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Am J Prev Med. 2001 Jan;20(1 Suppl):3-14.

Youth violence. Developmental pathways and prevention challenges.

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Division of Violence Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30341, USA.


Youth violence is an important public health problem. During the latter half of the 1980s and early 1990s, the United States witnessed unprecedented levels of violence among the nation's youths. Homicide remains one of the leading causes of death for young people aged 10 to 24 years. This paper reviews the major trends in homicide victimization and perpetration among youths during the past decade, the developmental pathways of delinquent and violent behavior and the context in which these behaviors occur, and some of the challenges associated with disrupting these pathways and preventing violence. Previous research reveals that multiple pathways lead toward violence and delinquency. Predicting which pathway a youth will follow, or if one will be followed at all, depends to some extent on a host of other biological, psychosocial, and environmental factors present as young people transition from early childhood to adolescence to early adulthood. Preventing violence requires a comprehensive approach that takes into account developmental needs, tasks, and supports.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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