The community risk factors you listed ring true in all communities especially those where kids use the video games to escape home stressors. The use of threatening language is more frequently used by youth when video games are involved. Aggressive behavior has also been correlated with violent video games. There is evidence that some children may become more aggressive behavior as a result of watching/playing violent video games (Publishing, 2010). This aggressive behavior can translate into their lives in school and or home increasing risk for violence. Youth playing or watching video games in my community is not commonly found due to immense poverty. Many of the children find the violence on the streets instead of in the video games. They are unable to afford video games and so they end up on the street looking for activities. Many times activity in the street is appealing as it will bring in the income they are lacking. Poverty plays a large role in youth falling prey to illegal drug distribution to help bring in income. The other risk factor you mention was increasing substance abuse among youth in the community. This is a similar risk occurring in my community currently as the opioid crisis continues to ravage neighborhoods.
Unfortunately, substance abuse is increasing in the United States and increasing risk for violence in many communities. Socioeconomic factors compound substance abuse and increase the risk for violence. When under the influence the risk for violence increases especially if emotional turmoil is present. The risk for violent behavior increases with intoxication only with individuals who are prone to suppressing their feelings of anger when sober (AAC, 2020). A reduction in coping mechanisms can increase the risk for drug abuse and the burying of feelings is evident when they are not sober. These risks did not surprise me as violence in communities is more prevalent than acknowledged. Common risk factors can be seen in many populations, but it is how the community tries to reduce the incidence of violence. It is not surprising that poverty has a large influence on violence incidence as survival becomes a priority. Poverty effects quality of life and health overall including mental health. Improving coping mechanisms, increasing youth programs and providing resources to help with low socioeconomic barriers will help reduce violence. It all begins with protecting the youth and guiding them down a path that will help them succeed. This is especially true for youth who grow up in disadvantaged communities.
AAC. (2020). Substance Abuse Treatments – Drug Addiction, Alcoholism & Violence. American Addiction Centers. https://americanaddictioncenters.org/rehab-guide/addiction-and-violence.
Publishing, H. H. (2010). Violent video games and young people. Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/violent-video-games-and-young-people.
Hi Regina, Thank you for your informative post. When a shooter goes shooting at random, no one feels safe except the shooter himself before the law, and enforcement gets him if lucky enough and on time or before he turns the gun on himself. Indiscriminate use of firearms in our society calls for the attention of the federal and state regulators, a proactive action from every adult, parents, school teachers, organizations, and agencies, so we all work in unison to achieve the same goal â€“ SAFETY. I would like to add to the SaFETy risk scale you discussed; I agree with this method and other safety approaches that could keep the populace from disastrous motives of any sort. Naghavi et al. (2018) estimated that 251 000 people died from firearm injuries in 2016 data sources from 6 countries, which are Brazil, United States, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, and Guatemala. They also reported that the majority of firearm injury deaths in 2016 were homicides from a global perspective. Although the United State history of indiscriminate use of firearms is well known, however, this is a global crisis that requires public health attention. Besides Naghavi et al. (2018) summarized that there was a reduction in forearm injury death since 1990, the study informs that the variation among countries and demographic subgroups existed. More study is required in this area to support the data so appropriate resources can be directed to those in imminent need. I supported the point raised in your post where you highlighted the impact of technology such and video games and movies that insinuates youth killings as one of the problems escalating the use of firearms in our society. As healthcare professionals who are on the receiving end of treating the injuries and relating the devasting news to families affected, we must advocate for individuals, families, and communities impacted by these disastrous acts of gun violence. The SaFETy risk scale can guide the provider to areas where resources are most needed and open dialogues for improvement. I would also encourage Betz et al. (2020) Web-Based safety decision aid for suicidal adults. This tool can help parents, teachers, community leaders, or agencies propagate safety ideas using web-based training to educate adults and families vulnerable to suicide or having suicidal ideation. I enjoyed reading your post and appreciate your suggestions. References Betz, M. E., Knoepke, C. E., & Simpson, S. et al. (2020). An Interactive Web-Based Lethal Means Safety Decision Aid for Suicidal Adults (Lock to Live): Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of medical Internet research, 22(1), e16253. https://doi.org/10.2196/16253 Naghavi, M., Marczak, & L. B., Kutz, et al. (2018). Global Mortality From Firearms, 1990-2016. JAMA, 320(8), 792â€“814. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2018.10060