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Regional variation in homicide rates of infants and children.
  1. D. Lester
  1. Center for the Study of Suicide, Blackwood, New Jersey 08012, USA.


    GOAL: This study examines regional correlates of homicide rates for infants and children for the states of America. SAMPLE: The sample consists of all homicide victims in the 48 continental, contiguous states of America in both 1980 and 1990 from the ages of 0-14. METHODS: The homicide rates of infants aged 0-1 and children aged 1-4 and 5-14 were correlated with social indicators for the American states in 1980 and 1990. RESULTS: In 1980, children aged 1-14 had higher homicide rates in the more generally violent, urban, and socially disorganized states. However, no correlates for the homicide rate of infants were identified, suggesting that different theories may be required to explain their deaths. The analyses were repeated using data for 1990, at which time crime rates and fewer medical facilities were more weakly associated with the homicide rate of infants. CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that different sociological theories may be required to account for the regional variation in the homicide rates of infants from those used for explaining the variation in the rates of children.

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