Psychology and Psychiatry

The brutality of adolescents

Today the number of various crimes committed by young people has increased. There has been a catastrophic surge in the spread of cruelty among schoolchildren. The cruelty of adolescents is a hostile act aimed at a particular individual or group of individuals by a teenager in order to prove his superiority, strength and permissiveness. It is a common form of protest of a teenager against not understanding, not loving and not accepting him as a person. A person who feels himself not needed, not loved, not accepted by society, often exerts his immoral behavior, cruelty, aggressiveness, as a way of displaying the inner world, suffering, inner pain. Trying to get rid of or defuse internal disharmony, a teenager expresses his contradictions through cruel behavior aimed at humiliating weaker individuals or animals.

During the period of frustration of the adolescent's internal needs, tension accumulates inside the individual. Unable to withstand such internal overstrain, the growing up child is discharged with the help of cruelty and aggression. These teenagers are often labeled as “difficult child”, “abandoned child” in schools. Often they are isolated from the group and no one cares about them, others are not interested in what is going on inside the child, he is credited with a difficult, or worse, criminal future. This type of response to adolescents contributes to the development of even more cruel behavior and self-will. If a minor does not have severe psychological deviations, the level of aggressiveness and cruelty can be dealt with even at the level of the school psychological service, with the help of the interaction of teachers, parents and the child himself, the main thing is not to neglect the child.

Causes of teenage cruelty

An act of cruelty aimed at a person who is weaker or younger (respectively less protected) is not a traditional way of action of a teenager, it is a problem of the internal character of the subject. Mostly children with such inclinations are pupils of a problem family or have experience in personal humiliation. The object of their retribution is not the offender (he is correspondingly stronger than a teenager), but the individual is weaker, often children younger, lower in social status, raised in single-adult families.

The subject pouring insult and aggression on others, has violations of the emotional sphere of life. In the period of development of the adolescent, the emotional component of the psyche is not sufficiently formed, it remains in the developmental stage, which indicates a fragmentarily formed notion of the value of one’s life and others. Making an act of violence regarding another person, a teenager is not able to relate how emotionally, physically painful it is for an object being bullied. This is a consequence of the unformed ability of an individual to manifest empathy and to feel the feelings of the victim, to put himself in her place.

The ability to manifest empathy in a person is formed at preschool age, at the time of interaction with parents. Consequently, the cause of cruelty in underage individuals is parental irresponsibility during upbringing. This is not the only possible factor in the development of immoral behavior. To determine the following, you should dig a little deeper. Often, juvenile offenses are committed under pressure from the group. The group pressure mechanism is able to incite to violence a teenager who does not have the desire to be aggressive. The initiator of violence demonstrates his "coolness" to others, that he is able to afford a lot, thereby encouraging each member of the group, convincing that the force is on their side.

The cruelty of a teenager is a personality trait, characterizing as not being able to notice the suffering of others or to perform actions aimed at inflicting this suffering. Character traits of the individual are not innate, they are acquired in the period of the formation of the individual as a person. Researches of psychologists from Canada showed that in two and a half, three years the child is at the peak of aggressiveness and cruelty. It was provoked by unformed social norms, for children in this period it is difficult to assimilate the prohibitions, the rules of behavior. It is this age that is considered the most significant when educating a non-violent and non-aggressive individual. It depends on the parents how inadequately cruel child behavior they will be able to redirect to a peaceful type of behavior. First of all, it depends on the very type of behavior of adults, how well-wishing and peaceful they are, how much they are able to cope with their cruelty and aggression.

So, describing one of the important reasons for the emergence of cruelty in a teenager (education in the family), it should be said about several directions of influence. Indifference to the problems of the child, the lack of support contributes to the formation of an emotional vacuum in the child, which in consequence develops into an inability to control emotions independently. In the period of adolescence, the individual is under severe emotional and psychological pressure, and therefore needs to be understood and supported especially from people close to him. In a cell of a society with a high social status, where there is no need for clothing or food, it often needs care.

