Author's School

Brown School of Social Work

Author's Department/Program

Social Work


English (en)

Date of Award

Spring 4-23-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Chair and Committee

Carolyn Lesorogol


Reducing crime has been the most intractable problem facing successive government administrations in Trinidad and Tobago since the late 1990s. Community based crime prevention must be an important element of any multi-faceted crime abatement strategy. Collective efficacy which purports to describe a community's capacity for social regulation is associated with lower levels of crime and has become an objective in crime prevention policy (IADB Loan Proposal, TT-L1003, n.d.). This study seeks to examine the applicability of the theory of collective efficacy to Trinidad and Tobago, understand how collective efficacy works, and discover whether and how collective efficacy could be increased in support of community based crime prevention.

The study utilized a blended design incorporating analysis of the 2007 Crime Victimization Survey in Trinidad (n=2133), as well as qualitative data obtained through semi-structured interviews, focus groups and observations in four communities (n=138) over a 12-month period. The intervening role of collective efficacy was examined through a mediation model using the PROCESS macro, a statistical package which employs sophisticated bootstrapping technology for estimating mediation effects (Hayes, 2009). The result was a significant mediation. Systematic qualitative research also found that stable local organizations and quality local leaders play a significant role in the character of local crime prevention, and that collective efficacy for crime prevention could be increased by considerable external investment in local organizations. These findings are of great relevance to policy makers in the areas of community development and national security.


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