© 2020

A Closer Look at Juvenile Homicide

Kids Who Kill


Part of the SpringerBriefs in Psychology book series (BRIEFSPSYCHOL)

Also part of the SpringerBriefs in Behavioral Criminology book sub series (BRIEFSBC)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Katelyn A. Hernandez, Sara Ferguson, Tom D. Kennedy
    Pages 1-6
  3. Katelyn A. Hernandez, Sara Ferguson, Tom D. Kennedy
    Pages 7-19
  4. Katelyn A. Hernandez, Sara Ferguson, Tom D. Kennedy
    Pages 21-34
  5. Katelyn A. Hernandez, Sara Ferguson, Tom D. Kennedy
    Pages 35-43
  6. Katelyn A. Hernandez, Sara Ferguson, Tom D. Kennedy
    Pages 45-55
  7. Katelyn A. Hernandez, Sara Ferguson, Tom D. Kennedy
    Pages 57-71
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 73-74

About this book


This book focuses on the small but disturbing percentage of homicides by children that occur each year, providing a brief overview of the legal, individual, and social aspects of this phenomenon.  Since the 1980s, these crimes have been on the rise and the resulting legal response has been harsher punishments as well as treatment of children like adults.  This has led to a host of failures in the juvenile justice system wherein recidivism is high and general outcome is low. The book reviews the literature on youth homicide, including gender, age, and race factors, as well as individual, familial, and environmental risks. The authors seek to aid in the identification and understanding of juvenile homicide to raise awareness of both a population that receives little formal psychological intervention and of the systemic deficiencies that affect these individuals as well as society itself. Exploring current theories, trends, and common factors in juvenile homicide, this brief aims to improve prevention, intervention, and reintegration of young offenders into the community.


criminal behavior homicidal children juvenile homicide juvenile delinquency juvenile homicide interventions juvenile offender programs antisocial adolescent behaviors juvenile justice juvenile crime adolescent brain

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Nova Southeastern UniversityDavieUSA
  2. 2.Nova Southeastern UniversityWest MiamiUSA
  3. 3.Nova Southeastern UniversityDavieUSA

About the authors

Katelyn A. Hernandez, M.S.

Katelyn Hernandez is in her 5th year of clinical training in the clinical psychology doctoral program at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) located in Fort Lauderdale, FL, and is part of her program’s forensic concentration. Prior to attending NSU, she received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from University of California San Diego. Her primary clinical interests include forensic evaluations in both criminal and civil cases and psychotherapy in the areas of complex trauma. Currently Ms. Hernandez is completing her predoctoral clinical psychology internship at Eastern Virginia Medical School with her main rotation being at Eastern State Hospital, a forensic psychiatric hospital located in Williamsburg, VA. She has completed the Forensic Evaluator Training in both Florida and Virginia and has had the opportunity to conduct CST and MSO evaluations as part of her internship training. In addition to her work with pre-trial defendants, she has worked with patients adjudicated Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity (NGRI), conducting risk assessments, and writing reports for the court. Her practica training has included forensic evaluations and correctional psychological services, along with outpatient psychotherapy services with individuals with a history of abuse and trauma. Additionally, she has conducted Neuropsychological evaluations with Veterans presenting with traumatic brain injuries and other neurological conditions. She has worked as a forensic coordinator at a Mental Health Diversion program, conducting psychological evaluations with defendants with a history of serious and persistent mental illness. She has also worked as an assistant at a private forensic psychology practice, conducting evaluations for criminal and civil cases involving trauma. Her research interests include serial homicide, juvenile delinquency, juvenile homicide, resilience in at-risk youth, death penalty, and domestic violence.


Sara Ferguson, M.S.

Sara Ferguson is currently a 5th year psychology intern in the forensic concentration at Nova Southeastern University’s Clinical Psychology doctoral program. Prior to attending NSU, she received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Florida State University. Ms. Ferguson’s clinical interests include forensic assessment and contemporary relational psychotherapy in the areas of complex trauma, serious mental illness, and autism spectrum disorder. Her clinical training compliments her interests, as she has worked in a variety of settings and with highly diverse populations. Her practica training has included forensic evaluations and correctional psychological services, along with outpatient psychotherapy services with individuals with chronic, serious mental illness. Further, Ms. Ferguson has provided psychological interventions and assessments in both inpatient and outpatient hospital settings for Veterans presenting with dual diagnoses of substance abuse and a range of pathology. Additionally, she has provided clinical and educational consultation and support to individuals with autism spectrum disorder, along with their families and related professionals at the University of Miami-Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (UM-NSU CARD) for the last seven years. Currently, Ms. Ferguson is completing her Predoctoral Internship in Clinical Psychology at the Trauma Resolution Integration Program (TRIP) housed at NSU’s Psychological Services Center, an outpatient clinical that provides sliding scale psychotherapy services in Davie, Florida. Ms. Ferguson’s research interests are primarily in the forensic domain, including serial homicide, juvenile offending, neuropsychology of crime, death penalty, and domestic violence. 


Tom Kennedy, PhD, BFB

Tom Kennedy is an Associate Professor for the College of Psychology at Nova Southeastern University (NSU).  He serves as a representative for the NSU IRB and is the site supervisor for the forensic practicum. He received his PhD from the University of Miami.  He previously served as Associate Professor for the College of Education at NSU where he was co-director of the Applied Research Center and developed and taught multiple courses including: Methods of Inquiry, Statistics, Advanced Statistics, Research Design, Mixed Methods, Program Evaluation, Survey and Measurement and Testing. His clinical experience consists of providing forensic evaluations, neuropsychological assessments, behavioral medicine interventions, and child and adolescent therapy in inpatient and outpatient settings including: the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, UM Mailman Center for Child Development, Jackson Memorial Hospital, UM Institute for Individual and Family Therapy, and the Dallas County Jail.  Before coming to NSU, he spent five years at the Mailman Center for Child Development, where he trained and supervised school psychologists and assessed children throughout Miami-Dade County Schools. He is board certified in Biofeedback. His research interests include two convergent forensic tracks, one focused on at-risk children and adolescents, and the other on domestic violence and human trafficking.  He has procured grant funding and served as lead evaluator for multiple organizations including Catholic Charities, Miami Dade-Schools Police, and national Bullying programs. He has published books and book chapters, and written articles in the areas of juvenile crime, psychological assessment, bullying, psychophysiology and research design.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title A Closer Look at Juvenile Homicide
  • Book Subtitle Kids Who Kill
  • Authors Katelyn A. Hernandez
    Sara Ferguson
    Tom D. Kennedy
  • Series Title SpringerBriefs in Psychology
  • Series Abbreviated Title SpringerBriefs in Psychology
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Behavioral Science and Psychology Behavioral Science and Psychology (R0)
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-38167-7
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-38168-4
  • Series ISSN 2192-8363
  • Series E-ISSN 2192-8371
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XI, 74
  • Number of Illustrations 1 b/w illustrations, 4 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Forensic Psychology
  • Buy this book on publisher's site