Looking forward and backward in records for risks among homicidal youth

Robert John Zagar, Kenneth G. Busch, William M. Grove, John Russell Hughes, Jack Arbit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


To identify risks for commission of homicide, 26 convicted Homicidal Youth (M age =14.9 yr., SD =1.4; n = 26; 1 girl, 25 boys) were matched with 26 Nonviolent Delinquents and 26 clinic-referred Controls. Youth were tracked backward 8 years (M = 7.7 yr., SD=1.5) and forward 3 years (M = 3.1 yr., SD= 1.2) in records. Data analysis was Shao's bootstrapped logistic regression yielding area under the curve (AUC) and odds ratios (OR). Predictors of homicide were poorer executive function (OR = 7.04e+40), violent family (OR = 4.01e-16), and alcohol abuse (OR = 7.33e-17; AUC=.97, 95%CI=.77-.99). From earlier studies, 101 Homicidal Youth and their Controls were reanalyzed similarly. Predictors were poorer executive function (OR = 6.51), lower social maturity (OR = 0.28), weapon possession (OR = 26.10), and gang membership (OR = 4.14; AUC=.98 95%CI= .96-.99). Groups were combined, i.e., 26 and 101 Homicidal; 127 Homicidal Youth (7 girls, 120 boys) and their matched Controls were tracked in records. The predictor was poorer executive function (OR = 3.34e-21; ,4UC=.98, 95%CI=.96-.97). When 127 Homicidal Youth were compared with 127 matched Nonviolent Delinquents, predictors were poorer executive function (OR = 2.83e-02), weapon possession (OR = 1.63e-10), lower social maturity (OR = 1.15), and use of special education services (OR = .94; AUC=.94, 95%CI= 37-.99).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-127
Number of pages25
JournalPsychological reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2009

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