Vacant Properties and Violence in Neighborhoods
Published Date:Sep 10 2013
Source:ISRN Public Health. 2012; 2012:246142-.
Pubmed Central ID:PMC3693396
Funding:R01 AA016187/AA/NIAAA NIH HHS/United States
R01 AA020331/AA/NIAAA NIH HHS/United States
U49 CE001093/CE/NCIPC CDC HHS/United States
Violence remains a significant public health issue in the United States. To determine if urban vacant properties were associated with an increased risk of assaultive violence and if this association was modified by important neighborhood institutions (e.g., schools, parks/playgrounds, police stations, and alcohol outlets).
Longitudinal ecologic study of all 1816 block groups in Philadelphia. Aggravated assault and vacant property data were compiled yearly from 2002 to 2006 and linked to block groups. A mixed effects negative binomial regression model examined the association of vacant properties and assaults between and within block groups.
Among all block groups, 84% experienced at least one vacant property, 89% at least one aggravated assault, and 64% at least one gun assault. Between block groups, the risk of aggravated assault increased 18% for every category shift of vacant properties (IRR 1.18, 95% CI: 1.12, 1.25, P < 0.001). Parks/playgrounds and alcohol outlets potentially modified the association between vacant properties and aggravated assaults but only at low levels of vacancy.
Increasing levels of vacancy were associated with increased risk of assaultive violence in urban block groups.
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