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THE EFFECT OF VIOLENT BEHAVIOR ON ADOLESCENT
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY There is a great concern about the incidence of violent behavior among children and adolescents. This complex and troubling issues needs to be carefully understood by parents, teachers and other adults. Children as young as preschoolers can show violent behavior. Parents and adults who witness the behavior maybe concerned, however, they often hope that the child will grow out of it. Violent behavior in a child at any age always needs to be taken seriously. It should be no be quickly dismissed as just a phase they are going through. Adolescent access to and consume a variety of these different media forms, many of which have high level of violent content. Most home have television sets and next to sleeping, watching the television (TV) is the frequent activity of adolescent. Lomonaco, Kim, and Ottaviano (2010) assert that the average child in the United States spends four hours a day watching the television. The situation in Nigeria is not very different most children, between 5 and 20 years of age, spend over 6 hours a day using entertainment media (television, commercial and self recorded videos, movies, video games, print, radio, recorded music, computers and the internet(Roberts, Foctir and Rideout, 2005). In recent times, watching Nigeria movies, (Africa Magic) most of which have a high violent content, has become a popular pastime of many youths. The implication n of this is that by the time the average child is 18 years old, he/she would have witnessed many act of violence, including murders. Beresin (2009) found that up to 20 acts of violence per hour occur in adolescent programmes. The high level of violent content of the media forms correlate with youth violence. Internet website showing violence; (killing, shooting, fighting, etc) correlate with about 50% increase in reports of seriously violent behavior (Lomonaco et al, 2010). The result of the violent media programmes and desensitization to violent video games (Caragey, Cray and Bushman, 2007). TV sets are commonly present in bedrooms. The effect of having a TV set in a child’s bedroom is that it increases their TV viewing time. It may also imply that parent will be less likely to monitor the content of what is watched, and might not be able to set consistent for media use. Also, such children might participate in fewer alternative activities, like reading, sports and games. Violence is often considerable, even in programmes which are not advertized as violent. Overall, weapons appear on prime time TV on an average of about nine times each hour. Adolescent shows are programmmes are more likely to juxtapose violence with humor, and are less likely to show the long term consequence of violence. While violence is not the human race, it is an increasing problem in modern society. With greater access to firearms and explosives, the scope and efficiency of violent behavior has serious consequences. We need to look at the recent school shootings and the escalating rate of youth homicides among urban adolescents to appreciate the extent of this ominous trend. While the cause of youth violence are multi factorial and include such variable as poverty, family psychopathology, child abuse, exposure to domestic and community violence, substance abuse and other psychiatric disorders, the research literature is quite compelling that adolescent exposure to media violence plays an important role in the etiology of violent behavior. While it is difficult to determine which children who have experienced violence are at greatest risk, there appears to be a strong correlation between violence and aggressive behavior within vulnerable at risk segments of youth. ...
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM Adolescent is a time for developing independence. Typically, adolescents exercise their independence by question their parent’s rules, which at times leads to rule breaking. Parents and doctors must distinguish occasional errors of judgment from a degree of misbehavior that require professional intervention. The severity and frequency of infractions are guides. For example, drinking habitually, fighting often, frequent truancy, and theft are much more significant than isolated episodes of the same activities. Other warning signs include deterioration of performance at school and running away from home, of particular concern are adolescents who cause serious injury or use a weapon in a fight. Adolescent occasionally engage in physical confrontation. During adolescence, the frequency and severity of violent interactions may increase. Although episodes of violence at school are highly publicized, adolescents are much more likely to be involved in violent episodes (or more often the threat of violence) at home and outside of school. Many factors contribute to an increased risk of violence for adolescents, including: • Unemployment • Poverty • Deprivation • Underdevelopment / development issues • Gang membership / forming of militia group • Access to firearms. There is little evidence to suggest a relationship between violence and genetic defects or chromosal abnormalities. Because adolescent are much more independent and mobile than they were as children, they are often out of the direct physical control of adults. In these circumstances, adolescent’s behavior is determined by their own moral and behavioral code. Parents guide rather than directly control the adolescent’s actions. Adolescent who feel warmth and support from their parents are less likely to engage in risky behaviour. Also, adolescent whose parents convey clear expectations regarding their children’s behavior and show consistent limit setting and monitoring are less likely to engage behaviors. Authoritative parenting is a parenting styles in which children participate in establishing family expectations and rules. This parenting style, as opposed to harsh or permissive parenting, is most likely to promote mature behaviors. Authoritative parents typically use a system of graduated privileges, in which adolescents initially are given small bits of responsibility and freedom (such as caring for a pet, doing household chores or decorating their room). If adolescents handle this responsibility well over a period of time, more privileges are granted. By contrast, poor judgment or lack of responsibility leads to loss of privileges. Some parents and their adolescents clash over almost everything. In these situations, the core issue is really control. Adolescents want to feel in control of their lives, and parents want adolescents to know the parents still make the rules. Adolescents whose behavior is dangerous or otherwise unacceptable despite their parent’s best efforts may need professional intervention. Substance abuse is a common trigger of behavior problems, and substance use disorders require specific treatment. Behavioral problems also maybe a symptom of depression or other mental health disorders. Such disorders typically require treatment with drugs as well as counseling. If parents are not able to limit an adolescents dangerous behavior, they may request help from the court system and be assigned to a probation officer who can help enforce reasonable household rules. Many adolescents today have problems and are getting into trouble. After all, there are a lot of pressure for kids to deal with among friends and family. For some youth, pressures include poverty, violence, parental problems, and gangs. Kids may also be concerned about significant issues such as religion, gender roles, values, or ethnicity. Some adolescent are having difficulty dealing with past traumas they have experienced, like abuse.
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