Children Who Murder: A Psychological Perspective

By Robert V. Heckel; David M. Shumaker | Go to book overview
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Chapter 9

Chapter 5 presented the research that identified those characteristics of children, families, and communities that were predictors of violent and homicidal behaviors. In this chapter we will examine measures that have been identified as of value in preventing the expression of violence. Our discussion will cover the major problem areas, which have been identified as causal or contributing:
1. Adjustment disorders (personality disorders, psychiatric disturbances)
2. Cognitive problems (intellectual difficulties, learning disabilities, neurological impairment)
3. Violent behavior (displayed by child)
4. Adverse familial factors (physical abuse, sexual abuse, unstable homes, absent fathers, parental problems, alcohol abuse, criminality, psychiatric problems, violence)
5. Environmental factors (school, neighborhood, community)
6. Media influences

There are no secrets as to what should be done to prevent violence and murderous potential in our children. Liberals and conservatives alike correctly identify the problems: negative changes in the structure, role, and authority of the family; loss of the sense of community in most areas; and the movement of schools from a philosophy of in loco parentis to one of a besieged institution lacking in control over its charges.


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Children Who Murder: A Psychological Perspective


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