Youth violence is not only a prevalent social issue but also a serious public health concern. The fourth most frequent cause of death among persons aged 10-29 is homicide (Golshiri et al., 2018). Aside from this, experiencing violence may lead to additional severe mental and physical illnesses. Young people can also be involved as perpetrators in the act of violence, raising concerns about their psychological well-being.
Youth violence may be described as a “cruel and harmful behavior” enacted by, or against, children and teenagers (Seal and Harris, 2018, p. 23). However, it appears that the two sides of youth violence have similar causes and effects; thus their sources and consequences may be studied simultaneously. This paper aims to identify the most common reasons behind child mistreatment and its possible repercussions for kids and society.
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It appears that young people are strongly influenced by the communities in which they have grown up and live. Children and teenagers acquire their moral and theological worldviews during this time. As a result, violence among youngsters might be caused by their background, whether it is perpetrated or suffered abuse.
The family, in conjunction with other organizations, has the most significant influence on young people’s behavior. The family is strongly linked to youth violence as a result of experience. Child abuse is one of the most prevalent forms of juvenile assault. It is clear, though, that family life can encourage youngsters to commit violent acts.
According to Bushman et al. (2016), “interparental violence, chaotic family life,” and “inconsistent discipline” are all key risk factors of youth violence (p. 21). In other words, youngsters who were badly treated in their families or observed cruelty have a greater propensity to become offenders. The neighborhood plays a comparable role in the spread of crime among people. Youth living in high-crime areas frequently endure maltreatment and abuse, which might have a profound influence on them.
Although awareness of one’s surroundings might aid in predicting violent behavior, there are additional variables that can contribute to youth abuse. It is impossible to ignore the fact that social circumstances have little impact on certain aspects of personality.
Some of these characteristics are common among offenders and include “psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism” (Bushman et al., 2018). All of them have features in common because people who possess them don’t consider the feelings of others and can be rather violent. Finally, some individuals may be afflicted with a mental illness or have a genetic propensity towards violence.
It’s a fact that violence always leads to more violence. According to Lovegrove and Cornell (2016), those kids who engaged in some sort of violent behavior “are more likely to engage in other forms of problem behavior” (p. 6). This indicates that if a kid committed a crime during his or her youth, there is a chance he or she will participate in more serious illegal acts later on.
Bullying and abuse at school may also contribute to criminal behavior later in life. Those who have been bullied or rejected in their school years are more likely to become abusers as adults (Bushman et al., 2016). As a result, both offenders and victims pass violence on to society. It has been stated previously that youth violence is a major public health concern. It’s apparent that those who were subjected to abuse suffer the most as a result of it. For example, if a student was bullied in school, he or she may develop lasting psychological trauma. Tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drugs addiction might be caused by victimization (Lovegrove and Cornell, 2016).
As a result, both mentally and physically, those who have been victimized may become sick. This illustration demonstrates the ramifications of non-fatal juvenile violence. The consequences of abuse, which results in someone’s death, are more apparent and much worse than in the case of non-fatal victimization.
On the other side, it appears that young people who committed assaults might have health and mental issues as a result of their encounters with violence. Some individuals may never regret attacking others, but those that will repent for their violent actions are more than likely to experience its effects as well. This guilt can be especially heavy if they committed a severe offense without being discovered by anyone.
One could imagine a bully who caused the victim’s death and was never held accountable. If no one informed that this person was guilty of this crime, he or she would have to keep it secret until judgment day. If this person begins feeling bad about his or her actions one day, he or she may become addicted to alcohol and drugs as well. Overall, it can be seen that youth violence has mental and physical health repercussions for both offenders and victims.
In the novel Toting a Gun for Tomorrow by Jonie Michel, a made-up society is created in which it is accepted that youth violence exists, and teens slaughtering other teens is not uncommon. The major premise of this book is that measures must be taken to prevent juvenile violence, but when they are not implemented, disorder erupts. Michel’s narrative does not only apply to the world she constructed; it also has applications outside of her work.
Many people are seeking a method to reduce the amount of juvenile violence in today’s society, and it is an important problem. However, as youth crime rises in number, many individuals are coming around to the view that children will be children and that they will occasionally blow each other’s brains out (Brogdon 2).
In order to ensure that our society does not develop a carefree attitude toward juvenile violence, such as the fictitious culture in Michel’s book, one must first examine youth violence in America now. Second, investigate possible causes for youth violence and lastly propose solutions to prevent it.
