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Impact of Media on Fear of Crime Among University Students: A Cross-National Comparison

NCJ Number
Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice Volume: 54 Issue: 1 Dated: January 2012 Pages: 67-100
Steven A. Kohm; Courtney A. Waid-Lindberg; Michael Weinrath; Tara O'Connor Shelley; Rhonda R. Dobbs
Date Published
January 2012
34 pages
This article examines the impact of media on fear of crime among university students.
Fear of crime has been the focus of considerable research in Canada and the United States over the past five decades. An enduring question for researchers is the impact of various forms of media on fear of crime. Specifically, do the salience of specific media types and the amount of exposure to specific news media - newspapers, television, radio, and Internet - affect fear of crime? Using survey data collected at three universities in the United States and one in Canada, this article comparatively examines the impact of media on fear of crime among university students. The results of the current study show distinct differences between Canadian and U.S. students, with Canadian students reporting significantly higher levels of fear, particularly of violent crime. The impact of media on fear was inconsistent between the two groups, but media tended to exert a broader range of influence on the American students' fear of crime. (Published Abstract)