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What is violence?

Violence is being aggressive to the point that:

  • Someone is physically or mentally hurt.
  • Something gets broken.
  • Something or someone gets hit.

As a teenager, you would have been exposed to some form of teen violence at school or from media reports.

Violence by teenagers is gaining publicity in our society. Examples include:

  • Bullying
  • Gangsterism
  • Fights
  • Vandalism


Why do teenagers get violent?

  • Violence usually comes from frustrations and anger.
  • This anger comes from feeling threatened by someone or something.
  • It is only natural to want to get rid of the threat.

Many teenagers are still learning how to cope with different situations and sometimes do not really know what to do when they are angry.

Some angry teenagers lash out violently because they believe that their behaviour will get them what they want and violence allows them to also release their tension.

However, violence does more harm than good.


What happens when you get violent?

  • Violence can escalate your anger and you become uncontrollably destructive.
  • You may hurt people unwillingly or willingly.
  • You may break or destroy things unwillingly or willingly.
  • You may also hurt or kill certain animals / plants that are targets of your anger or just in the way of your anger.


What happens after you get violent?

  • You lose friends.
  • You make enemies.
  • You get into trouble with the authorities (e.g. school, police).
  • You get injured and mentally troubled.
  • You lose your belongings due to them being broken.
  • You feel guilty over hurting people or breaking things unwillingly or willingly.


Why are some teenagers more violent than others?

People who are violent tend to be :

  • Hyperactive.
  • Impulsive / poor ability to control own behaviour.
  • Low in attention and concentration skills.
  • Poor in social skills.
  • Poor in educational skills.
  • Engaged in high-risk behaviour (e.g. drug-taking, gangsterism).


Are there any risk factors for being a violent teenager?

Yes, these teenagers tend to come from a background of :

  • Broken homes.
  • Families with history of violence and harsh punishment.
  • Families with parental conflict.
  • Families from low economic status.
  • Involvement in teen or adult gangs.


What are the warning signs for youth violence?

Warning signs of youth violence are :

  • Uncontrollable angry bouts.
  • Violence or aggressive behaviours.
  • Suicide attempts or threats.
  • Bullying younger children.
  • Being a victim of abuse or neglect.
  • Having disciplinary problems at school or in the community.
  • Withdrawn behaviour.
  • Poor social relationship.
  • Poor / No supervision from parents or caretaker.
  • Past destruction of property or vandalism.
  • Preoccupation with acts of violence in TV and other media.
  • Involvements with gangs.


How can you manage your own violent feelings?

  • Learn to manage your anger in a safe and positive way.
  • Improve your social skills – how you communicate with :
    • Family.
    • Peers.
    • Teachers.
    • Others.
  • Make friends who can help you with troubles.
  • Make friends who are not violent.
  • Learn to solve problem without violence.
  • Learn to handle personal conflicts.
  • Moral and spiritual development.


Who to seek for help?

You can get help from :

  • Friends you can trust.
  • Your parents.
  • Family members you can trust.
  • School counselors.
  • Your doctor.
  • A psychologist.

Check further information from:

  • Anger management
  • Problem solving


Last Reviewed : 27 April 2012
Content Writer : Prof. Madya Dr. Alvin Ng Lai Oon
    Dr. Rosnah bt. Ramly
Reviewer : Dr. Salmiah bt. Md. Sharif
    Dr. Wan Fadhilah bt. Wan Ismail