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January 2001

Violent Children: Where Do We Point the Finger of Blame?

Author Affiliations

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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2001;155(1):13-14. doi:10.1001/archpedi.155.1.13

WHEN ASKED, "what causes violence among children and adolescents?" I respond, "there is no cause, only the accumulation of risk factors."1 This means that no single factor does much to tell the story. Rather, each adds to the cumulative risk. This model is an important derivation of the "ecological" perspective on human development. From such an ecological perspective, when the question is "does X cause Y?" the best answer is "it depends." It depends on the context in which that X and Y are operating.

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