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Neighborhood Structural Characteristics, Individual-Level Attitudes, and Youths' Crime Reporting Intentions

NCJ Number
Date Published
Bradley T. Brick, Finn-Aage Esbensen, Lee Ann Slocum, Terrance J. Taylor
This study investigated neighborhood and individual factors that contribute to youths' attitudes towards reporting crime.
Although the “stop snitching” phenomenon has brought recent attention to crime reporting, researchers have recognized for a long time the importance of this issue. Early studies focused on individual-level factors related to reporting, but recently, researchers have begun to examine neighborhood-level predictors. Most of these studies, however, omit key individual-level predictors of reporting and provide relatively little insight into the individual-level processes through which neighborhood context might affect reporting. This study uses survey data from a multisite, school-based study to examine whether neighborhood structural characteristics and individual-level attitudes and experiences are related to youths’ intentions to report crime. In addition, the authors assess whether neighborhood characteristics influence reporting via their effect on individual-level attitudes and experiences. The authors find that neighborhood poverty has an inverse relationship with crime reporting intentions and that numerous individual-level measures are associated with reporting, including attitudes toward the police, delinquency, and perceptions of the community. Importantly, the effects of neighborhood characteristics are reduced when youths’ attitudes and experiences are included in the model. Taken together, our findings suggest that neighborhood context might affect reporting by shaping the attitudes and experiences of youth. Tables, references, and appendixes (Published Abstract)
Date Created: October 31, 2010