Yue (Angela) Zhuo

The Impact of Objective and Subjective Social Distance from Migrants on Public Attitudes toward Crime Control in Contemporary Urban China

Yue (Angela) Zhuo, St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Abstract

Hundreds of millions of rural migrants have moved into Chinese cities since the late 1980s. Migrants are changing the face of urban China and contributing greatly to economic growth. However, they are widely blamed for crime, disorder, chaos, overcrowding, and other urban ills. Prior research finds that migration is strongly associated with the rising crime rate in China and the concerns over crime have been increasing in migrant-concentrated cities. Very recent studies find that those urban Chinese with negative attitudes toward migrants have a poor perception of public safety. The present study contributes to the scholarly inquiries in this field by examining the effects of objective and subjective social distance from migrants on public attitudes toward crime control. The results show that individuals who have a greater subjective-affective social distance from rural-to-urban migrants report a lower level of satisfaction with crime control. However, objective-interactive social distance is not significantly associated with public satisfaction with crime control. Meanwhile, individuals who live in migrant-concentrated areas are more satisfied with crime control, which is opposite to that commonly observed in the West. 

Dual Diagnosis Treatment and Aggression in Persons with Severe Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorder

Yue (Angela) Zhuo, St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Department of Sociology and Anthropology; Clara M. Bradizza, University at Buffalo – SUNY

Abstract

The present study examined the relationship between psychosocial interventions and post-treatment-initiation aggression among individuals with a severe mental illness (SMI) and a substance use disorder (SUD). Participants were 278 individuals seeking outpatient dual-diagnosis treatment from a publicly-funded community mental health center in Buffalo, New York, that provides integrated mental health and substance abuse services. Study participants were followed up at monthly intervals for 6 months following admission to treatment. We used structural equation modeling (SEM) to examine whether extent of dual-diagnosis treatment attendance was associated with post-treatment-initiation aggression and examined possible mediators of this relationship. The results of SEM analyses indicated that dual-diagnosis treatment participation significantly reduced the level of post-treatment aggressive behaviors. The number of days participants attended dual-diagnosis treatment was also indirectly associated with post-treatment aggression and that this relationship was mediated by extent of substance use. Treatment participation significantly reduced substance use, but had no influence on psychiatric symptoms. Post-treatment aggression was strongly associated with substance use, while not related to mental illness. These findings have important implication for the overall understanding and treatment of aggression among persons with mental illness. Mentally ill patients are inappropriately stigmatized as aggressive and dangerous. The prevalence of aggression among mentally ill patients largely depends on the level of comorbid substance abuse. The risk of aggression among the severely mentally ill could be reduced by developing ways of managing dual diagnosis more effectively.  Substance abuse should be a major focus in developing anti-aggression interventions among the severely mentally ill.