To begin, it is critical to understand how serious this problem is. Every year, three million infractions are committed on school premises, according to the Chicago Tribune. Every six seconds, one crime occurs. Even more concerning is the revelation that 35% of high school students in high-crime areas carry a weapon on a daily basis.
In 1996, juvenile arrests made up 13% of all violent crimes, and 30% of all juvenile homicide arrests occurred in just four cities: New York, Chicago, Detroit, and Los Angeles. According to the aforementioned Chicago Tribune article, the number of children arrested for non-traffic-related infractions has risen by 58% in the last five years. These data indicate a significant rise in juvenile violence, as well as how serious a problem it is.
As a result of this sharp rise in juvenile violence, numerous issues have arisen. Who is to blame? And to top it off, no one is really sure. Many culprits have been named by various organizations. Schools, the family, and the media are all considered to be perpetrators of youthful violence. Yet it appears that only when viewing all three of these images together and assigning responsibility to each one individually do you get a clear view of the whole picture.
Since the 1950s, concerns about school violence, crime, and victimization have pervaded education (Ausmussen 31). School violence was an issue that persisted and worsened to the point that in 1974 Congress enacted a national study of school violence. This requirement gave rise to the Safe Schools Study, which revealed some concerning trends in schools across America.
The initial study’s findings were somewhat unexpected, and they piqued continuing interest in the subject of school crime and violence, as well as its impact on pupils and school personnel. One major issue was how students are affected by violence at school. Many children indicated that they were worried about their safety and security (31).
Many parents and authorities were concerned about the potential for school violence, which prompted numerous efforts to curb such occurrences. The National Crime Victimization Survey, which has included questions regarding school violence in its annual survey since 1997, is a prime example. According to a study by the National League of Cities (1994), almost one out of every twenty high school students (4.4 percent) said they had missed at least one day of class because they did not feel safe on their way to or from school.
Fear of injury or death was the most common reason for missing school (39%), however, Younger students (rather than older ones) were more likely to miss a day due to fear for their safety. Almost twelve percent of pupils (18 percent of boys and 5 percent of girls) reported carrying a weapon to school at least once during the thirty days preceding the survey, while 7% said they had been assaulted or injured with a weapon at school in the previous year.
One in six students had been involved in a physical altercation during the previous year, and almost one-third said they had property (books, clothing, or a vehicle) deliberately damaged or stolen at school during that same time period. Interestingly, this study revealed that school violence is not exclusively an urban issue.
Over the previous five years, 38% of the cities in which 700 respondents were asked reported significant increases in school violence, with only 11% reporting that school violence was not an issue in their communities. More than two-thirds of the cities that responded had fewer than 50,000 people, and over half were suburbs. What these percentages illustrate is that violence is widespread in schools and could lead to more crime.
The media has also gotten a lot of flack in recent years. According to Dr. Brandon Centerwall, every violent act is the consequence of a variety of factors coming together—poverty, crime, alcohol and drug abuse, stress—of which childhood television viewing is just one (18). However, the statistics show that if television technology had never been created, there would be 10,000 fewer murders each year in the United States, 70,000 rapes, and 700,000 fewer harmful assaults. According to Dr. Centerwall’s paper, as many as 1/3 of juvenile male prisoners convicted of violent crime confess they were deliberately emulating TV tactics (18).
Another statistic that has been linked to television’s debut is the fact that homicides, rapes, and assaults increased by two times in the United States fifteen years after TV was introduced. “Violence on television does lead to aggressive behavior by children and teenagers who watch the programs,” according to a 1982 National Institute of Medical Health study. The NIMH said there is a lot of evidence that children tend to mimic what they see on television. For many decades, Dr. Leonard Eron has led the American Psychological Association’s Commission on Violence and Youth, which studies TV violence.
Dr. Eron has done extensive research on violent children and adolescents (beginning in 1960). He studied a group of eight hundred and seventy-five boys and girls from the age of eight to thirty, looking at crime rates and personal qualities. He discovered that those who watched more violent TV were convicted of more serious offenses, were more aggressive under the influence of alcohol, and used physical force to discipline their own children more frequently. “What one learns about life from television is apparently passed on to the following generation,” Eron claims (276).
The link from the TV screen into a person’s life is evident in this direct connection from the T.V. screen into real-world events. By the time a youngster finishes elementary school, he or she will have viewed over 8,000 murders on television and over 100,000 other acts of violence. The average American youngster has witnessed 200,000 acts of aggression on television by age 16, including 33,000 homicides.
