Randolph Roth (Professor of History and Sociology, Ohio State University)
04/08/2013, at noon in room 6050 ISR-Thompson.
Child Murder in America is an interregional, internationally comparative study of homicides of and by children from colonial times to the present. Child Murder in America will argue that the causes of murders of children by parents or caregivers are quite different from the causes of murder among adults, although murders of children by other children or by unrelated adults appear to follow the same pattern as murders among adults. Rates for homicides among adults correlate most strongly with the feelings people have toward their government, the degree to which they identify with members of their own communities, and the opportunities they have to earn respect without resorting to violence. But rates of homicides of children by parents or caregivers correlate most strongly over time with demographic phenomena that are less volatile, such as the birth rate, life expectancy, and the likelihood of marriage. The research challenge at present is to determine whether homicides of children by parents or caregivers have the same correlates today that they did from the mid-sixteenth century into the early twentieth century.