Psychologists began their scientific study of violence and aggression during the first half of last century. Since then, much psychological knowledge has been assembled regarding the causes of violence as well as its prevention. This paper will provide an overview of the contribution of psychology to our present understanding of the causes of youth violence as well the contribution of this discipline to the development of effective prevention strategies. The first section will briefly review current epidemiological data regarding youth violence in the U.S. and the consequences of such violence for the individual and society. The second section will address the major psychological theories of youth violence, as well as provide an overview of the various individual and contextual factors that may influence the expression of violence. A third segment of the article will review some promising and effective preventive interventions emanating from the psychological research literature. In addition, we will provide a brief overview of our own applied research and discuss how these studies contribute to the gradually increasing armamentarium of effective solutions to this hugely significant societal problem.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science