Examining Criminological Theory in the Rural Context

R. Gregory Dunaway, Mississippi State University
Peter B. Wood, Mississippi State University
Velmer S. Burton, Jr., North Dakota State University

ABSTRACT
A preponderance of research testing criminological theory has focused on delinquency within metropolitan areas. Recent public and scholarly attention, however, has been paid to rural crime and its control. Some of this attention has hinted that traditional explanations of crime and deviance may not adequately address rural delinquency. To this end, this paper examines the efficacy of several traditional theories of crime within a rural context. Using the rich and complex AddHealth Survey data, we test whether the effects of disorganization; strain; learning; and control are enhanced or minimized in rural settings. Conclusions will suggest whether a rural paradigm is useful for criminological theory.

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Updated 05/20/2006