Violence Among Youth Essay

Introduction Indians aspire for their country to be a large, rapidly growing economy, and also to be respected as a great nation. In India, 480 million are less than 19 years old. India has 20% of the world’s children. [1] The recent years have seen an unprecedented increase in youth violence, often lethal violence, all around the nation. Anecdotal evidence of increase in violence by young people against women and old people, of road rage, of violence in schools, and other violent actions to get whatever they want is alarming.

This “epidemic,” as many social analysts called it, caused serious concern to both parents and experts who believed their communities were no longer safe and that there was little or nothing they could do to change the situation. This has shaken the very roots of the notion of building a peaceful society where the youth become torch-bearers for progress of the nation. Besides, the personal losses due to the violent acts are immense. It is impossible to put a price tag on youth violence that accounts for all the damage done to individuals, families, and communities.

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There is no way to measure the emotional pain, the lost opportunities, and the stunted growth. There is a growing fear that our institutions are unable to maintain social order. Violence and the fear of violence have changed the way people live and eroded the underpinnings of healthy growth and development of children and youth. These trends should be of immense concern because the condition of children is fundamental to realising the aspirations of building a just and peaceful society as well as of economic growth.

While the mantle of leadership into the future must pass on to youth, older citizens cannot relinquish responsibility for fostering the bodies, minds, and values of children. It is time to realise that children are not merely resources for an economic machine. India’s future greatness will arise not merely from its large economy, but mainly from the moral leadership that India, with its diversity and democracy, can provide. The values our youth will conduct their lives by, as they aspire to have more and get ahead, will determine what shape our country will be in 25 years.

Focusing on the problems of youth must be central to the agenda for the development of India in the coming years. Understanding The Notion Of Youth &Violence Youth violence has been called an epidemic, comparable to the impact of war, more devastating than polio, AIDS, or motor vehicle crashes. Though the label is debatable, the facts behind it are not. Violence has many faces—from war to gang violence, from hate crimes to violence against intimates—and all of them affect children. School violence is just the newest and most visible face of this deeply rooted, multi-faceted, societal problem.

School violence claimed the lives of 15 young people in Littleton, Colorado, and focused the nation’s attention on the issue of youth violence . The first children affected by violence lived in inner-city communities exhibiting a high degree of poverty, racism, and many other risk factors. The problem of youth violence now has infected segments of our population earlier thought immune to such problems. The Problem Has Increased From the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, the youth homicide rate increased by 168 percent. Boys are 10times more likely to commit murder than girls, and girls are more likely to contemplate suicide than Boys.

More boys complete suicidal acts than girls, partly because boys choose more lethal method than girls. Boys use guns, and girls tend to use pills. (1)From birth, boys have greater vulnerabilities than girls. For example, boys tend to have more health, learning, and social problems. In almost every culture, boys are more aggressive than girls. Girls who get sad, get depressed. Boys who get sad, get Angry and become very skilled at hiding their sadness. Since boys are incarcerated for violent and Often horrific crimes, they have been the ubjects of in-depth study by James Gabardine and others in an attempt to better understand youth violence[2]. Gabardine reached the following four conclusions:- 1. Children need to believe that adults are in charge and are able and willing to protect them. Violent boys often have lost confidence in adults and concluded that they must take their safety into their own hands. 2. Children need to believe that somebody in the world is crazy about them. Boys are drawn into world that values accomplishments, but they need to have someone who cares about them, no matte what.

Resiliency may be undermined if caring is lacking. A lack of caring also contributes to spiritual emptiness that is typical in violent boys. Without a connection to a loving presence in the world, these boys may lack the sense that life is worthwhile and has meaning. • The dark side of our culture may rush in to fill la spiritual void. • A boy who lacks positive meaning in his life has nothing to fall back on in times of trouble. • A spiritual foundation creates limits. A spiritually empty boy doesn’t grasp the Unacceptability of an unlimited response. 3.

While we can agree that all children need healthy environments for optimal growth, psychologically vulnerable children particularly need a less socially toxic place to grow. Research indicates that the following social toxins affect aggressive boys more than other children: • violence in the movies, television, and video games; • large high schools have negative effects especially on students whose grades are below Average. • drugs and guns. 4. Children need nurturing and caring adult’s who help them learn to break the “code of silence” dthat keeps them from reporting their concerns about potentially violent youth. By third grade, children can identify other children who hit people. Without intervention, children who hit will be hitting people in their families 30 years later. • “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk” is a motto that has caught on and affected the problem of drunk driving. We need something like that for violence intervention[3]. DINENSIONS OF YUTH & YOUTH CULTURE The principal aim of this module is to provide students with a historical, theoretical and comparative understanding of the diverse forms of youth culture and is composed of three parts.

