What is the impact that crime has on the mental health of people living in that area in which crime has taken place?
Dustmann et al. then proceed to estimate the impact that crime has on the mental health of people living in that area in which crime has taken place. When a crime takes place within a neighborhood, people living there are affected mentally and emotionally. Indeed, the World Health Organization Commission on Social Determinants of Health states that there is a correlation between the amount of crime that occurs in the local area and the deteriorating mental health of the residents who live there. An interesting fact is that women tend to be more affected by local area crime as compared to men. It creates an impact on their daily activities, and they end up suffering from depression and anxiety. Also, the data indicate that there is heterogeneity among individuals. This means that every individual reacts to crime in their own separate way and it affects them differently.
Dustmann et al. carry out their investigation by focusing on two-panel surveys from which they learn about extensive and specific information on an individual’s mental health and then put it together with the official data for the crime. The two-panel surveys are namely the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). The BHPS comprises of measures on an individual’s mental health of the UK citizens. In comparison, the ELSA gathers similar data on individuals’ mental health who are older than 50 years. The BHPS has an advantage that the data records consist of unique material and content based on the mental health of the individuals surveyed. Both BHPS and ELSA contain material that is collected and assessed through multiple waves, forming a connection between the survey and crime statistics. Panel surveys have an advantage in which individuals who are already depressed become more depressed if there is a local crime in their area.