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Antecedents of Self-Reported Arrest for Indian Americans in Seattle (WA)

NCJ Number
Phylon Volume: 40 Issue: 3 Dated: (1979) Pages: 243-252
L E Williams; B A Chadwick; H M Bahr
Date Published
10 pages
Factors predicting crime among urban American Indians were examined using data from a 1972 interview survey of 96 Indians in Seattle, Wash.
Study subjects constituted 28 percent of a random sample drawn from 4,000 names from tribal, school, and other agencies' records. A literature review was used to develop a model which proposed that selected factors influencing urban adjustment also influence criminal acts. The model included three sets of variables. Background variables included age, sex, education, income, marital status, and related variables. Personality variables included self-esteem, anomie, personal control, tension, and alienation. Cultural variables included dinking, association with white people, involvement with Indian people, degree of Indianness, and support for assimilation. The dependent variable was self-reported arrests during the previous 5 years. Stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that most of the personality and cultural indicators had little impact on self-reported arrests. Instead, findings suggested that crime, among urban Indians results from the same factors as crime among other ethnic groups, including whites. Youthful males who are not successful in their marriages comprise most urban Indian arrestees, as well as black, white hispanic, and oriental arrestees. Findings suggested that remedial and public education programs should shift their focus from Indian migrants to justice system administrators. Statements by one-fifth of the study subjects that being Indian increased their chances of being arrested strongly suggested the possibility of anti-Indian bias in the criminal justice system. A discussion of limitations of self-report data, tables, and footnotes which include references are provided.