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Understanding and Preventing Violence Albert J. Reiss, Jr., and Jeffrey A. Roth, Editors Panel on the Understanding and Control of Violent Behavior Committee on Law and Justice Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1993
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Page ii National Academy Press · 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. · Washington, D.C. 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. This project was sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Justice, and the Centers for Disease Control. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Understanding and preventing violence: panel on the understanding and control of violent behavior / Albert J. Reiss, Jr., and Jeffrey A. Roth, editors. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-309-04594-0; ISBN 0-309-05476-1 (pbk) 1. ViolenceUnited States. 2. ViolenceUnited States Prevention. 3. Violent crimesUnited States. I. Reiss, Albert J. II. Roth, Jeffrey A., 1945- HN90.V5U53 1993 303.6dc20 92-32137 CIP Copyright 1993 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America First Printing, November 1992 Second Printing, April 1993 Third Printing, February 1994 Fourth Printing, July 1994 Fifth Printing, October 1994 Sixth Printing, February 1996 Seventh Printing, September 1998
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Page iii Panel On The Understanding And Control Of Violent Behavior Albert J. Reiss, Jr. (Chair), Department of Sociology, Yale University David P. Farrington (Vice Chair), Institute of Criminology, Cambridge University Elijah Anderson, Department of Sociology, University of Pennsylvania Gregory Carey, Institute of Behavior Genetics, University of Colorado Jacqueline Cohen, School of Urban and Public Affairs, Carnegie Mellon University Philip J. Cook, Institute of Policy Sciences, Duke University Felton Earls, Department of Behavioral Sciences, Harvard University Leonard Eron, Department of Psychology, University of Illinois Lucy Friedman, Victim Services Agency, New York Ted Robert Gurr, Department of Government and Politics, University of Maryland Jerome Kagan, Department of Psychology, Harvard University Arthur Kellermann, Emergency Department, Regional Medical Center, Memphis, and Department of Internal Medicine and Preventive Medicine, University of Tennessee Ron Langevin, Juniper Associates Psychological Services, Toronto, and Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto Colin Loftin, Institute of Criminal Justice and Criminology, University of Maryland Klaus A. Miczek, Department of Psychology, Tufts University Mark H. Moore, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University James F. Short, Jr., Social and Economic Sciences Research Center, Washington State University Lloyd Street, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University Franklin E. Zimring, Law School, University of California, Berkeley Jeffrey A. Roth, Principal Staff Officer Neil Alan Weiner, Senior Research Associate Maryellen Fisher, Senior Project Assistant Teresa Williams, Senior Project Assistant
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Page iv Committee On Law And Justice 1990-1991 Stanton Wheeler (Chair), School of Law, Yale University Joan McCord (Vice Chair), Department of Criminal Justice, Temple University Robert Boruch, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania José Cabranes, U.S. District Judge, New Haven, Connecticut John Coffee, Columbia University School of Law Philip J. Cook, Institute of Policy Sciences, Duke University David P. Farrington, Institute of Criminology, Cambridge University Robert Kagan, Center for Law and Society, University of California, Berkeley Mark H. Moore, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University Albert J. Reiss, Jr. (ex officio), Chair, Panel on the Understanding and Control of Violent Behavior John Rolph, The Rand Corporation, Santa Monica, California Ellen Schall, National Center for Health Education, New York Jerome Skolnick, School of Law (Jurisprudence & Social Policy), University of California, Berkeley Lloyd Street, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University Neil Vidmar, School of Law, Duke University Barbara Yngvesson, School of Social Science, Hampshire College Jeffrey A. Roth, Principal Staff Officer Maryellen Fisher, Senior Project Assistant
