Indicators of fear of victimization
Cullen, Timothy T.
Master of Arts
SubjectFear of crime
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The main objective of this thesis was to examine the indicators of fear of victimization by incorporating the variables age, gender, living arrangement and security precautions into Warr and Stafford’s (1983) conceptual model of fear (that high levels of perceived risk and perceived seriousness are associated with a high level of fear of victimization for a particular offense) and then testing the explanatory power of this revised model. A probability sample of 194 Thunder Bay students and retirees was drawn using a multi-stage sampling technique and the data indicated that the independent variables explained 41.6 percent of the variation in fear for the combined 16 offenses, with perceived risk, perceived seriousness and gender emerging as the only statistically significant indicators of fear. Thus, fearful persons tended to be females who perceived victimization to be both likely to occur and serious in its consequences. Contrary to the bulk of fear of crime research, students in general were found to be more fearful than retirees, and female students in particular were found be to more fearful than female retirees, male retirees and male students. These findings suggest that fear of victimization is a phenomenon that is not reserved for the elderly alone and, thus, future research should focus upon the victimization fears of all gender/age categories.