ERIC Number: ED384478
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Youth Violence in Middle America.
Benson, Peter L.; Roehlkepartain, Eugene
Midwest Forum, v3 n1 Mar 1993
Although most of the national concern about violence has focused on major cities, no community is free from violence. Violent acts in suburbs, small towns, and rural areas may not be as severe as in urban areas, yet they exist. The Profiles of Student Life survey of 47,000 students in grades 6-12 included questions about violent behavior. The students surveyed lived in places with populations smaller than 50,000, mostly in the Midwest. By their reports, 55 percent of respondents had been involved in at least one of the following types of violence during the previous year: hit or beat up someone, vandalism, group fighting, hurt someone badly, or used a weapon to get something from another person. In addition, 28 percent had been involved in two or more of these acts, and 13 percent had been involved in three or more. Males were significantly more violence-prone than females. Youth violence was significantly associated with risk-taking behaviors involving drinking, substance abuse, and sexual activity, and with skipping school. Other research has found alarming percentages of teenagers who have been victims of physical or sexual abuse, and links the spread of youth violence to lack of family support and control, glorification of violence in our society, negative peer pressure, alcohol and drug use, problems in school, lack of educational aspirations, and children's heavy exposure to violence in the mass media. Now is the time to launch prevention strategies in middle America, before the self-perpetuating cycle of violence escalates further. (SV)
Descriptors: Adolescents, Child Abuse, Family Influence, Family Problems, Family Violence, Parent Child Relationship, Rural Areas, Small Towns, Student Attitudes, Values, Violence, Youth Problems
Internet (URL: http://www.ncrel.org/ncrel/sdrs/areas/issues/envrnmnt/drugfree/3-1youth.htm).
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Search Inst., Minneapolis, MN.