"Previous research has explored a dual pathways theory, suggesting that there are two groups of adolescents committing violent offenses: those who start early in life and persist into adulthood, and those who limit their offenses to adolescence."
The World Health Organization reported in 2014 that homicide was the fourth leading cause of death among 15 - 29 year olds worldwide. Severe youth violence (SYV), which can be defined as including aggravated assault, rape, murder, and robbery committed by adolescents, has been described by some public health experts as "highly contagious," referring to the way it seems to spread among people.
A new Special Section of the journal Child Development, edited by Tina Malti, entitled "Severe Youth Violence: Developmental Perspectives," includes articles intended to explore how to better screen and assess SYV risk, and inform "novel, developmentally sensitive practices and policies to prevent SYV."
Severe youth violence results in billions of dollars in costs to societies annually, including criminal justice system expenses. However, in addition to the costs to society at large, both victims and agents of violent behavior experience substantial negative outcomes. Both victims and agents may experience physical and mental health consequences, as well as reduced life expectancy. Agents may also experience retaliatory cycles of violence.
Previous research has explored a dual pathways theory, suggesting that there are two groups of adolescents committing violent offenses: those who start early in life and persist into adulthood, and those who limit their offenses to adolescence. This research has shown that the group that persists in committing violent offenses into adulthood typically has a wide range of genetic, neurobiological, and/or social risk factors, such as growing up in poverty or rejecting parenting. The group that commits offenses only in adolescence, however, show the normal psychological stressors and structural and functional brain changes of adolescence.
The articles in the special section explore the developmental course of such key capacities as emotion regulation skills and judgment and decision making among youth who commit violent offenses, examining possible points of intervention. Additionally, the Special Section explores the role of gender in violence. While the majority of perpetrators of extreme violence are male, a study by Cauffman and colleagues investigates the development of female offenders.
Selected articles in the Special Section are as follows:
SRCD was established in 1933 by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences. The Society's goals are to advance interdisciplinary research in child development and to encourage applications of research findings. Its membership of more than 5,700 scientists is representative of the various disciplines and professions that contribute to knowledge of child development. In addition to Child Development, SRCD also publishes Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, Child Development Perspectives, and the SRCD Social Policy Report.
Reducing Severe Violence Among Adolescents - Exploring developmental course of key capacities such as emotion regulation skills and judgment and decision making among youth who commit violent offenses, and examining possible points of intervention
Rape Culture On U.S. College Campuses - Warshaw Burstein Examines the Efficacy of the AAU Study Reporting the 1 in 4 Statistic of Sexual Assault on Campus
Birds & the Bees: Teen Sex Chat with Parents Associated with Safer Sex - Small but significant positive effect of parent-adolescent sexual communication associated with safer sex behavior
Study Reveals 150,000 American Youth Ages 13 to 17 Identify as Transgender - Age of Individuals Who Identify as Transgender in the United States study provides new estimates of age composition of individuals who identify as transgender in the U.S. and estimates of size of transgender identified population by age group
Cherry Creek School District's Pornographic Sex-Ed Content - Colorado parent joins Family Research Council Tony Perkins on the radio to discuss Cherry Creek School District pornographic sex-ed content
EEOC Seeks Public Input on Proposed Enforcement Guidance on Harassment - Proposed guidance explains legal standards applicable to harassment claims under U.S. federal employment discrimination laws