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The Effects of Neighboring, Social Networks, and Collective Efficacy on Crime Victimization: an Alternative to the Systemic Model

Description: The systemic model posits that informal social control directly reduces crime victimization and social networks indirectly reduce crime victimization through informal social control. While empirical testing of the systemic model advanced the theory, important analytical issues remain. First, social networks are inconsistently conceptualized and measured. Second, the conceptual relationship between social networks and informal social control remains unclear. This study addresses these issues by testing an alternative to the systemic model, including new constructs and hypotheses. The goal is to develop better indicators for the model and refine the theory, rethinking and deepening the existing theory about neighborhood effects on crime victimization. The data come from the 2002-2003 Seattle Neighborhoods and Crime Survey (N=2,200). Structural equation modeling (SEM), a multivariate statistical technique, was used to analyze these data. The SEM included five latent constructs (neighboring, neighborhood and non-neighborhood social networks, collective efficacy, and crime victimization) and six social structural variables (racially homogeneous neighborhood, resident tenure, household income, family disruption, male, and non-white ethnicity). One of my 9 hypotheses was supported; the remaining hypotheses were partly supported. The results support my argument that the systemic model is too simplistic, but the relationships among the variables are not exactly as I hypothesized. The results provide insight into the complexities of the systemic model and areas for future research.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Soto, Anthony Jaime