DENSITY, DELINQUENCY, AND DESIGN Formal and Informal Control and the Built Environment


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17 Scopus citations


This study reviews the literature concerning the general impact of the physical environment on social disorganization, crime, and juvenile delinquency, with a specific focus on the relationship between household density, building density‐design, and juvenile delinquency. Two perspectives on control are shown to have developed in an environmental context. One emphasizes the capacity of the built environment to impair informal social control, and the other focuses on the attraction of the same environments for agents of formal social control (the police). A path model is presented. showing that building density‐design is an independent predictor of marijuana use and supporting the view that the physical environment can affect informal control. The model also shows that building density‐design is a significant predictor of police presence. thus giving empirical support to the notion that the physical environment can affect formal control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)514-529
Number of pages16
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law


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