08 What is Youth Violence?

Objectives:

After completing this module you will:

  • create a working definition of youth violence;
  • learn about the risk factors that lead to youth violence;
  • recognize ways to avoid youth violence; and
  • understand the importance of goal-setting.

Context

According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, resilience is “the power to cope with adversity and adapt to challenges or change. It is a process of drawing on beliefs, behaviors, skills, and attitudes to move beyond stress, trauma, or tragedy. Although naturally stronger in some personalities, it can also be learned. Resilient people have a range of strengths such as optimism, self-knowledge, personal meaning, and the ability to foster relationships and care for themselves and others. By mobilizing these powers, youth confront life's obstacles and emerge with greater wisdom, flexibility, and strength”.  There are different methods for building resilience, including community involvement, participation in extra-curricular activities, communication with parents, and establishing friendships with adult role models.

Procedure:

• Introduction: View the following YouTube videos: Youth Violence in America

  • Watch the following You Tube: Behind School Walls: Violence, Drugs, Bullying. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvVjScAegL0 (no embeding is available).
  •  Draft a definition of youth violence based on what you experience on these videos. In your mind what are the major factors/sources that contribute to the great amount of violence in schools. From these answers, discuss your answer with your Club Advisor and ask yourself what can help mitigate the problem.
  • Explore the importance of being aware of the risk factors that cause a youth to take part in violent activities. Read handout "What are the major factors/sources amount of violence in schools?". Explore the following handout Risk Factors, the list is broken into three categories: Individual, Family, and Community. Start a discussion about the prevalence of these factors in their community. 
  • Read handout "Protective Factors". These lists comprise the things that deter a youth from taking part in youth violence. They help counteract the risk factors that were previously discussed. Exercising these factors, would make you less likely to fall into the temptation of committing acts of violence.
  • Talk to your friends about a time you were angry. What did it feel like?
  • When you were angry, did you pay attention to various parts of your body: Start with the head, face, shoulders, arms, back. How your body felt? What thoughts were going through your mind?
  • Read the handout : I was angry