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Youths at Risk
Youths at risk

ABOUT 65 natural parents were slain by youths under 18 each year during the ten-year period 1977–86. When this low rate of matricides and patricides is examined in light of the problems of predicting violent behavior or dangerousness,1 the conclusion is inescapable: It is impossible to predict which youths will kill their parents. Some youths, are, however, at a higher risk. Five factors help target such youths.

  • The youth is raised in a chemically dependent or other dysfunctional family.
  • An ongoing pattern of family violence exists in the home.
  • Conditions in the home worsen, and violence escalates.
  • The youth becomes increasingly vulnerable to stressors in the home environment.
  • A firearm is readily available in the home.

Of the five factors, two ...

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