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NCJ Number: NCJ 241770     Find in a Library
Title: Explaining Black-White Differences in Homicide Victimization
Author(s): Celia C. Lo ; Rebecca J. Howell ; Tyrone C. Cheng
  Journal: Aggression and Violent Behavior  Volume:18  Issue:1  Dated:January/February 2013  Pages:125 to 134
Date Published: 02/2013
Page Count: 10
  Annotation: After comparing Black and White Americans on their risk for becoming homicide victims, this article examines whether and how multiple disadvantages at both the macro and micro level contribute to Black American’s disproportionately high risk for becoming a homicide victim.
Abstract: Evidence suggests that homicide victimization is associated with six demographic, social, and lifestyle factors: being male, African-American, young, of low socioeconomic status, without adequate social support, and being mentally ill or a substance user. This article identifies sources of multiple disadvantages that lead to racial differences in homicide victimization; and it explains mechanisms that link this phenomenon to distal and proximal risk and protective factors at several life stages that generally differ for Black and White Americans. The authors first show the vital role age has in homicide victimization, as youth and young adults are disproportionately at risk for being homicide victims. Given this finding, the study limits its focus to homicide victims ages 15 or older. Next, drawing on several disciplines, the authors present theoretical explanations of homicide victimization as a negative consequence of violent crime and also as a public health problem. Then, a multiple disadvantage model is presented that accounts for Blacks’ much higher likelihood of homicide victimization compared to Whites. Black homicide victims are also relatively young when victimized compared to White homicide victims. Evidence is presented that tends to support the model. The article concludes with recommendations for future research and a discussion of policy implications. Policy recommendations derived from a literature review are to reduce racial segregation and the structural disadvantages characteristic of Black communities; to improve Blacks’ education and employment opportunities, especially in communities of concentrated disadvantage; and to develop public-health programs that serve Blacks by improving access to health care/treatment for mental and substance-use disorders. 1 table, 1 figure, and 140 references
Main Term(s): Homicide victims
Index Term(s): Economic influences ; Black/African Americans ; Social conditions ; Caucasian/White Americans ; Comparative analysis ; Victimization risk ; Violence prevention
Publisher URL: 
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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