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How Children Become Violent: Keeping Your…

How Children Become Violent: Keeping Your Kids Out of Gangs, Terrorist… (2008)

by Kathryn Seifert Phd

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For my mother and my grandmother, the kindest, sweetest women I ever knew.
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I am a fairly pleasant, easy-going, and non-violent person. However, I do have my "soap box" issues, over which I can get quite riled: child abuse and neglect and family violence, the lack of a free and adequate education for all children, and less than the highest quality mental health services for all children and families regardless of the ability to pay for them.
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Violence is an age-old phenomenon. War, genocide, and killing are cornerstones that define history. Yet in the 21st century, we are experiencing violence in ways never seen before. It may be in worldwide terrorist organizations, inner city and suburban gangs, or the disturbed teenager next door who takes his rage out on innocent classmates.

Those who commit violence today, as Kathryn Seifert, Ph.D. explains in this book, are likely to be adults or adolescents who themselves witnessed violence as children or were abused or neglected in their early years. Childhood is a time when bonding with caregivers stimulates the formulation of behavioral regulation, interpersonal skills, moral development, brain development, and problem solving, and when it is interrupted Disrupted Attachments Patterns (DAP) can form. This means that today’s violent, neglected, psychologically unbalanced, and traumatized children are likely to be tomorrow’s dangers to society - that is, unless we can intervene to assess DAP and offer them appropriate therapy.

Dr. Seifert offers personal insights from over 30 years of experience in mental health, addictions, and criminal justice work to help other therapists, victims, and parents understand not only how children become violent, but she illuminates the pathway to a violence-free future.
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