The effect of neighbourhood characteristics on the willingness to intervene: examining the mediating effect of social cohesion
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The aim of this article is to investigate the relation between neighbourhood characteristics and the willingness of residents to intervene in deviant situations, and to explore what role social cohesion plays in this relation. Social Disorganization Theory (SDT) of Shaw and McKay (1942), and the concept of collective efficacy of Sampson et al. (1997) help understanding this. This cross-sectional study uses LISS-data, collected in 2010 and 2011, to test the hypotheses. The results indicate associations between disorder and social cohesion, and between social cohesion and willingness to intervene. The main relation between disorder and willingness to intervene misses. However, when the control variable satisfaction with police is left out the analysis, this relation becomes significant. This indicates an alternative mediating relationship, because it seems as if the main relation was suppressed by satisfaction with police in earlier analyses. In addition to this, the findings raise the question whether SDT is applicable in the Netherlands.