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Family, Acquaintance, and Stranger Homicide: Alternative Procedures for Rate Calculations

NCJ Number
Criminology Volume: 25 Issue: 3 Dated: (August 1987) Pages: 543-560
Date Published
18 pages
Supplementary Homicide Report data collected as part of the Uniform Crime Reports are missing data on offenders, resulting in measures of homicide rate based upon offender characteristics (e.g., sex-, age-, or race-specific rates and family, acquaintance, or stranger rates) that may underestimate rates or be inaccurate.
After documenting the extent of missing homicide data, this paper presents two methods of homicide rate adjustment that compensate for this problem. A comparison of adjusted and unadjusted homicide rates across cities, metropolitan areas, States, and regions indicates that while the two are highly related for family, acquaintance, and stranger homicide, unadjusted figures result in underestimation. A second source of inaccuracy, resulting from police departments' failure to submit monthly homicide reports, also is discussed; a weighting procedure is presented to adjust for nonreporting agencies. Adjusting for these missing data will increase the accuracy and reliability of rate calculations and the estimation of theoretical models. 7 tables and 19 references. (Author abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 1987