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Violence Vict. 1994 Spring;9(1):3-16.

Structural and cultural determinants of child homicide: a cross-national analysis.

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  • 1Department of Sociology, Indiana University.


Models of structural characteristics that may influence national infant and child homicide victim rates are derived from prior research. Expected effects of structural characteristics from a "social control" perspective are compared with expected effects from a "guardians, suitable target" perspective. Gartner's (1991) claim that structural factors influence victim rates only in nations with low social insurance expenditures is also evaluated. Statistical analysis of three infant and child age groups with homicide rates from 1965-1969, 1970-1974...1985-1988 fails to support the claim that high and low social insurance expenditure strata differ. Further, no independent effects of Gartner's (1991) three measures of family structure are found. Indicators of family stress/resources, female status, the culture of violence, and a proxy for unmeasured variables and measurement error all contribute to produce high levels of explained variance in each age group.

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