For years, research has found violence is learned behavior. The Howard University Violence Prevention Project (HUVPP) suggests children’s exposure to community violence can predict their social and emotional behavior, both in school and at home. In other words, the more elementary school children are exposed to community violence, the more likely they will have adjustment problems.

The research indicates violence is not a random, uncontrollable or inevitable occurrence. Instead, many factors–systemic, social, political and individual—contribute to an individual’s propensity to use violence, and many of these factors can be changed. An American Psychological Association study suggests youngsters who engage in violence tend to share common risk factors that place them on a trajectory towards violence early in life. In addition to actual physical victimization, these factors include witnessing violence at home and in the neighborhood.

Excerpt from Larry Aubrey’s post in Los Angeles Sentinal- read more.


blocked hands

When I look at you I see this fear
In your eyes, and that shouldn’t be there
Are you afraid that I’m going to think badly of you?”
A fist of things to say in my throat, clenching.
I said nothing, and it was the only time you’d ever ask.

We sat across from my brother and he slouched the whole time,
paler than usual.
This was how I found out what a spinal tap was.
I could be the one in the white rooms,
but there’d be no cute stories like my friends
asking what kind of flowers boys like.

I remember court-ordered therapy.
Well, I remember wanting to see the guy’s golden retriever,
and he said I could after we talked.
Another therapist, another session
where my father said I loved all sorts of animals,
and I thought, “It doesn’t do any good. They all die anyway.” The dark hallway of my mother’s apartment, watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (the live-action movie) on a
fold-out couch.
And a fire escape, a snarling black panther poster on the ceiling
and the smell of cigarettes and perfume,
that pulls her out of the abyss I store her in.

A poem from Make the Best of Your Teen Years by Joseph G. Langen

Serious Side Effect of Poor Sleep Quality among Teens Revealed

Embedded image permalink

The effects of sleep deprivation on teenagers has been widely studied, and new research published in Physiology and Behavior adds to the mountain of evidence that indicates Americans are not taking sleep issues among teenagers seriously enough. Seven out of 10 American teens are sleep deprived. Not getting enough high-quality sleep has been shown to cause poor physical health and lower cognitive functioning.

The newest research shows that not getting enough sleep can also make teenagers more reactive to stress. What if the explosive, dramatic responses to stress from teenagers could be curbed? What if it wasn’t just the age and stage of development that caused teenagers to be so reactive, but rather the unhealthy expectations of trying to perform well with inadequate sleep?


More than just Friday night fun: socially active teens are physically healthier


Teenage social butterflies have always enjoyed slumber parties and Friday night fun.

Now, researchers say, socially active teens, like their older counterparts, are healthier than their loner peers in key areas such as weight, blood pressure, and stress hormone levels.

The friendships we make in our teen years are just as essential for our well-being as the social connections we make late in life, a new study finds.

Excerpt from Meghan Holihan’s article in Today– Read more