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