Depression in homicidal adolescents.

C. P. Malmquist,
Bull. Amer. Acad. Psychiatry & the Law 18(1): 23-36, 1990.
The problem of adolescents who commit homicides is of increasing concern in its own right, as well as from the possibility of their facing execution. In this study, a psychiatric and psychological assessment was aimed at screening out a group of juveniles who were being considered for certification to adult court in terms of depressive symptomatology. Within a group of 213, 30 males and 14 females were assessed as depressed by clinical history, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventories (MMPI) and the Beck Depressive Inventory (BDI). Empirical and psychosocial data attempted to differentiate significant developmental components related to the homicides, as well as differences between the 30 males and 14 females. Although the problem of predicting such behavior from descriptive characteristics remains elusive, certain patterns were present among diverse homicidal behaviors. In conclusion, some psychodynamic hypotheses are offered.