Neighborhoods and Crime: Collective Efficacy and Social Cohesion in Miami-Dade County, FL

Report by Craig D. Uchida, Marc L. Swatt, Shellie E. Solomon, Sean Varano
May 2014

The Children's Trust   (Miami)

This study, funded in part by The Children's Trust and National Institute of Justice, examines the level of collective efficacy (i.e., residents’ ability to take action, meet common goals and preserve shared values) and social cohesion (i.e., residents’ emotional and social investment in their neighborhood) in eight neighborhoods in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The authors found considerable variation in collective efficacy, social cohesion and social functioning variables across all neighborhoods. They also found linkages between collective efficacy and social cohesion and features of space (e.g., housing stock, residential tenure and instability, property upkeep). the report includes the extensive neighborhood survey used to collect data and examiniation of its psychometric properties

The authors recommend (1) educating policymakers, community organizations and organizers, and law enforcement about collective efficacy and social cohesion and their links to incivilities, fear of crime, and satisfaction with police; (2) continuing to fund research on collective efficacy and social cohesion; (3) developing and implementing collective efficacy strategies for community-based efforts; (4) using micro-environments within communities; and (5) improving law enforcement’s understanding of collective efficacy.