Examining fear and stress as mediators between disorder perceptions and personal health, depression, and anxiety

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations


Research examining the effect of neighborhoods on personal health has often focused on neighborhood disorder, or visual cues in neighborhoods perceived as personally threatening or noxious. Neighborhood disorderliness is thought to elevate individuals' fear of crime, thereby negatively impacting personal and mental health. Unfortunately, the pathways between disorder, fear of crime, and health have yet to be established. This study examines the pathways between neighborhood disorder, fear of crime, and three health outcomes. Using the Community, Crime and Health Survey, this study employs structural equation modeling to examine how general (being afraid of walking alone) and offense-specific fear of crime (being afraid of specific crimes) mediate the relationship between individuals' disorder perceptions and self-rated health, depression and anxiety. Results show that fear of crime does mediate the relationship between disorder perceptions, self-rated health and depression, though the mediating pathways are weak. This study suggests that the disorder-fear of crime-health nexus should be re-examined theoretically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1515-1528
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Science Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012



  • Disorder
  • Fear of crime
  • Health
  • Mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science

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