Research points in the direction of guardians playing a vital role in the prevention of teen scuffles. Especially the gang wars between disaffected African American and Latino youth are of considerable interest here.
A fourth of all teenagers have reported that they were involved in a tiff with other teens during the last 365 days. This is particularly problematic among African American and Latino members of gangs.
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Teenage violence is a serious issue that needs resolution in order to build a better and more peaceful tomorrow.
The parents of these troubled teens were the missing link in this equation of conflict between different segments of the youth population in America. The guardians’ attitudes towards fighting and conflict resolution were crucial for the teens’ future patterns of behavior.
Also enrolling parents and teens in violence prevention programs and ethnic harmony schooling may eradicate the prevailing prejudice. The interventionist measures were very effective.
After all, the solution lies in education and especially moral and spiritual education. While Latino parents allowed fighting as a last ditch stand, most African American parents said that violence may be resorted to sometimes.
Such views and premises may lead to an escalation of violence and chaos as both sides engage in more and more conflict in order to resolve the issues between them.
The youth only copy their parent’s habits and they imitate their bad habits more easily and readily than their good habits. Peer pressure was a factor in the mix as well.
Latino parents did have the common sense to instill in their children the consequences of fighting. The self control necessary for emotional maturity and non-violence as a means of conflict resolution were regularly taught to kids by Latino parents.
While African American parents too advised their children to avoid violence, they encouraged it in some circumstances as a final means of self defense.
African American guardians also took to punishing their teens in order to stop them from fighting other teens. But this too was a drastic step and not normally engaged in.
The main issue is that fighting can quickly escalate to the point where someone can get seriously injured. Especially, when someone pulls out a lethal weapon such as a hand gun or a knuckle duster the results are very ugly indeed.
"Fighting can lead to serious injuries and even death, so we felt it was important to identify effective ways to prevent physical altercations among adolescents," said Rashmi Shetgiri, MD, a Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute (LA BioMed) lead researcher and corresponding author of the study.
"Most violence prevention programs focus on school-based interventions with little involvement of families. This study suggests that it is crucial to involve families, especially parents, in violence prevention programs."
Violence prevention requires the training of the youth and it ought to begin in childhood and from the home environment. That is the only way that these youth on the streets will be able to remain away from retaliating against each other at every opportunity.
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This study has been published online in the Journal of Child and Family Studies.