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: 193591 Find in a Library
Title: Community Correlates of Rural Youth Violence
Author(s): D. Wayne Osgood; Jeff M. Chambers
Date Published: May 2003
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse/NCJRS
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 94-JN-CX-0005
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America

Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse/NCJRS
P.O. Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: HTML|PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This document discusses variations in rates of juvenile violence across non-metropolitan communities.
Abstract: Social disorganization theory specifies that several variables, such as residential instability, ethnic diversity, family disruption, economic status, population size or density, and proximity to urban areas, influence a community’s capacity to develop and maintain strong systems of social relationships. This study examined the relationships between these community variables and rates of offending because the same relationships provide the core empirical support for the theory in urban settings. The sample consisted of the non-metropolitan counties in Florida, Georgia, Nebraska, and South Carolina. The sample included 264 counties with populations ranging from 560 to 98,000. The results show that the three variables most strongly and consistently associated with rates of crime and delinquency were residential instability, ethnic diversity, and family disruption. The data showed that residential instability was significantly associated with higher rates of aggravated assault, simple assault, weapons violations, and the overall Violent Crime Index. The correlation between ethnic diversity and violent offenses was statistically significant in most instances. The relationship between family disruption and juvenile arrest rates was the strongest in the study’s results. There was no meaningful relationship between rates of delinquency and rates of poverty. Arrest rates for juvenile violence varied dramatically with differences in the sizes (and densities) of juvenile populations. Whether a rural county was adjacent to a metropolitan area had little bearing on its rate of juvenile arrests for violent offenses. Social disorganization and related theories are appropriate starting points for developing either theories of crime specific to rural settings or theories of communities and crime that are general across settings. 5 endnotes, 3 tables, 33 references
Main Term(s): Rural area studies; Social organization
Index Term(s): Behavioral and Social Sciences; Demography; Geographic distribution of crime; Juvenile crime patterns; Organizational theories; Social cohesion
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.