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Article Critical Review: ‘Youth Violence: What We Know and What We Need to Know’

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Over the past few decades, a series of school shootings as well as street shootings by the youth has been on the rise in the United States leading to an extensive exploration of the reasons why the youth indulge in such violent behavior.

In the youth violence article, quantitative data mining procedures are used. Here, the article’s authors make use of several data gathering instruments such as historical studies that provide data on features of school rampage features. Another instrument used are several databases such as the School-Associated Violent Death from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and provides information on school-related homicides (Bushman et al., 2016). The article also made use of interviews as an instrument of gathering data. The interview involved 163 people who were victims of school mass shootings and suffered either in extensive injuries or deaths. The individuals interviewed provided crucial information on their experiences and their lives after the particular shooting incident. In addition, the article gathered data from newspapers that provided information on every rampage school shooting account in the U.S. that occurred between 1974 to 2002 (Bushman et al., 2016). The total number of the incidents analyzed were 25.

Youth violence has been associated with a number of theories that define why the particular incidents occur. According to the article, the main factors include increased exposure to violent media content, accessibility to guns, mental illness or conditions, and family influences (Bushman et al., 2016). Family influences are key in influencing increased or decreased youth violence behavior. Aspects such as harsh and rejecting patients, parental violence and chaos, child abuse as well as neglect can be key factors for increased youth violence.

The article also associates the youth’s exposure to media violence as theoretical concept for youth violence. The youth will view violent content of images and videos on social media sites and tend to copy them. In addition, a larger percentage of the youth in the U.S. have unsupervised access to guns due to high levels of gun ownership in the country as well as weak gun control laws (Bushman et al., 2016). Most instances of youth violence such as school and street shootings will involve the use of a gun. Mental health is associated with increased youth violence especially in severe cases of mental illness. Illness can arise from various causes such as drug and alcohol abuse or from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

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Social and Behavioral Science has several disciplines such as sociology, psychology, economics, political science, and anthropology. The disciplines are closely related to each other as they seek to study various aspects of human behavior whether in the past, present or the future. They are also key aspects in understanding why people make the decisions they do and the actions they take. Various scholars use these disciplines to identify the etiology of youth violence in America. Each of the discipline named above attributes violent behavior to certain aspects and issues. For instance, psychology attributes violent behavior in young people to various aspects of their minds or behavior such as development, health issues, mental behavior among others. Sociology, on the other hand, associate youth violence to the social environment of an individual such as family background and the relationship they have with other people and their interactions.

Youth violence is associated with both economic and social costs that can either be direct or indirect. Direct costs are incurred or felt immediately or during the violent act while indirect costs occur as a consequence of the action. Economic costs of youth violence are felt in loss of productivity and use of health care services. The young people are more vigilant and stronger when it comes to productivity and the well-being of any country. However, when they engage in violent behavior this aspect is undermined posing a risk to the future of the economy. In addition, when youth violence acts occur, extensive medical resources and equipment are used which is quite expensive. For instance, youth violence in the United States costs the country about 158 billion dollars in each year (Bastiaens, 2006).

Social costs are felt as the consequences of the violent act and that may include death or injury. Social costs include loss of social cohesion and financial burdens especially for affected individuals.

Youth violence is usually preceded by a number of factors mainly associated with the youths’ personalities or characteristics. Among these factors is poor behavioral control that can be as a result of mental illness or drug and substance abuse. These aspects affect how the young person will behave and react to the environment around them. Youth violence is also known to occur following a history of violent victimization where the individual may have experienced trauma or abuse in their young age. As the individual grows, they tend to pick on the violent aspect of their lives leading to violent behavior and acts. In addition, emotional depression and stress are precursors to youth personalities. Youth violence may occur as the young people try to relieve what they may be feeling or experiencing.


  1. Bushman, B.J., Calvert, S.L., Dredze, M., Jablonski, N.G., Morill, C., Romer, D., Newman, K.,
  2. Downey, G., Gottredson, M., Masten, A.S., Neill, D.B.,
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Article Critical Review: ‘Youth Violence: What We Know and What We Need to Know’. (2022, July 14). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 8, 2023, from
“Article Critical Review: ‘Youth Violence: What We Know and What We Need to Know’.” Edubirdie, 14 Jul. 2022,
Article Critical Review: ‘Youth Violence: What We Know and What We Need to Know’. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 8 Dec. 2023].
Article Critical Review: ‘Youth Violence: What We Know and What We Need to Know’ [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jul 14 [cited 2023 Dec 8]. Available from:
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