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Youth Violence Essay

1548 words - 7 pages

Introduction
Youth violence is defined as violent behaviour that begins early in life and continues throughout subsequent stages of life. Youth violence may include physical and emotional harm, and minor crimes, escalating to murder (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013). Youth are recognized as being between the ages of twelve and twenty-four however, teens are the most affected by violence than any other group of youths as they are habitually perceived as the most violent age group (Goodwin, 1998, pg. 7). Youth violence has a past that aids in explaining acts of youth violence today. There are also numerous risk factors that may result in violent adolescents and additionally, there are several effects that violent youth have on societies. Youth violence is preventable. There are many methods to help prevent youth violence and its effects. There are also many facts and actions involving youth violence that may be a source of conflicting opinions on the matter. Youth violence is not merely a stage in one’s life, it continues on to distress other fragments of society.

History/ Background
Canada’s history of violence has influenced the actions of youth we see today. The first Canadian youth gang documented in history was discovered prior to World War II. However, gangs observed in the past lacked a criminal component, contrasting what is seen in current youth gangs (Tunstall, 2009, pg 1). Youth violence in the United States was more noticeable and violent than it was in Canada at the time. However, trends of violence among youth made its way from the United States to influence Canada’s violent youth behaviour. More recently, 180 youth gangs were discovered to be active in the Greater Toronto Area in 2005. This resulted in the most violent year for youth in Ontario due to an increased amount of violent, assault crimes (Tunstall, 2009, pg 1). History of youth violence from both Canada and the United States, has largely impacted the amount of crime and violence seen in communities in the present day.

Causes and Effects
There are many factors that influence youth violence and as well, various effects aggressive youth may have on the surrounding world. Generally, homes containing absent parents, a low income, and substance abuse, negatively affect children, causing them to become more at risk for violent behaviour (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013). Children raised in these types of dysfunctional families tend to relay the same behaviour on to their future families and children since the family is the first primary method of socialization and therefore, has a great impact on their futures (Voisin, 2007, pg 53). A child is at risk for violence if they have been a victim or an observer of violence in their past. Violence may also develop if the child has a mental disability, a low intelligence level or is extremely introverted (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013). Peers and the community also have a large...

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