Neighborhood-Level Physical Disorder and Its Relationship to Poverty, Affluence, Residential Stability, and Ethnicity in Los Angeles

Malia Jones, University of California, Los Angeles
Anne Pebley, University of California, Los Angeles

Previous research suggests that physical disorder (e.g., dilapidated buildings, trash, broken sidewalks, etc.) is more common in socially disadvantaged neighborhoods than in other urban neighborhoods and that it may increase stress levels and crime experienced by neighborhood residents. In this paper, we examine the association between physical disorder and neighborhood disadvantage in a large stratified probability sample of census tracts in a major US urban center. First, we use data collected by trained observers to explore issues of inter-rater reliability, interviewer effects, and the effects of time of observation in the measurement of physical disorder. Next, we examine the relationship between neighborhood social disadvantage and physical disorder using multivariate statistical models. Our results show that physical disorder is significantly related to neighborhood poverty, affluence, residential stability and race/ethnic diversity, but not with tract level immigrant concentration.

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Presented in Session 104: Neighborhood Processes and Effects