Date of Degree

6-2022

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Criminal Justice

Advisor

Jeremy Porter

Committee Members

Eric Piza

Mark Ungar

Roddrick Colvin

Joel Capellan

Subject Categories

Criminology | Criminology and Criminal Justice | Latin American Studies

Keywords

Homicide, Spatial Statistics, Spatial Analysis, Crime Theories, Micro-places of crime, Guatemala, Crime, Latin America, Correlates of Homicide, Central America

Abstract

This study seeks to integrate the main spatial theories of crime, social disorganization, and routine activities theories while investigating the spatial dimension of homicides in Villa Nueva, Guatemala. Empirical relationships at a small unit of analysis, the natural cadaster blocks as defined by the municipality offer a more appropriate unit of analysis for the context of the city. While there is a robust body of work in developed nations synthetizing social disorganization and routine activities theories, the exploration of criminological theory integration and the use of the smallest unit of analysis still needs the addition of empirical research in Latin America. The study uses a Poisson regression model with a spatial lag to control for spatial dependency, finding that final models including covariates of both theoretical bodies are slightly more explanatory than stand-alone models. This research adds to the subfield of theoretical integration in developing nations and the expansion of exploring crime in smaller spatial units of analysis considering the regional urban differences and limitations of data in developing nations.

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