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J Clin Psychol. 1990 Jul;46(4):472-85.

Adolescents who kill.

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  • 1Juvenile Division of Circuit Court, University of Illinois.


From a sample of 1,956 adolescent delinquents referred to us by the court for physical, psychological, psychiatric, educational, and social examinations, 71 delinquents convicted of homicide were matched with 71 nonviolent delinquents by age, race, sex, and socioeconomic status (SES). These two groups were compared on the basis of these evaluations by stepwise discriminant analysis, matched pairs, two-tailed t-tests, and nonparametric tests. Adolescents who kill have a tetrad of symptoms: (1) criminally violent family members; (2) gang membership; (3) severe educational difficulties; and (4) alcohol abuse.

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