Situational Factors in Disputes Leading to Criminal Violence

Criminology, 21(1), 59–74, 1983

16 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2012

See all articles by Richard Felson

Richard Felson

Pennsylvania State University

Henry J. Steadman

Policy Research Associates, Inc.

Date Written: 1983

Abstract

This article examines the interactive process leading to criminal violence. Official data from 159 incidents of homicide and assault that were not committed in conjunction with other crimes and that resulted in incarceration were examined with respect to the actions of offenders, victims, and third parties. These incidents tended to follow systematic patterns. They began with identity attacks, followed by attempts and failures to influence the antagonist. Threats were made and finally the verbal conflict ended in physical attack. It appears that retaliation is a key principle in the escalation of these incidents in that aggressive actions by the victim were associated with aggressive actions by the offender and the likelihood that the victim would be killed. The importance of situational identities for retaliating was suggested bg the moderately strong relationship observed between identity attack and counterattack. Retaliation also occurred for strategic reasons, in that offenders were more likely to kill aggressive victims when those victims used weapons.

Suggested Citation

Felson, Richard and Steadman, Henry J., Situational Factors in Disputes Leading to Criminal Violence (1983). Criminology, 21(1), 59–74, 1983. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2102137

Richard Felson (Contact Author)

Pennsylvania State University ( email )

University Park
State College, PA 16802
United States

Henry J. Steadman

Policy Research Associates, Inc. ( email )

345 Delaware Avenue
Delmar, NY 12054
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
97
Abstract Views
510
rank
289,894
PlumX Metrics