Children Who Murder: A Psychological Perspective

By Robert V. Heckel; David M. Shumaker | Go to book overview
Save to active project


This book was undertaken to provide some insights into children who commit murder. We felt it important to distinguish between preteens (our subjects of study) and adolescents. The frequency of murders by preteens is low (as will be described in chapter 1). As a result, preteens are typically neglected as a focus of study or they are considered along with adolescents, despite the sharp differences in their life experiences and the causal factors involved in their cases.

Murders by adolescents have been a continuing and growing problem for law enforcement personnel, social and mental health workers, teachers, families, and friends of adolescents. Because of their high profile and the frequency of murders by adolescents, youth in this age group have been the subject of close and careful study. Many excellent books and research articles have documented and sought to account for their homicidal behavior. Adolescents themselves have communicated (albeit unwillingly at times) and have been able to articulate their intent, motives, and methods and have demonstrated at least partial awareness of the consequences of their behavior.

In child murderers access to their motives and intent is far more difficult to ascertain. Their explanations are often unclear, confusing, or even completely lacking. Awareness of consequences of their behavior is extremely limited and most often completely absent. This is not surprising, since levels of reasoning and moral judgment are in the very early stages of development.


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Children Who Murder: A Psychological Perspective


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 179

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?