The Effects of Social Disorganization: A Hierarchical Analysis of Perceived Incivilities in a Latino Community

Document Type



In: Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice, vol. 5, No. 1, 2007.


Guided by the theoretical framework of quality of life and social disorganization, this study combined data from three independent sources (4,469 community surveys, Census Bureau, and police crime records) to simultaneously examine the influence of contextual characteristics (concentrated disadvantage, social isolation, and violent crime) on residents' perceived incivilities across 10 city council districts in San Antonio, Texas, net of citizen-level covariates. Several findings emerged from the Poisson hierarchical analysis. At the citizen-level, Latino, age, homeowner, perceived safety, and quality of life rating were significantly related to perceived incivility. At the council district level, all the contextual variables were positively and significantly associated with the outcome. Implications from these findings are considered.