The Relationship Among Exposure to Stressful Life Events, Drug Use, and Violence Perpetration in a Sample of Native Hawaiian, Samoan, and Filipino Adolescents
These authors examined the relationship between stressful life events, drug use, and self-reported violence perpetration among 293 Native Hawaiian, Samoan, and Filipino adolescents. Data were collected using semistructured interviews with students in three high schools in Hawaii. Three types of stressful life events (transitions, discrete events, and victimization), adolescent drug use, and violence perpetration were measured. Samoan youth reported more stressful life events than Native Hawaiians and/or Filipinos, depending on the subscale, but there were no sex differences in the stressful life events total scale or subscales. There were sex differences on several stressful life events items, including boys reporting more physical victimization and more life threatening illnesses and injuries than girls. Stressful life events were related to higher rates of violence perpetration for all groups, though specific types of events were significant for some groups but not others. Drug use moderated the influence of transitions on violent behaviors for boys and Samoan adolescents and also of discrete events on violence perpetration for Samoan adolescents. The authors suggest that further research is needed to examine other risk factors, as well as types of protective factors that may moderate the relationship between life stressors and engaging in violent behaviors. Modified Author Abstract.