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Social media and youth violence in Nigeria: A Psychosocial review

Richard A. Aborisade, Sunday S. Adedayo

Abstract


While the causes of youth violence in Nigeria are multifactorial, extant literature are quite compelling that young people’s exposure to social media violence plays an important role in the aetiology of violent behaviour in the country. Drawing from sociological and psychological perspectives, literature on violence and online social media that demonstrated that youth violence which include cyberbullying, gang violence, and self-directed violence increasingly occurs in the online space, were reviewed. To this end, the paper leaned heavily on Bandura’s Social Learning Theory in explaining how young people learn to behave aggressively by watching the aggressive behaviour of others over various social media platforms. The review showed that while some forms of online violence are limited to internet-based interactions, others are directly related to face-to-face acts of violence. Central to the purpose of this article is uncovering the real-world consequences of these online events, and making use of this information to design effective prevention and intervention strategies. The paper conclude that electronic youth violence needs to be accorded attention of researchers in the criminal, sociological, psychological, medical, and public health domain. While the author invites sustained interest of researchers in examining the negative effect of social media on developing aggressive behaviour amongst the youths, three fundamentally different strategies that address prevention, intervention and suppression were suggested.

Keywords: Internet, Nigeria, Social learning, Social media, Youth violence




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