A Double-Edged Sword: The Countervailing Effects of Religion on Cross-National Violent Crime

Katie E. Corcoran, David Pettinicchio, Blaine Robbins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: There has been a growing interest in the relationship between culture and crime in recent years, but there is little research investigating the role of religion. To clarify this empirical cleavage, we propose a Durkheimian model of the countervailing effects of religion on violent crime. Methods: We test our propositions with robust linear models and a large country sample (N = 100). Results: We show that religious intensity and belief in an active God are not significantly associated with intentional homicide. However, religious intensity is positively and significantly associated with assault. We also find that belief in an active God is negatively and significantly associated with assault and has a stronger effect than several structural variables. Conclusion: The findings provide partial support for our Durkheimian model and suggest that cultural factors are important for predicting certain types of violent crime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-389
Number of pages13
JournalSocial Science Quarterly
Volume99
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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