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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 220819 Find in a Library
Title: Community Characteristics and Death by Homicide, Suicide and Drug Overdose in Italy: The Role of Civic Engagement
Journal: European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research  Volume:13  Issue:3-4  Dated:2007  Pages:255-275
Author(s): Uberto Gatti; Richard E. Tremblay; Hans M.A. Schadee
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 21
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: This paper examines the United States studied hypothesis that high civicness, civic participation, and social capital protect a community from deviant behavior and its applicability to Italy and to three forms of violent death: homicide, suicide, and drug overdose.
Abstract: Civicness was observed as positively associated with suicide and negatively associated with homicide, but only in the southern regions of Italy. A highly developed civicness might well prompt an individual to take greater responsibility for his own affairs, while a poorly developed civic society might induce him to put blame and responsibility on others, thus making suicide more likely in the former case, and homicide more likely in the latter. What is suggested is that those who tend to be extremely aggressive towards others undergo reinforcement of such tendencies in a context in which the attribution of blame to others is facilitated, while subjects with extremely self-aggressive tendencies will be more likely to commit suicide in an environment that stresses self-responsibility. An ideal society, able to curb both homicide and suicide, would be one which combines civic engagement, an interest in others and in community affairs, and the warmth of family and micro-social relationships which reduces the isolation and alienation of the elderly. Several recent theories suggest that high civicness, civic participation, and social capital protect a community from deviant behavior. However, most studies of this hypothesis have been conducted in the United States. This paper attempts to ascertain whether the link between civic engagement and crime is confirmed in Italy with regard to violent crime, and whether self-aggressive behavior is connected in the same with the level of civic engagement. Utilizing 95 Italian Provinces, the distribution of homicide and suicide was investigated, as well as self-damaging behavior in the form of drug addiction leading to overdose death. The aim was to examine the different distributions of homicide, suicide, and drug overdose death in Italy and to evaluate the impact of one particular feature of the community, civicness, on these serious forms of deviant behavior. Figures, tables, and references
Main Term(s): Community involvement
Index Term(s): Environmental quality; Homicide; Homicide causes; Italy; Suicide; Suicide prevention
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