Youthûs risky behaviors and Violence in Northeastern of Thailand
Keywords:violenec, youth, social and cultural context
AbstractThe current study employing qualitativeand quantitative methods aimed to examine the socialstructure and cultural context that led to violence.It also aimed to examine the mechanism and strategiesused by youths to solve their violence problem.The data were collected from two provinces whereone province had in the warning signs and the otherhad no warning signs of youthsû risk behaviors. Threevillages were selected from each province. The datacollecting methods included fieldûs note taking,participant observation and in-dept interview withkey informants, community leaders, teachers,neighbors, and relevant organizations. In-depth-interviews and focus group discussions were conductedwith youths and families. The questionnaire was usedto collect the data from 120 youths (40 per a village)aged 10 to 25 years.The results revealed ways of life and socialcontext of youths who demonstrated violent behaviorsas follows. All 6 villages are in the rural area inwhich most residents are farmers. Outside of theharvesting season, the adult residents would go outfor employment elsewhere. Most of the youths whoshowed violence problems were from families thatmissed one or both parents. There were both delinquentyouths and well-behaved youths who would go toschool and help out with familyûs work. Most youthswould go in the city to be factory workers when theycomplete high school.The youthûs risky behaviors found in their dailyliving included gambling, drinking, and wanderingaround on motorcycles. The violence was presentedby getting into a fight, which mostly with youths fromanother village. For male youths, the fight often startedfrom the dislike of each other, previous fighting, andgetting revenge. The fight frequently took place on celebrating occasion such as village festival when therewas social gathering and drinking event. For femaleyouths, the fight was less and the cause was oftenabout boyfriends.The consequences of the violence includedphysical injure, getting arrested, getting on probation,charge payment to the police and to the injured, movingto another school, and getting bored of studying.Community did not solve the problemsystematically. Families of the youths tried to dealwith the problem indirectly by merely supporting themthrough the transitional period. The families expectedthe violent behavior to subside by itself when the youthsmove on to early adult and learn to be responsible forwork and married life.
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