Graduation Year

2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Criminology

Major Professor

Shayne Jones, Ph.D.

Keywords

Victim, Offender, Impulsivity, Risk appraisal, Routine activities, Lifestyles

Abstract

Fear of crime is an issue that has long been a part of mainstream society through politics and media. However, research on the specific mechanisms of fear and the effects on behavior is sparse. After considering the victim-offender overlap consistently found within the literature, the present study was based on the theory posed within Schreck, Stewart, and Fisher (2006) in which those who are low in self-control may have altered perceptions of fear or risk of crime that might increase the likelihood that the individual will be in risky locations conducive to victimization. The current study also included a novel feature in which fear of crime is measured by two separate constructs, an emotional fear response to crime as well as a cognitive risk perception of crime as suggested in Rountree and Land (1996). This study will utilize data collected from 3,692 seventh-graders in Kentucky as part of the Rural Substance Abuse and Violence Project. It is believed that this study will help to better explain the process behind school victimization in particular, not only for intervention and prevention purposes for offending behavior, but to also prevent victimization.

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