Interpersonal Violence and Adolescents
Interpersonal Violence and Adolescents is the most sensitive issue of the modern world that needs our immediate attention and concern. It is almost seen in every school and colleges and it not only causes conflicts, fight, injury but also causes the death of many adolescents. According to the report of WHO published in April 2023,” Interpersonal violence is among the leading causes of death in adolescents and young people globally. Its prominence varies substantially by world region. It causes nearly a third of all adolescent male deaths in low- and middle-income countries in the WHO Region of the Americas.”
The number of serious injury and death among adolescents is increasing throughout the world and that’s why we need to address this issue. Violence increases the risk of self-harm, substance abuse, mental health issues, AIDS, early pregnancy etc. among adolescents. So, we should address this sensitive problem immediately and collectively so that we can save the life of our adolescents.
Interpersonal Violence and Adolescents- Main Reasons
There are many reasons and risk factors behind the Interpersonal Violence and Adolescents starting from the domestic violence to substance abuse disorder or suicidal tendency. Sometimes two or more factors work together to increase the intensity of the violence and make the adolescents more and more vulnerable. It is little bit gender specific due to social conditioning, parental influence or peer pressure- more and more male adolescents are engaged in interpersonal violence. The prominent reasons are depicted below to get a deep insight into the matter.
Suffering from Behavioral Disorder
It is seen that the adolescents who are suffering from behavioral disorder like ADHD, Conduct Disorder, Hyperactivity or other disorders are more likely to indulge in interpersonal violence. Especially the adolescents who are suffering from conduct disorder are fond of fighting, bullying or self-harm in order to seeking attention from others or finding pleasure. Hyperactive adolescents or children having ADHD are also committing the activities of interpersonal violence randomly.
Substance Abuse Disorder
The addiction to drugs and alcohol is also one of the main reasons behind the issue Interpersonal violence and Adolescents. The adolescents who are addicted to drugs and alcohol are more prone to engaged themselves in violence, they start to fight for a trifling matter as they are not in their conscious state. Sometimes only to get the substances of their addiction, they may do any kind of violence activities. According to the report of WHO published in October 2023 having the title “Youth Violence”, ‘Early involvement with alcohol, drugs and tobacco’ is one of the main risk factors of interpersonal violence in youths.
Victims of Domestic Violence
The adolescents who are the victims of domestic violence, who have witnessed serious injury or murder of people due to domestic violence have a natural tendency to be involved in interpersonal violence or self-harm. Due to their traumatic experiences, they are not in normal state of mental health and do the activities of violence as the revenge to the violent acts on them or their loved ones. “Research indicates that experiencing domestic violence has a differential impact along gender lines. Girls are more likely to internalize symptoms in the form of withdrawal, anxiety and depression, whereas boys, though still susceptible to anxiety and depression, are more prone to externalizing symptoms through violence against peers or antisocial behavior (Baldry, 2007).”
Victims of Childhood Abuse
There is a direct link between the abuse and the issue Interpersonal Violence and Adolescents because it is seen that the adolescents who experienced childhood abuse whether physical, psychological or sexual abuse are more likely to be engaged in interpersonal violence. According to several research works, it is seen that “Consistent with the theory on the “cycle of violence” (Widom 1989a), exposure to childhood abuse increases the intergenerational risk of engaging in violent or aggressive behaviors in adolescence and adulthood. Children with a history of childhood abuse, for example, were significantly more likely to have official records for juvenile delinquency, adult criminality, and violent criminal offenses (Widom 1989b).
Those research works proved that Childhood Abuse is one of the main reasons for the sensitive issue Interpersonal Violence and Adolescents.
Addiction to Violent Online Games
The addiction to violent video games or online games is one of the main factors contributing a lot in this Sensitive Issue Interpersonal Violence and Adolescents. Often in the newspaper we read about the various violent activities of adolescents due to their online game addiction and this type of incidents is seen all over the world. According to some research works published in PubMed,” Experimental studies have revealed that playing violent video games is a causal risk factor for increased aggression.” Actually, the mind of adolescents is too soft, flexible and adaptable and they mold themselves as their experiences and availability of resources.
So, here the elders should guide the adolescents to choose the facts and experiences they will feed themselves in order to bring a reduction in the issue of Interpersonal Violence and Adolescents.
To reduce the intensity and occurrence of the issue ” Interpersonal Violence and Adolescents”, awareness and collaborative efforts from all strata of society is needed. Here not only the parents but also the schools especially the teachers, community members, social reformers can play a great role. Some effective preventive measures are shared below to reduce that sensitive challenge of adolescents.
To deal with this issue of Interpersonal Violence and Adolescents, the awareness and involvement of parents are mandatory because they are the primary caregivers of their children. Moreover, in many cases the family issues like parental conflicts, domestic abuse and violence may act as the triggers to increase the severity of Interpersonal Violence and Adolescents. So, parents need to be aware about those facts and issues and help their adolescents to come out those cycle of interpersonal violence. Here sensitization events, counselling sessions can be arranged for both parents and adolescents together.
School Level Awareness Programs
The most effective preventive measure to reduce this issue of Interpersonal Violence and Adolescents is the school level awareness generation program for adolescents specifically on the issues of violence both- interpersonal violence and also self-harm. Each and every trigger for the violence should be addressed sensitively and empathetically so that the adolescents can identify their trigger points and manage their violence to a large extent. Here Teachers, School Counselors, Wellness Teachers can play significantly to address the issues and provide counselling and guidance to students.
Specific Counselling Session
Specific counselling sessions can be arranged for the adolescents who are suffering from behavioral disorders like ADHD or Conduct disorder with the experts so that their triggers can be identified and treated effectively. In need, Family Therapy can also be done here to empower the family members with the requisite skills and abilities to deal with this issue Interpersonal Violence and Adolescents.
As the addiction to drugs and alcohol is one of the main risk factors for Interpersonal Violence and Adolescents, the anti-drug campaign should be done effectively not only through schools but also through community. Easy access to alcohol and drugs should be prohibited and here parental co-operation is also needed. Frequent discussions and forums on life-threatening effects of drugs should be organized for the adolescents.
The mindset and attitude of inclusion of adults especially teachers and parents in the normal setting works effectively for those adolescents who have performed minor violent activities. But, often, we level them as the ‘Antisocial’ or ‘Gang leader” and avoid them in all works of life and sometimes also use the sarcastic words to hurt them or humiliate them. Here our non-inclusive behaviors make them more and more arrogant and violent. If we really need to address the issue of Interpersonal Violence and Adolescents, we need not only the attitude of inclusion but also the empathy.
Words from Wingsofwishes.in
Sometimes acts of violent activities are also done by adolescents suffering from schizophrenia, psychosis and other mental health issues. To reduce the issue Interpersonal Violence and Adolescents, those mental health issues should also need to be addressed and treated effectively. The collaborative efforts and awareness generation from all levels of society can only save the precious lives of our adolescents.
5. Anderson CA, Carnagey NL (2009) Causal effects of violent sports video games on aggression: Is it competitiveness or violent content? Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 45: 731–739. [Google Scholar]
6. Greitemeyer T (2014) Intense acts of violence during video game play make daily life aggression appear innocuous: A new mechanism why violent video games increase aggression. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 50: 52–56. [Google Scholar]
Table of Contents: