Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Lauren D. Eisler

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor

Second Advisor

Jennifer A. A. Lavoie

Advisor Role

Second Reader

Third Advisor

Chris Alksnis

Advisor Role

External Reviewer


The purpose of this study was to explore neighbourhood characteristics related to social disorganization theory and to ascertain whether socioeconomic disadvantage, family disruption, residential instability and young population structure were predictive of neighbourhood violent crime in the city of Brantford, Ontario, as a case study. A two-step analysis was conducted using data derived from the National Household Survey (NHS), the 2011 census and the Brantford Police Service records management system (BPS-RMS). A descriptive analysis of Brantford’s 21 census tracts (CT) was conducted to explore patterns of social disorganization variables and violent crime in each of the city’s 21 CT neighbourhoods. A series of regression analyses were then carried out to examine the relationship between social disorganization variables and violent crime. Results of the regression analyses revealed that low education attainment and young population structure were associated with violent crime in neighbourhoods, lending partial support to social disorganization theory as an explanation for the violent crime. Residential instability was not associated with the outcome. Family disruption could not be tested due to multiple assumption violations. Implications of the research findings include the consideration of enhanced intervention (e.g., community resources and community policing) in neighbourhoods in Brantford demonstrating high levels of social disorganization in an effort to reduce neighbourhood violence.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season