This study investigating whether the relationship between structural disadvantage and race-/ethnic-specific violence varies across measures of offending, arrest, and victimization finds that disadvantage is generally associated with higher rates of violence among Whites, Blacks, and Latinos, regardless of the measure of violence.
Using 2010–2014 National Incident-Based Reporting System data for 453 census places, the authors examine whether the relationship between structural disadvantage and race-/ethnic-specific violence varies across measures of offending, arrest, and victimization. Consistent with “lenient interpretations” of the thesis, the authors find that disadvantage is generally associated with higher rates of violence among Whites, Blacks, and Latinos, regardless of the measure of violence. However, at odds with “strict interpretations” of the thesis, there are significant differences in the magnitude of disadvantages’ effects across groups and these differences are conditioned somewhat by the measure of violence examined. An abundance of scholarship has examined the racial invariance thesis positing that the causes of violence, especially markers of disadvantage, are similar across racial/ethnic groups. More recently, research has adopted “yardsticks” to provide more meaningful assessments of the thesis, including incorporating Latinos into analyses and using statistical tests to compare disadvantages’ effects across groups. Less attention, however, has been given to the measure of violence the thesis applies to. Although intended to explain offending, criminologists commonly substitute measures of race-/ethnic-specific arrest and victimization. Implications of the findings and directions for future research are considered. (Published Abstract Provided)
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