Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Comments

Submitted to the College of Graduate Studies Bridgewater State University Bridgewater, Massachusetts. In partial requirements for the Degree of Master of Science In Criminal Justice.

Degree Program

Criminal Justice

Degree Type

Master of Science


The goal of this study was to explore early childhood traumas young boys experience that may lead to violent behavior. The research questions for this study focused on childhood traumas, specifically child maltreatment, exposure to violence and drugs in the family and community, emotional abandonment from parents, drug use/abuse and residential mobility. This study consisted of open ended interview questions of incarcerated men at Old Colony Correctional Center. A grounded theory approach was used to analyze the data. Through a coding process, specific themes, concepts and relationships emerged from the data. The results of this study have indicated that experiencing early childhood traumas influences deviant behavior in later adolescence to early adulthood. The findings were also in line with current literature when exploring one specific trauma. However, more research needs to be conducted when analyzing individuals who experience more than one trauma in their life. This data contributes to the growing literature of masculinity and violence in the discipline of criminal justice.


Dr. Jo-Ann Della Giustina, Chair

Dr. Jennifer Hartsfield, Member

Dr. Jamie Huff