Time Passages: Historical Relationships Between Crime and Violence Rates in the United States and Their Usefulness in Forecasting Future Relationships

Candice Batton, University of Nebraska at Omaha
John P. Jarvis, Federal Bureau of Investigation

In recent years, the relationship between lethal and non-lethal violence has increasingly become the focal point of scholarly research. A number of studies have investigated the extent to which homicides and assaults differ from one another in attempts to identify factors associated with lethal outcomes. However, much of this work has been based on cross-sectional data and little attention has been paid to historical trends in lethal and non-lethal violence rates. In this study, we use multivariate time series analysis techniques to more closely examine temporal variations in the relationship between lethal and non-lethal violence rates and the relationship between violence and property crime rates in the United States. Of particular interest is the extent to which rates of lethal and non-lethal violence exhibit similar trends in terms of increases, decreases, and periods of stability, and whether or not they respond similarly to macrolevel changes in the structure and organization of society and social institutions. Also of interest is the concordance and discordance between violent and property crime rates and the extent to which this information can be used in predicting or estimating future trends in crime and violence rates.

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Updated 05/20/2006