Witnessing crime or violence may have a bad effect on the very impressionable teens. These adolescents may feel that it's ok to be violent and later they become violent too.
In a five-year study done by the researchers of Harvard Medical School involving over 1500 children and teenagers have found these starling results.
The researchers for the study had studied the tens, their guardians and supervisors, collected inputs about the behavior of each one of them from school records, school authorities, families, and various other sources in order to find out what turns children to resort to violence or aggression as means of problem solving. These children were taken as a part of a follow up study after two years. Then they were asked as to how many had witnessed a gun shooting. Finally after five years from the initial contact, the children were once again reviewed to find out how many of them had actually resorted to violence.
The results of the study shows that a teenager who had witnessed violence is twice as likely to turn violent than his counterpart who is yet to watch violence in real life. Researchers of the study feel that violence can be a socially infectious disease. And so preventing violence is perhaps a very influential way of ensuring a peaceful life for children.
The report of the research is published in the current issue of Science.