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Page v CONTENTS Preface xi Summary 1 Part I Violent Human Behavior 31 1 The Diversity of Violent Human Behavior 31 2 Patterns of Violence in American Society 42 Part II Understanding Violence 101 3 Perspectives on Violence 101 4 Alcohol, Other Psychoactive Drugs, and Violence 182 5 Violence in Families 221 6 Firearms and Violence 255 Part III Harnessing Understanding to Improve Control 289 7 Expanding the Limits of Understanding and Control 291 8 Recommendations 327 Appendixes 355 A The Development of an Individual Potential for Violence 357 B Measuring and Counting Violent Crimes and Their Consequences 404 C Panel Biographies 430 Index 439
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Page vi TABLES AND FIGURES Tables S-1 Matrix for Organizing Risk Factors for Violent Behavior 20 2-1 Comparison of Violence Measurement Systems 44 2-2 Offense and Victimization Rates for Violent Crimes, United States, 1990 56 2-3 Number and Percent Distribution of Victimizations, by Sector and Type of Crime, 1990 58 2-4 Age-adjusted Death Rates for Selected Causes of Death: United States, Selected Years by Gender and Ethnic Status (per 100,000 resident population) 66 2-5 Percentage Distributions of All Persons Arrested for Violent Crimes, by Ethnic Status, 1990 72 2-6 Distribution of Homicides by Victim, Sex, and Relationship, for Events with Known Relationship Type 80 3-1 Public Health Injury Control Framework 150 5-1 Family Violence, 1989: Victimization Rates by Victim-Offender Relationship and Type of Assault 232 6-1 Evaluation Status of Strategies and Interventions for Reducing Gun Violence 272 7-1 Matrix for Organizing Risk Factors for Violent Behavior 297 7-2 Summary of Four Case Studies 312 B-1 Crimes of Violence, 1988: Number and Percent Distributions of Series and Nonseries Victimizations by Type of Violent Crime 424 Figures S-1 Federal Support of Violence Research, Fiscal 1989, by Agency 26 2-1 Age-adjusted Homicide Rates, by Sex and Race, United States, 1929-1989 51 2-2 Crude Homicide Rates for Selected Countries, Most Recent Year for Which Data Are Available 52
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Page vii 2-3 Cumulative Homicide Rate in Five-Year Age Intervals by Race and Gender, 1987 63 2-4 Homicide Rates, Persons Ages 15-24 Years, by Race and Sex, 1940-1988 64 2-5 Total Years of Potential Life Lost for Selected Causes of Death, 1987 67 2-6A Arrest Rates for Murder and Nonnegligent Manslaughter, 1990 73 2-6B Arrest Rates for Forcible Rape, 1990 73 2-6C Arrest Rates for Robbery, 1990 74 2-6D Arrest Rates for Aggravated Assault, 1990 74 2-7 Violent Crimes: Percentage Distribution of Co-offenders by Type of Offense, 1990 75 2-8A Total Violent Crime Rate by City Size 81 2-8B Murder Rate and Nonnegligent Manslaughter by City Size 82 2-8C Forcible Rape Rate by City Size 84 2-8D Robbery Rate by City Size 86 2-8E Aggravated Assault Rate by City Size 87 2-9 San Diego Violent Crime Rate by Census Tract, 1991 89 2-10 Contour Map of Perceptions in Summit County, Ohio 90 3-1 Mean Annual Homicide Rate, New Orleans (1979, 1982, 1985, 1986) 130 3-2 Intraracial Domestic Homicide Rates, Atlanta, 1971-1972 131 4-1 Homicide Rates, 1985-1989; Cocaine Users Among Male Arrestees, 1989 188 6-1 Age Distribution for Homicide Victims at Five-Year Intervals 257 6-2 Fraction of Homicides Committed with Firearm by Age of Victim 258 6-3 Death Rates for Selected Demographic Groups and Manners of Death: United States, 1979-1988 259 8-1 Research Expenditures per Year of Potential Life Lost for Selected Causes of Death 346
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Page viii The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.
