SAGE Journal Articles

Click on the following links. Please note these will open in a new window

Journal Article 1: Kingston, B., Huizinga, D., & Elliott, D. S. (2009). A test of social disorganization theory in high-risk urban neighborhoods. Youth & Society, 41, 53-79.

Abstract: Although there is a growing body of research based on social disorganization theory that relates the neighborhood context to juvenile crime and delinquency, it is unknown whether neighborhood social processes operate in a similar way across all types of disadvantaged neighborhoods. It is possible that some social processes are unique to economically depressed areas. This research attempts to explain theoretically and test empirically the relationships between neighborhood social structure, social processes, delinquent opportunity structures, and rates of adolescent delinquency among structurally disadvantaged neighborhoods. The hypotheses are tested using neighborhood-level parent and youth data from 44 Denver neighborhoods. A series of regression models are constructed to estimate the effects of the neighborhood on rates of delinquency. The results show that for this high-risk sample the most consistent predictor of rates of problem behavior is youths’ perceptions of limited opportunities for the future.

Journal Article 2: Martínez, Jr, R., Rosenfeld, R., & Mares, D. (2008). Social disorganization, drug market activity, and neighborhood violent crime. Urban Affairs Review, 43, 846-874.

Abstract: Although illicit drug activity occurs within local communities, past quantitative research on drug markets and violent crime in the United States has been conducted mainly at the city level. The authors use neighborhood-level data from the city of Miami to test hypotheses regarding the effect of drug activity and traditional indicators of social disorganization on rates of aggravated assault and robbery. The results show that drug activity has robust effects on violent crime that are independent of other disorganization indicators. The authors also find that drug activity is concentrated in neighborhoods with low rates of immigration, less linguistic isolation and ethnic heterogeneity, and where nondrug accidental deaths are prevalent. The authors find no independent effect of neighborhood racial composition on drug activity or violent crime. The results suggest that future neighborhood-level research on social disorganization and violent crime should devote explicit attention to the disorganizing and violence-producing effects of illicit drug activity.