Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

Degree Name



Criminal Justice Administration


Media accounts and a number of researchers have argued that homicide is the most serious crime and among the ten leading causes of death in the United States for people 35 to 54 years of age. For men and women 15 to 34, it is among the four leading causes of death. Homicide is also one of the five leading causes of death in early childhood in the United States, which has the second highest child homicide rate in the world. The drama of violent death has been a favorite literary theme from the time of Homer's Iliad to the present day. Homicides have, however, far greater significance socially than as source material for writers. Yet in the

United States its wider significance has received scant attention from sociologists.

This study examines the homicide rate over time in the United States by sex, age and race as ascertained from the Uniform Crime Reports. Additionally, secondary data from the scholarly literature on homicide is analyzed. Particular attention focuses on theories of homicide and research studies supporting these theories; that is, as found in the scholarly criminological literature (journal articles, books, manuscripts, documents). Findings disclose that causal theories and research studies fall into two chief categories: (1) psychological explanations and (2) sociologicalexplanations.