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NCJ Number: 202580 Find in a Library
Title: Replicating Sampson and Groves's Test of Social Disorganization Theory: Revisiting a Criminological Classic
Journal: Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency  Volume:40  Issue:4  Dated:November 2003  Pages:351-373
Author(s): Christopher T. Lowenkamp; Francis T. Cullen; Travis C. Pratt
Date Published: November 2003
Page Count: 23
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article explores the test of social disorganization theory with data from the 1994 British Crime Survey.
Abstract: Social disorganization theory includes three measures of community-level variables thought to cause social disorganization: low economic status, ethnic heterogeneity, and residential mobility. Two additional sources were added: urbanization and family disruption. A convincing test of social disorganization theory was conducted using data from the 1982 British Crime Survey. No single study did more to advance the image of social disorganization theory. The work became a criminological classic. But subsequent research has not replicated this study. The question arises whether this research offers unshakable support for social disorganization theory or merely produced an idiosyncratic finding that was unique to a certain time and place. The British Crime Survey was revisited a decade later to investigate whether the findings reported in the original analysis would remain stable as social disorganization theory would predict. The replication of the test using 1994 data generally mirrors the results found using the 1982 data. The analysis reveals a relatively high level of empirical support for the social disorganization perspective. In each instance where the parameter estimates from the 1994 sample did differ significantly from the 1982 data source, the results generated from the more recent sample indicated a greater degree of support for social disorganization theory than was previously revealed. This analysis provides both empirical support for the social disorganization perspective and support for the conclusion that the previous study results were not idiosyncratic to the 1982 data. The findings of the initial classic study were not artifactual but demonstrated an underlying empirical pattern that has persisted over time. 4 tables, 7 notes, 71 references
Main Term(s): Crime causes theory; Crime surveys
Index Term(s): Criminology theory evaluation; Data collections; National crime surveys; Organizational theories; Social cohesion; Social organization
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