The first part provides a historical overview of the emergence of youth as a distinct urban problem in the nineteenth century and, from the 1950s, as an experience characterised in terms of leisure, consumption and excitement. The first part of the module introduces the main sociological traditions that have considered the interplay between youth, crime, consumption and the city. These include the Chicago School, Labelling and Social Construction, New Deviancy Theory and the work associated with the Birmingham Centre for Cultural Studies.

The perspectives here primarily focus on white, male, working class youth in Britain and North America, and include such ‘spectacular’ dimensions of youth culture as delinquent gangs, Teddy boys, Moods and Punks. The second part of the module engages with research that has critiqued, extended or revised the claims of the earlier perspectives through addressing the marginalised and neglected dimensions of youth culture as well as examining the challenges posed by post modernity and globalisation.

The third part of the module focuses on the contemporary nature of youth culture and examines such substantive issues as the policing of youth, drug use and the consumption of popular culture in both the private and public spheres. Consequently, the course not only examines the ‘spectacular’ dimensions of youth culture, as expressed in drug use, fashion and clubs, but also the more ‘routine’ aspects of cultural practice in the everyday contexts of the home, school and the street[4] IMPACT OF YOUTH VIOLENCE OR SOCIETY The first-ever Surgeon General’s report on youth violence was recently eleased ,that who still holds his position in the Bush Administration. The report hardly made a ripple in the public debate, but what caught my attention was the press reports regarding what wasn’t in the report, rather than what was. In a press conference when the report was released, that media violence, and he responded that the media is not a major influence on youth violence. As someone who has read dozens of studies and reports about the impact of media violence on children and society, I was surprised to hear this.

It sounded eerily like a recent report on ABC’s 20/20 claiming that media violence does not cause violence and may actually be good for kids. But what about the voluminous stack of research reports on the impact of media violence on youth? When a TV news magazine claims that TV violence is not dangerous, I don’t take it too seriously, but the Surgeon General’s report was a different matter. More importantly, I wondered how parents and others would respond to the “news. ” This article takes a careful look at the new report, the 20/20 story, and the research on media violence, and tries to figure out what is going on.

Does television impact youth violence? Continuing the discussion on the epidemic of violence especially among youth, several people have written about the effects of violent television and video programmes; here are two responses. Geoff Mar fleet from Samoa (Pacific) writes: Reading your articles with interest; may I offer a few comments for what they are worth. Every country has its problems with youth, to a greater or lesser extent, and I don’t believe there is any ‘quick fix’. A caring, loving and stable family environment is the foundation for the upbringing of our children.

The community could do far more in assisting our youth by providing them with appropriate activities, such as through government and church sponsored youth centres, since the problem of paid employment is always an issue in our small communities. I also agree that more care should be taken in selecting the movies which are readily available at cinemas and electronically. The vulgarity, violence and filthy language shown on some of these movies should be knocked on the head at its source. It is no wonder some of the more vulnerable young people are the way they are.

Alas, in our small islands the influences of ‘big brother’ is being felt more and more, but I suspect that in the long run we will all survive, I am pretty sure this will be the case for Samoa. Taking another view, a writer from Seychelles (Indian Ocean) says: I would like to argue against the idea that television plays an important role in promoting violence amongst young people or society in general. On the other hand, I will support all those who maintain that society itself furthers violence, but I will argue that capital punishment is not the answer.

All wars, in my opinion, are bloody and ugly and at the end of the day are not justified, no matter what intelligent arguments we push forward. If we go back to olden times, when television did not exist, those were to me the bloodiest of wars. Human beings crushed each other as they surged forward on horseback in their quest to literally tear each other apart using whatever sharp weapons they possessed at the time. Consider the concentration camps and the gas chambers. They came along at a time when the television was showing the Indians fighting the Cowboys.

Today the world is hearing about genocide, adults sexually abusing months-old babies and other ugly forms of violence; and lately the cliched ‘Bushism’ fight against terror. The television does show a lot of violence, whether on the news or entertainment programmes such as films. However, these programmes reflect the violent history of the world; situations that have resulted from humans’ misunderstandings, their ignorance and vice. I would agree with the writer who says that it is the little things that count. Society needs to re-evaluate itself.

