Lack of ‘emotional regulation’ contributing to increase in youth violence, expert says

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers youth violence a “serious public health problem.”


They define youth violence as the intentional use of physical force or power to threaten or harm others by young people between the ages of 10 to 24.

READ: Police identify 5 victims in Colorado Springs shooting; also identify 2 ‘heroes’

Two different Central Florida counties saw violent homicides of teen girls in just over the last week. In one of those cases, the suspected perpetrator was also a juvenile.

Jan Edwards is the President and CEO of the non-profit organization Paving the Way. They’re dedicated to combating child trafficking through educational programs.

Edwards says they go into schools and talk to kids about what’s happening in the world and how it impacts them.

READ: Virginia cancels Virginia Tech game after player deaths

“I’m not a mental health therapist,” Edwards said. “I just know what I see, and then I share it with the professionals that are.”

Edwards says she believes there’s not enough “emotional regulation” being taught to kids.

“The belief of that feeling will never go away unless I take this action,” Edwards explained.

READ: Police identify man found with fatal gunshot wound in Brevard County backyard

The CDC says youth violence is common and affects thousands of people each day. They say it can have long-term impacts on the health and well-being of young people.

Edwards says her organization’s goal is to deliver messages to kids in school that they can then use outside of those walls.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.