Neighborhood Effects, Mental Illness and Criminal Behavior: A Review

David Freedman, George W. Woods


This paper briefly reviews the social science on “neighborhood effects” as an independent force in shaping poor outcomes, specifically mental illness and criminal behavior, before discussing the implications of that research for understanding the relationship between neighborhoods, race and class. Neighborhood effects research has proliferated in recent years with extensive attention again being focused on the social context of family and individual development and life course. Moreover, recent work has suggested the need to consider the developmental effects of neighborhoods that persist across life-span. This paper will focus specifically on mental illness and criminal behavior as outcomes for understanding neighborhood effects, but will also consider what the structural causes of individual behavior and functioning mean for clinical assessment, especially forensic assessment.

Full Text:



Copyright (c)

Journal of Politics and Law ISSN 1913-9047 (Print) ISSN 1913-9055 (Online)  Email:

Copyright © Canadian Center of Science and Education

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.