Youth Violence

James F. Short, Lorine A. Hughes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Youth violence takes many forms, which often overlap with one another. Consider the many forms of violent crime. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation's 'index', or most serious, violent crimes include homicide (murder and nonnegligent manslaughter), forcible rape, aggravated assault (defined as attack for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury), and robbery. None of these is specific or homogeneous with respect to behavior or the circumstances of their occurrence. The strengths and weaknesses of official data concerning violent crime are reviewed, followed by discussion of what those data have to say about the involvement of young people in violent behavior, both as offenders and as victims. The social distribution of violent youth crime, by gender, race and ethnicity, and other marginalized categories of persons, is then described. Because most youth crime involves companions, the participation of young people in youth gangs is given special attention. Poverty, low social cohesion, and ineffective social institutions in communities are then identified as important correlates of youth violence. Other forms of collective youth violence and the nature of the international contexts within which youth violence occur are noted. The final two sections seek to explain youth violence, reviewing what is known about its causes, and pointing the way toward better understanding and control of youth violence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Violence, Peace, and Conflict
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9780123739858
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Gangs
  • Homicide
  • Youth violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Youth Violence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this