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NCJ Number: 140389 Find in a Library
Title: Elderly Victim of Homicide: An Application of the Routine Activities Approach
Journal: Sociological Quarterly  Volume:31  Issue:2  Pages:307-319
Author(s): L W Kennedy; R A Silverman
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 13
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Data from Canada were used to examine and resolve some of the disparity between the lifestyle/routine activities theory and empirical findings concerning elderly victims of homicide.
Abstract: According to lifestyle/routine activities theory, elderly persons experience low rates of victimization because of their self-protective tendency not to venture out alone, resulting in reduced victimization risk. However, studies in both the United States and Canada have revealed that elderly persons are victims of felony-related homicide more than expected. This analysis used data regarding all homicides committed between 1961 and 1983; the data came from the Canadian Center for Justice Statistics of Statistics Canada. Nearly all offenders and victims were white. The homicides were analyzed with respect to offender and victim characteristics, location, and circumstances. Results revealed that elderly persons represented 8 percent of the victims and 8 percent of the total population. In addition, they were victims of homicide most often as a result of blunt force in their own homes. Moreover, for the elderly, the home was as dangerous as a public place with respect to theft-based homicide. These findings are consistent with routine activities theory if this theory is modified to recognize that the routine activity for the elderly is to stay at home. Thus, the lifestyle of elderly individuals who live alone makes some vulnerable to theft and injuries that may prove fatal. Tables, notes, and 29 references
Main Term(s): Elderly victims; Victimization risk
Index Term(s): Canada; Crime causes theory; Homicide victims; Victims in foreign countries
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