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A Spatial Analysis of the Neighborhood Scale of Residential Perceptions of Physical Disorder

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Abstract

Perceived disorder and objective disorder in a neighborhood are hypothesized to be important factors in relation to criminal behavior. Given the importance of the neighborhood in the theory of collective efficacy as well as in effective community policing, it is imperative to understand the appropriate geographic scale of the neighborhood. In this paper, we examine the impact of the size of bespoke neighborhoods on the correlation between systematic observations of disorder and surveys of residents' perceptions of disorder. We test neighborhood sizes ranging from a radius of 50 to 500 m. We use two tests to conduct this comparison: ordinary least squares regression of spatial averages and a modification of the bivariate Moran’s I test of spatial correlation. These two tests provide evidence that the residents perceive their neighborhood to be a comparatively large region when considering neighborhood disorder. However, both tests show only a weak, albeit statistically significant, correlation between the systematic observations of disorder and the residents’ perceptions of disorder.

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Correspondence to Jamison Conley.

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Conley, J., Stein, R.E. & Davis, C. A Spatial Analysis of the Neighborhood Scale of Residential Perceptions of Physical Disorder. Appl. Spatial Analysis 7, 183–201 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12061-013-9099-2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12061-013-9099-2

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