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Predictors of Fear of Crime and the Relationship
of Crime Rates and Fear of Crime

By: Jennifer Truman
Mentor: Jana Jasinski

Abstract and Introduction

Abstract

Research has shown that demographic characteristics, media exposure, perceived risk to crime, and victimization are associated with a person's perception of crime. Also, many times a person's perception of crime does not coincide with the actual crime rates. Using data from a survey of 315 college students, this study examined the effects of the aforementioned factors on a person's perception of crime, as well as compared these perceptions with actual crime rates. Results indicate that females, minorities, and people who frequently viewed local television news all reported a higher fear of crime, which is consistent with literature. The respondents' perceptions of murder and rape crime rates were much higher than the actual crime rates, which is consistent with research; however, with all other crimes the respondents' perceptions were much lower, in contrast with research.

Review of Literature >>