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close this bookWHO Information Series on School Health - Document 3 - Violence Prevention: An Important Element of a Health-promoting School (UNESCO - WHO, 1999, 61 p.)
close this folder1. INTRODUCTION
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentWhy did WHO prepare this document?
View the documentWho should read this document?
View the documentWhat is meant by ''violence''?
View the documentWhat are the causes of violence?
View the documentWhy focus efforts through schools?
View the documentHow should this document be used?

What are the causes of violence?

The causes of violence are complicated and vary across and within different cultural and economic contexts. (6,7) Factors that are thought to contribute to the development of violent behaviour include individual characteristics such as:

· knowledge, attitudes, thoughts about violence and skill deficits, such as poorly developed communication skills

· drug and alcohol use

· having witnessed or been victimised by interpersonal violence

· access to firearms and other weapons

There are also many contributing forces at the family level, including:

· lack of parental affection and support
· exposure to violence in the home
· physical punishment and child abuse
· having parents or siblings involved in criminal behaviour

In addition, economic and societal factors such as the following can contribute to violence: (4)

· Unequal power relations between men and women, or between different ethnic groups
· Poverty, urbanisation and overcrowding
· rapid economic development with high levels of unemployment among young people
· media influences
· social norms supporting violent behaviour
· availability of weapons