Aim: There is scarcity of data on the prevalence and mental health correlates of fighting among school children in sub-Saharan Africa. The current study determined the association between fighting and emotional and behavioural problems in a sample of public secondary school children in Lagos, Nigeria .
Study Design and Method: The study design was cross-sectional. The violence and injury module of the Global school-based health survey questionnaire and the Strength and difficulty Questionnaire (SDQ) were used to assess history of physical fight and mental health problems respectively. Data was analysed with SPSS version 20.
Results: The questionnaires were completed by 342 participants, 58.5% of whom were males, with a mean age of 15.8 (±1.2) years. About four out of ten (40.5%) students had engaged in physical fight in the past year. Fighting was significantly more prevalent among males than females (p=0.008). On regression analysis, fighting was independently associated with conduct problems (p<0 OR=2.94, CI=1.69-5.13), p=0.001, xss=removed C.I=1.37-3.30) p=0.039, xss=removed xss=removed>
Conclusion: Adolescents engaged in fighting may benefit from screening for mental health problems and referrals for mental health interventions.