n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Youth violence : strategies for effective prevention and intervention

Volume 15, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



As violence increases, so does pressure for safe and orderly schools. Schools around the world are struggling with ways to prevent violence among learners. When learners poorly manage their conflicts with each other and with their teachers or other authority figures this results in aggressiveness and violence (McCormick 1988; Kreidler 1984). Abraham Maslow (1970:10) placed the safety and security of the individual as second only to physiological needs in his hierarchy of needs that must be satisfied before individuals are able to attend to the higher-level needs associated with school achievement. Exposure to and perceptions of danger in schools and in the environment are likely to threaten the ability of youth to fulfill their potential in the school setting (Bowen & Bowen 1999: 319). Violence can be described as "rough or injurious physical force, action, or treatment against a person" (Webster's College Dictionary 1996). According to Monahan (1981:39), violence can be defined as "overtly threatened or overtly accomplished application of force which results in the injury or destruction of persons or property or reputation, or the illegal appropriation of property". What are factors that cause violent or aggressive behaviour among youth?

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