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Goodwin College at Drexel University Center for the Prevention of School Aged Violence

Causes of Youth Violence

Children aren’t born violent. Nor do they behave perfectly outside school, then become a violent bully the minute they reach campus. The causes of violence in school are many and varied. Here are some of the causes we run into every day.

Home environment – Children learn what they live. If home is a frightening, violent, abusive, neglectful environment, that’s what the child learns to expect.

Depression, stress and anxiety, feeling powerless – All these factors can cause a student to act out in frustration.

Weapons – The easy availability to weapons of all kinds makes it simple for students to get their hands on them.

Media – Some believe that children exposed to violence through movies, television, video games, the Internet, etc. are desensitized to violence, and therefore commit it and accept it more easily.

Peers – Children are influenced by those around them; not just at home, but in school, and in the community as well. They can learn and accept violent behavior as the norm from their friends.

Learning difficulties/health problems – Learning problems, which can be the result of health issues, can lead to frustration and lashing out.

Lack of guidance – Without adult supervision and positive role models, students don’t learn to distinguish right from wrong – acceptable from unsuitable behavior. They can also struggle without the ability to resolve conflict peacefully.

Attention seeking – Violence can be the result of wanting others to pay attention to the student. Even negative attention.