Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion

Summer 2019

Thesis Director

Mariana M. Juras

Thesis Committee Member

Jeffrey R. Stowell

Thesis Committee Member

John H. Mace

Abstract

This study was designed to test perceptions and perceived safety and how it relates to fear of crime regarding university campus violence and safety. Faculty, students, and staff were drawn from a Midwestern university of the United States. This research examined vulnerability to stress, gender, age, and status, and its significance to fear of crime in comparison to the participation in precautionary and avoidance behaviors and campus crime statistics. It was hypothesized that there would be a general fear of crime regardless of overall low levels of campus crime and that both men and women would participate in precautionary or avoidance behaviors due to this fear of crime. In addition, it was hypothesized that persons with higher stress vulnerability scores and longer crime related media usage would have higher levels of fear of crime. Results indicated that perceived safety and status both have a significant effect on fear of crime, but sex, age, and stress vulnerability scores do not. Furthermore, results indicated that crime related media usage does not have an effect on fear of crime.

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