Parents who are passionate about work, career growth, ignore the needs of the child, buying off from him with gifts or freedom of action. It is important to develop a teenager's ability to recognize their own feelings, to control them. To do this, parents themselves must become an example, who should not hide their own emotions, even if it is sadness or anger. The child should clearly understand how certain negative manifestations can be expressed more calmly, without causing harm to others and, most importantly, to oneself. The ability to notice and understand the emotions of their children allows parents to raise and raise children capable of being emotionally open, with the ability to show a feeling of empathy, to be aware of the emotional, physical pain that they can inflict on others.

The opposite of indifference is "blind", excessive care. Such parents' love neglects the child’s individuality to make decisions on their own. Making decisions on their own is conducive to educating the adolescent himself on their own mistakes. Over time, the child, surrounded by maximum care, turns into a disobedient uncontrollable teenager with an obsessive desire to show his parents his independence, what he can do, whatever he pleases. Often this is expressed in cruel actions with peers, with animals, less often with themselves.

Another reason for the emergence of cruelty of a teenager is the environment of his life, that is, the dysfunctional family itself. If a teenager since childhood has observed how violence and cruelty occur in the house (it is possible that he himself was the victim), his tendency to identical behavior has been proved by psychologists. Of course, not every teenager, whose family is not prosperous or where one adult suffers from addiction, grows up cruel or aggressive. But the negative example that adults serve has a negative impact on the development of the child’s psyche. This may escalate to the formation of aggressiveness, aimed at children who are more fortunate with the family.

School is another stage in the upbringing of the student’s personality. Here, the influence of classmates, teachers have a special impact on the development of child cruelty. Often, conflicts with teachers, plus a colossal workload affect the already shaky psyche of a teenager. Unrequited love can join this.

Teenage and child cruelty are often more noticeable in the midst of school problems. Therefore, teachers and the psychological department need to be as attentive as possible to the students, having noticed a change in the subject's behavior, it is necessary to trace any manifestation of it in order to eradicate the emergence of cruelty at an early stage.

Since the adolescent living environment has a particular impact on the formation of behavioral patterns at such an important age, the phenomenon of teenage cruelty may be the peer group in which the child falls. It was repeatedly noted that yesterday a calm and balanced schoolboy, today beats up or “poisons” some kind of child. Changes in the adolescent's social circle with not the most decent individuals, contribute to the emergence of the desire of the child (even the obedient) to prove his "coolness" in order to be accepted. Accordingly, the result may be the development of cruel behavior and aggression.

One of the reasons for the emergence of an imbalance in the behavior of a teenager is the natural component, which directly during the period of maturation of the body of the individual implies physical rebuilding and psychological, which are provided by the release and change of the amount of hormones in the teenager’s blood. Hormone jumps in the body of a teenager lead to the inability of the individual to control emotional outbursts, which develop into problematic relationships with family and friends. Facing these unexpected changes, the teenager adapts to them with the help of inexplicable cruelty and aggression.

Modern culture, the development of computer games, their cruelty and impunity make children reload constant tension and anger. Psychologists, scientists who are engaged in the study of the influence of games and culture on the behavior of an individual, have shown an increase in the level of cruelty of the behavior of adolescents who are very passionate about various types of cruel games, films or culture. Teenage and childish cruelty is directly related to the enthusiasm for computer games, which are even capable of destroying the psyche of an individual, especially at such a vulnerable age.

Aggression and cruelty of teenagers

The problem of adolescent cruelty and aggressive manifestations in behavior has not been denied in any society or ethnic groups during the existence of man on earth. The brutal behavior of teenagers, as a way of expressing individuality, importance and omnipotence, puts psychologists and society as a whole into overwhelming tasks, which are dealt with daily. With the development of the Internet and other media, the level of cruelty among the general population, especially teenagers, is rising. The fact of such a relationship has been repeatedly proven, although this topic has gained relevance thanks to its discussions on the Internet, in newspapers, on television, and so on. That is, there was always aggression in adolescent communication circles, only the intensity of concentration around her began to increase quite recently. Today, the development of effective ways to combat the phenomenon of violence and cruelty is at a sufficiently high level, and there are many organizations and programs aimed at reducing the level of aggression: reconciliation services, psychological support services, both public and school, the introduction of school mediation when adolescents themselves act in the role of mediators in various disputes and conflicts, contribute to their peaceful resolution or prevent their occurrence.