In 1993, the APA published groundbreaking research linking media violence to real-life aggression and violence, according to which four major effects of media violence on reality were desensitization, increased exaggerated fears, copycat behavior, and the loss of inhibitions. The study also revealed that teenagers might be influenced negatively by increased exaggerated worries, lack of inhibition, and desensitization.
Aside from encouraging social interaction, TV has also been linked to an increase in youth suicide. Data published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that graphic portrayals of suicide on television are frequently followed by a sharp increase in adolescent suicides. Shortly after the release of director Martin Scorsese’s The Deer Hunter on national television, 35 boys and young men between the ages of 8 and 31 killed themselves playing Russian roulette while imitating a scene from the film.
Another concern that has come up while researching media and youth violence is the notion that video games educate youngsters to kill. According to the FBI, a typical police officer fires at least once every five minutes. Michael Carneal never moved his feet, clutched his gun with both hands, and hit 8 out of 8 kids, according to an eyewitness.
He discharged 8 rounds, 5 of which were headshots and 3 of which were upper torso. (He had arcade-style games in his home and was a big fan of point-and-shoot video games.) He had never fired a gun before that week. Police personnel and officials maintain that degree of precision is unrivaled.
On May 1, 1999, a CNN/Time poll found that 81 percent of adolescents aged 13 to 17 play video games. Doom and Duke Nukem are two ultra-violent games that have been played by 40% of these youngsters. Only “a little” is known about their games by 33% of these children. 57 percent of the kids said their parents had not imposed any restrictions on their gaming habits. Many studies have shown that media has an impact on juvenile violence in various ways.
The final aspect to examine is the family’s impact on juvenile violence. According to research, youngsters who grow up in violent families are more likely to participate in the crime. Child abuse and domestic violence frequently occur within the same family, and they are linked in a number of ways. According to Shiela Smeltzer (1), the influence of observing parental domestic violence on children is comparable to being personally assaulted by a parent, and both have a significant role in youth delinquency.
According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 70% of adolescents who resided in families with parental conflict self-reported violent criminality, compared to 49% of those from households without this conflict. Self-reporting juvenile violence was also found to be twice as prevalent among individuals who had been exposed to various types of abuse, including domestic violence, child abuse, and a general family atmosphere of hostility.
Researchers have also discovered that men who saw their parents’ domestic violence as children were two times more likely to abuse their own wives than sons of non-abusive parents. A significant proportion of abusive husbands grew up in households where they saw their mothers being hit.
Domestic violence and child abuse are breeding grounds for the next generation of abusers, as well as violent juveniles. A large proportion of juvenile offenders who engage in violence grew up being abused themselves or witnessing their parents’ domestic violence. However, merely experiencing child maltreatment or domestic abuse while a kid is not the only risk factor for juvenile crime.
Children living in an impoverished neighborhood rife with drugs, weapons, and crime, whose parents use harsh or erratic punishment, and who are isolated from the community, family, or school are all at increased danger. As a result of this, it is clear that a child’s environment has a tremendous impact on whether they act violently.
Now that we’ve discussed the effects of youth violence, it’s time to talk about how to prevent it. We must also search in the home, school, and media since some of the issues may be linked to them. The most important thing parents can do is to back their children. They should be aware of what their kids are up to, who their friends are, and if their child is building bombs. According to on a Newsweek article, the biggest thing parents can do is support their children.
Furthermore, parents must instill in their children values that will lead to a child’s selection between right and wrong. When it comes to looking at a kid’s morality, Newsweek claims that parental influence is significant. Children acquire knowledge of what is good and bad from their parents at an early age, according to the article.
The media, as well as the producers and distributors of violent material, must also be held accountable for their actions. The first step in doing so is for the media to acknowledge that its programming influences youth. For years, tobacco has denied that smoking is addicting, just as the media business has denied the harmful effects of violent TV (Garner 196). After making this statement, the entertainment industry must avoid showing violent television when parents are not at home to shut off the TV.
Another thing that the media may consider is promoting a national v-chip campaign. This not only would help the media’s image regarding television’s role in the violence, but it would also take away the need for them to make changes to their programming on a daily basis. This campaign would urge parents to utilize the v-chip and shift the burden of violent television’s harmful effects back onto parents’ shoulders, not those of executives in the industry.
This initiative will not only help the media image in general, but it will also assist specific sectors of the industry. Finally, while this campaign would have a negative impact on some parts of the broadcast sector’s earnings, it will benefit the media image as a whole. Finally, schools must strive to make schools safe for children. If this means stationing metal detectors and guards at school entrances, so be it . . If students do not feel secure at school or have been threatened, they should know that they can come to their instructors for protection.
