Doctors examine the effects of violence on children's social behavior
When growing up, children and adolescents are strongly influenced by their social environment. Not only your own family, but also the neighborhood can have a negative impact on the social behavior of the affected children. Researchers have now found that violence in the neighborhood in particular has a strong negative impact on social behavior.
Violence in the neighborhood has a negative impact on the social behavior of children and adolescents. In their investigation, the researchers at the University of Basel found that this negative influence also occurs if no behavioral problems were previously diagnosed in the children. The experts published the results of their study in the English-language journal "Frontiers of Behavioral Neuroscience".
Violence is linked to anti-social behavior
During the investigation, the doctors were able to determine that even completely healthy children and adolescents are negatively influenced by violence within their residential area. The research team led by Linda Kersten and Christina Stadler from the University of Basel was able to demonstrate that increased violence in the living environment of children and adolescents is linked to antisocial behavior.
Many children suffer from the effects of fights
Experiences in connection with violence were mainly children and adolescents who had experienced or observed brawls. Furthermore, persecutions or threats have a negative impact on the psyche of the adolescents concerned. The study results also show that the connection between experiences of violence and anti-social behavior cannot be attributed to the local environment alone. It is not a sufficient explanation that such socially disturbed adolescents mainly live in areas where there is increased violence.
Experts examined almost 1,200 children
The scientists from Basel examined a total of 1,178 children and adolescents for their study. The participants were between the ages of 9 and 18 at the time of the study. The subjects came from seven different countries in Europe. In 662 of the adolescents participating in the study, no disturbance in social behavior could be diagnosed.
Experiences of violence trigger a true vicious cycle
The results of the study could help to develop prevention programs in the future to protect affected children from the negative effects on the psyche. Such programs are extremely important, especially in areas with high rates of violence and crime. This is the only way to break the vicious cycle of experience of violence and violence, the authors explain.
Effects of social behavior disorders later in life
Any disturbances in social behavior that occur are the most common causes of registration in psychiatric departments for children and adolescents, according to the study. Affected children suffer from an increased risk of early school leaving and poor later professional integration. Such children and adolescents also develop mental illnesses more frequently in the course of their life or become criminal, the scientists add. (as)