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Neighborhood social capital and crime victimization: Comparison of spatial regression analysis and hierarchical regression analysis

  • Takagi, Daisuke
  • Ikeda, Ken’ichi
  • Kawachi, Ichiro
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    Crime is an important determinant of public health outcomes, including quality of life, mental well-being, and health behavior. A body of research has documented the association between community social capital and crime victimization. The association between social capital and crime victimization has been examined at multiple levels of spatial aggregation, ranging from entire countries, to states, metropolitan areas, counties, and neighborhoods. In multilevel analysis, the spatial boundaries at level 2 are most often drawn from administrative boundaries (e.g. Census tracts in the U.S.). One problem with adopting administrative definitions of neighborhoods is that it ignores spatial spillover. We conducted a study of social capital and crime victimization in one ward of Tokyo city, using a Spatial Durbin Model with an inverse-distance weighting matrix that assigned each respondent a unique level of “exposure” to social capital based on all other residents’ perceptions. The study is based on a postal questionnaire sent to 20–69 years old residents of Arakawa Ward, Tokyo. The response rate was 43.7%. We examined the contextual influence of generalized trust, perceptions of reciprocity, two types of social network variables, as well as two principal components of social capital (constructed from the above four variables). Our outcome measure was self-reported crime victimization in the last five years. In the Spatial Durbin Model, we found that neighborhood generalized trust, reciprocity, supportive networks and two principal components of social capital were each inversely associated with crime victimization. By contrast, a multilevel regression performed with the same data (using administrative neighborhood boundaries) found generally null associations between neighborhood social capital and crime. Spatial regression methods may be more appropriate for investigating the contextual influence of social capital in homogeneous cultural settings such as Japan.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 75 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 10 ()
    Pages: 1895-1902

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:75:y:2012:i:10:p:1895-1902
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    1. David M. Drukker & Hua Peng & Ingmar Prucha & Rafal Raciborski, 2013. "Creating and managing spatial-weighting matrices with the spmat command," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 13(2), pages 242-286, June.
    2. Jes�s Mur & Ana Angulo, 2006. "The Spatial Durbin Model and the Common Factor Tests," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 207-226.
    3. Islam, M. Kamrul & Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & Gullberg, Bo & Lindström, Martin & Merlo, Juan, 2008. "Social capital externalities and mortality in Sweden," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 19-42, March.
    4. Wen, Ming & Cagney, Kathleen A. & Christakis, Nicholas A., 2005. "Effect of specific aspects of community social environment on the mortality of Individuals diagnosed with serious illness," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(6), pages 1119-1134, September.
    5. Lederman, Daniel & Loayza, Norman & Menendez, Ana Maria, 2002. "Violent Crime: Does Social Capital Matter?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(3), pages 509-39, April.
    6. Spriggs, Aubrey L. & Halpern, Carolyn Tucker & Herring, Amy H. & Schoenbach, Victor J., 2009. "Family and school socioeconomic disadvantage: Interactive influences on adolescent dating violence victimization," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(11), pages 1956-1965, June.
    7. Kennedy, Bruce P. & Kawachi, Ichiro & Prothrow-Stith, Deborah & Lochner, Kimberly & Gupta, Vanita, 1998. "Social capital, income inequality, and firearm violent crime," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 7-17, July.
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