Journal of Quantitative Criminology

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 45–70 | Cite as

Reconsidering Domestic Violence Recidivism: Conditioned Effects of Legal Controls by Individual and Aggregate Levels of Stake in Conformity



Social scientists examining whether stake in conformity conditions the deterrent effect of arrest for domestic violence recidivism have applied criminological theory to an important criminal justice issue. We extend this research with a discussion and multi-level analysis of the possible interplay between court dispositions and (a) an offender's stake in conformity, and (b) the proportion of “higher stake” residents in an offender's census tract of residence. The prevalence of re-arrest for intimate assault (misdemeanor and felony) is examined for 3110 suspects of misdemeanor intimate assault in Cincinnati. Findings reveal a significant main effect involving higher re-arrest likelihoods for arrested suspects with no formal charges filed against them. Results for the conditioned effects of court dispositions reveal significantly lower re-arrest likelihoods for higher stake offenders undergoing a counseling program (a predicted relationship), and significantly lower re-arrest likelihoods for lower stake offenders serving probation and/or jail (opposite to the predicted relationship). At the neighborhood-level, sentences of probation and/or jail correspond with significantly lower re-arrest likelihoods for offenders living in neighborhoods with more residentially stable populations (as predicted). We discuss the implications of our study for future research.

stake in conformity domestic violence recidivism multi-level analysis court dispositions 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Criminal JusticeUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnati
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceNorthern Kentucky UniversityUSA

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