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The Subculture of Violence

cyclical relationship between economic deprivation and youth crime. That is, economic deprivation may increase youth crime, and youth crime in turn may exacerbate the economic deprivation of youths by reducing employment opportunities. In explaining the latter part of this sequence, Freeman argues that high rates of youth crime may reduce employment opportunities for youths because potential employers may move out of high-crime areas, or may believe that youths are untrustworthy and refrain from hiring them. As such, economic deprivation may increase youth violence and crime, which may in turn worsen the economic deprivation of youths by reducing employment. This cycle, with each component affecting the other, can lead to a progressively worsening situation for both economic deprivation and youth violence. Measures should be put in place to encourage employers to hire youths so that this process may be interrupted.

interventions for youths who face economic deprivation should not focus solely on economic deprivation indicators. Black et al. employ an ecological approach to examine the precursors of violence and direct attention to risk and protective factors at the individual, parent, family, and neighbourhood levels. Black et al. argue that preventative interventions for youths in poverty should be implemented in childhood, should be based on an understanding of child development and the cultural needs of the child, and should include social-cognitive skills training, self-esteem enhancement, and anger management training. Interventions should also promote positive options for youths, help to develop life and employment skills, and provide alternatives to violent behaviour. Importantly also, Black et al. note that intervention strategies should be accompanied by rigorous evaluations.