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Campus violence: a complex problem that requires a comprehensive solution
Campus violence has become a complex problem that requires a comprehensive solution. It is not a mere law and order or a security problem anymore. With some recent chilling incidents in schools, colleges and universities, violence has become a serious societal problem world over due to the frequent use of weapons such as guns or knives.

DURING THE recent horrific gun rampage in a US elementary school, the attacker is believed to have used a Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle, a civilian version of the military's M-16 with an arsenal of ammunition to kill hundreds of people. Not only did the teen aged attacker kill his mother, but he also killed 20 children of the school he had studied in. He used the guns and ammunition that were stockpiled by his mother.

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Many psychologists believe that improper child care, neglect of children at home, exposure to bad media and access to unworthy Internet websites, uncaring and socially insensitive institutional environment are creating enhanced delinquent activities, aggression, and hyperactivity among students. Unlike internalizing behaviors, externalizing behaviors include, or are directly linked to violent episodes among students and between students and teachers.

Psychiatrists hold that among children, the violent behavior is often learned from observing others. Some research studies suggest that in boys, early problematic motor skills, attention difficulties, failures and reading problems lead to antisocial conduct, later or sooner. Also, a few studies indicate that exposure to television violence and playing of violent video games are positively related to increased aggressiveness in children, which is in turn, gets carried over to the neighborhoods and schools.

The home environment with possession of and exposure to gun practice by children, parental alcoholism, domestic violence, physical abuse of the child, etc., teach children that criminal and violent activities are acceptable. And, children in their formative years try to copy such behaviours.

Similarly, studies also inform that very strict and harsh parental and school discipline is associated with aggressiveness among children and youth. Children perceive strict discipline as an adult aggression for control. This promotes aggression as a value for exercising control over others. Some recent researches have linked the insensitive and strict school environment to school violence.

We need to focus on prevention and intervention strategies to stop violence from occurring at the level of society by enforcing laws, transforming the school community into a web of caring relationships, stressing the emotional bond within the family members and respecting the individual differences and implementing the positive psychology-based approaches.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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