Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Investigating the heterogeneity of violent crimes: A descriptive analysis of offence characteristics

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posted on 2021-11-14, 04:35 authored by Leigh, Emma

Informed by theories on offending behaviour, violent offender rehabilitation programmes aim to provide treatment to a group of individuals who have committed a diverse range of offences, from assault to aggravated robbery to murder. Yet despite progress with specific offence types (e.g., homicide, robbery, assault), there is no research describing the offence chain characteristics of such a heterogeneous sample of violent offences. This exploratory study uses the structured approach of the Pathways Model of Assault (PMA; Chambers, 2006) to code and catalogue similarities and differences in the offence characteristics of an archival heterogeneous sample of violent offences. Cluster analysis was also utilised to investigate whether it was possible to construct a parsimonious series of pathways to represent the offence process for this diverse sample. The resultant model, the Pathways Model of Violent Offences (PMVO) was constructed and 12 pathways were revealed. The results suggest that upon initial investigation, there appear to be common, shared characteristics among a heterogeneous sample of violent offences.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Forensic Psychology

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Science

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and the Cognitive sciences

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Psychology


Polaschek, Devon; Wilson, Marc