Virginia Commonwealth University

Youth Violence myths

Ten Myths About Violence and Violent Youth

Youth Violence: A Report of the Surgeon General Executive Summary
American Journal of Health Education, May/June 2001, 32 (3)

  1. Most future offenders can be identified in early childhood.
  2. Child Abuse and neglect inevitably lead to violent behavior later in life.
  3. African American and Hispanic youths are more likely to become involved in violence than other racial or ethnic groups.
  4. A new, violent breed of young super-predators threatens the United States.
  5. Getting tough with juvenile offenders by trying them in adult criminal courts reduces the likelihood that they will commit more crimes.
  6. Nothing works with respect to treating or preventing violent behavior.
  7. Most violent youths will end up being arrested for a violent crime.<
  8. The epidemic of violent behavior that marked the early 1990's is over, and young people – as well as the rest of the U.S. society – are much safer today.
  9. In the 1990's, school violence affected mostly white students or students who attended suburban or rural schools.
  10. Weapons-related injuries in schools have increased dramatically in the last 5 years.
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