Violence is a problem in Florida, just like elsewhere in the United States. And one of the most troubling and heartbreaking types of violence is violence perpetrated by young people.
Juvenile crimes tend to be one of the most difficult types of violence to grapple with. We want to see young people as innocent and full of potential. And yet the statistics clearly show that many young people are engaged in acts of violence, ranging from relatively minor assaults to serious violence like sexual assaults and murder.
When it comes to youth violence, there are a wide range of contributing factors. And these factors often overlap or reinforce one another, so it can be difficult to discuss them in isolation. Nevertheless, one category contributing to youth violence are environmental factors.
Growing up in more impoverished areas, young people tend to be more exposed to crime and gang activity, which often leads to violence.
A lack of parental supervision can also increase the chances that a young person will turn to violence at some point. Relatedly, children who face abuse by parents or caregivers are more prone to violence.
Mental wellbeing factors
Another potential cause of youth violence is the use of drugs or alcohol. Substance abuse can make young people more violent, and seeking substances or the money to buy them can also lead to violence.
Experiencing traumatic events and trying to deal with the aftermath can also affect the minds of young people and can leave them more likely to commit violent acts.
And media can also push young people toward a greater likelihood of violence. Video games, social media, the internet, movies and television can all contribute in this way.
Youth violence is caused by a variety of environmental and mental factors. None by themselves thoroughly explain or cause youth violence, but all contribute to greater or lesser extents.