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Page ix Contents: Volumes 2-4 2: BIOBEHAVIORAL PERSPECTIVES ON VIOLENCE Genetics and Violence: Studies of Humans and Other Animals Gregory Carey The Neurobiology of Violence and Aggression Allan F. Mirsky and Allan Siegel Neurochemistry and Pharmacotherapeutic Management of Violence Klaus A. Miczek, J. F. DeBold, M. Haney, J. Tidey, J. Vivian, and E. M. Weerts Hormonal Aspects of Aggression and Violence Paul Fredric Brain Nutrition and Violent Behavior Robin B. Kanarek Biological Influences on Violent Behavior Klaus A. Miczek, Allan Mirsky, Gregory Carey, Joseph DeBold, and Adrian Raine 3: SOCIAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES ON VIOLENCE Violence and Intentional Injuries: Criminal Justice and Public Health Perspectives on an Urgent National Problem Mark H. Moore, Bernard Guyer, and Deborah Prothrow-Stith Violent Victimization and Offending: Individual, Situational, and Community-Level Risk Factors Robert J. Sampson and Janet L. Lauritsen Marital Violence: Physical Aggression Between Women and Men in Intimate Relationships Jeffrey Fagan and Angela Browne Gender and Interpersonal Violence Candace Kruttschnitt Alcohol, Drugs of Abuse, Aggression, and Violence Klaus A. Miczek, J. F. DeBold, M. Haney, J. Tidey, J. Vivian, and E.M. Weerts 4: DIMENSIONS AND CONSEQUENCES OF VIOLENCE The Costs and Consequences of Violent Behavior in the United States Mark A. Cohen, Ted R. Miller, and Shelli B. Rossman Public Perceptions and Reactions to Violent Offending and Victimization Mark Warr Patterns in Incarceration for Violent Crime: 1965-1988 Jacqueline Cohen and Jose A. Canela-Cacho Classifying Violent Offenders and Predicting Violent Behavior Jan Chaiken, Marcia Chaiken, and William Rhodes
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Page xi PREFACE In some 200 years of national sovereignty, Americans have been preoccupied repeatedly with trying to understand and control one form of violence or another. Most periods of our history bear witness to substantial collective violence. On the road to collective bargaining and peaceful picketing, there was much violent conflict. The more rural settlements around mines were often the scene of bloody conflict, and urban industrial conflict carried with it violence on the picket lines and the destruction of company property. Perhaps the major success story in control of collective violence is the substitution of peaceful for violent means in resolving conflicts between labor and management. Urban riots are part and parcel of our history from late colonial times. In the latter half of this century, ethnic and racial tensions have erupted in urban riots, destroying life and neighborhoods of some of our major cities. Responding to urban riots in the summer of 1967, President Lyndon Johnson appointed the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (known as the Kerner Commission after its chair, Illinois Governor Otto Kerner), which issued its report in 1968. The report focused both on how local community and national action can deal with immediate responses to riot and on long-range prevention through the reduction of inequality in housing, education, welfare, and employment.
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Page xii Much collective violence is systematically organized. Organized crime, especially that arising from conflict over the control of illegal territorial markets, has been a continuing preoccupation of national, state, and local government. The National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement (known as the Wickersham Commission after its chair) was established by President Herbert Hoover to inquire into the lawlessness and violent and organized criminal activity associated with Prohibition. Most of its recommendations went unheeded, owing in part to the repeal of Prohibition. More recently violent criminal activity has been linked to labor racketeering and to the control of illegal trafficking in drugs. State and federal legislative hearings are held repeatedly on organized criminal activity and a number of federal executive agencies, such as the Drug Enforcement Agency, have been created to investigate and control it. The assassination of President John F. Kennedy again dramatically raised the question of why do Americans so often resort to violent means. Quite apart from the joint executive and legislative inquiry into that tragic event, President Lyndon Johnson established (by Executive Order #11412 on June 10, 1968) the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence (known as the Eisenhower Commission after its chair, Milton S. Eisenhower), with the express mandate ''to investigate and make recommendations with respect to: (a) the causes and prevention of lawless acts of violence in our society, including assassination, murder, and assault; and (b) the causes and prevention of disrespect for law and order, of disrespect for public officials, and of violent disruptions of public order by individuals and groups." James F. Short, Jr., a member of this panel, served as a codirector of research for the Eisenhower Commission. The research staff commissioned and coordinated 13 published reports, including 2 on historical and comparative perspectives on violence in America, to which Ted Robert Gurr of this panel contributed significant effort. There were volumes on the causes and consequences of violence, assassination and political violence, firearms and violence, the politics of protest, the media and violence, and selected incidents of riot as well as major issues in law and order, such as justice and inequality. Other studies that arose out of concern with what often appeared to be waves of violent crime focused attention on one or more presumed causes. Often singled out was the role of mass media and communication on social behavior, especially on aggressiveness and violent behavior and the role of pornography in
