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Am J Public Health. 1984 Aug;74(8):813-5.

Race, socioeconomic status, and domestic homicide, Atlanta, 1971-72.


It has been assumed that, under comparable socioeconomic conditions, Blacks are more likely than Whites to commit violent acts. To test this assumption, 222 intra-racial domestic homicides (186 Black and 36 White victims) committed in Atlanta, 1971-1972, were subjected to analysis. A domestic homicide was defined as a criminal homicide committed in a residence by a relative or acquaintance of the victim. When Black and White populations were unmatched, the relative risk of intra-racial domestic homicide in Black populations was 5.8 (95 per cent C.I.: 4.3-8.0). When Black and White populations were matched for rates of household crowding, the relative risk of intra-racial domestic homicide in Black populations was no longer significantly elevated (relative risk = 1.2; 95 per cent C.I.: 0.7-2.0). Using rates of household crowding as an index of socioeconomic status, Atlanta Blacks were no more likely to commit domestic homicide than were Whites in comparable socioeconomic circumstances. Further research is needed to determine whether household crowding per se is a risk factor for domestic homicide, independent of socioeconomic status.

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