Why Violence Is More Prevalent Among Young People


According to Wilson, Lipsey, &, Derson, (2003, pp. 49-139) “Youth violence refers to the intentional use of physical force or power by youth against another person or group that is likely to result in injury or death. “Violence is one of the key cause f of death amongst the youth. While violence can be both fatal and non-fatal, it is the most prevalent way that the youth use to show disagreement, difference in opinion or solve their problems. In American alone, violence amongst the youth is the number one cause of premature death, and the main cause of injury. Additionally, violence is amongst the main causes of disability. Additionally, in most developed countries, gun related violence has become the most common cause of fatalities. While the youth are considered violent because of drug abuse, there are many causes of violence. This paper seeks to explain violence, causes of violence as well as the prevalence of violence amongst the youth (Hawkins, Farrington, &, Catalano, 1998, pp. 188–216).

Causes Of Violence

While violence is increasingly considered as a social problem, it is mainly a way by which the youth externalize their psychological turmoil. For example, teens who are mentally, emotionally, and physically unstable see violence as the only way to solve problems. All social and psychological problems come into play whenever the youth become violent. For example, America registered the highest number of violent crimes because six out of every 1000 youths between ages 10-17 were involved in violence. Additionally, 154,000 violent crimes involved the youth. Comparing this to the year 1993, this indicates that violence amongst the youth increased by 2%. Over the last five years, the number of serious crimes involving juveniles has increased from 19% to 27%. Additionally, in close to 60% of the violent crimes in the US, at least two of the criminals were juvenile offenders.

The Main Risk Factors For Youth Violence?

There are many risk factors to youth violence. For example, there are individual or personal factors, there are also social factors as well as social economic factors as well as political factors that can cause and contribute to the alarming rate of youth violence (Wilson, Lipsey, &, Derson, 2003, pp. 49-139).

Personal Factors

Individual or personal factors include the arrange of personality and behavioral factor. For example, there are people who are hyperactive, while some are impulsive. The impulsive children are likely to become violent in their youth. Finally, there are attention-seeking behaviors that can result into fatal injury.

Family History

There are youths who come from families with history of aggressive behaviors and in most case, they belong to broken families and may be single parent families. These youth learn violence from their parents, and believe that violence is the only way to solve problems

Low Education Achievement

Low education achievement is also other risk factors as then children come to think of violence as the only solution to their problems. The uneducated and the educated youths have different perspective about life, violence, injury and both the long term and short term impact of violence (Kathleen, & Patti, 2000, pp 24-35)

Why Violence Is Prevalent Amongst The Youth

Violent crimes are becoming more prevalent amongst the youth because they are unable to control their behaviors. Additionally, there are socializing agents that have failed to supervise the youth and help them develop acceptable behaviors in the society. According to Baker, &, Mednick, (1984), many socializing agents such as families and institutions have turned into radicalization agents instead of socializing agents.

Family And Peers

According to Widom, (1989, pp. 3-28), the youth become involved in violence because they are influenced by their family member san their fellow youths. For example, peer pressure, group psychology and mob perceptions cloud judgments. Most youths are affected by normative social influence defines how a youth must behave to be socially accepted in groups. This means law breaking, participating in violence without which a group rejects one (Fegan, 2003, pp. 65-7; Hahn, et al, 2007, pp. 114-129)

Additionally, home environments also contribute to youth’s involvement in violence. For example, many youth come from working families in which both parents are employed meaning they have nobody to control them. These environments are very permissive to the youth and this means that in the absence of control, the youth are free to engage in a number of activities that can amount to violence. Therefore, Foshee, &, Bauman, (1992, pp. 66–76) argues that poor supervision, and harsh punishment leads to the development of hard-core criminals. Without proper supervision, the youth find a conducive environment for developing violent behaviors

Low Attachment

Most of the children that come from single parent families lack attachment, and this is the same case with children from families where both parents are working. Lack of attachment makes it difficult for the children to model their behaviors because they have no one to look up to, or better still, they have no one to model them. Lack of attachment and parental separation at a tender age lead to poor family cohesion, and low social skills (Foshee, &, Bauman, 1992, pp. 66-76)

