Neighbourhood level impact of crime on community health outcomes
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
Objectives: Previous research has demonstrated an association between crime, the fear of crime and negative mental and physical health outcomes. The aim of this thesis is to investigate whether there is statistically significant association between recorded crime and stress-related health outcomes at a census area unit (CAU) level in Christchurch, New Zealand. Methods: Using multivariate linear regression and crime and health data from 2008-2010 (Calendar Years) this relationship was analysed. Results: Violent crime (assault) in a neighbourhood was significantly associated with poorer physical and mental health outcomes. Coefficient values indicate a strong statistical association between higher violent crime and higher heart attack [0.513 (0.161)**] and anxiety [0.474 (0.145)**] rates at a 95% confidence interval [CI]. Two confounding variables were found to have a positive association with positive health outcomes. ‘Median Income’ *-0.359 (0.166)**+ was associated with reduced heart attack admissions and ‘Community Resources’ [ -0.213 (0.078)**] was associated with reduced anxiety admissions. Conclusions: Crime reduction and community support initiatives should be encouraged. The results from this study demonstrate that there is a statistically significant association between crime and health at a neighbourhood level (CAU) and is reflective of findings from previous literature and add credence to crime as an environmental stressor.