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THE ENDURING SIGNIFICANCE OF RACIAL AND ETHNIC DISPARITIES IN MALE VIOLENT VICTIMIZATION, 1973–2010

  • Janet L. Lauritsen (a1), Karen Heimer (a2) and Joseph B. Lang (a3)

Abstract

Latino and Black males are more likely to suffer serious violent victimization compared to White males, and it is likely that economic disadvantage and other individual level differences play a key role in these disparities. This study of self-reported data from the National Crime Victimization Survey (1973–2010) is the first effort to assess three important issues: 1) the extent to which the relationship between serious violent victimization and race and ethnicity can be accounted for by age, location of residence, poverty status, and employment; 2) whether these factors have similar influences among Black, White, and Latino males; and 3) whether the net risk for violence associated with race and ethnicity has diminished over time. Our results show that disparities between Black and White male violent victimization decrease approximately 70% once age, location of residence, poverty status, and employment are taken into account, and that differences between Latinos and White males are fully accounted for by these factors. Poverty status is the only factor that varies in the strength of its association with violence across groups. We also find little evidence to suggest that the association between race, ethnicity and victimization risk changed significantly from 1973 to 2010, once other factors are considered. Despite notable declines in violence over this time period, Black and White disparities in male victimization persist over the past four decades; however, the relationship between poverty status and violence has increased some for Black and White males.

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Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Professor Janet L. Lauritsen, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Missouri–St. Louis, 342 Lucas Hall, One University Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63121. E-mail: Janet_Lauritsen@umsl.edu

References

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