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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

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Children are also influenced by drugs and alcohol in the home. Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), estimates that 8.3 million children -- 11.9 percent -- live with at least one parent who had abused or was dependent on alcohol or an illicit drug in the past year.

Gang and Bullying Influence

According to the 2007 National Youth Gang Survey, the most recent study on the subject conducted by the Department of Justice, there was an estimated 27,000 gangs in America, a 25 percent increase from 2002-2007; and an increase of nearly 8 percent in the number of gang members, up to 788,000. The highest level of gang-related activity is in the large cities and suburban areas, with 60 percent of the gangs, but rural counties are experiencing a 25 percent increase as the gangs expand their activities.

In his 2009 Do the Write Thing essay, Jalil Ahmad of Boston, MA. wrote: "Back then I used to do a lot of fun things around my neighborhood, but now that there are so many shootings that happen there is now a limit to how much fun I can have...I can't even sit on my front porch without someone trying to act tough...."

Violence and bullying on or near school grounds is increasingly stressful to young people. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that between 1991 and 2007 there was no significant change in the level of school violence, there was a large increase in the number of students who feel unsafe.

The CDC survey of young people between the ages of 10-14 shows that 33 percent of 6(th) graders, 37 percent of 7(th) graders, and 40 percent of 8(th) graders had carried a weapon to school; and nearly 60 percent of each age group had been involved in a physical fight over a 30-day period.

Erick Sanchez from Charlotte, N.C. wrote in his essay: "It was an ordinary day in the sixth grade. I was going to the restroom and
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SOURCE National Campaign to Stop Violence
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