Age Structure and Neighborhood Homicide: Testing and Extending the Differential Institutional Engagement Hypothesis


Journal Article

© 2017, © 2017 SAGE Publications. We examine the empirical applicability of differential institutional engagement in explaining the youth age structure effect on neighborhood homicide. Using the National Neighborhood Crime Study and Census data, we conduct a multilevel spatial analysis of homicides in 8,307 census tracts. We find support for three indicators of differential institutional engagement (disengaged youth, educational engagement, employment engagement). An additional dimension of institutional engagement (familial engagement) operates in the expected direction but is not statistically significant. We argue that previous cross-sectional studies reporting a null or negative relationship between percentage of young and homicide are due to omitting measures of institutional youth (dis)engagement.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Dollar, CB; McCall, PL; Land, KC; Fink, J

Published Date

  • November 1, 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 21 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 243 - 266

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1552-6720

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1088-7679

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/1088767917702474

Citation Source

  • Scopus