Return to Index
Stemming the Tide of Teen Violence
- Abuse of neglect (most influential risk factor)
- Sexual abuse
- Poor family functioning
- Familial substance abuse
- Family history of psychiatric illness
- History of violence
- Substance abuse
- Association with gang members or others with disciplinary problems
- Disciplinary and/or attendance problems in school, low grades
- Community poverty
Making a Difference
- Family-based programs that aim to improve family relations
- Teaching children how to solve social problems without violence
- Mentoring programs that pair teens with adults who can serve as role models
Following Advice From the Experts
Prepare for the Teen Years
- Make the home environment a safe and loving place where your child can expect honesty, trust, and respect and learn to treat others the same.
- Strive to create a relationship with your child that encourages open communication, especially when your child is upset.
- Allow your child to be independent and assertive in age-appropriate ways (eg, allowing your preschooler to choose his own weather-appropriate clothing).
- Teach responsibility in caring for personal belongings, the belongings of others, and household chores.
- Teach and show your child the importance of setting limits.
Talk to Your Child
Know the Warning Signs
- Agitated or restless behavior
- Changes in weight (loss or gain)
- Drop in grades
- Difficulty concentrating, feelings of sadness
- Lack of motivation, lack of interest in people and activities
- Fatigue, low energy
- Low self-esteem
- Problems falling asleep
Making Connections Count
American Psychological Association http://www.apa.org/
National School Safety Center http://www.nssc1.org/
Canadian Mental Health Association http://www.cmha.ca/
Canadian Psychiatric Association http://www.cpa-apc.org/
Boisjoli R, Vitaro F, Lacourse E, Barker ED, Tremblay RE. Impact and clinical significance of a preventive intervention for disruptive boys: 15-year follow-up. Br J Psychiatry. 2007;191:415-419.
Conduct disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/. Updated April 3, 2012. Accessed August 23, 2012.
Mental health and teens: watch for danger signs. American Academy of Pediatrics Healthy Children.org website. Available at: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/teen/pages/Mental-Health-and-Teens-Watch-for-Danger-Signs.aspx. Updated July 2012. Accessed August 23, 2012.
Understanding your teen's emotional health. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor.org website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/teens/emotional-well-being/understanding-your-teenagers-emotional-health.html. Updated November 2010. Accessed August 23, 2012.
Understanding youth violence. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/YV-FactSheet-a.pdf. Published 2010. Accessed August 24, 2012.
Woolfenden SR, Williams K, Peat J. Family and parenting interventions in children and adolescents with conduct disorder and delinquency aged 10-17. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2001;CD003015.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 08/2012
- Update Date: 08/24/2012