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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Committee on Law and Justice
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

Panel on the Understanding and Control of Violent Behavior  


Project Scope

The panel will document patterns and trends in interpersonal violence in the United States and will synthesize what is known from existing research about the causes and consequences of violence. The panel will assess the public policy implications of existing knowledge, the critical unanswered research questions, and promising research strategies for improving scientific understanding of violence.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
National Institute of Justice
National Institute of Mental Health
National Science Foundation

Committee Membership
Albert J. Reiss, Jr. (Chair), Department of Sociology, Yale University
David P. Farrington (Vice Chair), Institute of Criminology, Cambridge University
Elijah Anderson, Department of Sociology, University of Pennsylvania
Gregory Carey, Institute of Behavior Genetics, University of Colorado
Jacqueline Cohen, School of Urban and Public Affairs, Carnegie Mellon University
Philip J. Cook, Institute of Policy Sciences, Duke University
Felton Earls, Department of Behavioral Sciences, Harvard University
Leonard Eron, Department of Psychology, University of Illinois
Lucy Friedman, Victim Services Agency, New York
Ted Robert Gurr, Department of Government and Politics, University of Maryland
Jerome Kagan, Department of Psychology, Harvard University
Arthur Kellermann, Emergency Department, Regional Medical Center, Memphis, and Department of Internal Medicine and Preventive Medicine, University of Tennessee
Ron Langevin, Juniper Associates Psychological Services, Toronto, and Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto
Colin Loftin, Institute of Criminal Justice and Criminology, University of Maryland
Klaus A. Miczek, Department of Psychology, Tufts University
Mark H. Moore, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
James F. Short, Jr., Social and Economic Sciences Research Center, Washington State University
Lloyd Street, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University
Franklin E. Zimring, Law School, University of California, Berkeley

Jeffrey A. Roth, Principal Staff Officer
Neil Alan Weiner, Senior Research Associate
Maryellen Fisher, Senior Project Assistant
Teresa Williams, Senior Project Assistant

Understanding and Preventing Violence Volume 1 (1993)

 Understanding Violence Vol 1 report cover




Offering a fresh, interdisciplinary approach to understanding and preventing interpersonal violence and its consequences, this volume provides the most complete, up-to-date information available about how much violence occurs in America, how different processes--biological, psychosocial, situational, and social--interact to determine violence levels, what preventive strategies are suggested by our current knowledge of violence, and the most critical research needs in this area.

Understanding and Preventing Violence, Volume 2: Biobehavioral Influences (1994)

 Understanding Violence Vol 2 report cover



 This volume contains commissioned reviews of research on biological influences on violent or aggressive behavior. The areas reviewed include genetic contributions to the probability of violent and related behaviors; brain structure and functioning as implicated in aggressive behavior; the roles of hormonal and neurological interactions in violent behavior; the neurochemistry of violence and aggression and its implications for the management of those behaviors; and dietary influences on violent behavior.
Understanding and Preventing Violence, Volume 3: Social Influences (1994)

 Understanding Violence Vol 3 report cover



 This volume examines social influences on violent events and violent behavior, particularly concentrating on how the risks of violent criminal offending and victimization are influenced by communities, social situations, and individuals; the role of spouses and intimates; the differences in violence levels between males and females; and the roles of psychoactive substances in violent events. 
Understanding and Preventing Violence, Volume 4: Consequences and Control (1994)

 Understanding Violence Vol 4 report cover


 This book analyzes the consequences of violence and strategies for controlling them. Included are reviews of public perceptions and reactions to violence; estimates of the costs; the commonalities and complementarities of criminal justice and public health responses; efforts to reduce violence through the prediction and classification of violent offenders; and the relationships between trends in violence and prison population during a period of greatly increased use of incarceration.


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