Influences of Beliefs and Values on Male Adolescents' Decision to Commit Violent Offenses

Vera Lopez, Edmund T. Emmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The authors examined violent criminal offenses from the perspective of 17 male adolescent offenders. Interview data were collected and analyzed using grounded theory method. The authors focus on the Belief Driven/Violent Assault Crime Context, defined both by the motive underlying the crime as well as the nature of the crime itself. This crime context, which includes honor and vigilante crimes, is characterized by an adherence to traditional male values in conjunction with beliefs supportive of aggression. Results indicate that within this context, adolescents commit violent offenses in order to protect others and defend themselves or their gang. The impact of traditional male gender role beliefs on adolescent criminal behavior and on the cognition and emotions that accompany acts of violence is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-40
Number of pages13
JournalPsychology of Men and Masculinity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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