Academic journal article Journal of Political Studies

Relevance of Violence with Social Well Being of Working Adolescents in Pakistan

Academic journal article Journal of Political Studies

Relevance of Violence with Social Well Being of Working Adolescents in Pakistan

Article excerpt


Violence permeates human life with its multidimensional consequences for the victims. Social significance of violence for children and adolescents has been a focus of both the sociologists and social psychologists. This is because of the very sensitive and crucial phase of adolescence where most of the trajectories and pathways shape human behavior along with socio-psychological and biological development. The present study explores the relevance of workplace violence with social well being of the 350 Pakistani adolescents working in 82 auto repair workshops. Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS-2) was used to measure intensity of violence whereas; social well being (SWB) was measured within five dimensions of Keyes' (1998) model of social well being. Findings of the study revealed that violence against adolescents was highly correlated with their social well being. The demographic variables were also found to influence the correlation between violence against adolescents and their social well being.

Key Words: Workplace violence; Adolescents; Instructor (ustad); Social Well Being; Auto repair workshops.


Violence against children and adolescents is rampant across the world irrespective of race, religion, regional and cultural differences (World Report on Violence against Children, 2006). This is because children are too young and vulnerable to protect themselves from violent experiences and usually bear violence with keeping their lips tight under some social pressures and societal norms (WHO, 2002). Occurrence of violence commonly takes place out of sight in homes, educational or other care providing institutions and workplaces (Hoel, 1997). Being a complex social phenomenon, violence has multidimensional influences upon interacting individuals, social relationships and society at large (Mari & Fgueira, 2008). Children and adolescents may be confronted with violent experiences in any of the social settings where they spend their childhood; their homes and families, peer groups, school, communities and workplaces. However, exposure of violence in one setting may be compounded by violence in other increasing its severity for the victims (Felitti et al, 1998; UNICEF, 2007).

Life course is generally divided into the stages of childhood, adolescence; and early, middle, and late adulthood. Each developmental stage has its own needs, tasks and challenges. Social experiences in one stage, and the conditions in which they occur, may potentially shape the experiences that follow them in later stages of development (Elder, 1985).

Adolescence is said to be a risky, sensitive and crucial phase of human life where most of the developmental trajectories and pathways shape human behavior along with biological development (Hay, 1997). Potentially, children and adolescents are vulnerable to the influences of violence as their exposure to the acts of violence may alter the timing of typical developmental trajectories (Boney-McCoy & Finkelhor, 1995). Therefore, experiences of violence during adolescence may be expected to have its implications later in adult life of individuals.

Literature indicates that because of its complexity, scholars are yet in the process of contemplation that what exactly 'violence' is (Stanko, 2003). Because of its multifaceted, socially constructed and highly ambivalent nature, violence is notoriously difficult to define (Haan, 2008). Levi & Maguire (2002) describe violence as "a slippery term which covers a huge and frequently changing range of heterogeneous physical and emotional behaviors, situations and victim offender relationship". As violence may take different forms (Reidel & Welsh, 2002) and is studied from actors' perspectives (perpetrator, victim, third party, neutral observer), literature therefore, presents it in accordance with different theoretical assumptions for instance human nature, social order etc. In cultures like Pakistan, where traditional and normative structure provides some support for violence, it is difficult to draw a clear fault line between violent and nonviolent acts. …

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