Spousal Partner Homicide Across the United States: Community Correlates, the Importance of Place, and Implications for Comparative Studies

By Sheryl Van Horne.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The majority of research focuses on urban crimes, neglecting non-metropolitan areas, despite the fact that a good percentage of Americans live in non-metropolitan areas, and that crimes in many non-metropolitan areas have been increasing, while urban homicide rates have been decreasing. Because of different etiologies and potential correlates, it is vital to distinguish between different type of homicide; that is, by victim-offender relationship-intimate, family and stranger homicides. This research seeks to fill the gaps in the research on homicides by examining the differences in trends and relationships between structural characteristics identified by social disorganization theory and intimate partner homicides committed in counties across the country while taking into account the type of county. It expands upon the paucity of research on crime in rural areas, utilizing primarily Uniform Crime Report data from 2000 to 2005 and 2000 U.S. Census data, to determine different structural predictors of homicides committed against a current or former spouse. Rural and urban communities are likely to have different rates of homicides, though the level of community organization may play a key role no matter the type of county analyzed. This paper highlights the implications for research on homicides abroad.

Keywords: Homicide, Domestic Violence, Rural Crime, Social Disorganization Theory

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 4, Issue 7, pp.75-96. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.270MB).

Dr. Sheryl Van Horne

Criminal Justice, Widener University, Chester, PA, USA


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