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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 114193 Find in a Library
Title: Homicide of Family Members, Acquaintances, and Strangers, and State-To-State Differences in Social Stress, Social Control and Social Norms
Author(s): R Backman-Prehn; A S Linsky; M A Straus
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 11
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study tested three theories which might account for the large differences between States in the incidence of homicide.
Abstract: One theory is that stress causes homicide, and the other theories are those which hold that homicide is a function of cultural norms which support violence and of a weak system of social control. The regression analysis included three control variables: urbanization, percent black, and the percent of families with incomes below the Federal poverty level. The regressions were replicated for the overall homicide rate and for homicides of family members, acquaintances, and strangers. The findings, which covered 1980-84 homicide rates for States, confirmed the finding of an earlier study (1976) by the authors that a strong relationship exists between the State Stress Index and total homicide rate. There was a similar relationship of stress to family and acquaintance homicide but not homicide of strangers. The study also determined that the stress-homicide relationship holds even when allowing for the effects of some of the other major variables that have been used to explain homicide, i.e., cultural support for violence, weak social control, economic deprivation, urbanization, and a large minority population. 5 footnotes, 45 references, 5 tables.
Main Term(s): Homicide causes
Index Term(s): Homicide trends; Social conditions; State-by-state analyses
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