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Economic Hardship and Violence: A Comparison of County-Level Economic Measures in the Prediction of Violence-Related Injury

Published onSep 19, 2022
Economic Hardship and Violence: A Comparison of County-Level Economic Measures in the Prediction of Violence-Related Injury
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Economic Hardship and Violence: A Comparison of County-Level Economic Measures in the Prediction of Violence-Related Injury
Description

Economic hardship may lead to a wide range of negative outcomes, including violence. However, existing literature on economic hardship and violence is limited by reliance on official reports of violence and conflation of different measures of economic hardship. The goals of this study are to measure how violence-related injuries are associated with five measures of county-level economic shocks: unemployment rate, male mass layoffs, female mass layoffs, foreclosure rate, and unemployment rate change, measured cross-sectionally and by a 1-year lag. This study measures three subtypes of violence outcomes (child abuse, elder abuse, and intimate partner violence). Yearly county-level data were obtained on violence-related injuries and economic measures from 2005 to 2012 for all 87 counties in Minnesota. Negative binomial models were run regressing the case counts of each violence outcome at the county-year level on each economic indicator modeled individually, with population denominator offsets to yield incidence rate ratios. Crude models were run first, then county-level socio-demographic variables and year were added to each model, and finally fully-adjusted models were run including all socio-demographic variables plus all economic indicators simultaneously. In the fully-adjusted models, a county’s higher foreclosure rate is the strongest and most consistently associated with an increase in all violence subtypes. Unemployment rate is the second strongest and most consistent economic risk factor for all violence subtypes. Lastly, there appears to be an impact of gender specific to economic impacts on child abuse; specifically, male mass-lay-offs were associated with increased rates while female mass-lay-offs were associated with decreased rates. Understanding the associations of different types of economic hardship with a range of violence outcomes can aid in developing more holistic prevention and intervention efforts.

 

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