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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 36-37

An urgent global need to reduce the prevalence of youth violence in heterogeneous settings

Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication24-Jun-2016

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Third Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Thiruporur-Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2350-0298.184674

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. An urgent global need to reduce the prevalence of youth violence in heterogeneous settings. Int J Adv Med Health Res 2016;3:36-7

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. An urgent global need to reduce the prevalence of youth violence in heterogeneous settings. Int J Adv Med Health Res [serial online] 2016 [cited 2021 Sep 26];3:36-7. Available from: https://www.ijamhrjournal.org/text.asp?2016/3/1/36/184674

Youth violence has emerged as one of the major global public health concerns, which results when individuals in the age group of 10-24 years (as either offenders or victims or witnesses), are involved in the intentional use of physical force or power to threaten or harm others.[1] In fact, the global trend revealed that an estimated almost 0.2 million homicides have been reported among youths, of which 83% of the victims were male, and nearly all of these deaths were reported from low- and middle-income nations.[1] The findings of a report released by the National Crime Records Bureau for the year 2014 suggested that in India, almost 841 murders and 1689 rapes were committed by the juveniles alone.[2] In addition, in excess of 33,500 juveniles were in conflict with the law, and more than 0.28 million juveniles were booked for cognizable offenses.[2] Furthermore, it has been observed that for each young person killed because of violence, many more actually are exposed to physical injuries that require management in a health care establishment.[1],[3]

The youth violence can occur in various forms (such as fights, bullying ) and thus its associated consequences can also be variable, ranging from physical injuries, premature deaths, disabilities, and long-term impact on the quality of life and mental and social state of the individuals, their family members, and even the society, as evidenced in the USA.[3],[4] In addition, emergency medical care has to be offered to millions of youth to deal with the violence attributed injuries, and many more adopt high-risk behaviors such as substance abuse/unsafe sex.[3],[4] On a larger scale, the menace of youth violence not only augments the costs of health, welfare, and criminal justice services but also brings about a reduction in the nation's productivity as reported in America.[5] In a study done in an emergency department of a hospital in California, it was estimated that total fixed and variable annual costs were $71,784 for preventing the adverse consequences of violence.[6]

Youth violence is often foreseeable and irrespective of the form/place of violence; it does not happen in the absence of any predisposing factor.[1] A wide range of risk factors has been identified within the individual (viz., behavioral disorders, involvement in crime, early substance abuse, scholastic backwardness, unemployment, episodes of familial violence, etc.), relatives (such as lax or very harsh disciplinary practices by parents, poor attachment with children, substance abuse among parents, poor socioeconomic status, or unemployment in family), and community (such as easy accessibility to drugs/alcohol/firearm, poverty, and financial disparity in the society), all of which can enhance the incidence of episodes of youth violence.[3],[4],[5] However, from the program manager's perspective, these are the opportunities which can be seized by the stakeholders and any such untoward event can be averted.[5],[7]

In fact, the trends in youth violence from the last decade suggest that some of the high- and low-income nations have succeeded in reducing its incidence.[1] This has been directly attributed to the active interventions such as parenting programs, home visits by trained personnel, initiatives for early childhood development, social skill development measures in school settings (such as life skills training, sensitizing students about violence and its consequences, offering structured recreational activities), and by addressing the specific needs of the high-risk young people or known offenders in developed nations like America (viz., job opportunities, mentoring, violence prevention initiatives across high-risk settings or communities, minimizing access to alcohol/drugs/firearms).[1],[2],[3],[4],[5]

To prevent youth violence, a holistic approach is the need of the hour, which should simultaneously address its social attributes (viz., race, socioeconomic status, etc.).[3] This approach should aim for creating awareness about youth violence prevention among all stakeholders, developing linkages with all related sectors, strengthening the surveillance mechanism to obtain precise estimates about fatal and nonfatal youth violence, and other epidemiological determinants, so that evidence-based interventions can be planned and implemented in heterogeneous settings, developing a mechanism to monitor and periodically evaluate the outcome of youth violence prevention programs, developing capacities for youth violence protection, and improving the prehospital and emergency care, and including access to care to minimize the aftermaths of youth violence.[3],[4],[5],[7] In fact, it has been estimated that in excess of 0.5 million youths were treated in the US emergency departments for nonfatal assault-related injuries.[4]

To conclude, it is high time that the international and national stakeholders should prioritize the concern of youth violence, highlight its preventability, and at the same time respond to the problem in a streamlined manner.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

World Health Organization. Youth Violence — Fact Sheet No. 356; 2015. Available from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs356/en/. [Last accessed on 2015 Nov 05].  Back to cited text no. 1
National Crime Records Bureau. Crime in India 2014. New Delhi: NCRB Press; 2015. p. 290-7.  Back to cited text no. 2
World Health Organization. Preventing youth violence: An overview of the evidence. Geneva: WHO Press; 2015. p. 1-26.  Back to cited text no. 3
David-Ferdon C, Simon TR, Spivak H, Gorman-Smith D, Savannah SB, Listenbee RL, et al. CDC grand rounds: Preventing youth violence. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2015;64:171-4.  Back to cited text no. 4
Duke NN, Borowsky IW. Youth violence prevention and safety: Opportunities for health care providers. Pediatr Clin North Am 2015;62:1137-58.  Back to cited text no. 5
Sharp AL, Prosser LA, Walton M, Blow FC, Chermack ST, Zimmerman MA, et al. Cost analysis of youth violence prevention. Pediatrics 2014;133:448-53.  Back to cited text no. 6
Barclay RP, Hilt RJ. Youth violence: Assessment and treatment planning in primary practice. Pediatr Ann 2014;43:38-44.  Back to cited text no. 7

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