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adolescent murder, community assessment, hermeneutic-dialectic, Newman's theory of health as expanding consciousness, nursing partnership, pattern recognition, unitary-transformative, youth homicide



  1. Pharris, Margaret Dexheimer RN, PhD, MPH


This research applies Newman's hermeneutic-dialectic method of pattern recognition to the lives of 12 adolescent males convicted of murder who were invited to be co-investigators in the process of understanding patterns of meaningful relationships and experiences in their lives. Comparison of the 12 life patterns revealed a strikingly similar experience of interactions with the community and yielded insight into community pattern. The process of pattern recognition was found to be transformative. This article proposes a unitary-transformative process of community pattern recognition for nurses and communities interested in understanding complex community dynamics and engaging in healthy transformations.