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NCJ Number: 137108 Find in a Library
Title: Wolfgang Model: Lessons for Homicide Research in the 1990s
Journal: Journal of Crime and Justice  Volume:14  Issue:2  Dated:(1991)  Pages:17-30
Author(s): M A Zahn
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 14
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Homicide research needs to trace the volume of killing over time in specific geopolitical locations, delineate the types of homicides that are committed, specify the specific populations affected by these types of homicide, and determine the causes of each type of homicide. The contributions of Marvin Wolfgang's Patterns in Criminal Homicide to this research agenda will be examined by reviewing the major findings of his work on homicide, reviewing studies of other subsequent scholars, and examining the advantages and limitations of Wolfgang's approach.
Abstract: Wolfgang was the first criminal justice researcher to analyze the victim-offender relationship as a major variable in homicide; he did this by coding the possible relationships into 11 categories, some of which were not mutually exclusive. His second great contribution was laying the foundation for demographic precision and specification of differential homicide risks in various populations. The two main limitations of Wolfgang's work, which must be corrected in future homicide research, were his exclusive use of police records and the lack of comparative information in terms of time periods and geographic units. Future research should utilize data gathered from interviews with victims' families and with homicide offenders as well as educational, medical, and financial histories of both victims and offenders. Comparative research, despite its difficulties, is crucial in establishing the context within which results can be analyzed. In addition, researchers need to develop more causal variables at the individual and social levels. 2 notes and 26 references
Main Term(s): Criminal justice research; Homicide trends
Index Term(s): Research design models
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