Top 5 Causes Of Teen Violence
Teen violence has become a hot topic in the news and social media these past few years. In fact, the report made by the Centers for Disease Control stated that 16% of all violent crimes were committed by teenagers. These violent crimes include murder, sexual assault, assault and battery, and so on. This fact makes a lot of people wonder what drives teenagers to become so violent.
There are various theories on what causes teen violence; unfortunately, finding out the number one cause of teen violence is not very simple. Some of the common factors that might contribute to such behaviors include their home environment and underlying mental health problems. To help us understand why this behavior exists in some adolescents, here are a few of the most common reasons for teen violence.
- Abuse In The Home: If a child grows up in a violent home, there is a huge risk that he will also become violent in the future. This is because he has learned his violent and aggressive behavior at home. In addition, children who are exposed to violence in an early age may suffer from emotional trauma which can impair their cognitive development.
- External Influences: With today’s overwhelming media, such as television shows and video games, it is only natural that children and teenagers are influenced by what they see in movies or play in video games. Unfortunately, today’s media are full of violent and sexual content. These external factors greatly influence the teen’s behavior and decision-making. In fact, there have been cases wherein teenagers have imitated a video game or movie without considering the consequences.
- Gangs: Gang violence among young adults is a huge problem. Teenagers who are involved in such violence are more likely to get shot, beaten, or stabbed to death. Other young adults who are part of a gang may also commit violent acts towards another individual, possibly killing them. The longer the child becomes a part of such group, the more violent they may become.
- Alcohol And Drugs: Alcohol and drugs are two of the leading causes of teen violence. Alcohol and drug abuse can impair the teenager’s mind and ability to make sound decisions. Teenagers who are drunk or are under the influence of illegal substances believe that they are superior to their peers and they are above the law. This can then lead to violent behaviors and activities. Here are a few warning signs that your adolescent is abusing alcohol and drugs:
- Recurrent hangovers
- Loss of interest in the activities he once loved
- Hanging out with new set of friends
- Aggressiveness and irritability
- Asking for more money
- Losing valuables more frequently
- Depression or suicidal
- Getting in trouble with the law
- Underlying Mental Disorder: Teenagers who manifest aggressive behaviour and hostility toward authority may have a condition known as oppositional defiant disorder or ODD. The symptoms of this mental health condition may include:
- Rebelliousness and disobedience
- Aggression towards authority figures
- Argumentative towards adults
- Refuse to follow the rules or requests made by adults
- Blames others for his mistakes or behaviours
- Have anger issues
- Spiteful and vindictive
Early detection and diagnosis of their mental health condition might decrease violence. It is vital to help teens with ODD cope with their problems with the help of a trained mental health provider.
These are just a few of the leading causes of teen violence. Parents and guardians must be aware of these causes and they must learn how to look for early warning signs of violent behaviors in their teens. In doing so, they will be able to prevent the behavior from escalating. If teen violence is not addressed, the teen might suffer from severe legal consequences and it might ruin not only his life, but also the life of his victims.
Kris Hopkins is a writer for parenting websites. She also occasionally writes for Cerritos bail bonds agencies.
(Flickr image by Mahyar 【ツ】)