Boulevard of Broken Dreams: An Examination of Mental Health at Micro-Geographies

Victoria Lauren Goldberg

Advisor: David Weisburd, PhD, Department of Criminology, Law and Society

Committee Members: Sue-Ming Yang, Allison Redlich, Clair Vaughn Uding

Online Location, Online
March 28, 2024, 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM


Crime hot spot research focuses on impacts of where crime occurs but has not typically focused on the perceptions of residents nor mental health outcomes.  This dissertation applies criminological and public health theories of mental health to hot spot research, using survey responses from a large NIDA study of crime hot spots in Baltimore City Maryland.  I use responses from residents of hot spots to test the strength of the relationship between individual, community, and street-level factors, and PTSD and depression. This study finds that people who live in crime hot spots are more likely to experience mental illness, and that while people with mental illness have a higher level of fear of the police, this effect is moderated by living in a hot spot. This study also finds that whether a person lives in a hot spot influences mental health outcomes.  Overall, this dissertation points to the importance of studying mental health at a micro geographic level.