skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 75324 Find in a Library
Title: Vindictive Vandalism and the Schools - Some Theoretical Considerations
Journal: Journal of Police Science and Administration  Volume:8  Issue:4  Dated:(December 1980)  Pages:399-405
Author(s): J P Harlan; C P McDowell
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 7
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines criminological explanations for crimes against school personnel and property with particular emphasis on the concept of 'vindictive vandalism.'
Abstract: Forms of vandalism may be classified according to the personal significance of the act to the individual who commits it as acquisitive, tactical, vindictive, play, malicious, or ideological vandalism. Acts of vandalism against schools are more than simple spur-of-the-moment, mindless destructions of property, and they represent outcomes based on a wide range of antecedent factors. Males in groups are responsible for most acts, and the groups protect their members with anonymity while at the same time supporting their self-concepts, especially as these relate to feelings of masculinity. Much school vandalism seems to be related to the perpetrators' need for peer approval and may also represent a repudiation of middle-class values which the vandals see as actually rejecting them. Furthermore, vandalism may represent an attempt on the part of middle-class males to cope with problems arising from sex-role identification difficulties. The problem of vandalism against schools may also relate to the schools' failure to meet social, educational, or emotional needs of the students, and the resulting violence to the school plant is thus vindictive in nature. The development of a policy environment to deal with acts of vandalism must acknowledge the complexity of factors which lead to acts of vindictive vandalism. Related literature is reviewed. Footnotes are included. (Author abstract modified.)
Index Term(s): Crime in schools; Juvenile delinquency factors; School vandalism
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.