skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 67801 Find in a Library
Title: CROWDING, STRESS AND CRIME (FROM STRESS AND CRIME, P 47-62, 1980, BY MARTIN J MOLOF - SEE NCJ-67800)
Author(s): J L FREEMAN
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 15
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: CONSIDERABLE AMOUNTS OF CAREFUL RESEARCH INDICATE THAT CROWDING IS NOT GENERALLY STRESSFUL, IT DOES NOT PRODUCE MENTAL DISTURBANCES, AND IT IS NOT A CAUSE OF CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR.
Abstract: PSYCHOLOGISTS AND SOCIOLOGISTS HAVE ASSUMED THAT CROWDING HAD NEGATIVE EFFECTS ON PEOPLE SINCE WORK BY BIOLOGISTS APPEARED TO SHOW THAT CROWDING WAS BAD FOR OTHER ANIMALS. YET REVIEW OF THE RESEARCH DISCOUNTS THIS NOTION. EVIDENCE FROM LARGE-SCALE STUDIES INDICATES NO CONSISTENT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ANY MEASURE OF DENSITY AND CRIME OR JUVENILE DELINQUENCY FOR HUMANS. A FEW STUDIES HAVE REPORTED SMALL ASSOCIATIONS, BUT THE MAJORITY HAVE NOT; AND THOSE THAT DID FIND APPRECIABLE CORRELATIONS ON ONE MEASURE, GENERALLY FAILED TO FIND THEM ON ANOTHER. THIS LINE OF RESEARCH SUGGESTS EITHER THAT DENSITY PER SE IS UNRELATED TO CRIME RATE, OR THAT THE RELATIONSHIP IS SO SMALL OR SO COMPLEX AS TO BE UNIMPORTANT FOR MOST PURPOSES. FURTHER RESEARCH SHOWS THAT LIVING IN A CITY OR UNDER ANY OTHER CONDITIONS OF HIGH DENSITY IS NO WORSE THAN LIVING IN RURAL AREAS OR UNDER LOW DENSITY. PEOPLE IN CITIES ARE AS HEALTHY PHYSICALLY AND SUFFER FROM NO HIGHER RATES OF MENTAL ILLNESS THAN PEOPLE LIVING IN SMALLER, LESS DENSELY POPULATED COMMUNITIES. HIGH DENSITY APPEARS TO BE NEUTRAL--IT INTENSIFIES REACTIONS, AND THESE CAN BE POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE. ALL OF THE RESEARCH INDICATES THAT PEOPLE DO BEHAVE DIFFERENTLY, USUALLY MORE INTENSELY, (ALTHOUGH NOT NECESSARILY CRIMINALLY) UNDER HIGH DENSITY. THUS FURTHER RESEARCH MIGHT AIM TO IDENTIFY THAT PARTICULAR INDIVIDUAL, WITH SPECIFIED CHARACTERISTICS, WHO, IN A CERTAIN STAGE OF LIFE, IS LEAST LIKELY TO BE CRIMINAL BUT MAXIMALLY PRODUCTIVE. DETERMINING THE KIND OF HOUSING, LEVEL OF DENSITY, AND KIND OF COMMUNITY THAT IS BEST FOR THIS INDIVIDUAL IN TERMS OF FACILITATING PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOR AND GENERAL HEALTH IS ANOTHER RESEARCH OBJECTIVE. TWENTY-SIX REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED. (MHP)
Index Term(s): Crime Causes; Nonbehavioral correlates of crime; Overcrowding; Rural urban comparisons
Note: NCJ-67801 AVAILABLE ON MICROFICHE FROM NCJRS FROM NCJNCJ-67800.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67801

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.