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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 63  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 380-382  

An exploratory study on violence among the college students in Urban Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

1 Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Senior Resident, Department of Community Medicine, Dr. Chandramma Dayananda Sagar Institute of Medical Education and Research, Dayananda Sagar University, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication18-Dec-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. A R Manasa
Senior Resident, Dr. Chandramma Dayanand Sagar Institute of Medical Education and Research, Devarakagganahalli Village, Kanakapura Taluk, Ramnagar District, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijph.IJPH_230_18

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Violence often blights people's lives for decades, leading to drug addiction, depression, suicide, school dropout, unemployment, and recurrent relationship difficulties. This exploratory study was conducted among professional degree colleges in urban Bengaluru from January to March 2017; the objectives were to find the magnitude, forms, and substance use in violence. A total of 450 students were studied. One hundred and twenty-three (27.3%) students experienced some kind of violence in the past 1 year and 77 (62.6%) were males. Verbal abuse (65.0%), pushing around (23.6%), and slapping (18.7%) were common forms of violence observed. Substance use was significantly associated with violence.

Keywords: Bengaluru, college students, substance use, verbal abuse, violence

How to cite this article:
Masthi N R, Manasa A R. An exploratory study on violence among the college students in Urban Bengaluru, Karnataka, India. Indian J Public Health 2019;63:380-2

How to cite this URL:
Masthi N R, Manasa A R. An exploratory study on violence among the college students in Urban Bengaluru, Karnataka, India. Indian J Public Health [serial online] 2019 [cited 2023 Mar 23];63:380-2. Available from:

The World Health Organization (WHO) has defined violence as “the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, or against a group or community that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation.”[1]

Violence is an emerging health epidemic. Global status report on violence revealed that homicide is the third leading cause of death.[2] Beyond these deaths, millions more children, women, and men suffer from the long-term consequences of violence. Eight-three percent of youth homicide victims are males. Youth violence has a serious, often lifelong, impact on a person's physical, mental, and social functioning and significantly increases the costs of health, welfare, and criminal justice services. It also decreases productivity.[3]

Violence often leads to alcohol and drug addiction, depression, suicide, school dropout, unemployment, and recurrent relationship difficulties.[2] There are very few studies available on youth violence and its consequences in the country. In this background, the present study has been taken up with the objective to assess the magnitude of violence among college students in urban Bengaluru and list out the different forms of violence, health consequences of violence, and the association between substance use and violence.

This exploratory study was conducted among students from the fields of medicine, dental, engineering, nursing, physiotherapy, and degree colleges in urban Bengaluru over a period of 3 months (January to March 2017). Six colleges were selected through purposive sampling on the basis of feasibility. The sample size was calculated based on the pilot study (students studying in an area other than the study region), with prevalence of 47%. Taking confidence level as 95% and precision of 5%, the sample size was calculated to be 383. Taking a nonresponder's rate of 15%, the sample size was found to be 441, which was rounded off to 450.

A pretested semi-structured self-administered questionnaire was used as the survey tool. The questionnaire was developed by the investigators, field tested on people with a history of violence. The validity of the questionnaire was done for measuring internal consistency, and Cronbach's alpha was found to be 0.7, indicating that the questionnaire was acceptable for the study. Violence that had occurred within the household or family members was excluded.

Initially, associations of violent behavior were assessed with sociodemographic characteristics and were tested for significance. Subsequently, a multivariable logistic regression technique was used to examine the net effect of each explanatory variable on violent behavior. The presence or absence of violence was taken as dependent variables. Age; gender; history of smoking, alcohol use, and other substance use; and religion were taken as independent variables based on the results observed from the pilot study and similar studies. Unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated. All the analyses were performed using MS Office 2016, Microsoft Corporation, Washington, USA. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Written permission was obtained from the head of the institutions involved in the study.

The institutional ethical committee clearance was obtained before the start of the study. Ethics committee reference number and date of approval were KIMS/IEC/A28-2016 and September 8, 2016, respectively. Informed written consent was obtained from the students participating in the study. Confidentiality of the study students and their responses was maintained at all times.

A total of 450 students were surveyed, of whom 123 (27.3%) students experienced at least one episode of violence in the past 1 year. The median age with interquartile range was 21 (20, 23) years; 18–24 years' age group reported the highest burden of violence (88.6%) and 77 (62.6%) were males. Males were more at risk of committing violence compared to women (OR – 2.8; CI: 1.83–4.31). Twenty-nine (23.6%) students were studying MBBS, 41 (33.3%) engineering, 16 (13.0%) dental, 26 (21.1%) physiotherapy, 9 (7.3%) were pursuing BA/B. Com, and 2 (1.6%) students were studying nursing. Three hundred and eighty-six (85.8%) students were Hindus and 33 (7.3%) students were Muslims. Three hundred and forty-three (76.2%) students belonged to a nuclear family. Thirty-four (27.6%) students had experienced multivariable episodes of violence. There was no statistically significant association between religion, education, monthly income, type of family, and violence on univariate logistic regression analysis.

