Western Governors University
Thesis Statement: Researchers believe that many childhood behavioral issues are often caused by external conditions, such as poverty, unhealthy living conditions and a negative home life. Some behavioral issues are a direct cause of mental health problems, but for this study, we will not look at the mental health issues that cause behavior issues. A growing body of research has examined the cause of youth violence, among peers and parental relationships. The world we are living in today is full of violent images; from video games to movies, even much of today’s music can promote a violent message. There are other external influences that can also influence many children’s behaviors; such as impoverishment, inferior living conditions, inadequate housing, which often leads to illicit activities; such as drug and alcohol abuse and other criminal activities. In this research study, we will try to answer several questions the effects of violent images, or video games may have on our youth today. We will also examine if coming from a broken home has any direct correlation on the behavior of the child or children? This paper will examine several studies on this subject in the hopes of discovering the possible solutions to the questions raised in this paper.
Do violent images, video games, etc. influence children’s behavior?
Does coming from a broken, or abusive home, etc. influence children’s behavior?
Do children raised in a typical two parent household have an advantage over those raised in single family households?
Can coming from an urban area influence bad behavior in children? In the first study I examined, researchers concluded that children who are born and live under impoverished conditions are more likely to show early signs of negative behaviors. Many of these children gravitate towards destructive activities, such as drug and alcohol abuse, which usually leads to other criminal activities. Most students show signs of depression and hostility. Researchers discovered that programs that help teach better stress management made a significant impact on these children and helped cut aggressive behaviors. These techniques had a positive effect on the students going forward. Attar, Guerra and Tolan (1994).
In this next study, researcher explained how many preadolescent children are drawn toward negative peer cliques after they are rejected by their common peer group. The children that are rejected by their peers gravitate towards other rejected children and in turn recruit others who are also rejected by their common peers. The children form unhealthy peer groups that cannot foster positive behaviors. These children are socially, and emotionally disconnected from society and as groups, they drift toward deviant behaviors. These behaviors often lead them to follow criminal pursuits. This is why gangs are so affluent across the nation (Bagwell, Coie, Terry, & Lochman, 2000).
In another study that spotlights peer rejection which leads to destructive behavior, researchers (Coie, Lochman, Terry, & Hyman, 1992.) concluded that childhood aggression results from peer rejection. The researchers followed underprivileged African-American children from third grade until sixth grade to find if external, or internal circumstances influenced their behaviors. The researcher findings were substantiated. Peer rejection and other external conditions can often lead to destructive behaviors.
The next study continued to focus on peer rejection and the effects it had on the behaviorism of the children. This study went into further details about the children’s juvenile records and followed up with their adult criminal record. “Juvenile records were updated after the participants of the study had aged out of the juvenile court system (i.e., after everyone in the sample had reached their 18th birthday)…” (Schaeffer, Petras, Ialongo, Poduska, & Kellam, 2003, p.