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Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Studies Rural Youth Violence

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) announces the availability of “Community Correlates of Rural Youth Violence.” This 12-page Bulletin was written by D. Wayne Osgood, Ph.D., Professor in the Crime, Law, and Justice Program, Pennsylvania State University, and Jeff M. Chambers, M.A., Research Manager, Center of Children, Families, and the Law, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Although decades of research have shed considerable light on the nature of the causes and correlates of juvenile delinquency, for the most part these studies have focused on youth crime in large metropolitan settings and generally overlooked delinquency in rural towns and smaller cities.

Since only half the U.S. population (49 percent) lives in urban areas of 500,000 or more, while a quarter (25 percent) lives in rural areas of 2,500 or fewer and 1 in 10 (12 percent) lives in towns or cities of 2,500 to 50,000, this leaves a considerable gap in research coverage, with virtually as many excluded as included.

This Bulletin addresses the lack of knowledge of rural youth violence by applying social disorganization theory to community correlates of youth violence in nonmetropolitan communities in Florida, Georgia, Nebraska, and South Carolina.

As reflected in the Bulletin, rates of youth violence are considerably higher in communities that have large percentages of children living in single-parent households, a high rate of population turnover, and significant ethnic diversity-whether in rural or urban settings.


“Community Correlates of Rural Youth Violence” (NCJ 193591) is available online at http://ojjdp.ncjrs.org/pubs/violvict.html#193591

A limited number of printed copies are available from the Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse (JJC). Copies can be ordered online at http://puborder.ncjrs.org or by calling JJC at 800-638-8736. Please use the document number when ordering.

For full-text publications, information on OJJDP, JJC, and other juvenile justice matters, visit the OJJDP Web site at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/ojjdp

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