International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology Volume: 56 Issue: 5 Dated: August 2012 Pages: 691-714
This study investigated gender differences among 226 juvenile murderers, aged 6 through 10 involved in single-victim incidents using bivariate and multivariate statistical techniques.
Recent U.S. cases of murders by children below age 11 have captured national headlines. A review of the literature reveals that little is known about this population of juvenile homicide offenders (JHOs). Most studies on juvenile murderers have used small clinical samples, focused on adolescents, and concentrated on male offenders. Studies that have used Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) data have found significant gender differences among juveniles below 18 years arrested for murder. This study investigated gender differences among 226 juvenile murderers, aged 6 through 10 involved in single-victim incidents using bivariate and multivariate statistical techniques. Consistent with previous research, bivariate analyses revealed gender differences with respect to the type of weapon used, age of the victim, relationship to the victim, and circumstances of the crime. Logistic regression analysis identified female JHOs as more likely to use a knife, kill a family member, and kill a victim below age 5, when compared with male JHOs. From these findings, profiles of young male and female JHOs can be drawn. The article concludes with a discussion of the study's implications for prevention and treatment. The authors recommend that future research in gender differences among young children focus on examining psychological, neurological, and sociological variables not included in the SHR dataset. Abstract published by arrangement with Sage Journals.
United States of America