Supportive parents help keep youth away from violence

New York, April 27
Youth with supportive parents and other family members are significantly less likely to be involved in or to witness violence, says a study.

"This is good news. In neighbourhoods with high levels of community violence and few safe spaces to spend time, having supportive adult connections is protective against violence exposure," said lead researcher Alison Culyba from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in the US.

For the study, the researchers interviewed 283 males aged 10-24 years.

They asked youths about their adult and peer connections, involvement in violence and witnessing violence, school performance and substance use.

The youths were also asked to characterise the nature of relationships with family members whom they viewed as having an important role in their lives. Relationships were divided into three categories: supportive, unsupportive and mixed supportive/unsupportive.

One-third of youths reported a high violence involvement, 30 percent reported high violence witnessing and 17 percent reported both.

Participants who reported having at least one supportive adult in their life were significantly less likely to be involved in or to witness violence.

The findings were presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in San Diego.

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