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Open Access Inkomensongelijkheid en de stijging in ‘verward gedrag’

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Income inequality and the increase in ‘emotional disturbed behavior’: A sociological search for explanations of the increase in police-reported ‘emotionally disturbed persons’

The Netherlands have witnessed a strong increase in the number of reports received by police on ‘emotionally disturbed persons’‐ or actually people with ‘misunderstood behavior’. Much speculation has followed on the underlying causes, but empirical and especially sociological attention for the phenomenon has been absent. The current paper is the first to study the wider social-economic roots of emotional disturbance calls, such as a higher level of income inequality. In order to study whether the number of calls is influenced by a higher income inequality, regression analyses were run among 376 municipalities between 2011 and 2014. A higher income inequality in municipality-years was indeed related to a higher number of calls. The main model revealed an estimated difference of 330 calls per 10,000 inhabitants between the most unequal (Wageningen, 2014) and equal (Pekela, 2012) municipality-years. The findings lend support for the inequality hypothesis and problematize the current individualistic approach to ‘misunderstood’ behavior.
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Keywords: emotional disturbance calls; inequality; public health; social trust

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2018

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