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Medical News & Perspectives
November 24, 1999

Child Psychiatrists Address Problem of Youth Violence

Author Affiliations

Copyright 1999 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.1999American Medical Association

JAMA. 1999;282(20):1906-1907. doi:10.1001/jama.282.20.1906-JMN1124-3-1

Chicago—Recent high-school shootings in Littleton, Colo, and elsewhere have focused public attention on the long-standing problem of youth violence in America.

The results of a 1997 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1998;47:1-89) found a high level of exposure to weapons and violence among young people—some 18.3% of this national sample had carried a weapon in the preceding month, and 8.5% reported bringing a weapon to school. Among students, 14.8% said they had been in a fight at school in the preceding year, while 4% had missed school because of fears about safety. In the 13- to 18-year-old age group, 2.8 million become victims of violent crime annually. An additional 9 million children are estimated to witness violence at home or at school.