Ecological Determinants of Situated Choice in Situational Action Theory: Does Neighborhood Matter?

Olena Antonaccio, Ekaterina V. Botchkovar, Lorine A. Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study extends theoretical arguments from situational action theory (SAT) by focusing on the enduring effects of neighborhood context on individual criminal involvement and presents the first direct multilevel assessment of SAT in non-Western contexts using neighborhood data. Methods: Survey data from a random sample of 1,435 adults in 41 neighborhoods in Russia and Ukraine are used to assess the interplay between individual criminal propensity and moral and deterrent qualities of neighborhood environments in their effects on individual offending. Results: The results demonstrate that variations in neighborhood moral rules directly influence criminal involvement, confirming SAT’s extended argument that this type of neighborhood-level predictor of offending matters and has an enduring effect on misconduct. Furthermore, consistent with SAT’s propositions, principal individual-level predictors such as personal criminal propensity and individual perceptions of neighborhood informal sanctioning exert expected significant effects on criminal involvement. Results for cross-level interaction effects are inconclusive. Conclusions: SAT, a multilevel theory of crime, shows promise in various sociocultural contexts such as Eastern European countries of Russia and Ukraine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)208-243
Number of pages36
JournalJournal of Research in Crime and Delinquency
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2017


  • Russia
  • Ukraine
  • crime
  • neighborhoods
  • situational action theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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