This article discusses peer pressure and problems of teenage violence. It will also try to define the sources of the problems and the solutions to them.
Violence. Mentioning the word conjures up images of assault, abuse, and even murder. It’s the act of purposefully hurting someone.
And it’s a major issue facing today’s young adults. In today’s American society, violence is more prevalent now then ever. Annually, one in twelve highschoolers is threatened or injured with a weapon each year. Each year one person out of every forty is a victim of a violent crime. At the same time, statistics show that by the early 1990’s the incidence of violence cause by young people reached unparalleled levels in American society.
Everyone wants to find an answer to a problem that is in a great need of solving.
But where do we look to find the answer? What causes people to behave in a violent fashion? Maybe if we explore the reasons for behavior, and address these issues, we will win our battle with violence.
There is no single explanation for the overall rise in youth violence. Many different factors cause violent behavior. The more these factors are present in our life, the more likely people are to commit an act of violence. What causes someone to punch, kick, stab or fire a gun at someone else or even him/herself? There is never a simple answer to that question. But people often commit violence because of one or more of the following:
Some people use violence to release feeling of anger or frustration. They think there are no answers to their problems and turn to violence to express their out of control emotions.
Manipulation.Violence is used, as a way to control others or get something one wants.
Retaliation.Violence is used to retail against those who have hurt them or someone they care about.
Violence is a learned behavior. Like all learned behaviors, it can be changed. This isn’t easy, though. Since there is no single cause of violence, there is no simple solution. The best we can do is to learn to recognize the warning signs of violence and get help when it is seen in one. The factors that contribute to violent behavior include:
Witnessing violence at home, in the community or in the media
Often people who act violently have trouble controlling their feelings.
Others may have hurt them. Some think that making people fear them through violence or threats of violence will solve their problems or earn them respect. This isn’t true. People who behave violently loose respect. They find themselves isolated or disliked, and they still feel angry and frustrated. Following are the signs for a serious possibility of a violence:
– loss of temper on daily basis, – frequent physical fighting, – significant vandalism or property damage, – increase in risk-taking behavior, – detailed plans to commit acts of violence, – announcing threats or plans for hurting others, – enjoying hurting animals, – increase in use of drugs or alcohol, – carrying a weapon.
Drug and alcohol abuse in this country has always been around, but recently numbers are hitting all time highs. From 1992 to 1995, drug use among teenagers almost doubled. Drugs and alcohol are both mind-altering agents, which cause people to do things that they would not normally do or intensify the emotions that they feel. It is believed that many violent acts are due to people being under the influence of some type of narcotic or alcohol. In a survey conducted in University of Tennessee for the Department of Health, the effects of drug abuse on violence were studied. It was found that almost 56% of drinkers also used drugs while drinking.
Interestingly, white males were found to be more abuse to violence and crime. With drug use and violence rising, a direct correlation can be seen. Our society has created drug awareness programs in our schools, but obviously something must be changed in these programs. They simply are not working. The highest drug abuse numbers are seen in the teen year’s age group. We must find a way to lower these numbers and reduce the number of drug users, especially children.
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