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Am J Public Health. 1991 Aug;81(8):1052-4.

Risk factors for childhood homicides in Ohio: a birth certificate-based case-control study.

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  • 1Ohio Department of Health, Bureau of Epidemiology and Toxicology, Columbus 43266-0118.


Death certificate of children less than 8 years of age who were killed between 1979 and 1986 were linked to their Ohio birth certificates and compared with those of Ohio children born in 1983 (controls). Having an unmarried mother increased risk of homicide almost fivefold (odds ratio 4.87). Having a teenage mother, a mother who had not graduated from high-school, and being of Black race or low birthweight each increased the risk by approximately threefold. Increases in the proportion of children born to unmarried mothers may contribute to increases in childhood homicide rates.

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