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Youths need care and respect
Latest Updated by 2007-04-25 09:10:45

Cho Seung-hui, a student from South Korea at Virginia Tech, the United States, shocked the world last week by killing 32 people before killing himself in the worst campus shooting in U.S. history.

The tragedy drew people's attention to safety on campus and gun control in the United States. It also sounded the alarm on teenagers' psychological problems, as investigations found Cho suffered from serious depression.

In China, between 10 and 20 percent of secondary and primary school students suffer psychological problems, according to Dr. Shu Mingyue with the Shenzhen Kangning Hospital.

"They suffer depression, problems in communicating and character flaws. In this strongly competitive migrant city, teenagers even suffer more because of a bad influence from parents, teachers and mass media," he said.

A recent survey of 300 Junior One students in the city found that 11 percent of them suffered depression, and their condition had not been taken seriously by their parents.

Shu said 80 percent of Shenzhen students had felt setbacks following unsatisfactory exam results in the past year.

"A 15-year-old once came and asked for help. He was suffering insomnia and could not focus. His performance was perfect at school, but his parents asked for more. They set a goal for him to graduate from a foreign university at 19 and deprived him of all his hobbies and leisure activities."

The doctor warned that though depression can be cured with medication and intervention at an early stage, it can develop into violent and suicidal behavior.

The ways parents and teachers behave can have a strong impact on minors. Indecent behavior by adults, seen by children, may lead to character flaws like desperation, extreme behavior and stubbornness.

Without the company of siblings, most children grow up playing violent computer games and watching TV programs alone, which worsen their problems, Shu said.

He suggested parents give their children more care and respect to help them build confidence. "Children should take more outdoor activities together, and teachers should treat them fairly despite their different family backgrounds and academic performances."

Editor: Wing

By:Li Dan Source:Szdaily web edition
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