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Characteristics of Homicidal and Violent Juveniles

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Homicidal youth have received considerable attention in the mass media and social science literature in recent years. Due to several methodological obstacles, relatively little is known about the premorbid and offense characteristics of this population. The current investigation compared 30 juvenile males charged with murder with a group of 62 juvenile males charged with other violent felony offenses. Comparisons were made across 33 demographic, historical, clinical, offense, and forensic characteristics. Both groups were similar in their demographic characteristics and family backgrounds. Juvenile homicide defendants, however, were less likely than the comparison group to have a current Axis I psychiatric diagnosis. Homicide defendants were also more likely to have acted alone and to have committed their alleged crime in a domestic setting. Implications of the results are discussed as are suggestions for future research.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: University of South Carolina, School of Medicine

Publication date: 01 January 2001

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