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Wilson M.L.,Center for Injury Prevention and Community Safety | Viswanathan B.,Unit for Prevention and Control of Cardiovascular Disease | Rousson V.,University of Lausanne | Bovet P.,Unit for Prevention and Control of Cardiovascular Disease | Bovet P.,University of Lausanne
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health | Year: 2013

We investigated the relationship between being bullied and measured body weight and perceived body weight among adolescents of a middle-income sub Saharan African country. Our data originated from the Global School-based Health Survey, which targets adolescents aged 13-15 years. Student weights and heights were measured before administrating the questionnaire which included questions about personal data, health behaviors and being bullied. Standard criteria were used to assess thinness, overweight and obesity. Among 1,006 participants who had complete data, 16.5% (95%CI 13.3-20.2) reported being bullied ≥3 days during the past 30 days; 13.4% were thin, 16.8% were overweight and 7.6% were obese. Categories of actual weight and of perceived weight correlated only moderately (Spearman correlation coefficient 0.37 for boys and 0.57 for girls; p < 0.001). In univariate analysis, both actual obesity (OR 1.76; p = 0.051) and perception of high weight (OR 1.63 for "slightly overweight"; OR 2.74 for "very overweight", both p < 0.05) were associated with being bullied. In multivariate analysis, ORs for categories of perceived overweight were virtually unchanged while ORs for actual overweight and obesity were substantially attenuated, suggesting a substantial role of perceived weight in the association with being bullied. Actual underweight and perceived thinness also tended to be associated with being bullied, although not significantly. Our findings suggest that more research attention be given to disentangling the significant association between body image, overweight and bullying among adolescents. Further studies in diverse populations are warranted. © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Celedonia K.L.,Center for Injury Prevention and Community Safety | Wilson M.L.,Center for Injury Prevention and Community Safety | El Gammal H.A.,Suez Canal University | Hagras A.M.,Suez Canal University
PeerJ | Year: 2013

Introduction: Adolescent interpersonal violence is a global public health problem, yet gaps remain in the epidemiologic literature on adolescent violence in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). Prevalence rates and risk and protective factors reported in high-income countries may be different from those reported in LMICs. Culturally-relevant epidemiologic data is important in efforts aimed at addressing adolescent interpersonal violence in these countries. Methods: A cross-sectional study of Egyptian adolescent involvement in violent behavior was conducted. Data collected from a 2006 school-based survey initiative were used; participants were adolescents aged 11-17 (N D 5;249). Some participants were excluded fromthe dataset due to incomplete data.N D 111/resulting in a final sample of 5,138. Bivariate and logistic regression analyses were run to determine demographic and social variables associated with participation in physical fighting. Results: Thirty-one percent of adolescents reported being involved in a physical fight. Previously reported risk factors for violent behavior among adolescents such as depressive symptoms (OR D 1.29; CI D 1.11-1.50) and bullying victimization (OR D 2.44; CI D 2.12-2.83) were positively associated with violent behavior in the present study, while the more novel factor of sedentary behavior was also observed as having a positive association with violent behavior (OR D 1.43; CI D 1.21-1.69). Known protective factors such as helpful peers (OR D 0.75; CI D 0.62-0.90) and understanding parents (OR D 0.67; CI D 0.56-0.81) were found to have negative associations with violent behavior in the present study, in addition to the counterintuitive protective effect of having fewer friends (ORD0.75; CID0.60-0.92). Conclusions: Prevalence rates of adolescent interpersonal violence in Egypt are similar to rates in other LMICs. The high reported rates of depressive symptomatology and bully victimization along with their positive association with physical fighting suggest that interventions aimed at treating and preventing these problems may help mitigate the likelihood of adolescents engaging in violent behavior; involvement in appropriate physical activity in a safe environment may be beneficial as well. More research is needed to understand the observed protective factor of having fewer friends. © 2013 Panagopoulos et al.

Dunlavy A.C.,Center for Injury Prevention and Community Safety | Aquah E.O.,Center for Injury Prevention and Community Safety | Aquah E.O.,University of Turku | Wilson M.L.,Center for Injury Prevention and Community Safety
Tanzania Journal of Health Research | Year: 2015

