Spuriousness or mediation? Broken windows according to Sampson and Raudenbush (1999)

Martha Gault, Eric Silver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


In 1999, Sampson and Raudenbush published an influential article in the American Sociological Review on the link between disorder and crime in urban neighborhoods. The present article offers a reinterpretation of their 1999 article based on the contentions that: (1) their interpretation of the broken windows thesis is imprecise, and (2) there is an alternative interpretation of their findings that was not considered. Based on these contentions, and contrary to Sampson and Raudenbush's (1999) assertions, the authors conclude that the results of Sampson and Raudenbush's study are not inconsistent with the broken windows thesis and therefore should not be used as empirical evidence against it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-243
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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