Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis




This study examines the social origins of extremely violent behavior. Numerous explanations of violent offenders have focused on biological, psychological, environmental or a combination of these factors to explain violence. Most explanations of violent behavior fail to take a holistic approach to understand the cause of violent behavior. This study is an analysis of the applicability of the violentization theory. Data was obtained through in-depth semi-structured interviews from six violent offenders in a residential treatment faciIity in the Midwest. Findings indicate that for most offenders, the violentization theory is consistent with their social experiences. However, two exceptions pertained to the violentization process where the individuals stopped their journey along this socialization of violence. Further analysis revealed that the violentization process often starts within the home due to the violent subjugation by family members. The further along some are in the violentization process, the more consistent and violent their crimes are. This study finds that the violentization theory can be used to develop public policy programs aimed at stopping individuals from progressing through these stages.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology

First Advisor

Joe Gorton, Chair


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vii, 86 leaves ; 28 cm)



File Format


Included in

Criminology Commons