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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 137079 Find in a Library
Title: Race and Crime in Postwar America: Determinants of African-American and White Rates, 1957-1988
Journal: Criminology  Volume:30  Issue:2  Dated:(May 1992)  Pages:157-188
Author(s): G LaFree; K A Drass; P O'Day
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 32
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Annual time-series data from 1957-88 were used to examine the effects of economic well-being, educational attainment, and family stability on the rates of robbery, burglary, and homicide for black and white people.
Abstract: The research was intended to determine whether crime and deviance are explained mostly by access to legitimate opportunities. Variables used were median family income; male unemployment; median years of education for males 25 years of age and older; the percentage of families headed by women; and Uniform Crime Rate arrest data for robbery, burglary, and homicide. Results revealed that the measures had different and usually opposite effects on black and white crime rates during the period. In general, the measures of legitimate opportunity had the expected effects on white crime rates, but not on black crime rates. In particular, black crime rates increased with higher family income and educational attainment and decreased as the percentage of female-headed families increased. However, several factors may make the measures of some variables invalid. Other possibilities are that other variables would change the conclusions for black people and that black crime rates during the study period were affected more by perceptions of opportunity than by objective opportunity measures. Figures, tables, footnotes, appended tables, and 103 references
Main Term(s): Black/White Crime Comparisons
Index Term(s): Crime causes theory; Criminality prediction; Economic influences; Education-crime relationships; Home environment
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