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Factors that may contribute to teen violence

Teen violence is a complicated problem. No one factor has been shown to cause violence in teens. Known risk factors for violent behavior include:

  • Alcohol or drug use.
  • Being friends with or "hanging out" with older delinquent teenagers or adults.
  • A history of aggression or violent behavior during childhood.
  • Exposure to violence at home or in the community.
  • Exposure to media violence, such as television, videos, and computer or video games.
  • Involvement in illegal drug dealing.
  • Possession of weapons, especially firearms.
  • Poverty.

Other factors that are thought to contribute to teen violence include:

  • Access to guns and other violent weapons.
  • Being a victim of school bullying.
  • Child maltreatment, including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.
  • Hyperactivity or poor impulse control.
  • Neglect and ineffective parenting.
Author Jan Nissl, RN, BS
Editor Susan Van Houten, RN, BSN, MBA
Associate Editor Tracy Landauer
Primary Medical Reviewer William M. Green, MD
- Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Brigid McCaw, MD, MS, MPH, FACP
- Family Violence Prevention
Last Updated January 18, 2008

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 18, 2008
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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