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Adolescent violence: It takes two

Vol. 4, No. 10 / October 2005

As I read your article on adolescent violence (Current Psychiatry, June 2005), I wondered whether two adolescent profiles contribute to school-related violence.

The first group may be as described in the article: adolescents who are alienated, victims of bullying, overwhelmingly male, and prone to outbursts of homicidal violence in response to vengeful feelings.

The second group may seem more connected to others and viewed as popular by peers. The basis for their violence—which takes the form of degrading and humiliating behavior—is less evident. These individuals populate the bully group and often victimize the first group, sometimes contributing to violent responses from the victims.

I appreciate this practical paper being published in a psychiatric journal. I look forward to possible further exploration of this important topic for psychiatrists.

Marshall L. Garrick, MD
Clinical instructor of psychiatry
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana

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