Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)

Degree Name



Criminal Justice Administration

First Advisor

Dr. K.S. Murty


This thesis examines the relationship of forcible rape to three variables: age, time period and cohort over a 20-year period, 1965-1984. The study also tested Richard Easterlin's cohort hypothesis utilizing forcible rape arrest-rate statistics from the U.S. Uniform Crime Reports. Easterlin's hypothesis suggests that crime rates will fluctate according to the relative size of age cohort. In short, large cohorts generate higher arrest rates than small cohorts. We tested this hypothesis as it is applied to forcible rape arrest rates. The findings disclosed that both age and cohort, but not time period had a significant relationship to forcible rape arrest rates. The variable age had a more significant relationship to forcible rape arrest than does cohort. Therefore, Easterlin's hypothesis was not confirmed. Males from 15 to 24 are more likely to commit forcible rape than any other age group. Consequently, this age group should be targeted for prevention, control, and treatment programs.

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