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Doing it tough in Urban spaces in Adelaide ( Dr. Helen. Cameron – UniSA). This paper discusses aspects of results from ARC funded Research – UniSA, Flinders Uni and Department of Human Services (DHS) Timeframe of the study – 2001 to 2003

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Doing it tough in urban spaces in adelaide dr helen cameron unisa
Doing it tough in Urban spaces in Adelaide(Dr. Helen. Cameron – UniSA)

  • This paper discusses aspects of results from ARC funded Research – UniSA, Flinders Uni and Department of Human Services (DHS)

  • Timeframe of the study – 2001 to 2003

  • Study of a sample of disadvantaged residents identified according to SEIFA Index

  • Initial phase with 512 residents

  • Follow up phase with 260 of these


In this session
In this Session

  • Social Disadvantage of the Sample

  • Culture, Parenting & Housing

  • Perceptions of Trust & Safety

  • Backgrounds of Risk in the Suburbs

  • Collective Efficacy in the Neighbourhood

  • Synthesis of Issues

  • Conclusions



1 social disadvantage
1. Social Disadvantage

  • 73.1% completed only Year 11 or less [Metro Adelaide: 52.3%]

  • 47.4% were of single-parents [Metro Adelaide 16.6%] and 46.6% were parents for the first time at < 19 years [Metro Adelaide: 9.8%]

  • 6.0% were employed [Metro Adelaide 54%]

  • 73.7% main source of income was Govt. assistance

  • 36.9% no access to a car [Metro Adelaide 11%]


2 culture housing
2. Culture & Housing

  • 6.8% identified as being of ATSI origin [Metro Adelaide: 1.0%] with 10.9% of children being identified as of ATSI origin

  • Most residents were renting their homes from the SAHT (55.8%) [Metro Adelaide: 8.0%] 24.5% are in private rental accommodation [Metro Adelaide: 17.3%] – so ownership < 20%

  • Housing Mobility - 34.1%had lived at their current address < 1 year; 69.4% < 5 years [Metro Adelaide: <1 yr, 10.2% <5 yr, 26.4%]



3 perceptions of neighbourhood safety trust 2001 2002 data
3. Perceptions of Neighbourhood Safety & Trust vandalised(2001/2002 Data)

Perceptions of safety & trust (scale 1- 4)

Questions about whether others could be trusted and about how safe they felt

  • No suburb had scores indicating residents felt safe or trusted others much– 1.9 average

  • Also little variation of opinion on these variables - range 1.7 to 2.4 (SD between 0.03 and 0.9)

  • Single parents with ONE adult in house – expressed lowest levels of trust in others and general feelings of safety


Social disorder in the suburbs
Social disorder in the suburbs vandalised

  • Garage and bus-stop vandalised


4 risk the stats on crime in the suburbs sapol data base 2000
4. RISK – the Stats on Crime in the Suburbs vandalised(SAPOL data base 2000)

  • Rates per 1,000 for crimes in 2000 in the suburbs studied, c.f. overall Adelaide Metro rates:

  • Property crimes 263 c.f. 131

  • Personal attacks 40 c.f. 13

  • Sexual attacks 6 c.f. 1

  • General law & order 45 c.f. 19

  • Drugs 81 c.f. 3

    So low trust & perceptions of risk have a reality base in actual crime rates


5 collective efficacy as a construct
5. Collective Efficacy as a Construct vandalised

Collective efficacy is a measure of two fields of perception: (Sampson 1997)

Informal social control

  • How likely people are to take action about events in the neighbourhood

    Social cohesion

  • Sense of connection and agreement with others in neighbourhood


Neighbourhoods informal social control
Neighbourhoods & Informal Social Control vandalised

  • Vacant house vandalised in SA


6 synthesis
6. Synthesis vandalised

  • Low levels of trust, Informal social control, combine with risk (i.e. crime)& other factors to lower social connection

  • Other factors -Sole parents (46%), and residential mobility (74% moving several times in last 5 years) are factors that lower levels of social connection


7 conclusions
7. Conclusions vandalised

  • The combined picture of low safety&trust, high mobility and sole parenting, low collective efficacy andhighrisk from crime rates calls for targeted intervention

  • Government services need to aim to build stronger, safer communities and to provide better supports for sole parents (education pathways, parenting support)

  • Children are the nation’s future and require intelligent investment by all sectors of government


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