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Elsevier Science
Handbook of Crime Correlates / Edition 2

Handbook of Crime Correlates / Edition 2

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The Handbook of Crime Correlates, Second Edition summarizes more than a century of worldwide research on traits and social conditions associated with criminality and antisocial behavior. Findings are provided in tabular form, enabling readers to determine at a glance the nature of each association. Within each table, results are listed by country, type of crime (or other forms of antisocial behavior), and whether each variable is positively, negatively, or insignificantly associated with offending behavior. Criminal behavior is broken down according to major categories, including violent crime, property crime, drug offenses, sex offenses, delinquency, and recidivism.

This book provides a resource for practitioners and academics who are interested in criminal and antisocial behavior. It is relevant to the fields of criminology/criminal justice, sociology, and psychology. No other publication provides as much information about how a wide range of variables-e.g., gender, religion, personality traits, weapons access, alcohol and drug use, social status, geography, and seasonality-correlate with offending behavior.

  • Includes 400+ tables regarding variables related to criminal behavior
  • Consolidates 100+ years of academic research on criminal behavior
  • Findings are identified by country and world regions for easy comparison
  • Lists criminal-related behaviors according to major categories
  • Identifies universal crime correlates

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780128044179
Publisher: Elsevier Science
Publication date: 06/19/2019
Edition description: 2nd ed.
Pages: 730
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 10.87(h) x (d)

About the Author

Lee Ellis earned his PhD from Florida State University in 1982. For most of his teaching career, he was professor of sociology at Minot State University in North Dakota. After retiring from MSU in 2008, Dr. Ellis accepted a two-year visiting professorship at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where he conducted research. Now semi-retired, he continues conducting research and authoring articles and books including Handbook of Crime Correlates and Handbook of Social Status Correlates.

David P. Farrington is Emeritus Professor of Psychological Criminology at Cambridge University. His major research interest is in developmental criminology, and he is Director of the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development, which is a prospective longitudinal survey of over 400 London males from age 8 to age 61. In addition to 775 published journal articles and book chapters on criminological and psychological topics, he has published 111 books, monographs and government publications, and 156 shorter publications (total = 1,042).

Anthony Hoskin is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Idaho State University. He received his PhD in Sociology in 1999 at the Sate University of New York in Albany, and has taught at universities in Pennsylvania, California, and Texas before returning to Pocatello, Idaho, his hometown. Professor Hoskin has published research on a variety of social topics, with most of it centered around the causes of crime and interpersonal violence.

Read an Excerpt

Handbook of Crime Correlates

By Lee Ellis Kevin Beaver John Wright

Academic Press

Copyright © 2009 Elsevier Inc.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-08-092009-2

Chapter One

Pervasiveness and Intra-Offending Relationships


1.1 Pervasiveness 1 1.1.1 Prevalence Estimates for Homicide 1 1.1.2 Percentage Estimates for Frequently Occurring Types of Offenses 3 1.1.3 Percentage Estimates for Antisocial Behavior and Chronic Physical Aggression 3 1.1.4 Criminal Versatility 3 1.1.5 Sequences in Criminal Offending 3 1.1.6 Trends in Delinquent/Criminal Offending 3

1.2 Intra-offending relationships 3 1.2.1 Officially Detected Violent Crime and Self-Reported Offending or Antisocial Behavior 3 1.2.2 Officially Detected Drug Crimes and Delinquency in General 3 1.2.3 Officially Detected Delinquency and Criminal or Antisocial Behavior 3 1.2.4 Adult Crimes, Official and Delinquency or Antisocial Behavior 6 1.2.5 Recidivism and Delinquency or Antisocial Behavior 6 1.2.6 Self-Reported Offenses in General 6 1.2.7 Self-Reported Drug Offenses 7 1.2.8 Conduct Disorders in Childhood and Early Adolescence 7 1.2.9 Antisocial Personality in Later Adolescence and Adulthood 7

The initial chapter of the book is devoted to exploring the pervasiveness of criminality and the relationships between various types of criminality. In other words, how extensive is criminal (and delinquent) behavior throughout the world? And, to what extent is one type of offending associated with another type.


Research pertaining to the prevalence of various categories of crime for different geographical locations and periods of time is summarized in the tables in this section of Chapter 1. Prevalence estimates are obtained by dividing the number of crimes in a given geographical area by the number of human inhabitants in that area. For comparison purposes, the results of these calculations are nearly always expressed in terms of the number of crimes per 100,000 inhabitants.

1.1.1 Prevalence Estimates for Homicide

The earliest known estimates for the prevalence of homicide (murder) extend back into some medieval European cities. Nationwide estimates for Europe, however, did not begin to appear until several centuries later. The findings from these historic studies are summarized in Table 1.1.1 along with estimates from more contemporary times.

Examination of Table 1.1.1 reveals that overall there has been a dramatic downturn in homicide rates from earlier centuries. This table also contains estimates of "virtual murder" in several preliterate societies. Virtual murders are murders in all respects except that they occur where no written laws exist. Estimates are derived from anthropological interviews of members of foraging or tribal populations about the circumstances surrounding the deaths of their friends and relatives. It should be noted that often only a few hundred persons are interviewed which typically yields results surrounding the death of no more than a few thousand persons. Such a limited number of deaths reported do not provide stable estimates because official murder rates are usually expressed in terms of rates per 100,000. Nevertheless, this research has provided an interesting (but cloudy) window into the prevalence of deaths due to violence in preliterate societies.

