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    This paper analyses the association between rural youth violence, drinking alcohol in the weekend and going to the pub, as compared to their peers in more urbanized areas. In addition, the paper analyses whether the gender gap in the use of violence is larger for rural youth. Based on self-report data of 5,062 youngsters aged 14-22 years old, two forms of violence were analysed. The first concerns physical violence: fighting, hitting someone resulting in medical treatment and wounding someone with a weapon. The second comprises behaviour that prepares for the use of violence: threatening and carrying a weapon. These two forms of violence were related to two types of rural areas on the basis of population density. It turned out that youngsters living in the least densely populated areas were not less likely to have engaged in physical violence whereas their peers in more densely populated rural areas had somewhat lower chances to do so. Concerning behaviour that prepares for violence, the analyses showed that in both rural areas, youth were slightly less likely to have engaged in such behaviour. Furthermore, the association between drinking alcohol and the use of physical violence was stronger for youth living in both rural areas. The results also indicate that the gender gap in youth violence is not larger for rural youth. The paper concludes that future research should inquire the specific meanings of alcohol and violence in rural youth culture. Such research should take the diversity of rural areas into account, rather than relying on measures of population density only.


D. Weenink
Dr. Don Weenink is als hoofddocent verbonden aan de Rural Sociology Group van de Universiteit Wageningen. Dit artikel is onderdeel van een onderzoek naar geweld onder jongeren, ondersteund door een NWO Venibeurs.
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