NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ938554
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 43
ISSN: ISSN-0022-1465
Collective Threat, Trust, and the Sense of Personal Control
Ross, Catherine E.
Journal of Health and Social Behavior, v52 n3 p287-296 Sep 2011
A threatening and dangerous neighborhood may produce distressing emotions of anxiety, anger, and depression among the individuals who live there because residents find these neighborhoods subjectively alienating. The author introduces the idea that neighborhood disorder indicates collective threat, which is alienating--shaping perceptions of powerlessness and mistrust. The author presents a theory of trust that posits that mistrust develops in places where resources are scarce and threat is common and among individuals with few resources and who feel powerless to avoid or manage the threat. Perceived powerlessness develops with exposure to uncontrollable, negative conditions such as crime, danger, and threat in one's neighborhood. Thus, neighborhood disorder, common in disadvantaged neighborhoods, influences mistrust directly and indirectly by increasing perceptions of powerlessness among residents, which amplify disorder's effect on mistrust. The very thing needed to protect disadvantaged residents from the negative effects of their environment--a sense of personal control--is eroded by that environment in a process that the author calls structural amplification. Powerlessness and mistrust in turn are distressing, increasing levels of anxiety, anger, and depression. (Contains 1 figure.)
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A