Comparisons across vastly different cultures should be tempered with the realization that modern emergency medical services have dramatically lowered the likelihood of death from wounds suffered in many assaults. One estimate was that the current homicide rate would be as much as five times higher if today's emergency medical services were the same as those provided as recently as half a century ago (A Harris et al. 2002).

1.1.2 Percentage Estimates for Frequently Occurring Types of Offenses

In statistical terms, murder is an extremely rare crime. For this reason, as noted in the preceding table, its occurrence is usually expressed in annual terms of per 100,000 population. Table 1.1.2 pertains to much more common types of offenses. Specifically, the percentage estimates (i.e., "per 100") of the following are summarized in this table: (a) recidivism, (b) overall self-reported offending, and (c) the self-reported use of illegal drugs.

Recidivism pertains to the commission of an additional offense after having committed an earlier offense (which is usually inferred based on a prior conviction). As one can see, the estimates of recidivism rates range from 30 to 90%, depending on the length of time following release from custody to whether or not parole revocations are included as part of the recidivism measure.

The studies of overall self-reported offending are derived from surveys in which subjects voluntarily report (usually anonymously) the number of illegal acts they recall having committed. Unless specified otherwise, these acts include both victimful crimes (such as assaults, thefts, and vandalism) and victimless offenses (such as drug use and curfew or truancy violations). Table 1.1.2 suggests that approximately 90% of people recall having committed at least one delinquent or criminal act by the time they have reached their 20s.

At least in recent decades, the single most frequently reported type of self-reported offense is drug-related (mainly the possession and use of prohibited drugs, especially marijuana). Table 1.1.2 shows that the percentage estimates of illegal drug use varies considerably from one country to another, and also vary considerably within countries and within subpopulations over time.

1.1.3 Percentage Estimates for Antisocial Behavior and Chronic Physical Aggression

In Table 1.1.3 one finds a summary of studies that were located in which empirical estimates were provided regarding the prevalence of antisocial behavior. As one can see, all estimates are under 10%, and they are usually closer to 2–5%. This is true for both childhood and early adolescent forms (known as childhood conduct disorders) and for the forms that emerge in late adolescence or adulthood (called antisocial behavior or psychopathy). Chronic physical aggression, on the other hand, has been estimated to be more common than antisocial behavior, although still under 10%.

1.1.4 Criminal Versatility

According to one study of female prisoners, those who were diagnosed as psychopathic were more likely than those who were nonpsychopathic to have committed a wide range of offenses (Table 1.1.4). A review of the literature of offenders generally reached the same conclusion regarding a link between psychopathy and crime versatility (Hemphill et al. 1998).

1.1.5 Sequences in Criminal Offending

A few studies of self-reported offending have examined the following question: Do drug offenses usually precede or follow involvement in other types of crime? As shown in Table 1.1.5, the pertinent studies have concluded that drug offenses usually follow the commission of other (usually victimful) types of offenses.

1.1.6 Trends in Delinquent/Criminal Offending

One study was located regarding trends in victimful offending. As shown in Table 1.1.6, this study concluded that in the United States, the rates of violent and property crimes decreased substantially between 1994 and 2003.


Numerous studies have been undertaken to determine whether or not the commission of one type of crime is associated with the commission of one or more other types. Results of these studies, along with research correlating involvement in crime with the diagnosis of an antisocial personality condition, are presented below.

1.2.1 Officially Detected Violent Crime and Self-Reported Offending or Antisocial Behavior

A few studies have investigated the connection between officially detected involvement in violent crime and either self-reported illegal drug use or a diagnosis of antisocial personality or behavior. As shown in Table 1.2.1, these studies have concluded that these phenomena are all positively correlated with one another.

1.2.2 Officially Detected Drug Crimes and Delinquency in General

As shown in Table 1.2.2, one study conducted in two countries found that persons arrested for marijuana possession are more likely than persons in general to also be arrested for delinquency.

1.2.3 Officially Detected Delinquency and Criminal or Antisocial Behavior

According to numerous studies of official delinquency, such behavior is positively correlated with a statistically significant degree with adulthood criminality and with self-reported offending. Also, persons who have been diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder are more likely to be officially identified as delinquent than are their unidentified peers (Table 1.2.3).

1.2.4 Adult Crimes, Official and Delinquency or Antisocial Behavior

Table 1.2.4 summarizes findings concerning the relationship between an official identification as an adult offender and (a) involvement in delinquency and (b) a diagnosis of antisocial personality. The available evidence suggests that these phenomena are positively correlated with a significant degree.


Excerpted from Handbook of Crime Correlates by Lee Ellis Kevin Beaver John Wright Copyright © 2009 by Elsevier Inc. . Excerpted by permission of Academic Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

1. The Prevalence of Offending and Associations Between Different Types of Offending 2. Demographic Factors 3. Institutional Factors 4. Familial, Reproductive, and Peer Factors 5. Personality and Behavioral Factors 6. Cognitive and Mental Health Factors 7. Biological Factors 8. Crime Victimization and Fear of Crime 9. Epilogue: Grand Summary

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