Unravelling college students’ fear of crime: The role of perceived social disorder and physical disorder on campus

Marlies Sas, Wim Hardyns, Genserik Reniers, Koen Ponnet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

The current study explores the role of individual and environmental determinants on students’ fear of crime. Based on a large-scale survey among students of a Belgian university (n = 1,463), the relationship between perceived social and physical disorder and the three dimensions of fear of crime (perceived risk of victimization, feelings of anxiety, avoidance behaviour) is examined. Support was found for a relationship between perceived social and physical disorder and perceived risk of victimization. Moreover, a relationship was found between students’ perception of social disorder and anxiety and students’ perception of physical disorder and avoidance behaviour. Based on the results, this study suggests that preventing or reducing visible signs of disorder on campus should inevitably be included in the university’s security policy. This research offers universities more insight in the determinants of students’ fear of crime and potential measures to increase their (perception of) safety.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Studies
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • campus security
  • fear of crime
  • higher educational institutions
  • physical disorder
  • social disorder

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