Definitions and Demographics

  • Arnold P. Goldstein
Part of the The Springer Series in Social Clinical Psychology book series (SSSC)


In the fifth century a.D., a fierce Germanic tribe, the Vandals, plundered Gaul, North Africa, Rome, and other conquered territories. Their heavy destruction of buildings and works of art lent their name in perpetuity to the behaviors of concern herein. Perhaps then, which particular behavior could be called vandalistic was clear. That is certainly not the case now. Like many other behavior-descriptive terms (e. g., stress, anxiety, dependency, aggression), behaviors contemporaneously subsumed under the term vandalism are many and varied. So, too, its very definitions. In the present chapter I will seek to bring a beginning sense of order to what Christensen, Johnson, and Brookes (1992) correctly asserted has become a “hodgepodge concept,” Levy-Leboyer (1984) termed a “ragbag” of meanings, and Rubel (1980) called a “catch-all.”


Property Destruction Federal Probation Fire Setter Present Chapter Town Meeting 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arnold P. Goldstein
    • 1
  1. 1.Syracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA

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