Teenage Violence in the USA

Only when these factors are understood and their impact realized can effective change be implemented in an attempt to counteract the corrosive long-term results not only for the individuals involved but for the greater society as well (Straus Gelles, 1990, p. 97).One of the most difficult factors to control contributing to the delinquency of minors is the effects suffered as a result of domestic violence. Incidences of domestic violence, a growing problem in the U.S., affect the emotional, cognitive, and behavioral development of children, produces disharmony in the family unit and instigates harmful lifetime problems for all concerned. Children of pre-adolescent age, unlike younger children, typically have a greater ability to verbalize negative sentiments. Victims within this age group, in addition to symptoms commonly associated with anxiety such as nightmares and sleeping and eating disorders, may exhibit low self-esteem. Pre-teens of abusive situations have an increased propensity for temper tantrums, are often involved in fighting, abusing animals and acting in threatening manners. This violent behavior mirrors what they see at home and is an attempt to gain attention. Teenagers of abusive house-holds are at much greater risk than those who are not to drop-out of school and abuse drugs. Research has suggested that a history of family violence is the most noteworthy reason that separates antisocial and ‘normal’ youths. According to a study report authored by Dr. Terence P. Thornberry, children with histories of violence in their families report a 24 percent increase in the level of violent behavior they participate in as compared with their peers living in non-violent homes. Other analyses of these data indicate that maltreatment is also a significant risk factor for official delinquency and other forms of self-reported delinquency. for the prevalence and frequency of delinquency. and for all these indicators when gender, race/ethnicity, family structure.