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Middle Schoolers Identify Violent Content in Youth-Targeted Entertainment as a Strong Influence in Causing Youth Violence
Date:12/14/2009

episodes contained at least one incidence of violence, with 56 percent being person-to-person violence in the 2005-2006 season. Guns were featured in 63 percent of the scenes, and knives were used in 15 percent.

According to the National Institute on Media and the Family, social scientists identified four factors that link to violence in children:

  • Children are more likely to imitate the actions of a character with whom they identify in programs and video games
  • Video games require action -- the player must get involved
  • Video games have a great deal of repetition, normally used as a learning tool; hence children are learning violence
  • Children learn through reward systems of the type employed by video games

"Maybe if we cut some of the more violent videogames, kids would be taught that murder and slaughtering of other humans is not the right thing to do," offers Shelbi Parker of Dallas, TX.

Drugs and Alcohol

Student use of marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, and methamphetamines all decreased from 1999 to 2007 as cited by the CDC National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. However, rates of nonmedical use of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medication remain high. In 2006, 2.1 million teens abused prescriptive drugs, as well as OTC cough and cold medications.

Do the Write Thing's El Paso, TX program chair, The Honorable Patricia Macias, said, "The young people in our school system experience violence because of border-related issues tied to drugs." Macias, past president of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and presiding judge of the 388(th) Family District Court, adds, "It's particularly helpful when law enforcement engages as part of the prevention process."

The CDC further reports that 25.4 percent of students were offered, sold, or given an illegal drug on school property within a 12-month period.'/>"/>

SOURCE National Campaign to Stop Violence
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