Date of Award

1988

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

William B. Bankston

Abstract

The central issue examined in this research is the association of age and fear of crime, and more specifically, the interaction of age with other variables in determining fear levels. The data used were drawn from a Crime Survey of Louisiana conducted in 1984. The sample was state wide and derived from drivers' license holders in Louisiana. This research used three separate measures of fear in exploring the interaction of age with other predictors of fear of crime: global fear, fear of violent crime, and fear of property crime. The three measures of fear were placed as dependent variables within a model of fear of crime and were tested for significant age interactions. In each test age was found to have significant interactions with the other independent variables in the model. Consequently, each model of fear was analyzed using separate regression analyses for categories of age to demonstrate how the effects of the independent variables varied by age category. Each of the three models gave support to some previous research. Each fear measure was predicted by different variables indicating that the use of different fear measures accounts for some of the contradictory findings in previous literature. The author concluded that there is a complex association between fear of crime and age. This association was placed in a "routine activities perspective." A conceptual model which illustrates the role routine activities play in mediating the relationship between fear of crime and age was developed, and it was argued that life cycle changes are associated with shifts in routine activities. The patterns of routine activities affect the perceived probability of victimization. In turn, these perceptions influence the weighing of consequences and the evaluation of risk of victimization. Fear of crime then, is a product of the evaluation of risk and weighing of consequences.

Pages

164

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