Domestic violence (DV) is a global issue that can affect anyone regardless of what role they play in a family household. It does not discriminate by education, age, religion, etc. DV includes any type of violence or abuse that occurs within a domestic setting. For the purposes of this study, this content primarily focuses on intimate partner violence (IPV) as the main form of DV and is used interchangeably throughout the text. This study examines the influence of population density on arrest rates for DV and some factors behind the likelihood of arrests in urban and rural areas. The literature between both of these societies has demonstrated a clear difference in social behaviors that shape the response to DV (Websdale and Johnson 1998). Normative social influence theory suggests that people's influence may lead someone to conform in order to be liked or accepted by a group (Izuma 2017). This theory hypothesizes that the proportion of people living in rural per county will have fewer arrests for DV than the proportion of people living in non-rural areas because of the need for positive relationships that can lead to conformity (Izuma 2017). Furthermore, it is predicted that there are less arrests in rural areas because of the effects of informal social controls in these areas. Informal social controls can take place between police and citizens that may interact more personally through socialization. An example is when citizens take matters into their own hands, therefore prolonging the reporting of crimes to police. This study uses secondary data provided by sources such as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) website and Social Explorer. Broader implications of this research are that it could shed some light on the social dynamics that impact the outcome of crime in both densely populated and sparsely populated areas.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Applied Sociology; Domestic Violence Track
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Gonzalez Cruz, Kiara, "Domestic Violence in Rural & Non-Rural Areas: A Study on the Influence of Population Density on Arrest Rates in the State of Florida" (2019). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 6703.
Restricted to the UCF community until December 2019; it will then be open access.