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Neighborhood Disorder and Juvenile Drug Arrests: A Preliminary Investigation using the NIfETy Instrument
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    Disordered neighborhood environments are associated with crime, drug use, and poor health outcomes. However, research utilizing objective instruments to characterize the neighborhood environment is lacking. Objectives: This investigation examines the relationship between objective measures of neighborhood disorder and juvenile drug arrests (JDAs) in an urban locale.


    The neighborhood disorder scale was developed using indicators from the Neighborhood Inventory for Environmental Typology (NIfETy) instrument; a valid and reliable tool that assesses physical and social disorder. Data on 3146 JDAs from 2006 were obtained from the police department.


    Negative binomial regression models revealed a significant association between neighborhood disorder and the count of JDAs in the neighborhood (β == .34, p < .001). The relationship between neighborhood disorder and JDAs remained significant after adjusting for percent African-Americans in the neighborhood (β == .24, p < .001).


    This preliminary investigation identified a positive and statistically significant relationship between an objective measure of neighborhood disorder and JDAs. Future investigations should examine strategies to reduce drug-related crime by addressing the larger neighborhood and social context in which drug involvement and crime occurs.

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    1R01AA015196/AA/NIAAA NIH HHS/United States
    1U49CE000728/CE/NCIPC CDC HHS/United States
    5T32MH019545-18/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
    R01 AA015196/AA/NIAAA NIH HHS/United States
    T32 MH019545/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/United States
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