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Disorder and Decay: The Concept and Measurement of Perceived Neighborhood Disorder

NCJ Number
Urban Affairs Review Volume: 34 Issue: 3 Dated: January 1999 Pages: 412-432
Catherine E. Ross; John Mirowsky
Date Published
January 1999
21 pages
This article develops and assesses a scale of perceived neighborhood disorder.
The concept of perceived neighborhood disorder is related to concepts of incivilities, lack of social control in the community and neighborhood problems. A probability sample of Illinois households, selected from the 1995 Survey of Community, Crime and Health, were surveyed regarding their perceptions of disorder in their neighborhoods. The goal of the research was to systematically define the concept of disorder, and measure and empirically assess the relationships between perceptions of crime and disorder, order and disorder, and physical and social disorder. The scale of neighborhood disorder had high reliability, external validity, and showed interesting distinctions and overlaps between physical and social disorder. It also showed that order and disorder are two ends of a single continuum. Tables, notes, figure, appendix, references