Accept the fact that we have gone wrong, somewhere, somehow, and see how best to help solve the problem rather than finding scapegoats for a situation for which we alone are responsible[5] CAUSE OF YOUTH VIOLANCE Because of increasing frequency and severity of violent and delinquent behaviour among adolescents, the search for predictors for violent behaviour has intensified. Scientific studies have enabled us to identify risk factors associated with violence and delinquency at various developmental periods in children’s lives, ranging from birth to adolescence. 1. Family

Violence in children could originate from disciplining by severe corporal punishment or verbal abuse; from physical or sexual abuse; from witnessing such behaviour at home; in neglected children; from drug abuse; or a combination of stressful family and socioeconomic factors. Numerous family factors predict violence. In her follow-up of 250 treated Boston boys in the Cambridge-Somerville Youth Study, McCord (1979) found that the strongest predictors at age ten of later convictions for violence (up to age forty-five) were poor parental supervision; parental aggression, including harsh, punitive discipline; and parental conflict. 6] (i) Parental Criminality If the parents lack spiritual and moral beliefs, the children will grow up without any sense of honesty, compassion and discipline. Most kids are smart enough to realise that when parents give them too much freedom it really means that the parents don’t care, or don’t know any better themselves. Children can end up with a feeling of emptiness and guilt and they challenge everything out of pure frustration. It leads to confused identities, anger, and depression.

Baker and Mednick (1984) found a significant positive association between paternal criminality and the likelihood of later violent offending among young Danish men. [7] Farrington (1989) noted that parents’ arrests prior to their son’s tenth birthday were associated with the son’s self-reported and officially recorded rates of violent crime in early adulthood. A study of risk factors for gang membership in Seattlie identified a significant positive relationship between parental pro violence attitudes and the likelihood of youth later joining a gang (Maguin et al. , 1995). [8] (ii) Child Abuse and Neglect

Several evaluations suggest a positive, though weak, association of child abuse with later violent offending (Smith & Thornberry, 1995; Zingraff, Leiter, Myers, & Johnson, 1993). Child sexual abuse was found to be inversely associated with the likelihood of later violent offending (Widom, 1989; Zingraff et al. , 1993). [9] Children who are subjected to ineffective child-rearing practices and who are poorly socialized typically lack self-control and a sense of strong attachment to others. These youths tend be involved in criminal acts and engage in other harmful behavior, such as drinking, using drugs, and reckless driving.

Child neglect appears to be more strongly related (positively) to later violence than child physical or sexual abuse (J. D. Hawkins et al. , 1998). [10] (iii) Family Conflict Domestic conflict among family members is consistently related to youth violence. Marital and family discords were positively associated with youth violence in studies conducted by Farrington (1989) , McCord and Zola (1959), and Maguin(1995). [11] (iv) Parent-Child Interaction and Family Bonding Several investigations underscore the protective role of high levels of parent-child interaction on youth violence.

Farrington (1989) found that the more involved fathers were in their son’s education at age 18, the lower the likelihood of violence by sons at mid-life. Williams (1994) reported that higher levels of family involvement and interaction when youth were age 14 were associated with lower levels of self-reported violence at age 16. [12] (v) Family Management Practices. Excessively punitive or permissive parental disciplinary practices are associated with later youth violence. Harsh physical punishment by parents and child physical abuse typically predict violent offending by sons (Malinosky-Rummell and Hansen 1993). 13] (vi) Other Family Factors Several other family factors have been associated with violence. Leaving home before age 16 increased youths’ risk for later violence in one study (McCord & Emsinger, 1995). Similarly, childhood separation from one or more parents early in life predicts later violence among youth (Farrington, 1989; Henry, Avshalom, Moffitt, & Silva, 1996; Wadsworth, 1976). Frequency of residential changes by age 16 was ass5ociated with rates of self-reported violence by age 18 among youth participating in a school-based prevention program in Seattle (Maguin et al. , 1995). [14] . Peers Delinquent peers and siblings increase the risk of later violent offences (Ageton, 1983; Farrington, 1989; Williams, 1994). Gang membership, in particular, has potent effects on risks for later violent offending. Thornberry (1998) observed that rates of youth violence were high during periods of gang membership, and declined notably following termination of gang affiliation. The facilitation effect of gang membership on youth violence was not due simply to the effects of associating with highly delinquent peers, but was largely attributable to the effects of gang membership per se. 15] 3. School The many school factors associated with violence include truancy, dropping out, school failure, low attachment and commitment to school, number of schools attended, and enrolment in a school attended by a comparatively large number of delinquents (Denno, 1990; Farrington, 1989; Maguin et al. , 1995). Research indicates that low levels of commitment to school, poor school performance, and other indicators of poor adaptation to school demands pose risks for later violence.