Background: Suicidal ideation is an understudied risk factor for suicidal intent. The present study investigates the patterns and risk factors for suicidal ideation among a sample of school-attending adolescents in Dares Salaam, Tanzania.Methods: This study examined secondary data collected in 2006 through the Global School-Based Student Health Survey. The data were collected via two-stage cluster sampling representative of all secondary schools in Dares Salaam. We compared adolescents who reported suicidal ideation (SI) and those who reported a plan to carry out a suicide attempt (SP), with those reporting neither ideation nor an attempt (controls) within the 12 months preceding the survey. Our analyses targeted demographic, behavioral, social, mental health and family factors.Results: A total of 2,176 students aged 11-16 years participated. Within the recall period, 7% (n=149) of participants had thought about suicide with 6.3% (n=136) having created a plan to carry out an attempt. Fifty percent of those reporting SP were female. We found that significant associations existed across all categories of psychological health, substance use and among those who reported being bullied. In the multivariate analysis adolescents reporting suicidal intent were more than twice as likely to report having been lonely (RRR=2.33; CI=1.36-4.01); more likely to suffer from depressive symptoms (RRR=2.26; CI=1.56-3.27) and have previously used an illicit substance (RRR=1.97; CI=1.12-3.48). We found an inverse association with age and suicidal planning (RRR=0.74; CI=0.62-0.90) as well as poverty and SP (RRR=0.53; CI=0.29-0.98) and an increased likelihood for adolescents reporting SP to be lonely (RRR=2.76; CI=1.55-4.90) and depressed (RRR=3.98; CI=2.71-5.86). Tobacco use (RRR=2.15; CI=1.22-3.78) and illicit substance use (RRR=1.99; CI=1.10-3.60) were associated with SP as was having parents who were knowledgeable of what adolescents did during their free time (RRR=2.15; CI=1.07-4.31). Respondents who reported having no friends were also more likely to report SP (RRR=3.68; CI=2.22-6.08).Conclusion: Our results suggest that, as in high-income settings, psychological factors, risky health behaviors such as substance use, and social and familial support impact suicidal ideation. This knowledge should be used to help inform further research as well as prevention and intervention strategies. © 2015 Bioline International. All Rights reserved.

Wilson M.L.,Center for Injury Prevention and Community Safety | Dunlavy A.C.,Center for Injury Prevention and Community Safety | Viswanathan B.,Ministry of Health | Bovet P.,Ministry of Health | Bovet P.,University of Lausanne
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health | Year: 2012

We investigated correlates for suicidal expression among adolescents in the Seychelles. Data on 1,432 students (52% females) were derived from the Global School-based Health Survey. Participants were divided into three groups: those with no suicidal behavior (N = 1,199); those with suicide ideation/SI (N = 89); and those reporting SI with a plan to carry out a suicide attempt/SISP (N = 139), each within a 12-month recall period. Using multinomial logistic regression, we examined the strength of associations with social, behavioral and economic indicators while adjusting for covariates. Sixteen percent of school-attending adolescents reported a suicidal expression (10% with a plan/6.2% without). Those reporting SI were younger (relative risk ratio RRR = 0.81; CI = 0.68-0.96), indicated signs of depression (RRR = 1.69; CI = 1.05-2.72) and loneliness (RRR=3.36; CI =1.93-5.84). Tobacco use (RRR = 2.34; CI = 1.32-4.12) and not having close friends (RRR = 3.32; CI = 1.54-7.15) were significantly associated with SI. Those with SISP were more likely to be female (RRR = 0.47; 0.30-0.74), anxious (RRR = 3.04; CI = 1.89-4.88) and lonely (RRR = 1.74; CI = 1.07-2.84). Having no close friends (RRR = 2.98; 1.56-5.69) and using tobacco (RRR = 2.41; 1.48-3.91) were also strongly associated. Having parents who were understanding was protective (RRR = 0.50; CI = 0.31-0.82). Our results suggest that school health promotion programs may benefit from targeting multiple factors associated with suicidal expression. More research, particularly multilevel designs are needed to identify peer and family influences which may modify associations with suicidality. © 2012 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Randall J.R.,Center for Injury Prevention and Community Safety | Randall J.R.,University of Manitoba | Doku D.,University Of Cape Coast | Wilson M.L.,Center for Injury Prevention and Community Safety | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Introduction: Research on factors associated with suicidal ideation and suicide attempts has been conducted largely in developed countries. Research on West African countries in particular is lacking. Methods: Data were obtained from the Global School-based Health Survey conducted in Benin in 2009. This was a cross-sectional study of three grades, spanning Junior and Senior High, which sampled a total of 2,690 adolescents. Data on the occurrence of demographic, psycho-social and socio-environmental risk factors were tested using multinomial logistic regression for their association with suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. Results: The survey indicated that 23.2% had thought about suicide and 28.3% had made a suicide attempt in the previous year. Anxiety, loneliness, being bullied, alcohol misuse, illicit drug use, and lack of parental support were independently related to the ideation outcomes, suicidal ideation without planning and suicidal ideation with planning. Multinomial regression analysis, using one suicide attempt and multiple suicide attempts as outcomes, revealed that female sex, anxiety, loneliness, being physically attacked, and illicit drug use were associated these outcomes. Discussion: The prevalence of suicide attempts reported in the survey is relatively high. It is possible that there are cultural factors that could explain this finding. Our research indicates that many factors are related to the occurrence of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among youth in Benin. Illicit drug use and violence in particular are associated with a high rate of suicide attempts in Benin. Measures to address these issues may reduce the risk of self-inflicted violence. © 2014 Randall et al.

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