Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

M. Dwayne Smith, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Tom Mieczkowski, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Christine Sellers, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kelli McCormack Brown, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Dale Johnson, Ph.D.


Homicide, Suicide, Lethal Violence, Predictors Lethal Violence, Social Disorganization Theory, Strain Theory, County Level Violence


The present study expands the range of theoretical perspectives and empirical questions that have occupied the recent literature on homicide and suicide. The study examines county-level predictors for homicide and suicide in all sixty-seven counties in Florida. The current examination identifies which county-level variables are most closely related to each other, which variables explain the greatest amount of differences within the Florida counties, as well as which variables are most significantly correlated with the homicide and sucide rate by county. Additionally, the variables included in the present research are driven by the theorectical perspectives of social disorganization and anomie/strain theory. Using principal components regression the present study found that Income, Education, and Poverty, Infant Mortality, and Domestic Violence were predictors of homicide. Using the same components to explore the suicide rate, the research found that Age and Divorce were positively associated with suicide. In contrast to homicide, infant mortality rates were negatively associated with suicide rate in Florida counties.