Response to Peers
Response to Peer Posts
There are many reasons why teenagers are engaging in violent behavior, however Generalizing this behavior and making claims to give back and help teens in the community is not a realistic proposition. The psychological and environmental factors that drive teenagers to violence need to be handled by professionals. The underlying causes for violence need to be identified and addressed.
Substance abuse is one of the leading factors for violent behavior in teenagers. Teens who use drugs or drink exhibit violent behavior more often than those who do not. Hedges (2012) cites that teens who are engaged in substance abuse are more likely to exhibit violent behavior whether or not they are under the influence. These teens require treatment to stop the abuse and deal with the psychological reasons behind the abuse and their violent behavior. Treatment can include both inpatient and outpatient placements under the guidance and counseling of professionals.
Daniel (2010) presents in her article, that violence in teens can either be attributed to substance abuse or substance abuse as a result of a mental illness. Teens who suffer from clinical depression and anxiety often turn to drugs to ease the symptoms, especially teens who have not sought professional assistance for dealing with unusual feelings and thoughts. Substance abuse has been linked to violence in many populations, not just teens. Again, the author maintains that long term treatment is the only solution to this problem.
When teenagers exhibit violent behaviors, the root cause must be discovered. If the cause is determined to be substance abuse a comprehensive and long term treatment plan or program will help the teen. Once substances are eliminated and the teen learns better ways to cope with stress and conflict, violence will no longer be an issue for the teen.
Media influence and the desensitization of teens to violence is a real problem. This desensitization leads to warped beliefs in teens that violence is an appropriate manner in order to exact retribution or to solve conflicts. This type of behavior is inexcusable and teens need to be taught how to solve conflicts and deal with their negative emotions.
In a study for the field of advertising, Ashworth, Pyle and Pancer (2010) researched the prevalence of violence in advertising and found that violent domination was a popular topic or angle in advertising. Violence is considered in media circles to be a desired product that the population is looking for and responds to. Unfortunately, this sad fact is true. One look at television, movies and video games will show the increased violent content. Common sense can relate the exposure to violent content and violent behavior. The authors cite many studies that have linked overexposure to violence and desensitization to violent acts.
Durlak, Weissberg, Dymnicki, Tayler & Schellinger (2011) reviewed studies of programs implemented at the school level to educate teens and other children about violence and the consequences associated with violence. The researchers found that teens who were exposed to this type of education were less likely to commit violent acts. Exposure, education and discussion about conflict and how to resolve conflict through these programs was cited as the factor the made a difference.
Teens who are educated and are able to share their emotions are less likely to commit violence. This strategy is proactive in presenting a response to the overexposure teens face to media depictions of violence.
Ashworth, L., Pyle, M., and Pancer, E. (2010). The role of dominance in the appeal of violent
media depictions. Journal of Advertising, 39(4), 121-134. Retrieved from:
Daniel, P. (2010). Treating teens for substance abuse. CRS, Behavioral Health Advisor, 1.
Retrieved from: http://eds.a.ebscohost.com/eds/detail/detail?vid=7&sid=343150a3-8cca –
Hedges, K. (2012). Teens in the grey zone: The structural violence of substance using youths
being raised in the system. Human Organization, 71(3), 317-325. Retrieved from:
Durlack, J. A., Weissberg, R.P., Dymnicki, A., Taylor, R.D., & Schellinger, K. (2011).
The impact of enhancing students’ social and emotional learning: A meta-analysis of school-
based universal interventions. Child Intervention, 82(1), 405-432.