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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76280 Find in a Library
Title: Fear of Crime - Causes and Consequences (From Victimology Research Agenda Development, Volume 1, P 79-101, 1980, Judith S Dahmann and Joseph H Sasfy, ed. - See NCJ-76275)
Author(s): J Garofalo
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 23
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A general model of the causes and consequences of the fear of crime is presented; the components of the model are described in view of research findings, and future research and policy implications are discussed.
Abstract: In an introductory section on concepts and indicators, fear of crime is defined as an emotional reaction characterized by a sense of danger and anxiety, the importance of actual and anticipated fear is delineated. The general model presented of the causes and consequences of fear of crime is not causal in nature but instead is illustrative of the interrelationships between categories of variables. The initial set of model variables, which also affect the components of each successive stage, are grouped under the concept of 'position in social space,' which includes demographic data and information on 'lifestyle.' The nature of information about crime, the next model variable, is strongly influenced by position in social space. The image of crime held by an individual is determined by its extent, characteristics, consequences, and degree of violence. Another component in the model -- risk assessment -- includes four factors used by the individual in 'personalizing' the image of crime: prevalence, likelihood, vulnerability of the target, and losses suffered by the victim. The effects of actual and anticipated fear on the costs and options exercised in responses to the fear of crime are next explored by the model. Six categories of responses are differentiated: avoidance actions, protective behavior, insurance behavior, communicative behavior, participation behavior, and information seeking. The feedback effects of these responses on other model variables such as risk assessment, fear of crime, information about crime, and position in social space are analyzed. The last component of the model -- social outcomes -- is discussed in relationship to avoidance and protective behaviors. Additional research tasks on the causes and consequences of the fear of crime are identified. A graph, eight research notes, and 19 references are provided. A chart depicts the model discussed.
Index Term(s): Fear of crime; Models; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Research uses in policymaking
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