Among the 123 students, 32 (26.0%) students had a history of using at least one substance of abuse (alcohol, smoking, cannabis, or other drugs). Twenty-six (21.1%) students gave a history of alcohol consumption and 17 (13.8%) smoking. students with substance use were at more risk of committing violence compared to those who did not use (OR – 2.4; CI: 1.42–4.00). The major type of violence seen was verbal abuse (65.0%), followed by pushing around (23.6%), slapping (18.7%), bullying (10.6%), hitting with bare hands (8.1%), punching (6.5%), using an object to hit (5.7%), and kicking (4.9%). Common causes of violence observed were road rage, followed by a misunderstanding with friends, under the influence of alcohol and family dispute as depicted in [Table 1]. About 61.0% of the violent episodes had started following provocation.
Table 1: Distribution of students based on the cause of violence (n=123)

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Thirty-eight (30.9%) students experienced physical injuries, 13.8% students had abrasions, 11.4% bleeding, 6.5% contusions, and 1.6% laceration. About 14.6% of injuries were on hands, 11.4% head, 8.1% legs, 7.3% chest, and 4.1% trunk and back. Fourteen (11.1%) students required medical assistance and 3 (21.4%) students required inpatient care. The average cost for treatment was Rs. 4872.

The variables that were significant during univariate logistic regression analysis were included in the multivariable logistic regression model [Table 2]. To test the fitness of the model and explain the variation of the dependent variable, Cox and Snell R2 value was calculated and was found to be 0.05.
Table 2: Distribution of students according to the association between individual variables and violence using multivariable logistic regression

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About 51.2% of the students felt angry after an episode of violence, 23.6% depressed, 11.4% satisfied, 8.9% were anxious, and 8.1% wanted to take revenge. About 58.7% of the students felt that their violent reaction was an act of self-defense, 24% ego, 12% family pride, 11.3% honor, and 10.0% personality.

Three hundred and ten (68.9%) opined that violence is increasing in the society, 43 (13.9%) felt bad upbringing/poor education, 12.9% ego, and 12.2% overpopulation and poverty. About 21.2% of the students said that violence can be reduced by counseling/discussion, 19.1% behavior modification, 18.4% education/awareness, and 16.2% ensuing strict police laws/good governance. About 72.4% of the students opined that there was a need for violence reduction strategies.

The study findings showed that the burden of violence was high when compared to the national average. The incidence of violence was significantly higher among males (62.6%) compared to females, which was consistent with another nationwide survey.[4] The increase in violence could be due to large-scale migration of youth from all over the country for educational or job opportunities in the state. There was not much difference in violence among religious lines unlike other studies where religion played a part.[5]

The different categories of violence as reported by the WHO are interpersonal violence, suicide, self-harm, and collective violence.[2] Youth violence can take different forms such as fights, bullying, threats with weapons, and gang-related violence similar to observations of the present study.[6] Male gender and substance use were found to be significant risk factors for violence, consistent with the findings of other studies.[7],[8] Verbal abuse was the predominant type of violence in the study which differed from a study reported from Uttar Pradesh.[9] Violence among the youth can be attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder, or other behavioral disorders and involvement in crime, unemployment, and exposure to violence in the family. Risk factors such as a low level of attachment between parents and children, parental substance abuse, criminality, low-income family, and delinquent peers can also lead to violence.[3] Physical fighting and bullying are also common among young people.[3]

The consequence of violence reported in the study was predominantly noninjurious and nonfatal. The health impact of violence need not necessarily be limited to physical injury. None of the students in the present study had any long-term effects such as depression, mental disorders, suicide attempts, chronic pain syndromes, unwanted pregnancy, and other sexually transmitted infections. Children who are victims of violence have a higher risk of alcohol and drug misuse, smoking, and high-risk sexual behavior.[10] Violence can frequently be predicted and prevented. Promoting positive, nurturing relationships within families, strict legislations on alcohol, license for guns, and ensuring economic and gender equality are some measures that can prevent violence in the society.

The study throws light on the burden, types, cause, body part involved, and consequences of violence. Timely screening, correct diagnosis, and the management of violence are the need of the hour as they are emerging public health issues. The study highlights the burden, types, cause, and consequences of violence. Timely screening, correct diagnosis, and the management of violence are the need of the hour as they are emerging public health issues. Further study with adequate sample size is required for generalization.

Financial support and sponsorship

This study was self-funded.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Violence Prevention Alliance. Definition and Typology of Violence. Available from: [Last accessed on 2018 Apr 20].  Back to cited text no. 1
World Health Organization. Global Status Report on Violence Prevention 2014. World Health Organization; 2014. Available From: [Last accessed on 2018 Apr 20].  Back to cited text no. 2
World Health Organization. Youth Violence. World Health Organization. Available from: [Last accessed on 2018 Apr 20].  Back to cited text no. 3
Youth in India; 2017. Available from: [Last accessed on 2018 Apr 20].  Back to cited text no. 4
Religion, Violence and Peace in India. To what Extent is Communal Violence in India Motivated by Religious Belief and to what Extent does Religion Inspire Efforts to Build Peace? Available from: http://Catharine%20Buckell%20Bachelor%20Thesis.pdf. [Last accessed on 2018 Apr 20].  Back to cited text no. 5
Violence Prevention. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. Available from: [Last accessed on 2018 Apr 20].  Back to cited text no. 6
Havnes IA, Clausen T, Brux C, Middelthon AL. The role of substance use and morality in violent crime-A qualitative study among imprisoned individuals in opioid maintenance treatment. Harm Reduct J 2014;11:24.  Back to cited text no. 7
McCann TV, Lubman DI, Boardman G, Flood M. Affected family members' experience of, and coping with, aggression and violence within the context of problematic substance use: A qualitative study. BMC Psychiatry 2017;17:209.  Back to cited text no. 8
Communal Violence in India Declined in 2016; Uttar Pradesh Tops the List. Available from: [Last accessed on 2017 Aug 28].  Back to cited text no. 9
World Health Organization. Child Maltreatment. Available from: [Last accessed on 2017 Aug 28].  Back to cited text no. 10


  [Table 1], [Table 2]


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