Association With Delinquents

Juvenile delinquency is also another major vice that contributes to higher levels of violence. For example, if a teenager associates with delinquents, they are likely to grow up into violent individual because they are exposed to violent scenes when they are young. The development of such skill between individuals (Elliot, & Tollan, 2000)

Social Political And Cultural Factors

In a country such as American where the youth especially the minority community youth such as Islam, African America, and the Mexican youth are radicalized. This means that they increasingly become opposed to any social rule, law, and values. Radicalization of the youth is the main cause of violence amongst the youth (McCauley, &, Mosalenko, 2008, p. 416-500)

Poor Or Inadequate Asocial Control System

As governance is increasingly failing, the youth feel neglected and forgiven; they do not have representatives from institutions to address social issues they need to be addressed. For example, the youth feel that they are neglected by the government and would fight inequality such as income inequality by perpetrating violence and robbery additionally; there are many cultures that fail to provide non-violent alternatives to conflict resolution. Apart from personal and family issues, the youth are violent as a way of fighting government’s failures (Hawkins, et al, 1998, pp. 106–146).

Organization Crimes

Organization crimes may be new social problems, but they are increasingly recruiting the youth as they offer cheaper and safer way of transferring their money, drugs, and other merchandize, the growth of organization crimes has leads to the development of gang like groups that the youth can identify wit and copy. The youth are copying the violent gangs, as it seems the most logical way of acquiring faster wealth (Elliot, & Menard, 2006).

The Media

Finally, the media have been successful in promoting violence amongst the youth because the youth spend a lot of time watching films and videos that idolize crime and violence. The youth find criminal ideas from the internet, TV and radios and to an extent, portray the violent individuals in the society as heroes, this is a negative influence on the youth.


To be a youth is a blessing but sometimes in disguise in that most youth due to modernity are at risk even more than adults. Scholars have developed a series of approaches to control the violence prevalent among the young people laying their focus mostly in changing behaviors, attitudes and beliefs. These programs are often implemented within the school and college setting with an aim to reduce the violence but according to statistics the percentage of youth involved in these violent activities continues to increase year in year out. Some parents and guardian have warned of the dangers caused by violence though this has not succeeded.


McCauley, C., Mosalenko, S. "Mechanisms of political radicalization: Pathways towards terrorism," Terrorism and Political Violence (2008). 416

Baker, R., &, Mednick, B, (1984). Influences on Human Development: A Longitudinal

Perspective. Boston, MA: Kluwer- Nijhoff.

Hawkins, J, et al, (1998). A review of predictors of youth violence. In Serious and Violent Juvenile Offenders: Risk Factors and Successful Interventions, edited by R. Loeber and D.P. Farrington. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc., pp. 106–146.

Foshee, V., &, Bauman L, (1992). Parental and peer characteristics as modifiers

of the bond-behavior relationship: An elaboration of control theory. Journal of Health and Social Behavior 33(1):66–76

Widom, Cathy S, (1989). Does violence beget violence? A critical examination of the literature.

Psychological Bulletin, Vol 106(1), Jul, 3-28.

Elliot, D. & Menard, S. (2006).Delinquent friends and Delinquent Behaiviour.Temporal And Development Patterns. United Kingdom. Cambridge University Press.

Elliot, D. & Tollan, P. (2000).Youth Violence .Prevention, intervention and SocialPolicy. United Kingdom .Cambridge University Press.

Fegan, J, (2003). Interactions Among Drugs, Alcohol and Violence .Health affairs12(3) 65-7

Hahn, R., Fugua, D., Wellington, H., Lowly.J, Crosby, A. & Fullilove, M.(2007).Effectiveness Of Universal School based Programs to Prevent Violent andAggressive behavior. Systematic review. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 33(2) pp 114-129.

Kathleen, R. & Patti, L. (2000) Children, Youth and Gun Violence. Analysis and Recommendations. The future Children. 12(7) pp 24-35


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