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NCJ Number: 141413 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Fear of Walking Alone at Night: What Does It Mean?
Author(s): V L Swigert; R A Singleton Jr; S C Ainlay
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 22
Sponsoring Agency: US Dept of Health and Human Services
Bethesda, MD 20892
Grant Number: 1 R15 AG08359-01
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Personal interviews conducted with 178 residents of Worcester, Massachusetts, aged 65 years or older, were used to assess the relationship between age and fear of crime. Data were collected from the General Social Survey (GSS) to show the dangers that respondents perceived in being alone on the street at night and relating those responses to alternatives measures of fear of crime.
Abstract: The interviews focused on background, personal characteristics, social activities, physical health, life satisfaction, prior victimization, and fear of crime. Different questions were used to assess formless fear and fear of specific crimes. Consistent with previous GSS findings, these results showed that about 59 percent of the subjects feared walking alone at night in an area within a mile of their home. Older respondents expressed far more fear about walking alone at night than when asked about their fear of specific crimes. Sources of fear regarding dangerous places seemed to be greater than the risk of criminal victimization. Four crimes -- burglary at home, personal larceny, being threatened with a weapon, and being beaten by a stranger -- were associated with fear of dangerous places. Again, the items that comprised the index of formless fear indicated as much a fear of personal injury as a fear of specific crime. Respondents described dangerous places in terms of the presence of various types of potential offenders, including drug users, teenagers, and ethnic minorities, and features of the environment, including poor lighting, traffic, and the unknown. 5 tables and 13 references
Main Term(s): Crimes against the elderly; Fear of crime
Index Term(s): Massachusetts
Note: Presented at the American Society of Criminology, New Orleans, November 1992.
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