Study on neighbourhoods & gun violence: Social cohesion helps, not wealth

Though there have been efforts to paint violence and crime as simple economics – give people more money and there is less crime – a new presentation at the Institute of Medicine’s Means of Violence workshop finds there is instead a better reason why many poor neighborhoods don’t have people preying on each other. The bonds that tie a neighborhood together can help shield community members from gun violence, according to new findings by Yale School of Medicine researchers in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program (RWJF CSP).

“Violence results in chronic community-level trauma and stress, and undermines health, capacity, and productivity in these neighborhoods,” said lead author Emily Wang, M.D., assistant professor of internal medicine at Yale School of Medicine…

Wang and her colleagues studied neighborhoods in New Haven, Connecticut with high crime statistics…

Over half of neighbors surveyed knew none or a few of their neighbors. Almost all of the study participants had heard a gun shot, two-thirds of them had a friend or family member hurt by a violent act, and nearly 60% had a friend or family member killed.

“Our study is a community-based and community-driven intervention to prevent and reduce the negative effects of gun violence in the communities affected by high rates of gun violence by strengthening social ties, bonds, resilience, or in other words, by ‘putting neighbor back in hood,'” said Ann Greene, community research liaison for the RWJF CSP at Yale and chair of the West River Community Resilience Team.

Wang said preliminary findings show that social cohesion, or the strength of bonds between neighbors, is inversely associated with exposure to gun violence, and that a multi-sector approach that includes community members is required to address and prevent gun violence…

This would suggest to me that ‘diverse’ neighbourhoods would not fair as well as mono-ethnic ones. And indeed, people do tend to like living with their own kind — this is true the world over.


  • Just a thought

    Also, wealthy and educated Arabs are well represented among terrorists.

  • The Phantom

    I wouldn’t read too much into it. Because = “Yale School of Medicine researchers in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program”.

    Let’s just say you see their stamp on a lot of really bad anti-gun research.

  • Everyone Else

    typo – “fare” as well, not “fair” as well
    fix if you feel like it and erase this comment
    happy boxing day eve


    I approve this topic title!