Youth Violence and its Associated Risk Factors

Youth Violence

The entire society has gone through a number of changes and shifts in the recent year. This means that the way in which one lives in has undergone various changes to the extent that traditional roles which were played by the different members of a family have changed completely.

One tends to find nuclear families more commonly than joint families. People avoid living with their old and ailing parents. There has been a rise in old age homes and teenage pregnancies since the past decades. This is not to say that there haven’t been any positive changes but it is important to remember that the current lifestyle in which the majority of the population of the globe is living in has also bought in many negative changes. One such change is in the rise of youth violence. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), youth violence can be defined as the internal use of physical power or force by a young person who is 10 to 24 years in age to harm other people. This can mean that a young person harms someone whom he or she knows about or somebody who might be totally unfamiliar with that young person in question. This is a serious issue and in this academic writing piece, readers will be able to learn about the exact meaning of youth violence, some key facts about it, its potential causes, the risk factors, and different methods which can be employed to avoid youth violence.

An Introduction to Youth Violence
Youth violence can be defined as the acts of harming any other individual by the use of physical power or force by a young individual who falls into the age bracket of 10 to 24 years of age. In a majority of the cases of youth violence, the young person in question tends to physically harm somebody who he or she was previously familiar with. However, there have also been scenarios in which a young person has physically harmed somebody with whom he or she was not previously familiar with. It is important for readers to remember that youth violence can take many possible forms. Some of the common forms of youth violence are bullying, fights, threats, violence related to gangs, and other forms of violence which can have a negative effect on the overall health of an individual. It is also vital to remember that in case of youth violence, a young individual can either be an offender, a victim, or a witness. There have also been many studies which suggest that youth violence can even occur amongst toddlers. Hence, it is important for parents to deal with such situations and issues from the starting.

The Key Facts about Youth Violence

There are many key facts about youth violence which tends to highlight the severity of the entire situation.

  • According a survey youth violence is so common amongst high school students that 1 in 5 high school students reported being bullied inside the school premises while 1 in 7 reported being bullied through some electronic medium
  • For individuals between the ages of 10 to 24, homicide is the third leading cause of death. There are many statistics which show that almost 16 individuals are victims of homicide daily while nearly 1,300 individuals are treated in the emergency room for non-fatal injuries on a daily basis
  • There was a study conducted that showed that almost 3-24% women from all across the globe reported their first sexual experience to be forced
  • Youth violence can have lifelong impacts on the psychological, social, and physical functioning of an individual
  • Youth violence does not just reduce the productivity of a nation but it also increases the costs of welfare, criminal justice, and health

These are some of the most important key facts about youth violence which just goes to show the severity of the entire situation surrounding this topic.

The Potential Causes

There are a number of potential causes because of which youth violence can take place. And some of those most glaring potential causes are-

  • Media Influence

According to a psychological study, children who were exposed to violence on television screens or other forms of media tend to display more aggressive behavioral patterns.

  • The Neighborhood

The kind of community or neighborhood an individual lives in can have a strong effect on the kind of behavior that he or she displays.

  • Child and Domestic Abuse

Many psychologists believe that children who live in abusive homes tend to display similar aggressive behavioral patterns later in their lives.

  • Lack of proper Parental Supervision

According to a study, it was found that children who lacked a sufficient amount of parental supervision were more prone to displaying aggressive behavioral tendencies.

  • Peer Pressure

Peer pressure can be a very prominent cause of youth violence when the friends of the young person are very aggressive and also tend to display acts of youth violence. Peer pressure can also lead to drug abuse, juvenile delinquent behavior, alcohol abuse, and other common issues amongst teenagers.

These are the main causes of youth violence.

The Risk Factors of Youth Violence

There are also many risk factors of youth violence related to the individual, his or her close family members and friends, and even by the society at large. And some of those major risk factors of youth violence are mentioned below.

  1. Exposure to violence within the family
  2. Unemployment
  3. Involvement in bad peer groups
  4. Low family income
  5. A weaker attachment between the parents and the child
  6. Inconsistent parental disciplinary practices
  7. Poor supervision and monitoring by the parents
  8. Access to firearms
  9. Access and misuse of alcohol
  10. High-income inequality
  11. Poor quality of governance within a country or a nation
  12. Poverty
  13. Access to local drug supply
  14. Parental depression
  15. Involvement in crime

These are some of the major risk factors of youth violence.

The Methods for Preventing Youth Violence

In this last section, the readers will be able to learn about some methods which can be practiced to prevent youth violence. And some of those methods are –

  • Introducing parenting skill programs to promote the importance of a healthy family environment
  • Providing education early in life
  • Creating a positive and protecting community for the youths
  • Introducing mentoring programs so that youths can be connected to caring adults

These are some of the methods which can be employed to prevent youth violence.

The Conclusion:

Youth violence can be defined as the physical harm which a young person inflicts of someone else. There are many forms of youth violence and one of the most common forms of youth violence in bullying. Youth violence is a serious problem and there are many potential causes of this problem. Some of those causes include peer pressure, the media, child abuse, domestic abuse, and other causes. There are also many methods which can be employed to prevent youth violence. And some of those methods are to create a positive home environment, to create safer communities, and by connecting youths to caring adults.

The References


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