skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 76436 Find in a Library
Title: Cross-cultural Study of Correlates of Crime (From Readings in Comparative Criminology, P 174-188, 1981, Louise I Shelley, ed. - See NCJ-76436)
Author(s): M K Bacon; I L Child; H Barry
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: Southern Illinois University Press
Carbondale, IL 62901
Sale Source: Southern Illinois University Press
Box 3697
Carbondale, IL 62901
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The study explores the correlates of crime in general, the correlates of theft, and the correlates of personal crime in 48 mostly preliterate societies throughout the world.
Abstract: The method of comparative ratings was used to obtain measures of frequency for each of the two crime types (theft and crimes against persons). Three raters independently analyzed the ethnographic material of each society and made ratings on a seven-point scale as to the relative frequency of the type of crime. The results indicate that men commit most crimes -- a sex difference which probably characterizes most societies. The initial hypothesis that crime arises partly as a defense against strong feminine identification is corroborated by the fact that as the opportunity for contact with the father decreases in society, the frequency of both theft and personal crime is found to increase. The findings on child training in relation to theft support the hypothesis that theft is in part motivated by feelings of deprivation of love and punitive, anxiety provoking treatment during childhood. Frequency of personal crime shows a significant positive correlation with dependence socialization anxiety, the amount of anxiety aroused by the methods of child independence training employed in a particular society. High frequency of personal crime among adults correlated significantly with a mother-child household which offers inadequate opportunity in early life for identification with the father; a mother-child sleeping arrangement which encourages a strong dependence between mother and child; and abrupt, punitive independence training producing emotional disturbances in the child. This cross-cultural approach confirms some hypotheses of crime correlates in Western society, while disagreeing with others. Tabular data are provided.
Index Term(s): Correlation analysis; Crime patterns; Crimes against persons; Cultural influences; Developing Countries; Home environment; Male female offender comparisons; Parent-Child Relations; Socioculture; Theft offenses; Tribal community relations
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.