What causes teen violence?
Teen Violence is blamed on many things in today’s society. Some of the reasons for teen violence are blamed on video games, television programming, and the list goes on. It would be better spending time trying to determine what the underlying causes of teen violence are. Each child is different and each comes from a different set of background experiences and family setting.
Each day we receive emails from parents struggling with troubled and defiant teens. In many cases the teen may be exhibiting violence that has not been part of their life in the past. They wonder what is causing the new violent behavior.
Many youth exhibiting violent behaviors come from split families or families that have recently undergone a divorce. When a teen is put in a situation like divorce they begin to feel helpless. In most cases they have no say in the particulars of the divorce, where they will live or who they will live with. The trapped feelings of helplessness can manifest themselves through acts of abuse on another person or object. Many times if you were to ask the teen why they are acting so violent they may not even be able to explain why they are angry or who they are angry at. It can be a difficult and painstaking experience to extract the pain that is at the bottom of the teen violence.
There is not argument that television has gotten more violent in the last decade. There have been studies that show this has contributed to the increase in teen violence. As with any study there will be those who do not agree with blaming the increase in violence on television. The increase in violence has also caused desensitization in the degree of violent acts. To measure the increase in violence one only need look at the movie ratings. Violent acts that used to be banned from movies and television are now acceptable to show even during prime times.
Video Game Violence
Until recently video games were not rated. With the increase of adult images and violence as part of video games a ratings system has become necessary. It is not unusual for a teen to shoot, stab, or even pluck the heart from an opponent in a video game. It is not wonder that there is such a drastic increase in the violent acts of teens. Some professionals believe that repetitive acts of violence acted out vicariously in a video game make the transition easier in a real life situation. This may due in part to the teen seeing the person they have killed in the video game come back to life and fight again. Some teens are just unable to separate the reality from unreality when they are in the heat of the moment. When a teen becomes enraged he or she seems to slip from reality, possibly into his alter ego from the video games he plays. Obviously this is not the norm, and is just one possible explanation of teen violence.