Why Do People Vandalize?

Reasons for vandalism include boredom, anger, racial and ethnic tensions, socioeconomic disparity and personal issues. Vandalism occurs in suburban and urban areas, and is committed by males and females. Vandalism is most common among teenagers, with the highest rates reported among high school students between the ages of 13 and 14.

Sometimes vandals cannot cite specific reasons for their criminal behavior. However, negative attitudes towards society and social disparities rank among the most common motives. As with other small crimes, committing vandalism may lead to more serious crimes for teenagers. Students may avoid potentially attractive vandalism behavior by joining youth programs advocating against violence and joining community watch groups. Adults should report suspicious activity and seek counseling for children who vandalize.