Risk Factors and Violent Influences Affecting Children’s Lives

  • Violence is celebrated and valued by our culture as an effective solution to interpersonal problems and as a major source of entertainment.  Children are exposed to violence on television, in movies, video games, cartoons, and music for up to six hours per day, every day of their lives.
  • Violence is taught and reinforced in the home through modeling by parents and other caregivers and siblings.
  • Violence is taught and reinforced by children’s peers and by adults in their schools and communities. 
  • Violence often reflects problems in neuropsychological development from the time of embryonic development through birth, infancy, childhood, and right up to adolescence.
  • Violence is a frequent result of distortions in the first attachment relationships formed between infants or toddlers and their primary caregivers.  Poor attachment relationships in the earliest years result in a negative internal working model for all future relationships and lead to learning difficulties.
  • Violence is more likely in children who have “difficult” (as opposed to “easy” or “slow to warm up”) temperaments in infancy and early childhood.  Forty to seventy percent of babies with difficult temperaments will display violent behavior, and encounter problems in school and in relationships.
  • Violence is most likely when neurological problems, difficult temperament, and poor attachment relationships all interact in a mulplicative fashion in the life a child. 

For a complete list of ECCAO References, please contact Dr. Michael D. Dwyer, Principal Investigator.


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