Children should be aware that their teachers will take action to improve their emotions. Teachers are duty-bound to inform children that they are valued and desired by their instructors to have a positive influence on their lives. Kids will feel as if they have support and someone to talk to about their worries at school when educators promote a caring environment. School safety is also the responsibility of school administrators.
The situation is more complicated in each school, but there are certain universal rules that should be obeyed. Students must understand that they may go to school without being hurt or killed, and without seeing pain and bloodshed. Finally, youth violence is an issue in today’s world that must not be tolerated. We’ve looked at youth violence in today’s society, and the facts are truly stunning. It’s evident that a child’s school, media, and home environment have an influence on his or her development. All three areas have an impact on a youngster’s growth and development, as well as how he or she perceives the world around him or her.
In order to combat juvenile violence, schools, media, and parents all must take action. A school can accomplish this by making its environment safe and encouraging. Parents may help prevent youth violence by paying attention to their children and becoming more engaged in their lives. It is important for the media to acknowledge that it has an impact on youngsters and take steps to counteract it. It is critical for all Americans to do everything they can to reduce juvenile crime. To end youth violence, schools, media, and parents just need to start caring.
Youth violence has a wide range of victims. The subject of this book has affected my life in various ways, as I read about it on the news. In Washington, D.C., there is a lot of youth violence. While I am unaware of any individuals who have been victimized by youth violence, it has had an impact on my life. During lunch at school, I am not allowed to go outside unless I pass through a metal detector and then walk through another metal detector to get to a concert at the MCI Center.
There are numerous causes of juvenile violence. One of the reasons for youth violence is drug and weapon accessibility in the community. People will not have issues committing crimes if they can readily obtain weapons. Another major cause of teenage aggression is television since individuals see and hear about offenses, which influences them to act similarly.
Conflicts in the family may lead to violent behaviors. They wander the streets after witnessing domestic violence at home, imitating what they have seen their parents do. Some violent kids will attempt to persuade their friends to participate in crimes with them as well.
Violence among young people is a serious problem in our society. There’s a lot to be done about juvenile violence in the community. Metal detectors at schools are an effective method of minimizing youth violence since kids will be less likely to bring weapons to school if they can’t do so. A school counselor may help students who become violent by assisting them in resolving their issues.
Students can also benefit from mentorship because students who are not comfortable talking to an adult will feel more at ease speaking with someone their own age. Conflict resolution courses may assist since they teach children the skills they need to resolve their issues without resorting to violence. Adult role models that speak out against violence can play a significant role in reducing youth crime.
Are we able to reduce juvenile violence by confining children in adult prisons? In his article “Tough Justice for Juveniles,” Edward Humes explores the underlying issues with the Juvenile Justice System. According to Humes, in paragraph 2, “Our national fixation with meting out adult sentences to young criminals has blinded us to the fundamental issue.”
As an individual, I personally feel that the juvenile justice system is willing to punish minor offenders to the absolute best of its ability. They are frequently prior offenders or current charges without even considering their previous criminal histories or crimes. Humes used paragraphs 4 through 7 to illustrate two youth criminals and their punishment under today’s legal standards in use by the Juvenile Court System after being processed.
In this essay, the author displays a rational tone that isn’t offensive and appears to be personally acquainted with the topic, making his views trustworthy. The writer also expresses a genuine concern for the issue at hand and offers solutions on how to address it. In paragraph 11, Humes wrote: “We may continue to tinker with the laws in order to send more and younger children to adult court, but this does nothing to restore juvenile courts’ original purpose of handling youngsters before they become hardened offenders. ”
I believe that Humes is trying to convey a point that many people have: we don’t want to send children to adult jail so that they can learn how to become better criminals. I also concur with Humes in the sense that there is a need for us to improve how we deal with minors who commit serious offenses.
In many states, a teenager can be tried as an adult if they reach the age of 16 in some cases, the legal age to try is 14. I can see how this is significant because juvenile murders are on the rise, but this legislation doesn’t keep kids who commit minor offenses like theft and burglary from being punished. I don’t feel that juveniles should have their sentences reduced, but I do believe that certain circumstances may allow for rehabilitation with the proper court supervision.
In this essay, the author uses empathy as a call to action, expressing his or her concern and sadness for juvenile offenders who go through the legal system without giving it a second thought about what would happen to them after they were released. I think something must be done about how the court deals with these children and how they are handled.
