Graduate Center for Social and Public Policy
McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
economics, income, index crimes, inequality, social disorganization, strain
This study examines the relationship between structural features common to research within social disorganization and strain theory frameworks of metropolitan counties in 1990 and 2000 and their crime rates. It hypothesizes that economic inequality, a measure of relative deprivation, will be a more consistent structural indicator of crime than poverty, a measure of absolute deprivation. Twelve independent structural variables based on 1990 and 2000 Census data are placed in ordinary least-squares regression models to predict crime rates for 10 different Uniform Crime Report types. Results support this hypothesis, as well as identify a number of other structural indicators that are consistently significantly correlated to crime as predicted by both theories. Finally, I discuss the potential for integration of social disorganization and strain theories, which appear to complement rather than contradict each other.
Becker, J. (2007). Structural Indicators of Index Crime Rates in Metropolitan Counties for 1990 and 2000 (Master's thesis, Duquesne University). Retrieved from http://ddc.duq.edu/etd/20