Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Department of Chemistry

First Advisor

Richard Lyle, Ph.D.


The purpose of this study was two-fold. Primarily, the study set out to identify social and behavioral factors responsible for the disproportionate representation of black men as offenders and victims of homicide, it also set out to identify spcific variables strongly associated with homicide that could in the future be used as predictors of homicidal individuals. The literature reviewed for this study revealed a number of studies that were mostly concentrated on the prevalence of violence in the milieu and demographic, as dominant factors to homicide. The Purpose in Life measurement was therefore introduced in the investigation of homicide to determine the significance of a low purpose in life, to homicide. Further, to determine how significant could a low purpose in life serve as a motivational factor and a predictor to homicide. Two groups, black male homicide offenders, an experimental group and black male non-homicide offenders, a control group were selected from prison populations in Georgia. Fifty-seven inmates participated in the study, 35 were homicide offenders and 22 were non-homicide offenders. A three-part questionnaire was used consisting of, a Purpose in Life test, locus of control measurement and a demogrpahic questionnaire which included assessments of subjects' lifestyle involvement in physical violences prior to the crimes. The results from this study drew no major significant differences from the two groups and therefore no conclusions could be reached. Ideal and future research should include larger random sampled populations and longitudinal studies.