Clinical Social Work Journal

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 131–142 | Cite as

Assessing Adolescents Who Threaten Homicide in Schools

  • Stuart W. Twemlow
  • Peter Fonagy
  • Frank C. Sacco
  • Eric Vernberg
Original Paper


Psychoanalytic and psychiatric perspectives on children who threaten to kill others are reviewed in the context of the need for an interdisciplinary approach to the problem. Converging technologies derived from a Psychoanalytically informed social systems model are compared to law enforcement approaches, Psychoanalytic understanding of the individual dynamics of the child, and empirical research a conduct disordered adolescents. The interdisciplinary orientation of a broadly trained community psychoanalyst allows a unique contribution when trying to distinguish adolescents who make a threat from those who pose a threat. Case vignettes are used to illustrate the hypotheses.


Adolescence Violence Schools Threat assessment 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stuart W. Twemlow
    • 1
    • 2
  • Peter Fonagy
    • 3
    • 4
  • Frank C. Sacco
    • 5
  • Eric Vernberg
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Menninger Department PsychiatryBaylor College MedicineHoustonUSA
  2. 2.HoustonUSA
  3. 3.Psychoanalysis UCLLondonEngland
  4. 4.The Anna Freud CenterLondonEngland
  5. 5.Community Services InstituteSpringfield and BostonBostonUSA
  6. 6.Clinical Child Psychology ProgramUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA
  7. 7.KU Child and Family Services ClinicLawrenceUSA

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