The Identifying Factors in the Development of Aggression and Violence in Youth Today

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The Identifying Factors in the Development of Aggression and Violence in Youth Today Tragic events like the shootings at Columbine High School capture public attention and concern, but are not typical of youth violence. Most adolescent homicides are committed in inner cities and outside of school. They most frequently involve an interpersonal dispute and a single victim. On average, six or seven youths are murdered in this country each day. Most of these are inner-city minority youths. Such acts of violence are tragic and contribute to a climate of fear in schools and communities. Research findings are identifying factors in the development of aggressive and antisocial behavior from early childhood to adolescence and into…show more content…
Successful early adjustment at home increases the likelihood that children will overcome such individual challenges and not become violent. However, exposure to violent or aggressive behavior within a family or peer group may influence a child in that direction. Types and Severity of Antisocial Behavior The types and severity of antisocial behaviors exhibited by youths vary greatly and include lying, bullying, truancy, starting fights, vandalism, theft, assault, rape, and homicide. As a rule, the older the age of onset, the fewer the number of antisocial youths who will engage in seriously aggressive and violent behavior. Longitudinal studies show that many children who engage in antisocial behavior in childhood continue to do so at least through adolescence. Longitudinal research has identified types of youth who progress to adolescent antisocial behavior, multiple pathways through which it develops and persists, and the multiple factors that shape this risk. This research has identified two types of life course trajectories: life course persistent, which is viewed as a form of psycho- pathology, and adolescence limited, which is identified only in select social situations. The distinction between these two types of individuals is very useful, both as a way of thinking about developmental knowledge and as a tool for targeting the right interventions for antisocial youth. Research in this area has generated evidence for this way of

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