A comparison study of factors that discriminate juvenile delinquents who are violent towards parental figures and non-domestically violent juvenile delinquents

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

First Committee Member

Kent F. Burnett - Committee Chair


In this study, participants were divided into a Domestic Violence (DV) and a Non-Domestic Violence (NDV) group and examined on demographic and familial variables, intelligence and school performance, peer group characteristics, arrest histories, and psychological features. Analyses revealed no gender, racial, or ethnic differences between the two groups. Youths in the DV group were more likely to have come from a non-intact home and to report difficulties relating to their parents and other household members. No significant differences were found on intelligence, class failure, and reading level, although youths in the DV group were less likely to have been placed in special classes. Youths in the DV group were significantly more likely to associate with peers who own guns and belong to a gang, and to affiliate with gang members. They also committed a greater number of violent offenses, while those in the NDV group committed a greater number of property offenses. Youths in the DV group were more likely to have been psychiatrically hospitalized and medicated, and more likely to have attempted suicide. No significant group differences were found on the Emotional Symptom Index (ESI) and Personal Adjustment Composite (PAC); however, on the ESI, females received a significantly higher score than males and Blacks received a slightly higher score than Whites. On the PAC, Whites reported more positive adjustment than Blacks.


Psychology, Clinical

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