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Violence Between Spouses and Intimates: Does Neighborhood Context Matter?

NCJ Number
Social Forces Volume: 77 Issue: 2 Dated: December 1998 Pages: 623-645
R Miles-Doan
Date Published
23 pages
Law enforcement data for 1992 and data from the 1990 census for Duval County (Fla.) were used to explore whether neighborhood context is as important in explaining variations among census tracts in spouse abuse and other intimate violence as it is in explaining violence between other people who know each other.
This county, which includes the city of Jacksonville, was chosen because of its extremely high homicide rate; it was above the 90th national percentile among all counties, and homicide was the leading cause of injury deaths for people ages 15-44 years for 1987-91. The research focused on the existence and relative strength of neighborhood effects for spouse and intimate violence involving spouses, ex-spouses, cohabitants, and dating partners, compared to violence among other family members, friends, and acquaintance. Results revealed that neighborhoods with great resource deprivation also have significantly higher rates of violence between intimates than do other neighborhoods. The presence of multiple-unit dwellings and transient populations was not significantly related to violence between intimates. However, contrary to expectations, it was negatively associated with violence involving other people who knew each other. Recommendations for further research, tables, notes, and 54 references (Author abstract modified)