Collapse Community-Level Factors; Essay Sample
Two decades ago, there was an unprecedented surge in violence among you the in the United States. The period marked a period where young people’s lives were marred by disability, death and injury, a period that should have been distinguished good health and prosperous life. Despite the encouraging signs of declining youth violence as indicated by hospital records, arrests and victimization data (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2013), there is a proportion of youths who acknowledge committing lethal physical violence. This is an indication that there are incidents of youth violence that do not go into records. In 2013, there was an estimation of 368 incidences of violence per every 100000 residents in the United States. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2012), 4828 persons aged between 10 and 24 were homicide victims. In addition to the youths themselves being victims, teachers and parents are also potential victims of youth violence.
Perpetration of youth violence is attributed to various community level factors. Child abuse is a powerful risk factor in this case. There is a substantial relative violence risk among neglected or abused children. The probability of violence in abused children is double that of children who were not abused when they were young. Conduct disorder is linked with youth violence. Conduct disorder is determined by symptoms such as antisocial attitudes and beliefs, physical and nonphysical aggressiveness. Youths from the minority ethnic communities are subjected to prejudice and consequently limited opportunities. Ethnicity, therefore, is a community level risk factor as young people from ethnic minorities face unique challenges as their culture is in conflict with the dominant culture of the US (Office of the Surgeon General (US). 2001). Drug trafficking and drug abuse is another community level risk factor associated with youth violence. In communities where there are organized criminal selling drugs, there exists a high degree of social disorganization. This results in little community participation in the welfare of youths. A High concentration of poor persons in a community is another risk factor for youth violence. Poor youths tend to use violence to achieve a better life as they feel disadvantaged against their well-off counterparts (Brookmeyer et al., 2006).
Youth violence is more pronounced in schools. Reports indicate that survey done on; teachers, principals, and students reveal that components of school health programs are affected by violence. These components include; health services, physical education, faculty and staff health promotion, school policy and environment and food services. Indicators of crime in schools are teacher injury, bullying, weapons in school, fights, victimization and student use of alcohol and drugs (Brookmeyer et al., 2006). To curb youth violence, changes have to be made in the community. First, awareness has to be raised in the organizational environment where youth violence is rampant. Communities are tasked to clarify the existence of this vice and health related problems using trustees and senior bureaucrats.
After creating awareness of the public health problem, a policy is developed and adopted to address the problem. In this second stage of adoption, the community ‘gate-keepers’ such as school principals are the most directly involved members. The developed policy should be in line with the community’s culture and its unique features (Nutbeam et al., 2010). After the adoption of a policy, the next stage involves the implementation of the policy. Implementation stage requires personnel such as victims of youth violence, reformed perpetrators, school teachers and respected members of the community. These individuals have the ability to command attention from the youths and possess a moral authority to provide training and the necessary material support for the change. The final stage involves institutionalization of the policy. It is concerned with the long-term application of the developed policy. Again senior administrators are the leading players as they establish mechanisms for quality control and monitoring of the established policy (Nutbeam et al., 2010).
Brookmeyer, K. A., Fanti, K. A., & Henrich, C. C. (2006). Schools, parents, and youth violence: A multilevel, ecological analysis. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 35(4), 504-514.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2012). Youth risk behavior surveillance—United States, 2011. MMWR, Surveillance Summaries 2012; 61(no. SS-4).
Federal Bureau of Investigation (2013).Crime in the United States. Federal Bureau of Investigation
Nutbeam, D., Harris, E., & Wise, W. (2010). Theory in a nutshell: a practical guide to health promotion theories (pp. no-no). McGraw-Hill.
Office of the Surgeon General (US). (2001). Youth violence: A report of the Surgeon General.