Guns, Violence, and Identity among African American and Latino Youth

By Deanna L. Wilkinson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 7
Decision Making In Violent
Events:
An Examination of Sparks and Other Motivational
Factors

Prior research on violent events has shown that violence reflects a variety of motivational and situational concerns. Little information is available on violent events where adolescent and young adult males are main participants. The descriptive analysis of violent situations is presented in two chapters. I present a characterization of the sample of 306 violent events described by respondents. The descriptive results are presented in tables 7-1 to 7-4 in this chapter and tables 8-1 through 8-8 in chapter 8. The event data are coded on 13 different dimensions including:

type of weapon present;
type of weapon use;
who was armed;
role of the respondent;
role of the opponent;
relationship between combatants;
role of the other parties present, including: the
respondent's associates, the opponent's companions,
and neutral bystanders;
a classification of collective decision making in
violent events (co-offending);
reason or spark of the event;
location or context;
role of alcohol and/or drug use in the event;
role of the police; and
an analysis of outcomes of the violent event
including injuries and conflict resolution.

The data are presented by each of these domains in an effort to illustrate the heterogeneity of violent situations among adolescents. The detailed examples provided often illustrate more than one theme

-127-

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