Johnson, D., Maguire, E. R., Maass, S. A., & Hibdon, J. (2016). Systematic observation of disorder and other neighborhood conditions in a distressed Caribbean community. Journal of Community Psychology, 44(6), 729-746.


There is a growing recognition that physical and social disorder and other neighborhood conditions play an important role in shaping the attitudes, behaviors, and well-being of residents. Most research that seeks to measure neighborhood conditions relies on census or survey data, yet systematic observation can often provide a more objective measure of observable neighborhood conditions. However, almost all of the research that has used systematic observation to measure neighborhood conditions has been carried out in developed nations. We describe the conceptual and methodological issues that arose during our use of systematic observation to measure disorder and other neighborhood conditions in Trinidad and Tobago, a two-island nation in the Caribbean. Adapting this methodology for use in a distressed community in a developing nation raised a number of challenges not yet addressed in the literature. We describe these issues and reflect on the applicability of systematic observation techniques and current conceptualizations of disorder across different contexts.

Year: 2016
Language: English
Type: Journal article
Topic: Measurement, Caribbean criminology
Methodologies: Longitudinal model