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Date of Award


Degree Type

Dissertation (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Genevieve Arnaut

Second Advisor

Catherine Miller

Third Advisor

Michel Hersen


The phenomenological experiences of 12 adolescent males who have committed violence were investigated through in-depth individual interviews in this qualitative study. The youths ranged in age from 16 to 18 and were of varying ethnicities. They were asked about their perceptions of etiological factors and solutions to violence. The results indicated that these youths had common experiences. Four themes were found for Types of Violence Identified: street fighting, assault, group violence, and weapons charges. Two themes were found for Meaning of Violence and Aggression: physical, mental, or verbal behaviors that promote gain and behaviors that protect against vulnerability. Two themes were found for Causes of Violence: past etiological factors .and current triggers. Six themes were found for Means of Reducing Violence: prosocial peer culture, positive role models, increasing severity and immediacy of consequences, earlier implementation of interventions, mandatory in-school support services, and decreasing school failures.