The feeling of unsafety, usually operationalised as fear of crime, is mainly studied by sociologists and criminologists, who rely upon sociological or socio-demographic variables to account for fear variations. However, some psycho-social variables may be effectively used to predict such fear. In this chapter we examined, in a psycho-social perspective, whether individual values priorities exert influence on personal fear of crime (or concrete fear) and concern about crime as a social problem (or abstract fear), performing a secondary analysis of the data gathered by the Observatory of North-West on a representative sample of the Italian population over 18 (N = 1,667). We tested two structural equation models, both aimed at predicting concrete and abstract fear of crime using values among our independent variables. In the first one we used Schwartz’s approach to values (assessing values in terms of Openness to change vs. Conservatism and Self-enhancement vs. Self-transcendence), and in the second one we used Inglehart’s approach (assessing values in terms of Materialism vs. Post-materialism). Besides individual values, we took into account four sets of independent variables: socio-demographic characteristics, victimization experiences, political variables, and mass media exposure. Findings from previous research on fear of crime were partially confirmed. Concrete fear of crime was positively influenced by direct and indirect victimization and size of area of residence. Abstract fear of crime was positively influenced by direct victimization, and negatively influenced by education, size of area of residence, and National TV news watching. As concerns the innovative part of our research, values influenced abstract fear as well as concrete fear. When we operationalised values using Schwartz’s model, both concrete and abstract fear of crime were negatively influenced by Openness to change. When we operationalised values using Inglehart’s model, Materialism exerted a positive influence on concrete fear of crime and Post-materialism exerted a negative influence on abstract fear of crime. Our two models accounted for almost the same proportion of variance of the two dependent variables, and the effects our two operationalisations of values exerted on fear were reasonably similar in magnitude. Limits and possible developments of this research are discussed.

Values and fear of crime

RUSSO, SILVIA;ROCCATO, Michele
2009

Abstract

The feeling of unsafety, usually operationalised as fear of crime, is mainly studied by sociologists and criminologists, who rely upon sociological or socio-demographic variables to account for fear variations. However, some psycho-social variables may be effectively used to predict such fear. In this chapter we examined, in a psycho-social perspective, whether individual values priorities exert influence on personal fear of crime (or concrete fear) and concern about crime as a social problem (or abstract fear), performing a secondary analysis of the data gathered by the Observatory of North-West on a representative sample of the Italian population over 18 (N = 1,667). We tested two structural equation models, both aimed at predicting concrete and abstract fear of crime using values among our independent variables. In the first one we used Schwartz’s approach to values (assessing values in terms of Openness to change vs. Conservatism and Self-enhancement vs. Self-transcendence), and in the second one we used Inglehart’s approach (assessing values in terms of Materialism vs. Post-materialism). Besides individual values, we took into account four sets of independent variables: socio-demographic characteristics, victimization experiences, political variables, and mass media exposure. Findings from previous research on fear of crime were partially confirmed. Concrete fear of crime was positively influenced by direct and indirect victimization and size of area of residence. Abstract fear of crime was positively influenced by direct victimization, and negatively influenced by education, size of area of residence, and National TV news watching. As concerns the innovative part of our research, values influenced abstract fear as well as concrete fear. When we operationalised values using Schwartz’s model, both concrete and abstract fear of crime were negatively influenced by Openness to change. When we operationalised values using Inglehart’s model, Materialism exerted a positive influence on concrete fear of crime and Post-materialism exerted a negative influence on abstract fear of crime. Our two models accounted for almost the same proportion of variance of the two dependent variables, and the effects our two operationalisations of values exerted on fear were reasonably similar in magnitude. Limits and possible developments of this research are discussed.
Social psychology: New research
Nova
267
282
9781617617577
S. Russo; M. Roccato
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/53167
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