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Page xiii violent behavior. A Commission on Obscenity and Pornography (with William B. Lockhart as its chair) was appointed in summer 1968, and in spring 1969, by congressional request, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare appointed a Scientific Advisory Committee on Television and Social Behavior under the general auspices of the surgeon general. Each group issued a number of technical scientific reports as well as a general report. Readers of these reports are faced, as were commission and committee members, with conflicting evidence and findings of small, if any, impact. Clearly, public concerns and scientific inquiry on aggressive and violent behavior and its causes have fueled public policy debates on the control of violence for much of the twentieth century. One might understandably ask, then, what was the rationale underlying the establishment of the Panel on the Understanding and Causes of Violent Behavior. The panel was set up by the Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (CBASSE) of the National Research Council in response to the expressed interest of three federal agencies. The National Science Foundation's Program on Law and Social Sciences sought a review of current knowledge on the basic causes of violent behavior and recommendations about priorities in funding research in the future. The two other government agencies were primarily interested in an assessment of what was known about how to prevent and control violent behavior. The National Institute of Justice sought advice on how to prevent and control violent crimes committed by individuals and small groups, such as adolescent gangs, and the Centers for Disease Control's Injury Control Division sought advice that would assist them in setting priorities in preventing injuries and deaths from violent behavior. To ensure that these goals were met, the panel membership includes persons with a primary interest in the prevention and control of violent behavior. CBASSE's Committee on Law and Justice had major responsibility to help to shape the specific mandate of the panel. They concluded that all previous assessments were undertaken in response to rather specific concerns and events, such as urban riots, or with specific questions, such as whether the portrayal of violence in the mass media causes people to behave in violent ways, or whether pornography causes sexual violence, or how much can one reduce violent injury and death from weapons with more restrictive gun control. Although each of the major studies had produced significant reviews of what was known about violent
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Page xiv behavior, no comprehensive assessment had been attempted by a scientific panel. Moreover, previous assessments rested largely on reviewing the scientific work in only one or two social science disciplines; none had made a significant attempt to review what was known in the biomedical and biobehavioral disciplines. To chart effectively the future course of research on violent behavior and to draw implications from past research, the perspectives and models on violent behavior of the biological, psychological, and social sciences should be integrated. An overarching concern was in the development of science policy: the panel's work should contribute to setting priorities for future allocation of research and evaluation resources on the prevention and control of violent behavior. Accordingly, it undertook a review of current programs and expenditures of all major federal agencies that funded research or programs on violent behavior and enunciated a science policy perspective that might guide them in future funding. Early on the panel recognized the extraordinary breadth of the topic of the understanding and control of all violent behavior. Given the major reviews undertaken by all the previous commissions and committees on violence and more recent scholarly work, it elected to restrict its focus largely to the understanding and control of violent behavior that was, at law, criminal behavior and the ways that biobehavioral, social, and psychological scientific research provided theoretical and empirical work relevant to its understanding and control. The panel narrowed further its focus by excluding collective violence on the grounds that previous reviews seemed to cover quite adequately what was known about collective violence and that later scholarly work offered no basis for questioning their findings. On similar grounds it decided to summarize what was known about the history of violence only in twentieth-century America. Several interesting and certainly related topics are also excluded from the focus on interpersonal and small group violence or given very limited treatment. One is intrapersonal violenceforms of harm such as suicide and self-mutilationwhich could be included on grounds that an understanding of violence against the self is theoretically linked to violence against others. The treatment of violence of custodians and their wards is given limited treatment in the panel's report, as is the treatment of police and citizen violence, owing to the circumstance that the panel lacked comprehensive contemporary reviews of research and our commissioned papers provided little coverage of these forms of violence. Also excluded is ethology: much work has been carried out on
