Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

William Bankston


There has been a great deal of research investigating the relationship between crime and the structural features of urban communities. A number of studies have sought to determine whether pervasive poverty and social isolation are associated with the incidence of homicide among urban populations. Unfortunately, most studies have focused exclusively on African Americans, Anglos, or both. Furthermore, of the handful of studies that have examined Latino homicide, most have been focused on limited geographical areas. This study addresses the need for research focusing specifically on the relation of social and economic structural conditions to Latino homicide victimization rates. It does so by examining the link between segregation, poverty, and Latino homicide victimization. Using race/ethnicity-specific U.S. Census data and mortality files for 1990 across 113 cities, cross-sectional models reveal strong associations between social isolation, poverty, concentrated poverty and Latino homicide victimization. Although research expectations indicated otherwise, residential segregation is not significantly related to Latino homicide victimization. A comparative analysis, using a 98-city subset of the original sample, examines Latino and African American homicide victimization rates. Results indicate that homicide victimization rates are higher for African Americans than for Latinos. A cross-sectional analysis reveals that while social isolation and concentrated poverty are significantly correlated with African American homicide victimization, residential segregation and poverty are not. These findings suggest that impact of poverty may not be experienced evenly in Latino and African American communities.