What Social Impact Does Exposure to Domestic Violence Have on Adolescent Males? A Systemic Review of Literature

Domestic violence is widespread in the United Kingdom (UK) and accounts for 14 per cent of all violent crimes. It is a significant health concern, as it damages physical and emotional health and can have long lasting negative impact across a wide range of health, social and economic outcomes for families as well as having a major impact on the social development of young people. A recent report shows that in 2002 there were 750,000 children in Britain estimated to have witnessed domestic violence. However, studies demonstrated that children’s exposure to domestic violence between parents tend to seal its “inexpugnably prints” on “their impressionable minds”, they are thought to express more anger, antisocial behaviour, as well as fear, anxiety and depression have greater risk of behavioural, emotional, and psychological problems. It shows that exposure to domestic violence in adolescence is thought to be having more of an impact than exposure in younger children, with earlier exposure having little or no impact without adolescent exposure.

This systemic review focuses on the exposure of male adolescents to domestic violence and the impact of domestic violence on them. The review highlights that there were a number of disparate ways in which domestic violence impacted on adolescent males. This ranged from animal cruelty, drug taking, violence and aggression, through to feelings of depression, suicidal ideations, and feelings of sadness and ambivalence. However, the results suggest that while the exposure to domestic violence does indeed have an impact on adolescent males, there appears to be no agreement on any single way in which this impact may be experienced. However, we recommend that combating the scourge of domestic violence requires skilled practitioners to intervene at any given stage. As such, practice educators must ensure that staff under their remit are adequately equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills of detection, to impact on the root causes of domestic violence. This must include increasing awareness among staff of the knowledge of the latest legislation and policies. In addition, training should emphasise the need to maintain liaison with external agencies in developing pathways into services, and timely responses by stakeholder and associate institutions to adequately address this issue that is impacting negatively on male adolescents


Vincent Icheku

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