Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name


Other Degree Name/Area of Focus


Department or School/College

Department of Sociology and Criminology

Committee Chair

Dr. Mark Heirigs

Commitee Members

Dr. James Tuttle, Dr. Meradeth Snow


mental health, social support, crime, institutional anomie


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Criminology | Medicine and Health | Social Control, Law, Crime, and Deviance


Since the decline of mental health service funding and availability, the relationship between untreated (or improperly treated) serious mental illness and violent crime is increasingly critical to examine. Rooted in a social support and institutional anomie theory (IAT) perspective, the purpose of this quantitative study is to analyze the relationship between mental health service availability and violent crime rates across the United States for the year 2016. It was hypothesized that findings would suggest an inverse relationship between mental health service availability and rates of violent crime. Results revealed the opposite, however, indicating that the more psychiatric hospitals in an area, the more violent crime will exist. This analysis provides insights into the most up-to-date reporting on the nationwide availability of mental health services, and how this impacts the rate and severity of crime at the state level.


© Copyright 2023 Tatianna R. Pugmire