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Home > Wellness > Health Library > Violent Behavior in Children and Teens
Violence causes more injury and death in children,
teenagers, and young adults than infectious disease, cancer, or birth
There is no single explanation for the violence caused by
youth. Many different
factors cause violent behavior in teens. The more
these factors are present in a child's life, the more likely he or she is to
commit an act of violence. Behavior will change depending on a child's age and
gender. Violent behavior may be targeted at parents, other teens, friends, or
other family members.
Violent crimes include assault, rape, and
robbery. Most violent crimes occur
between friends or acquaintances or within families.
It's important to be alert to behavior changes. People usually give hints
that they are considering violence toward other people, such as:
The possibility of teen violence also increases when the
following factors are present in a teen's behavior over several weeks or
When you recognize warning signs of violent behavior in
someone else, there are steps you can take. Don't count on someone else to deal
with the situation. Taking action and telling someone who can help can prevent
harm to yourself and others. It also will protect another teen with potentially
violent behavior from making a mistake that will affect the rest of his or her
Parents can help protect
teens from violent situations in the following ways:
Council on Communications and Media, American Academy of Pediatrics (2009). Policy statement: Media violence. Pediatrics, 124(5): 1495–1503.
October 13, 2011
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
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