Juvenile crimes occur in Texas and all over the United States, and they take place more often than most people realize. It’s hard for some to accept, but young people are just as capable of violent behavior as adults. Here are some situations that are known to contribute to youth violence.
Lack of parental guidance
Teenagers need supervision and guidance from their parents. When this is missing from a teenager’s life, engaging in juvenile crimes becomes more likely. Teenagers need discipline and direction from their parents. When this is done in a firm yet loving manner, the likelihood of teen violence decreases.
Using drugs and alcohol
Using alcohol and drugs can increase aggression and reduce fear in the user. And according to the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare statistics, at least 50% of teenagers have abused drugs and alcohol at least once. This is a deadly combination that often results in violent crimes.
Mental health issues
Teenagers often struggle with untreated or undiagnosed mental illness disorders. Some common disorders among teenagers include ADHD, bipolar and other disorders that cause anger or aggression.
A mental illness evaluation is recommended for teenagers who habitually engage in violent behavior. If mental illness is diagnosed, it becomes possible to treat the root of the problem. And by providing adequate treatment, the risk of additional youth violence decreases.
Neighborhoods and surroundings
Teenagers who live in violent environments are more likely to engage in juvenile crimes. This includes areas with high poverty, lack of jobs, lack of positive opportunities and social disorganization. Teenagers who live in this type of environment often feel engaging in crime is a survival tactic.
Child abuse and domestic violence
Teenagers who live in violent homes often learn by example. Violence becomes an acceptable way to deal with their problems and with other people. This may result in behaviors such as violence against romantic partners, date rape and bullying.
The impact of youth violence
Youth violence causes just as much destruction and heartache as adult violence. But when teenagers get help for their behavior, they have a better chance of a violence-free adulthood.