Abstract

Juvenile-perpetrated homicide is a complicated and sensitive topic in the literature. Uncovering the potential influences on a juvenile is arguably important for recognizing the trends in juvenile behavior and the devastating consequences of some of this behavior. Family disorganization, a component to social disorganization as proposed by Elliott and Merrill (1934), explained that families with higher levels of social disorganization (as measured by factors such as poverty, welfare, and residential mobility) are expected to have higher numbers of juvenile delinquents. Using this theoretical frame, data from 1984-2006 on juvenile-perpetrated homicide in 91 of the largest cities in the United States was analyzed. This investigation uncovers relationships between the rate of juvenile homicide offenders and family disorganization in cities across the U.S. While more research is needed on family structure and other measures of family disorganization are needed to confirm these findings, higher percentages of female-headed households and owner-occupied housing were found to decrease the rate of juvenile homicide offenders in most models. On the contrary, unemployment, poverty, and higher percentages of public assistance were seen to increase this rate. Findings suggest that more research is needed on the family unit with regard to juvenile homicide offenders. This study further suggests avenues for assisting single-parent households and outlines the tools necessary to provide the best possible outcomes for our youth. The results not only provide insight for prevention efforts, but provide an updated foundation from which to build future research in this area.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2016

Semester

Spring

Advisor

Huff-Corzine, Lin

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Sociology

Degree Program

Sociology

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0006151

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0006151

Language

English

Release Date

May 2016

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

Restricted to the UCF community until May 2016; it will then be open access.

Included in

Sociology Commons

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