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1 in 4 U.S. Teen Girls Involved in Violent Behavior

6 percent say they intended to cause harm, survey finds

THURSDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- A new national survey finds that almost 27 percent of girls aged 12 to 17 were involved in serious fights or attacks on other girls within the previous year.

"These findings are alarming," SAMHSA administrator Pamela S. Hyde said in a news release. "We need to do a better job reaching girls at risk and teaching them how to resolve problems without resorting to violence."

Results from the 2006-2008 survey showed that just under 19 percent of the girls got into a serious fight at school or work, 14 percent were part of fights involving groups and nearly 6 percent attacked others with an intention to seriously hurt them. In total, 26.7 percent of the girls surveyed fell into at least one of those groups, the researchers noted.

The girls least likely to get involved in the violent behavior are those from families with higher incomes, those who achieved higher grades, and those who don't use drugs or alcohol, according to the results of the survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The findings are based on responses from 33,091 girls participating in SAMHSA's National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more on bullying and teens.

-- Randy Dotinga

SOURCE: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, news release, Jan. 14, 2010

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