Violence may be viewed as infectious disease
In a study designed to isolate the root causes of violent behavior, Harvard Medical School researchers found that young teens who witnessed gun violence were more than twice as likely as non-witnesses to commit violent crime themselves in the following years. The study will appear in the May 27 issue of Science.
"Based on this study’s results, showing the importance of personal contact with violence, the best model for violence may be that of a socially infectious disease," says Felton Earls, MD, HMS professor of social medicine and principal investigator of the study and of the the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods. "Preventing one violent crime may prevent a downstream cascade of ’infections’. And the lessons learned in Chicago should be broadly applicable. Generalizing this to any large city should be valid," Earls said.
Leah Gourley | EurekAlert!
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