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Violent Children Overview
This violent children overview will give a general overview of the many forms of adolescent violence, warnings signs that a teen may become violent, tips on preventing teenage violence and getting help with therapy or treatments for teen anger and abuse issues.
In April 2008, a group of teenaged girls allegedly kidnapped and brutally beat a cheerleader who they claimed had said negative things about them on the Internet. Reports say that the teen girls videotaped the beating so they could post it on the Internet. This case exemplifies the increasing problem of violence among teenagers, and the many types of violence in which teenagers may be involved.
Teen violence can take many forms. It can include:
Teen violence has become an increasing concern in recent decades, and many parents, teachers, family members, and friends, as well as school administrators and government leaders, are seeking to understand violent children and teens. With better understanding they hope to find better ways to prevent episodes involving violent children and teens. Teen violence can range to fairly common acts like bullying, to more unusual but well publicized events like school shootings. All types of teen violence have long-lasting effects on victims, perpetrators, their families, and their communities.
Parents, teachers, friends, and other people in a teen’s life can watch for warning signs that a teen may be in danger of becoming violent toward others or his or herself. These can include:
Threats from violent children should be taken seriously, including talk about or attempts at suicide. Teens who have been exposed to violence or have undergone a loss or major change in life should be monitored for signs of depression or suicidal behavior, such as becoming withdrawn, losing interest in favorite activities, or sudden and severe changes in personality. Teens with these symptoms should receive counseling so they can cope with their problems in healthy ways.
Teen violence is generally treated through counseling and therapy. Usually the therapist will focus on helping the teen or violent child learn to recognize or control violent or other negative thoughts and behaviors. Sometimes other conditions, such as depression, learning disabilities, or mental illness may need to be treated as well.
Parents should not hesitate to ask for help if they don’t know how to deal with a violent teen or violent children. They can talk to doctors, local health clinics, school counselors, law enforcement officers, or anyone else trained to provide counseling or direct them to an appropriate medical professional or legal advisor, if necessary.
United States Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Mental Health Information Center, “Parents: Be Role Models for Your Children” [available online].
American Psychological Association, APA Help Center, “Warning Signs of Youth Violence” [available online].
United States Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Mental Health Information Center, “What you Need to Know About Youth Violence Prevention,” 2002 [available online].
United States Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Stop Bullying Now! [available online]
United States Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Mental Health Information Center, About Bullying [online]
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Youth Violence: Fact Sheet [available online]
Firstcoastnews.com, “Authorities Release More of Infamous Cheerleader Ambush Video” [online]
Related Article: Teenage Violence Prevention >>