Neighborhood Effects, Mental Illness and Criminal Behavior: A Review

  •  David Freedman    
  •  George 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.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.