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LIFESTYLE, RATIONAL CHOICE, AND ADOLESCENT FEAR: A TEST OF A RISK-ASSESSMENT FRAMEWORK

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Criminological research on fear of crime primarily has been based on, and supportive of, an opportunity framework. The current research tests an expanded risk-assessment model of fear, which is rooted in an opportunity framework, by incorporating a measure of delinquent lifestyle, which is a known risk factor for victimization, using a sample of youth aged 10–16 years. The findings from longitudinal structural equation models do not support the applicability of a risk-assessment model of fear in adolescence. Namely, although increased involvement in a delinquent lifestyle is associated strongly with an increase in victimization over time, no such association exists with the perceived risk of victimization. Most importantly, as adolescents become more involved in a delinquent lifestyle and are victimized at a higher rate than nondelinquent youth, their fear of victimization actually decreases at a significantly higher rate than more prosocial youth.
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Keywords: fear; opportunity; perceived risk; routine activities; victimization

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Criminal Justice, Michigan State University

Publication date: 01 August 2009

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