Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Communities with active participants demonstrate lower levels of crime and lower death rates

Date:
April 29, 2010
Source:
Louisiana State University
Summary:
Both violent crime and all-cause mortality rates are on average substantially lower in communities with a vibrant civic climate, according to new research.

In a set of papers just published in two leading scholarly journals, LSU sociology professor Matthew Lee reports that both violent crime and all-cause mortality rates are on average substantially lower in communities with a vibrant civic climate.

Lee, currently a provost fellow in LSU's Office of Research and Economic Development, has been a central purveyor of the civic community paradigm over the last 10 years, and these studies extend the research program begun under his 2003 National Science Foundation CAREER award. In this paradigm, a robust civic climate is typically indexed as a dense matrix of non-economic institutions like churches and civic associations, a spirit of civic engagement through mechanisms like voting and an ethic of entrepreneurial business activity.

"People typically associate social problems like violence or poor public health almost exclusively with economic conditions like poverty," said Lee. "But these studies and others we have conducted highlight additional pieces of the puzzle that must be put together for us to fully understand the nature of community social problems."

The first paper, "Civic Community, Population Change and Violent Crime in Rural Communities" was published in the February 2010 issue of the Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency. In this paper, Lee and his co-author Shaun Thomas of the University of Arkansas -- Little Rock, report that rural communities that were more civically robust had lower average violent crime rates and experienced less change in violent crime during the 1980 -- 2000 period. Conversely, high rates of population growth weakened this effect because rapid growth is a socially disorganizing force. In this study, an index of civic robustness was constructed from county-level measures of churches per capita, voter turnout, faith-based civic engagement, self employment, the presence of small manufacturing firms and family farms and residential stability.

"The Protective Effect of Civic Communities Against All-Cause Mortality" was recently advance published online in Social Science and Medicine. Focusing on county level rates of all-cause mortality, this study demonstrated the importance of the civic structure of communities for the general public health as indexed by death rates.

Using methods and measures similar to those implemented in the paper on crime rates, this study reports that county levels of all-cause mortality are substantially lower in places where the civic climate in terms of institutional infrastructure, civic engagement and small scale business activity are more widespread. Lee argues that this is because communities with a strong civic climate are more capable of providing social supports to people and are better able to secure health related infrastructure in the form of hospitals and clinics, as well as doctors and other medical personnel.

"In essence, both papers underscore the need for people to feel involved in a community setting," said Lee. "When people are disconnected or disenfranchised, the potential for violence escalates, and the rate of dying from myriad causes goes up as well."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Louisiana State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Lee et al. Civic Community, Population Change, and Violent Crime in Rural Communities. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 2010; 47 (1): 118 DOI: 10.1177/0022427809348907
  2. Lee et al. The protective effects of civic communities against all-cause mortality. Social Science & Medicine, 2010; DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.02.020

Cite This Page:

Louisiana State University. "Communities with active participants demonstrate lower levels of crime and lower death rates." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100428101448.htm>.
Louisiana State University. (2010, April 29). Communities with active participants demonstrate lower levels of crime and lower death rates. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100428101448.htm
Louisiana State University. "Communities with active participants demonstrate lower levels of crime and lower death rates." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100428101448.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) A federal judge temporarily banned coyote hunting to save endangered red wolves, but local hunters say that the wolf preservation program does more harm than good. Meanwhile federal officials are reviewing its wolf program in North Carolina. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bank of America's $17 Bln Settlement

Bank of America's $17 Bln Settlement

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 21, 2014) Bank of America's settlement is by far the largest amount paid by big banks facing mortgage securities probes. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Former TSA X-Ray Scanners Easily Tricked To Miss Weapons

Former TSA X-Ray Scanners Easily Tricked To Miss Weapons

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) Researchers found the scanners could be duped simply by placing a weapon off to the side of the body or encasing it under a plastic shield. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins