This Baltimore Sun article traces another example of an invisible cycle—the impact violence can have on young people who could be more likely to turn to violence themselves after witnessing it. “The kids were growing up in Upton/Druid Heights, where backyard police chases are common and sirens wake up kids like unwelcome alarm clocks at night. Almost every day, in some way, the kids were exposed to violence,” the article says.
Biting others, throwing furniture and bolting out of schools isn’t normal behavior for kids, but what is their home life like? What these kids have seen has a serious effect on them.
From the piece:
Studies have piled up showing that in the tangle of tough, intractable issues like poverty and drug addiction, exposure to violence is a major factor damaging children’s health. The stress that fills their little bodies breeds anxiety and depression, making it hard for them to concentrate in school. In fact, research has found that such experiences hurt the development of crucial areas of their brains — those involving attention, memory and behavior control. In the worst cases, children walk around with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder no different from those plaguing soldiers who have fought on the front lines.