Troubled Teen Issues

Teen Anger

Teen Anger and Teen Violence Statistics

There are many different statistics out showing the effects for teen anger on everything from dating to school to home life. The following are some startling statistics on teen violence:

  • According to more than 1 in 3 high school students, both male and female, have been involved in a physical fight. 1 in 9 of those students have been injured badly enough to need medical treatment.
  • The 2002 National Gang Trends Survey (NGTS) stated that there are more than 24,500 different street gangs in the United States alone. More than 772,500 of the members of these gangs are teens and young adults.
  • The 2002 NGTS also showed that teens and young adults involved in gang activity are 60 times more likely to be killed than the rest of the American population.
  • A 2001 report released by the U.S. Department of Justice claims that 20 out of 1000 women ages 16 to 24 will experience a sexual assault while on a date. And that 68% of all rape victims know their attackers.
  • The U.S. Justice report also stated that 1 in 3 teens, both male and female, have experienced some sort of violent behavior from a dating partner.

Although all of the statistics focus on differing topics they all point to one frightening conclusion, teen anger and violence is now, and has been for several years, a problem in our society.

Angry Teens and Violence Warning Signs

The National Youth Violence Prevention Center has compiled the following list of warning signs that your teen may be having anger management issues:

  • Frequent loss of temper over small issues,
  • Frequent physical fighting with friends, acquaintances and family members,
  • Damaging property while in a fit of anger,
  • Use of drugs and/or alcohol,
  • Written plans for violent acts,
  • Carrying a weapon(s),
  • Been the victim of school bullies,
  • Gang affiliations,
  • Failure to acknowledge the feelings of others
  • Fascination with weapons and
  • Cruelty to animals.

What to do with an angry teen?

Most teen management professionals agree that dealing with a teen with an anger problem should start at home. They believe that most teen anger comes from underlying emotional problems such as fear or rejection or failure. Suggestions on what to do when your teen has an anger management issue include:

  • Give them support and understanding. Try to get to the real issue not just what is on the surface.
  • Let them know that everyone has negative emotions and that it’s okay to get angry, but it’s not okay to lash out because of their anger.
  • Watch for triggers and find a way to deflect the anger into something more appropriate.
  • Help them to recognize the feelings that cause the anger and how to deal with them before they get out of control.

If all else fails, check into professional help for your angry child. However, a mental health professional is not someone you should just pick out of a telephone book, do your research. Ask around for referrals; don’t worry about what others might think as there are more families dealing with teen anger than not these days. It may also do you some good to know you are not alone in your struggles. Make sure the person you choose has the same values and viewpoint as you; you don’t want your child to get conflicting information from you and their counselor. Meet with the person prior to setting up an appointment for your angry teen. Check into family counseling as well; remember teen anger isn’t just your child’s problem.

Troubled Teen Issues

Teen Violence

Occurrence of Teen Violence and Consequences of Teen Violence
In 2002, more than 877,700 young people ages 10 to 24 were injured from violent acts. Approximately 1 in 13 required hospitalization (CDC 2004).

Teen Violence causes, incidence, and risk factors.
Homicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 10 to 24 overall. In this age group, it is the leading cause of death for African-Americans, the second leading cause of death for Hispanics, and the third leading cause of death for American Indians, Alaskan Natives, and Asian Pacific Islanders (Anderson and Smith 2003).

In 2001, 5,486 young people ages 10 to 24 were murdered, an average of 15 each day (CDC 2004).

In 2001, 79% of homicide victims ages 10 to 24 were killed with firearms (CDC 2004).

In a nationwide survey, 17% of students reported carrying a weapon (e.g., gun, knife, or club) on one or more days in the 30 days preceding the survey (Grunbaum et al. 2004).

Among students nationwide, 33% reported being in a physical fight one or more times in the 12 months preceding the survey (Grunbaum et al. 2004).

Nationwide, 9% of students reported being hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend in the 12 months prior to being surveyed (Grunbaum et al. 2004).

Groups at Risk of Teen Violence
Of the 5,486 homicides reported in the 10 to 24 age group in 2001, 85% (4,659) were males and 15% (827) were females (CDC 2004).
A nationwide survey found male students (41%) more likely to have been involved in a physical fight than female students (25%) in the 12 months preceding the survey (Grunbaum et al. 2004).
A nationwide survey found female students (12%) more likely than male students (6%) to have been forced to have sexual intercourse (Grunbaum et al. 2004).

Risk Factors for Teen Violence
Individual Factors in Teen Violence:
Attention deficits/hyperactivity
Antisocial beliefs and attitudes
History of early aggressive behavior
Involvement with drugs, alcohol, or tobacco
Early involvement in general offenses
Low IQ
Poor behavioral control
Social cognitive or information-processing deficits

Family Factors in Youth Violence:
Authoritarian childrearing attitudes
Exposure to violence and family conflict
Harsh, lax, or inconsistent disciplinary practices
Lack of involvement in the child’s life
Low emotional attachment to parents or caregivers
Low parental education and income
Parental substance abuse and criminality
Poor family functioning
Poor monitoring and supervision of children

Protective Factors for Teen Violence Prevention
Individual Protective Factors:
Intolerant attitude toward deviance
High IQ
Positive social orientation
Peer/School Protective Factors:
Commitment to school
Involvement in social activities