This only added to my emotional response, which the author encouraged me to feel and made me believe I should get personally involved in correcting what is wrong with the juvenile justice system. We must consider whether we are out to educate them a lesson against committing crimes or turning them into greater criminals by putting them in adult prisons. In paragraphs 10 and 11, the writer provided disturbing statistics that appealed to my feeling as a reader.
The author employed examples and statistics to elicit an emotional reaction from the reader in both sections. The appeal to logic by the authors is a case of causation. Which he demonstrates by comparing the result, or consequence, of applying harsh juvenile penalties to how they would become predators who we fear they will be if they spend time in adult prisons. I agree with the authors’ conclusions based on this form of reasoning because hardened criminals are one of their effects or outcomes.
I have had first-hand experience with a stepsister who has appeared in and out of the juvenile justice system since she was 12 years old, and Hume’s ideas have been confirmed to be true. My sister is now incarcerated for three felonies upstate Virginia. I don’t think that sending her to TDH taught her the principles of life properly. They stated that if their daughter was given an opportunity to attend college, she would be able to achieve more than she ever has before. I believe she might have improved herself and completed high school with the help she received. She was taken from her parents, who did nothing to improve her opinion of life and placed her in a setting where all she could learn is how to be a better criminal.
I had no means to escape from her heinous criminal conduct, so I was forced to distance myself from her and allow the court to deal with her as they saw fit. However, I disagreed with the way she was sentenced because of her youth and the crimes for which she was convicted. She could have utilized supervision and tight rules to turn her life around, but I now only worry that when she gets out, she will emerge a hardened criminal who knows nothing about society other than a life of crime, since that is the only way she has ever known how to survive in society.
In conclusion, Humes’ assertion that governments must punish juvenile offenders to the full extent of the law only teaches them to become better adult criminals is correct. Only lawmakers with authority over juvenile offenders can address this issue. In paragraph 13, Humes asks the following questions regarding youthful crime, to which he replies: “How can we keep juvenile offenders from becoming career criminals? How can we enlist the finest of our legal sector in assisting youngsters?” According to those queries, Humes states: “Only when we deal with these issues will we be able to start cracking down on juvenile crime.”
Because I believe that until our government establishes a more focused system for punishing juvenile offenders, we will see more kids fall through the cracks of the juvenile justice system. As an individual, I am certain that without a comprehensive government plan to investigate rehabilitation and supervision for first-time minor offenders, we will end up with an entire generation of hardened criminals on the loose in America.
One way to strengthen the message that violence is not tolerated in our schools is by emphasizing to young people that such acts will incur the most severe consequences. Some feel that toughening penalties for juvenile offenders is unwise because current laws are more effective. Many parents resent being held accountable for many events.
Stricter measures should be imposed on juvenile offenders who break the law. Young people who commit violent offenses should be tried as adults. Many young criminals believe that they can get away with little to no punishment for serious offenses.
A weapon is used against or on an adolescent every 12 days. Every year, one in twelve high school students is threatened or assaulted with a weapon. You have the greatest risk of being a victim of violence if you are between the ages of 12 and 24. According to statistics, by the early 1990s, young people’s violent behavior had reached unprecedented levels. There is no simple answer for why there has been an increase in juvenile violence overall.
The main goal of the school is to provide children with a sense of self-esteem and morale. Children can be rewarded for demonstrating positive attitudes at home and in school. Peaceful coexistence may thus be maintained through logical persuasion. Schools should educate young people about violence at an early age so that they can make informed judgments when it counts most. Schools must foster kids’ individual, autonomous thinking and offer them factually accurate information and logic skills.
School-based curriculum that focuses on the development of problem-solving skills, anger management, and other approaches that help children learn social skills are two ways to effectively deal with bullying. In addition, parenting programs foster strong family bonding and teach parents how to handle conflict in their families, as well as mentoring programs for youths.
The parents must be held accountable for children who repeatedly break the rules, and when a kid shows indications of violent behavior, parental involvement should be required. The parents should be compelled to take a greater interest in their child’s well-being.
Teachers and school staff should be better prepared to identify early warning signs of academic difficulties in children. Students should be assigned a support group that can help them when they are feeling threatened. It’s too late to rescue some teenage violence survivors, but it’s not too late to prevent future victims of adolescent fury and bloodshed.
We must examine murders committed by teenagers more carefully in order to prevent future incidents. With early intervention measures and education, we may help kids understand that the consequences of their actions will lead to severe judgments. This would hopefully deter teens from committing violent crimes.
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