Studies of risk factors for gang affiliation identify low academic expectations and self-esteem vis-a-vis school performance, having gang members as student peers, and educational frustration and stress as important concomitants of gang membership (Curry & Spergel, 1992). [16] 4. Media Children learn violence mainly from television, Internet, movies, newspapers and magazines. A research in the U. S. in 2002 on the influence of television on teen violence indicates that teenagers who watch more than an hour of television a day are more prone to violence. Aggression rate is 5. per cent if TV viewing is less than an hour a day. However, if the viewing time is between one to three hours, aggression rate goes up to 22. 5 per cent and more than three hours a day makes aggression rate 28. 8 per cent. [17] Websites had fundamentally changed the way young people related to each other and this could be linked to the increase in youth crime. According to certain police crime statistics in Australia, alcohol and social networking websites such as Facebook and YouTube have generated behavioural changes leading to a marked increase in youth offences, especially girls and children of both sexes under 14. 18] Conclusion We, at this point of time need to realize the fact that the commitment of the entire nation is needed to initiate the composite and all-round development of the young sons and daughters of India and to establish an All-India perspective to fulfil their legitimate aspirations so that they are all strong of heart, body and mind in successfully accomplishing the challenging tasks of national reconstruction and social changes that lie ahead. The socio-economic conditions in the country have been undergoing a significant change and have been shaped by wide-ranging technological advancement.

The Government Policies need to be designed to galvanize the youth to rise up to the new challenges, keeping in view the global scenario, The educational system is required to instil in the youth values of non-violence with an emphasis on elimination of violence in all forms, adherence to good moral and ethical values and respect and reverence for India’s composite culture and national heritage. Training and capacity building of all NGOs working with the adolescents is required to treat those who indulge in mood-swings and self-destructive activities like alcohol, drugs etc. ith openness, understanding and sympathy and offer creative channels to harness their energies. For India to occupy her rightful place in the Comity of Nations, it would be imperative to ensure the effective pursuit of youth development programmes which promote personality development and qualities of citizenship and enhance commitment to Community Service, Social Justice, National Integration and Humanism, in line with the teachings of the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi.

Bibliography 1. Articles:- “http://indianpediatrics. net/july2006/july-607-612. htm” accessed on 06-10-2008 ii. Farrington, David P. , “PREDICTORS, CAUSES, AND CORRELATES OF MALE YOUTH VIOLENCE”, “Journal of Crime and Justice University of Chicago”, “http://international. westlaw. com iii. Jeffrey M. Jenson, and Matthew O. Howard “CAUSES AND PREVENTION OF YOUTH VIOLENCE”, Denver University Law Review, 2000, http://international. westlaw. com 2. Websites:- i. ttp://www. wvu. edu/~exten/infores/pubs/fypub ii http://www. essex. ac. uk/courses/default. aspx? coursec iii http://www. sivglobal. org/? noframes;read=41 iv http://international. westlaw. com accessed on 06-10-2008 ———————– [1] Maira, Arun, “How the youth will shape India”, “The economic times”, 6th Jun 2008 [2] http://www. wvu. edu/~exten/infores/pubs/fypub [3] Ibid [4] http://www. essex. ac. uk/courses/default. aspx? coursec 5] http://www. sivglobal. org/? noframes;read=41 [6] Farrington, David P. , “PREDICTORS, CAUSES, AND CORRELATES OF MALE YOUTH VIOLENCE”, “Journal of Crime and Justice University of Chicago”, http://international. westlaw. com [7] Ibid [8] Supra note 3 [9] Supra note 3 [10] Supra note 3 [11] Supra note 3 [12] Supra note 3 [13] Supra note 3 [14] Supra note 3 [15] Supra note 3 [16] Supra note 3 [17] Supra note 1 [18] http://www. newstrackindia. com/newsdetails/5584


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