This paper explores the topic of children and how violence affects their behavior, the implications of data and research from various scholarly articles, and how the issue of violence is to be effectively dealt with in various aspects such as with the media and in domestic disputes. The articles used are all very similar in terms of addressing the various issues of violence. Each article has a centralized focus on children, adolescents, and presents correlational data and research that can be attributed to today’s clinical and practical approaches to assessing the influence of violence on children and adolescents. In addition, this paper will also focus on the societal implications that research suggests and how we will be better able to not just cope, but to effectively move society towards an era of social acceptance.
Keywords: Violence, Psychopathology, Behavior, Mental Health
Violence and Risk For many, violence is an issue that is ever-present within society on a global scale. It is because of a multitude of variables such as media violence and domestic violence, that generalized violence will be extremely prevalent in the future of younger generations making them not only the victims of today, but also the victims of tomorrow. Through the analysis and understanding of the variables that affect personality and social behavior of children, adolescents, and adults, any conclusions or implications for future prevention can be discerned and acted upon. In order to fully understand the concept of how, when, and where violence exposure takes place, the demographics of victims and perpetrators must be examined. Research has found that a high percentage of victimization and witnessing of violence occurs in urban areas, in fact, it was discovered that 80-90% of adolescents living in urban areas where poverty was common, reported that they were either a direct victim or a witness to violence within their community (Tummala-Narra, Li, Liu, & Wang, 2014, p. 8). This percentage is alarming because there are many countries that have a high concentration of their population in urban areas, which means that there is a higher risk of violence exposure at a younger age. In the New York-Metropolitan Area, there are approximately twenty-three million people, which is 14% of the population of the United States. That number on its own should be a warning especially since there is a “lack of research promoting protective and preventative measures for violence in social settings such as at home, in communities, and at school” (Tummala-Narra, Li, Liu, & Wang, 2014, p. 8). In essence, the research (and lack of) Tummala-Narra and her colleagues conducted should be seen as a call for action unless society wants to have to address an issue that could be prevented or made more aware of in order to decrease risk factors attributed to poor mental health. According to Tummala-Narra et al. (2014, p. 8-9), “ . . . both direct victimization and witnessing violence are associated with a wide range of mental health problems, including posttraumatic stress, depressive symptoms, anxiety, suicidal behavior, substance use, and aggression toward others among adolescents.” Being a victim and a witness both can lead to various complications and the fact that adolescents can be extremely susceptible should be alarming. If the youth of tomorrow is impacted by a lack of seriousness taken towards research involving violence, then there is no one to blame except those who are not willing to educate others by raising awareness and encouraging others to take a stand.
While various research studies have been focused on adolescents, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has put in extensive research into children and how adverse childhood experiences (ACE) affects their behavioral development through their ACE Study. The report states that: