Involving parents makes programmes designed to prevent violence among youth more effective, a study says. Addressing the parents’ attitudes about fighting, involving them in violence prevention programmes and tailoring programmes to different racial/ethnic groups may improve the effectiveness of prevention programmes, the researchers said.
“Fighting can lead to serious injuries and even death, so we felt it was important to identify effective ways to prevent physical altercations among adolescents,” said corresponding author of the study Rashmi Shetgiri from Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute in the US.
“Most violence prevention programmes focus on school-based interventions with little involvement of families. This study suggests that it is crucial to involve families, especially parents, in violence prevention programmes,” Shetgiri noted. Nearly one-fourth of all teenagers in the US reported being involved in a physical fight in the past year, with higher rates of violent altercations among African American and Latino adolescents, the study said.
So this study on teenage violence focused on attitude of African American and Latino parents. The researchers found that Latino parents condoned fighting only as a last resort while some African American parents stated that fighting is sometimes necessary.
Previous studies had suggested such views among parents are likely to lead to higher rates of fighting among youth.
“In addition to addressing parental views about fighting, our study suggests that teaching parents and adolescents how to effectively use nonviolent methods to resolve conflicts and increasing their use of these methods may help reduce violent altercations among African American and Latino teens,” Shetgiri said.
The study was published online in the Journal of Child and Family Studies.