Academic journal article Journal of Marriage and Family

The Combined Effect of Women's Neighborhood Resources and Collective Efficacy on IPV

Academic journal article Journal of Marriage and Family

The Combined Effect of Women's Neighborhood Resources and Collective Efficacy on IPV

Article excerpt

Background

Research has suggested that the likelihood of violent victimization in part is explained by neighborhood characteristics (Browning, Feinberg, & Dietz, 2004; Maimon & Browning, 2012; Sampson, Raudenbush, & Earls, 1997). And increasingly, research on a specific form of violence-intimate partner violence (IPV)-considers neighborhood influences (Pinchevsky & Wright, 2012). But this literature largely has been isolated from macro-level approaches that are rooted in gender stratification theory. So although past research suggests that inequality between men and women at the city and state levels of aggregation influences violence against women (Vieraitis, Kovandzic, & Britto, 2008; Whaley & Messner, 2002; Xie, Heimer, & Lauritsen, 2012; Xie, Lauritsen, & Heimer, 2012; Yllö & Straus, 1995), only one study has examined whether this association exists at a more local level (Koenig, Ahmed, Hossain, & Mozumder, 2003), and none has investigated how it interacts with social organizational processes in the neighborhood. To address this limitation, I draw from both gender stratification and social disorganization theories to examine how the residential neighborhood influences a woman's risk of violent victimization by her intimate partner (hereafter, IPV risk).

The residential neighborhood is an important context to consider because it is a key locus of social control (Sampson, Morenoff, & Gannon-Rowley, 2002), and IPV tends to occur close to home (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2015). And although most studies of IPV focus on characteristics of individuals, an emergent literature suggests that women's risk of IPV victimization also varies by neighborhood context. In their review of empirical research on IPV, Pinchevsky and Wright (2012) identified just under 30 studies that assess neighborhood influences. These studies drew from theories of social disorganization, which refers to a community's inability to achieve its shared goals, particularly the informal social control of problem behaviors (Kornhauser, 1978; Shaw & McKay, 1942). Although this approach has considerable explanatory power, it is limited when it does not also consider the factors that define a specific behavior as problematic.

Research has suggested that violence is not universally understood as problematic. For instance, Berg, Stewart, and Simmons (2012) found that residents in more disadvantaged neighborhoods exhibit more disagreement about the appropriateness of violence. Research also has suggested that residents interpret violence as a reasonable or even necessary behavior in precarious environments void of police protection (E. Anderson, 1999; Black, 1983; Kirk & Papachristos, 2011; Soller, Jackson, & Browning, 2015) and accordingly attenuate their commitment to the informal social control of public space (Kirk & Matsuda, 2011). Moreover, Lyons's (2007) research on racially motivated crimes suggests that neighborhood social organization may even promote some types of crime. It therefore is imperative to consider the forces that help define a behavior as problematic and worthy of community intervention. In this study, I investigate the role of gender conflict in shaping collective understandings of IPV and the implications for women's IPV risk.

Drawing from Blumberg's (1984) theory of gender stratification, I propose that women's neighborhood socioeconomic resources relative to men's shape the extent to which IPV against women is understood as a problem that public social control should target. Integrating social disorganization approaches (Kornhauser, 1978; Sampson et al., 1997; Shaw & McKay, 1942), I further propose that women's relative neighborhood resources combined with existing social organizational processes in the neighborhood protect against a woman's IPV risk. Finally, although the primary focus of this study is contextual effects at the neighborhood level of aggregation, I briefly develop hypotheses about the influence of individual-level socioeconomic status (SES) on IPV risk and about how this association may vary across neighborhoods with different levels of women's aggregate relative resources. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.