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Social disorganization, marriage, and reported crime: A spatial econometrics examination of family formation and criminal offending

  • Porter, Jeremy R.
  • Purser, Christopher W.
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    It has long been documented that "marriage matters" for a variety of reasons. Furthermore, there has been considerable debate over the causal relationship between marriage and a number of its associated correlates, most often related to social processes of health behaviors, criminal involvement, and achievement. While most research associated with marriage and crime is concerned with the individual, little is understood concerning the ecological effect of marriage rates. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the F.B.I.'s Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR), this study tests such relationships through the implementation of spatially-centered analytic approaches concerning the potential independent effects of marriage rates within a social disorganization context. It is important to understand such aggregate level effects in the face of the existing literature, which relies heavily on relational associations and is subject to ecological fallacy. Analytic techniques incorporate Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis (ESDA) and spatial regression.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Criminal Justice.

    Volume (Year): 38 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 5 (September)
    Pages: 942-950

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jcjust:v:38:y::i:5:p:942-950
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    1. Anselin, Luc, 2002. "Under the hood : Issues in the specification and interpretation of spatial regression models," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 247-267, November.
    2. Lo, Celia C. & Zhong, Hua, 2006. "Linking crime rates to relationship factors: The use of gender-specific data," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 317-329.
    3. Linda J. Waite & Evelyn L. Lehrer, 2003. "The Benefits from Marriage and Religion in the United States: A Comparative Analysis," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 29(2), pages 255-275.
    4. Luc Anselin, 2001. "Spatial Effects in Econometric Practice in Environmental and Resource Economics," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(3), pages 705-710.
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    6. Manzoli, Lamberto & Villari, Paolo & M Pirone, Giovanni & Boccia, Antonio, 2007. "Marital status and mortality in the elderly: A systematic review and meta-analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 77-94, January.
    7. Semaan, Salaam & Sternberg, Maya & Zaidi, Akbar & Aral, Sevgi O., 2007. "Social capital and rates of gonorrhea and syphilis in the United States: Spatial regression analyses of state-level associations," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(11), pages 2324-2341, June.
    8. Noreen Goldman, 1993. "Marriage selection and mortality patterns: Inferences and fallacies," Demography, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 189-208, May.
    9. Paul Voss & David Long & Roger Hammer & Samantha Friedman, 2006. "County child poverty rates in the US: a spatial regression approach," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 25(4), pages 369-391, August.
    10. Thomas de Graaff & Raymond J.C.M. Florax & Peter Nijkamp & Aura Reggiani, 2001. "A General Misspecification Test for Spatial Regression Models: Dependence, Heterogeneity, and Nonlinearity," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 255-276.
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