Hello everybody. This is Devia again with my second blog post about violence in youth. If you weren’t able to read my first blog, you can access it by clicking here. My first blog had a lot of information about what can influence an adolescent’s violent behavior, like peer pressure or a low IQ. Along with that, it gave insight on the rising of teenagers’ participation in violent activities, articles and statistics that support that statement. My first blog also contained information about the increase technology has on a youth’s violence and how much our generation is affected by this.
While researching, I’ve been trying to collect new information to go along with my topic. I’ve also been trying to find more recent statistics as well. One website that I have encountered is one of Drexel University's. Although it may not be much, the website still gives some potential causes of youth violence, which I didn’t realize before.
Another website that I used before can also be used for more information now. The Philadelphia Police Department has a page full of crime maps and statistics. The page, which you can view here, is interactive. Not only can you view up to date statistics on homicides throughout the city, but you can access the amount of assaults, rapes, and/or homicides within a set time period for any specified part of the city. That information can be combined with this. The point that matters most says that juveniles were accounted for 16% of all violent crime arrests and were accounted for 11% of all murder victims. That, together with the Philadelphia Police Department, would make for roughly 5 juvenile homicide victims year to date.
Another part of my research included an original research piece, for which I decided to conduct a survey for. The survey asked a group of 8th graders their opinions and personal experiences with what could be the beginning or youth violence. The survey's results showed that over 80% of the teenagers interviewed had been physically hurt by another youth, which can be used as an example of youth on youth assaults and bullying as well. The results also showed that two-thirds of the adolescents had seen a weapon and half of those who’ve seen a weapon, also held one and/or attempted to use it to hurt someone else. When asked their opinion on youth assaults on peers versus adult attacks on youth, most people responded that the latter was worst because adults should know better or because it is taking advantage of the child’s age and vulnerability. When asked what influenced a person’s violence, the most common responses were that it was technology, their environment, or just their feelings in general. Lastly, when asked who how much of a role a youth’s surroundings and technology played on their violence, majority agreed that it depended on the person.
The original research I conducted gave me an insight on the many different perspectives people the same age can have on the same topics. It also helped me realize that not everyone is the same so therefore, there can be an infinite amount of reasons why a youth has a violent nature and the ones I found online are just the tip of the iceberg. Moreover, the results of my survey made me conclude that there is a lot of work to be done in understanding the ways youth violence is differentiating and whether if youth were to be put into groups based on their age, environment or race, the causes would change. I also wonder why youth violence is not at a steady increase or decrease and is instead, happening at various percentage changes. I also am wondering why it is so hard to find more recent data and statistics on youth crime rates. To help change the issue of youth violence, I am thinking about going back to my old school where I sent my survey to. There, I plan on talking with the older children about youth violence prevention and the consequences and repercussions that come with crime and violent acts. Make sure you tune in for blog post number 3!