Social Disorganization Theory and Intimate Partner Homicide

Ellen M. Houston, University of Tennessee - Knoxville

Social Disorganization theory has recently been amended by a number of noted researchers including Robert Bursik in order to develop a systemic model. Returning to the original mode of Shaw and McKay, and additionally the new systemic model, one would expect there to be some linkage between social environment and levels of violent crimes, especially homicide events. Relationships between homicide and poverty, heterogeneity, and mobility are significant when one controls for other portions of the new systemic model. To test the linkage between homicide and social environment, I utilize structural equation modeling. I use the 1998 NIBRS data, aggregating by reporting agency/city and make comparisons by population size of location to investigate differences in levels of intimate partner homicide. While large segments of missing data have been suggested to be a major issue in using the NIBRS, I incorporate multiple imputation models, rather than mean imputation, to alleviate this deficiency. The latter tends to increase distribution peaks as well as truncating standard errors and variance estimations.

(Return to Program Resources)

Updated 05/20/2006