The current study examines a sample of 112 adolescents convicted of murder. From this sample, 11 adolescents who murdered a member of their family were chosen for indepth examination. All participants were convicted as an adult for murder and received a prison sentence. Characteristics of the crimes were explored, including demographic information, relationship to victim, motive, and weapon used in the commission of the crime. Additionally, DSM diagnosis information was available for some participants. A majority of the homicides (N = 8) were committed with a gun that was available in the home. More than half of the subjects murdered a parent or parental figure and the most salient characteristic was the presence of a chaotic family life prior to the homicide. No single motive was dominant, indicating that intrafamilial homicide is the culmination of a number of factors, including abuse and psychopathology. Based on the findings, recommendations are provided to address the needs of youth who are at risk for committing violent crimes such as intrafamilial homicide.
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