Aggression as a property of a teenager is manifested in his readiness for such behavior. Aggression and cruelty among minors is an individual-personal characteristic that affects the life of an individual and the lives of those around him. The appearance of such personality traits today is seen in both sexes equally. Obscene language, smoking, alcohol, entertainment associated with insulting and harassing others (this behavior has a name in American psychologists - "bullying", which is now often used in our scientific paradigm) has become the norm. Often, when a teenager is punished for his behavior, a teenager has a misunderstanding: "why?", "What did he do, if everyone does that."

Teenager's predisposition to such behavior is deliberate and unconscious. On the basis of this, psychological scientists focus on several types of manifestations of aggression: direct physical aggression; resentment, hatred and envy; indirect aggression; verbal aggression; negativism; suspicion; irritation; guilt. As cruelty, aggressive behavior is born in the process of education and development of the individual. But why does a child even from a prosperous parenting environment, who studies in a good school, instantly become a cruel person. Mostly - this is a child's cry for help, that he needs attention.

Children who show aggressiveness and cruelty in behavior have a low level of intellectual development and are prone to imitation. Cruel adolescents lack value orientations and hobbies, narrowness and instability prevail in hobbies. Such adolescents are characterized by emotional anger, rudeness, increased anxiety, self-centeredness, and extreme self-esteem (the most negative or positive). Aggression and cruelty of adolescents is a means of raising their own prestige, independence and adulthood.

Preventing cruelty in a teenage environment

The prevention and prevention of abusive behavior of schoolchildren in the modern world assumes not only a socially significant character, but also a psychological one. In order to most effectively build an educational and correctional system for the prevention of adolescent cruelty, one should go deep into the study of personal, psychological, pedagogical, and social factors that cause such deviations in the actions of the individual.

Correction and prevention of asocial behavior of schoolchildren in the education system is given very serious attention. Accepting school as a stage of child socialization and development as an individual, it should be noted that the quality of this socialization directly depends on the general orientation of the institution of education.

The problem of cruelty of adolescents is considered the most addressed at parent-teacher meetings, at meetings of the school’s psychological services. In most educational institutions there are specialists who deal with problem schoolchildren: a psychological service that includes a psychologist and a social educator.

The work of teachers and specialists of the psychological service is aimed at preventing and eradicating illegal actions, at eliminating rash acts, and at preventing the development of teenage and child cruelty. With all the development and qualified help for pupils in school, parents are the main people capable of raising a child and fulfilling an important mission in their lives, so as not to turn their child into an individual with violent and aggressive behavior.

Psychologists of educational institutions should work not only with students who are prone to cruelty, but also with their parents, as well as with all other schoolchildren, teachers. Only teamwork, focused on overcoming the development of aggressive and hard summing up among adolescents, is effective and efficient.

Forming a safe environment for students is one of the special and basic tasks of conducting corrective and preventive actions to prevent violence, and will also act as a solution to the problem of the cruelty of adolescents, if any. These are conditions under which the school has the lowest possible factors that have a great influence on the development of aggression among adolescents and children. Collectively-creative activity of school students allows to rally the whole team, contributes to the adaptation of newly arrived students and teachers.

The method of collective rallying reduces the need for violence in and outside the school. Joint activities of schoolchildren and teachers, aimed at creating an atmosphere of creativity, increasing the level of working capacity of the team, trains each student to make decisions independently, responsibly. A healthy atmosphere of relationships in the school team helps reduce anxiety and aggressiveness, also contributes to the development of mutual understanding and mutual support for schoolchildren of any age.