Identifyiong the Structural Correlates of African-American Killings: What Can We Learn From Data Disaggregation?

Charis Kubrin, George Washington University
Tim Wadsworth, University of New Mexico

The present study extends our understanding of the structural determinants of African-American killings by analyzing the impact of key socio-economic and demographic factors on disaggregated black homicide rates in neighborhoods across the city of St. Louis. The findings reveal that 1) there is significant variation within black homicides in terms of motive, victim and offender characteristics, victim/offender relationship, and type of death, 2) concentrated disadvantage is significantly associated with some, but not all, types of black killings, and 3) residential instability is not significantly related to most black killings but has a small negative effect on gang homicide. The findings reinforce the necessity of disaggregating homicide rates to understand the race-violence relationship.

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Updated 05/20/2006