Title

How senior Canadians understand fear of crime

Date of Award

2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Sociology and Anthropology

Keywords

Gerontology.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Conceptual and methodological issues with current fear of crime measurement tools make it difficult to conduct valid and reliable research. Understanding fear of crime from the point of view of seniors, and determining the relevance of crime in their lives could provide more rigorous and appropriate testing measures. Interviews were conducted with 20 seniors residing in two Ontario cities, Hamilton and Windsor. This research points to a distinct difference between fear of crime and concern/worry about crime. To be afraid of crime implies that someone is constantly thinking about it, that they have a sense of paranoia, whereas a concern or worry for crime implies that the individual has awareness that crime exists and may be concerned in certain situations/places. If studies continue to use questions related to safety then they should not associate this safety with levels of fear. The terms are not interchangeable.