Background: Preventing violence is important especially in the Middle East, where many countries are struggling with violence. Knowing the affecting factors could help public policy makers to decrease violence level. Thus, this study is aimed to analyze health and other socio-economic factors that could affect interpersonal violence in middle eastern countries.
Methods: From international organization databases, we collected the panel data of Middle Eastern countries from 1990 to 2016 on prevalence of interpersonal violence as dependent variable and per capita income, life expectancy, democracy index (DI), urbanization and unemployment as explanatory factors. Several panel data diagnostic tests were performed for selecting a suitable model of estimation. The variables were entered in the model in logarithmic form. Because of heteroscedasticity, cross-sectional dependence and serial correlation of residuals, feasible generalized least squares (FGLS) was used for estimation of mentioned model using Stata 14.2.
Results: The means of interpersonal violence prevalence and life expectancy were 2462.2 (SD = 232.4) per 100000 population and 73.5 (SD = 4.5) in the Middle East, respectively. Urbanization (β = -0.0925, P < 0.01), life expectancy (β = -0.0362, P < 0.01), per capita income (β = -0.0046, P < 0.01), unemployment (β = 0.0007, P < 0.01) and democracy (β = -5.83e-06, P < 0.01) had significant relation with interpersonal violence.
Conclusion: Life expectancy as a proxy for health is one of the main predictors of interpersonal violence, as literature supports. That is, if a society is healthier, the burden of interpersonal violence will be lower. Thus, health policy makers should consider health status as a preventive factor of violence, which is stated in health as a bridge for peace by the world health organization.