This data collection is a secondary analysis of
five other studies to test the "incivilities thesis": that
incivilities such as extant neighborhood physical conditions of
disrepair or abandonment and troubling street behaviors contribute to
residents' concerns for personal safety and their desire to leave
their neighborhood. It was designed to answer two key questions: (1)
How much variation in the fear of crime and in neighborhood commitment
arises from differences between cities or between neighborhoods versus
differences between neighbors? (2) Are some specific perceived
incivilities more relevant to fear of crime and neighborhood
commitment than others?
Studies were chosen for this reanalysis based on
the following conditions: (1) the areas had not been studied in
DISORDER AND COMMUNITY DECLINE IN 40 NEIGHBORHOODS OF THE UNITED
STATES, 1977-1983 (ICPSR 8944), with the exception of Atlanta, (2) the
surveys were conducted within one city or metropolitan area and
clustered residents by neighborhood, (3) the surveys included a
substantial number of people in each neighborhood, and (4) the surveys
included at least some of the same perceived incivilities. Three key
incivilities that were present across all five surveys were presence
of abandoned buildings, teens congregating, and vandalism. Litter was
a variable in all surveys save the Chicago study. These four
incivilities were chosen for inclusion in this collection.
The following describes the sampling methods used in the
individual studies that comprise this data collection: For the Atlanta
data, a stratified random sample of Atlanta households was drawn. In
Baltimore, 30 neighborhoods were selected using stratified resampling
based on crime data from an earlier random sample of 66. The original
Chicago study employed a random sample of respondents from the Chicago
metropolitan area, including suburbs. This reanalysis used only the
urban respondents and only the neighborhoods with at least five
respondents per neighborhood. The Minneapolis-St. Paul sample was
based on three criteria: percent minority change from 1970 to 1980, an
observational measure of disorder in each commercial center, and
person crime rates for the entire commercial and residential area.
These areas were micro-neighborhoods centered around small commercial
centers. The Seattle data were based on a multistage clustered
sampling of 600 selected city blocks and immediate neighbors on these
blocks in 100 census tracts.
Surveys of neighborhoods and residents in Atlanta,
Baltimore, Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Seattle.
(1) Part 1: Individuals, (2) Part 2:
ICPSR 7951, 2352, 8086, 8167, and 9741
census/enumeration data, and survey data
Part 1, Survey Data, contains measures of
residents' fear of victimization, avoidance of dangerous places,
self-protection, neighborhood satisfaction, perceived incivilities
(presence of abandoned buildings, litter, vandalism, and teens
congregating), and demographic variables such as residents' sex, age,
and education. Part 2, Neighborhood Data, contains crime data and
demographic variables from Part 1 aggregated to the neighborhood
level, including percentage of the neighborhood that was
African-American, gender percentages, average age and educational
attainment of residents, average household size and length of
residence, and information on home ownership.
The survey response rate for the reanalyzed
studies was 77.3 percent in Atlanta, 66.5 percent in Chicago, 54
percent in Minneapolis-St. Paul, and 74.1 percent in Seattle. The
response rate for Baltimore was 76 percent.
Several Likert-type scales were used.