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Page xv nonhuman animal behavior that is considered analogous to human aggressive and violent behavior and that appears quite relevant for an understanding of human aggression and interpersonal violence. Especially noteworthy are the many biobehavioral and behavioral studies undertaken with primates. The panel also regrettably had to exclude a systematic review of cross-cultural research and of national studies that would lead to a genuine comparative approach to the understanding and control of violent behavior. It is to be hoped that this lack can be remedied by greater support of comparative national and cross-cultural violence research by federal agencies and private foundations. Given the absence of a review of both ethological and cross-cultural research on violent behavior, the panel recognized that it could not satisfactorily deal with some questions concerning the causes of violent behavior and of violent crime. Accordingly, it focused more on issues and problems in understanding and control and on setting forth a model to guide interdisciplinary understanding of violent behavior and its control. To carry out its task the panel relied in the first instance on a number of review papers prepared by staff and members of the panel. In addition, it commissioned a large number of reviews, many of which were selected for publication in three volumes supplementary to this report. These papers are the responsibility of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the panel. They were valuable resources for the panel and are published because it is believed they will prove likewise to individual scholars seeking reviews of the scholarly contributions on a given violence topic. The panel is grateful to the authors and to those who prepared comments at our Symposium on Understanding and Preventing Violence. The biographical sketches of the panel members are presented in Appendix C. The diversity of their backgrounds is readily apparent. With such diversity, disagreement was not uncommon. Yet a consensus on recommendations was achieved, and differences in reaching consensus about the weight of the evidence or the strength of a particular explanatory model were usually resolved. Perhaps part of that lies in the linguistic properties of the English language: its reservoir of qualification seemed ample to cover most disagreements. The panel is especially grateful to Jeffrey Roth, study director for the panel. His administrative skill and understanding of the Byzantine ways of the federal bureaucracy and of the NAS-NRC
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Page xvi were matched with an extraordinary skill in drafting significant sections of the panel's report and critical assistance in the review of its entirety. For a time the panel had the services of Neil Weiner, and drew on his extensive knowledge of the literature. He also was helpful in assembling statistical profiles for the report. The panel owes much to Maryellen Fisher, who prepared many of the charts and graphs and who shepherded the report through its many clerical phases. They are especially grateful to Christine McShane for turning the polyglot of disciplinary panelists toward a single voice and for clarification of obfuscation. The panel is grateful to a number of consultants who provided material on specialized topics: James Alan Fox, Jack Levin, Kathleen Pike, Adrian Raine, Lisa Stolzenberg, and Cathy Spatz Widom. It is also grateful to the following people for their generous assistance of various kinds: Carolyn Rebecca Block, Richard Block, Barbara Boland, Andrea Cummings, Joseph DeBold, Rosemary Erickson, Jeffrey Fagan, Lois Fingerhut, David Goslin, Lawrence Greenfeld, Gary Kleck, Markku Linnoila, Elaine McGarraugh, W. Walter Menninger, Alan Mirsky, Glenn Pierce, Richard Rau, Dennis Roncek, Lawrence W. Sherman, Henry Steadman, Bruce Taylor, Lynn Warner, Donald West, Renee Wilson-Brewer, and the staff members of federal violence research sponsoring agencies who prepared responses to our survey. The panel is grateful for the support, patience, and understanding of its sponsors and their liaison representatives to the panel: the National Science Foundation and its director of Law and Social Sciences, Felice Levine; the National Institute of Justice and Richard Linster, its director of research, and Christy Visher, liaison to the panel; the Centers for Disease Control and Mark Rosenberg, director of its Division of Injury Control, and James Mercy, liaison for that division. ALBERT J. REISS, JR., CHAIR PANEL ON THE UNDERSTANDING AND CONTROL OF VIOLENT BEHAVIOR