In this study, I will examine the relationship between poverty and homicide. I anticipate that there will be a significant association between the increase of poverty rates and the increase of homicide rates. The null hypothesis states that there is no significance relationship between poverty and homicide. The alternative hypothesis states that there will be a significant relationship between poverty and homicide. The two theories I found to explain the increase of poverty and homicide rates in the urban community are Merton’s strain theory and Shaw and McKay’s social disorganization theory. Merton’s strain theory states that social structures limits access to the goal of success through legitimate means (Lilly et al., 1995, p. 53). Shaw and McKay’s social disorganization theory states that the weakened family and communal tie that bound people together affects the social control of a community (Lilly et al., 1995, p. 53).
Research Design and Sample
The research design used for this study is an exploratory, cross-sectional, quantitative design. The exploratory design attempts to examine a correlation or connection that has not yet been explained clearly. The cross-sectional design will studied issues or research questions at one specific point in time (Senese, 1997). The independent variable (poverty) and dependent variable (homicide) were studied during 2009. The quantitative design is an empirical investigation that measures the relationship between poverty and homicide. To obtain data for my research I used three different sources to analysis were Federal Investigation Bureau’s (FBI) Uniform Crime Report (UCR), Economic Research Service (ERS), and United State Census Bureau. Secondary data analysis is research that relies on data that have been collected by someone other than the researcher (Senese, 1997).
The sample size for this study is fifty (N=50). The sample size is a non probability sampling. The problem with non probability sampling is that an element being drawn is not known, so there is no way to tell if the sample chosen represents the population (Madden & Walker, 2005, p. 333). Although there are slight problems in using a non probability sampling, it is more convenient, less expensive, and easier to collect data than other sampling methods (Madden & Walker, 2005, p. 333).
Data Collection and Measurement
The independent variable is poverty and the dependent variable is homicide. I use Economic Research Service (ERS), U.S. Census Bureau, and The Federal Bureau Investigation’s (FBI) Uniform Crime Report (UCR) for secondary sources.
The units of analysis being studied are States. The data measurements on poverty were taken from the United States Census Bureau. The U.S. Census Bureau uses a set of income thresholds of various family sizes and composition to determine who falls under the poverty guidelines (U.S. Census Bureau, Poverty, 2010). The income used to compute poverty status is money before taxes and...