Victimization: High School and Pro-social Peer Relationships

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Required Reading #2: Adolescent Victimization and Associated Suicidal and Violent Behaviors. Summary In this study the relationship between victimization and both suicidal and violent behaviors was studied in high school students across New York State with the exception of the city of New York. It was also sought to be seen if there are differences between male and females in this area. Females were shown to have a higher prevalence of suicidal tendencies only. In general it is thought that victimization can end up causing feelings of depression, or disillusionment which can in turn lead to suicidal tendencies and violence. Detailed Section:

The procedure was to administer the Youth Risk Behavior Survey to high school students in New York State (yay Yankees), 75 out of 100 selected schools participated and they had a student response rate of 85%. Once the test was administered students were split into 4 groups, 1-students who did not report any suicidal or violent behavior, 2- students who reported suicidal but not violent behavior, 3- students who did not report any suicidal behavior but did report violent behavior, 4- students who reported both. The final analysis was conducted on victimized students only. Rationale: To investigate the association between victimization and violent or suicidal behaviors, and also to see if gender differences are present. Methodology: Surveys and then computing software were used and the psychologists made use of the state education system in dispensing their tests. Conclusions: Better intervention and prevention methods are needed to curb youth violence, the high schools must learn to recognize factors which may lead to problems with victimization, IE poor peer relations and low academic confidence. Personal Comments: I believe that this article while informative needs some tweaking, it needs to survey a larger number of high schools across many states not just in one state; I also feel that this study should be an eye opener to high school administration and that they need to take the first steps to curb this problem.

Supplemental Article: Children Traumatized by Witnessing Acts of Personal Violence: Homicide, Rape or Suicide Behavior Summary: This study centers on the fact that kids who witness horrific traumatizing events are more at risk for developing psychosocial problems later in life. The three events looked at here are murder or a parent, rape of a mother and suicidal acts committed by parents. When these events are witnessed they tend to lead to PTSD. The amount of exposure and stresses on childhood witnesses are also discussed here. This study is based in LA and in 10-20% of applicable homicides children were present. Child witnesses have a tendency to feel helpless and confused by the situation unfolding around them and often do not know how to respond to questions asked of them. Detailed Section:

This section is a discussion of the clinical observations made when I child witnesses a homicide, rape or suicide attempt. There are four factors which, "… govern the onset and course of…" PTSD in a child. The first is the symptoms which are unavoidable after a traumatic event. The second are the child's attempt to deal with the anxiety themselves, the third can be possible other influences which either positively or negatively affect the resolution of trauma. The fourth is the fact that the child might not be developed enough to have the skills needed to resolve trauma. Special interview techniques are used to get the child to volunteer the information as they perceive it. Intervention studies are necessary to evaluate the potentially adverse long term consequences on these children. The children studied in this study witnessed the loss of a parent by "…brutal beatings, bloody stabbings or disfiguring gunshot wounds." The aggressors have been split into three categories, the other parent, a friend or relative, or a stranger, all consisting of about equal proportions....
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