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ARCHIVED: Adolescent Health Initiative - Violence
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Violence is the "threatened or actual use of physical force or power against another person, against oneself, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, or deprivation." 1

  • In the United States, injuries are the leading cause of death and disability for people aged 1 to 34 years.2

  • Between 1999 to 2006, approximately 72% of all deaths among adolescents aged 12-19 years were attributed to injuries from only four causes: unintentional (accidental) injuries (48%), homicide (13%), and suicide (11%).3 Of the unintentional injuries 73% were due to motor vehicle accidents.3 Highly associated with these injuries are adolescent behaviors such as physical fights, carrying weapons, making a suicide plan, and not using seatbelts.

  • In 2009, 31.5% of high school students had been in a physical fight in the past 12 months, 3 17.5% had carried a weapon in the past 30 days,3 13% had made a plan about how they would attempt suicide in the past 12 months,4 and 9.7% never or rarely wore a seat belt when riding in a car.5

  • An estimated 302,100 women and 92,700 men are forcibly raped each year in the United States. More than half (54%) of the female rape victims were less than 18 years of age, and 22% were less than 12 years of age when they were raped.6

This information is from the CDC Healthy Youth! Adolescent Health Website.


1. Foege WH, Rosenberg ML, Mercy JA. Public health and violence prevention. Current Issues in Public Health 1995;1:2–9.

2. Miniño AM, Anderson RN, Fingerhut LA, Boudreault MA, Warner M. Deaths: Injuries, 2002. National Vital Statistics Reports; 54(10): 1-125.

3. Miniño AM. Mortality among teenagers aged 12–19 years: United States, 1999–2006. NCHS data brief, no 37. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2010. [Internet]. Available: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db37.pdf. Accessed May 26, 2011.

4. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance – United States, 2009: Trends in the Prevalence of Behaviors Contributing to Violence [Internet] Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/yrbs/pdf/us_violence_trend_yrbs.pdf. Accessed: May 24, 2011.

5. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance – United States, 2009: Trends in the prevalence of suicidal-related behaviors, 1991-2009 [Internet]. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/yrbs/pdf/us_suicide_trend_yrbs.pdf. Accessed: May 24, 2011.

6. Tjaden P, Thoennes N. Full report of the prevalence, incidence, and consequences of violence against women: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey. Report for grant 93-IJ-CX-0012, funded by the National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Washington (DC): National Institute of Justice; 2000.

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