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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 82425 Find in a Library
Title: Fear of Crime Among the Elderly
Author(s): W G Skogan
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 23
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
US Dept of Justice

US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 78-NI-AX-0057
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF|PDF
Dataset: DATASET 1
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based upon data from five surveys, victimization rates for the elderly and the elderly's fear of crime are analyzed, followed by possible explanations for this fear of crime and proposals for what can be done about it.
Abstract: Although victimization rates among the elderly are below the average for age groups in virtually all offense categories, the fear of crime ranks highest among the elderly, particularly fear of personal attack. This fear is most likely due to the elderly's awareness of the serious consequences of their victimization. The elderly are generally poor and have fixed incomes, such that it is difficult for them to sustain the financial losses from victimization. Further, they are physically frail and have particular difficulty recovering from broken bones and other serious injuries. The elderly who live alone are overwhelmingly female, the most fearful demographic group; these two factors compound the fear of victimization. The elderly are concentrated in highrise buildings and public housing projects, which are high-risk environments that tend to precipitate fear of crime. Surveys indicate that the elderly are below average in their attention to crime prevention measures and participation in crime prevention programs. The police and community crime prevention groups should contact the elderly in their communities and provide support and encouragement for them to become involved in crime prevention activities. Further, programs aimed at reducing the potential hardships of victimization could relieve the elderly of much of their fear of the calamitous consequences of victimization. Appended are descriptions of the surveys from which data were drawn and a discussion of the independence of the fear of crime from other concerns. Tabular and graphic data are provided.
Index Term(s): Fear of crime; Older Adults (65+)
Note: Testimony prepared for presentation to joint hearings conducted by the Subcommittee on Domestic and International Scientific Planning, Analysis, and Cooperation, of the House Committee on Science and Technology, and the Subcommittee on Housing and Consumer Interests, of the House Select Committee on Aging, on February 1, 1978. Part of the Reactions to Crime Project.
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