chapter  8
34 Pages

Decision Making in Violent Events Among Adolescent Males: An Examination of Sparks and Other Motivational Factors: Deanna L. Wilkinson

I n recent years, there has been a growing interest in studying violent phe-nomena as interactional events (Fagan and Wilkinson 1998b; Felson 1993; Griffin 1993; Katz 1988; Meier and Kennedy 2000; Oliver 1994;

focused on the interactional dynamics of situated transactions (Campbell and Gibbs 1986; Felson 1982; Felson and Steadman 1983; Luckenbill 1977; Luckenbill and Doyle 1989; Oliver 1994). Violent behavior can be viewed as a non-verbal method of communicating social meanings within contexts where such action is expected, or at least tolerated. Violence theory and research have paid little attention to the meaningful differences in the forms of violent acts, especially among teenagers. Violence research often has failed to acknowledge the heterogeneity of violent interactions. Empirical research shows that teens are involved in a wide range of violent acts. Miethe and Meier (1994), make the observation that a general theory of criminal events, and violent events more specifically, would be less useful than a more systematic inquiry of the variety of events across contexts and populations. The current research is consistent with that viewpoint.