Local Scarcity of Adult Men Predicts Youth Assault Rates
Kruger, Daniel J., Cleopatra Caldwell, and Marc Zimmerman. 2014. "Local Scarcity of Adult Men Predicts Youth Assault Rates." Journal of Community Psychology, 42(1): 119-125.
Father involvement reduces risky youth behavior at the individual level. We examine the association between the scarcity of adult men and youth violence at the Census Tract level across a small midwestern city experiencing decades of economic adversity and high rates of violence. We calculated the ratio of men to women aged 25–64 years and indicators of concentrated disadvantage across residential Census Tracts with 2000 U.S. Decennial Census data and the average monthly assault rates for those aged 10–24 years between June 2006 and December 2008 with data from the local police department. Adult male scarcity and the proportion of individuals aged 25 years or older who had less than a high school degree were the two unique predictors of youth assault rates, together explaining 69% of the variance. Interventions promoting effective social, material, and protective support from fathers and other adult male role models may ameliorate risk for youth violence.