend. In addition, in 2003, nearly one in 10 high school students reported being threatened or injured with a weapon on school property during the preceding 12 months. Schools and communities should continue efforts to establish physical and social environments that prevent violence and promote actual and perceived safety in schools.