Lethal Violence and Religion: Institutional and Denominational Effects on Homicide and Suicides in U.S. Counties

Lethal Violence and Religion: Institutional and Denominational Effects on Homicide and Suicides in U.S. Counties

Lethal Violence and Religion: Institutional and Denominational Effects on Homicide and Suicides in U.S. Counties

Lethal Violence and Religion: Institutional and Denominational Effects on Homicide and Suicides in U.S. Counties

Synopsis

Robinson uses sociological principles to examine the impact of community religiosity on county lethal violence rates. Testing both an integrated model and disaggregated models of lethal violence he finds evidence that religious homogeneity is a better predictor of lethal violence than either the rates of religious participation or the prevalence of religious institutions within a county. Moreover, he finds evidence that the presence of different conservative Christian denominations impact community violence in different ways. Specifically, the prevalence of Pentecostal, fundamentalist and evangelical Protestants in counties have different effects on suicide and homicide rates and should be examined independently.

Excerpt

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2012) estimates that 50,000 lives are lost each year to violence in the United States. In 2010, the CDC (2014) recorded 12.4 suicides per 100,000 U.S. residents, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) (2011) recorded 4.8 murders per 100,000 U.S. residents. Considered within a global context, these statistics are alarming; the homicide rate in the United States is 6.9 times greater than the average homicide rate of all other high-income countries (Richardson and Hemenway 2011). Moreover, while suicide ranks 13 and homicide ranks 22 as leading causes of mortality in the world (Mercy, Krug, Dahlberg, and Zwi 2003), they rank 10 and 15 , respectively, as leading causes of mortality in the United States (Minino, Murphy, Xu, and Kochanek 2011). In fact, in every year since 1965 both homicide and suicide have appeared among the top 15 leading causes of death in the United States (Dahlberg and Mercy 2009).

High rates of family disruption, economic inequality, firearm availability, alcohol consumption, and secularization have each been identified as likely factors in causing elevated community suicide rates (Stack 2000a; Stack 2000b) and homicide rates (see McCall, Land, and Parker 2010; Miller, Azrael, and Hemenway 2002; Norstrom 2011). Despite these similarities, community homicide and suicide rates often diverge on some key characteristics, including urbanization (suicide is more prevalent in rural counties (Singh 2002) while homicide is more prevalent in urban counties (Kowalski and Duffield 1990)) and geographic region (suicide is highest in the western portion of the country and lowest in the northeast (Shrira and Christenfeld 2010) . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.